“We’re hoping that as many people as possible can receive those graces,” Pam Barton, a board member of the North American Lourdes Volunteers and the organization’s Lourdes virtual-pilgrimage director, told the Register. “And we hope they will get to know St. Bernadette and that they all would also hope in her example that they can become saints. We’re always under Our Lady’s gaze. Wherever we go, she is always near to us, and people can take hope and comfort from that.”
Teresa Lewis, the North American Lourdes Volunteers board vice president, pointed out that many of the host sites will also offer a virtual pilgrimage experience. These are not done on a computer, but with a “live” guide from the North American Lourdes Volunteers, likely Barton herself.
Lewis explained, “It is a spiritual journey where we connect to Bernadette’s story and with the grotto and our story. They are all connected on the screen and in person. We bring actual pieces of the grotto rock from Lourdes, where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette, and people can touch it. We bring Lourdes water.”
“We understand not everyone can come to Lourdes,” Barton added, “so we provide that Lourdes experience to parishes, schools, prisons. Our guides and missionaries go far and wide to share the message of Lourdes.”