Television & Print

Watch Lourdes on CBS’ 60 Minutes!

This feature was filmed while we were on pilgrimage this past October. Our pilgrims were interviewed and we helped the production crew with some of the other filming.

We are blessed to share the message of Lourdes whenever invited!

In 2021, North American Lourdes Volunteers was blessed with the opportunity during the world-wide pandemic to direct, film and produce two series that aired on EWTN allowing us to continue our mission bringing healing and comfort to the suffering.

Watch Marlene Watkins on EWTN!

The Sign of the Cross Is More Powerful Than You Imagine, Says St. Bernadette

Catholics often make the Sign of the Cross. We make the familiar motion of our childhood or entry into the Church by repeating the words at the holy water font, before and after prayer, or passing by a cemetery.

Over time, this gesture can become habitual. Soon, our hand motions can quicken into a circular gesture, more like a symbol of eternity than the Cross that gets us there. The Sign of the Cross is not just what we do before and after a prayer — it is a prayer! St. Bernadette said that if we were to pray this prayer well, we could go to Heaven.

Local foundress of Lourdes Volunteers launches book, 'Everyday Miracles'

Marlene Watkins, author and foundress of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers, presented her new book, “Everyday Miracles of Lourdes: Twenty Extraordinary Experiences Along the Way to the Grotto,” on March 26 at St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus.

St. Bernadette’s Incorrupt Relics Tour the U.S. for the First Time Ever

This is so exciting! 

The incorrupt relics of St. Bernadette Soubirous will travel through the United States for the first time ever this year. The tour began in Miami, Fla. on April 7, 2022 and will conclude on Aug. 4, 2022 in Los Angeles, Calif.

St. Bernadette’s relics to begin first tour to U.S. in Florida in April

 The relics of St. Bernadette, the Marian visionary of Lourdes, France, will tour the United States for the first time.

The visit will begin in South Florida at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Miami, with a morning welcome Mass April 7. The next day the relics will visit St. Bernadette Church in Hollywood, Florida, then return to Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

On April 11, Monday of Holy Week, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami will celebrate an evening Mass at the church, which will be followed by a candlelight procession. The relics will stay at Our Lady of Lourdes until April 18, Easter Monday, when a multilingual farewell Mass will be celebrated.

St. Bernadette’s Relics Tour the United States

“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.”

Our Sunday Visitor: 2015 Catholics of the Year

Through her devotion to Lourdes, ‘housewife’ extends God’s mercy to those who need it most.

Sharing Message, Extending Mercy: Marlene Watkins Named a “Catholic of the Year”

The local woman who identifies herself as simply a “housewife” never thought she’d be called to serve the Church and its people through the message of Lourdes — nor did she think Our Sunday Visitor would commend her for her service by naming her a 2015 Catholic of the Year.

Virtual Healing: Catholic Volunteers Bring the Faithful to Lourdes and Lourdes to the Faithful

Every year, 6 million pilgrims visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France to pray for healing from illness and injury of all kinds. The sanctuary marks the spot where in 1858, 18 apparitions of Mary — identifying herself as the Immaculate Conception — appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.

President of North American Lourdes Volunteers Calls Women to Holiness & Service

The President of the North American Lourdes Volunteers – an association that routinely accompanies people with serious illnesses and disabilities to the holy site of Lourdes – told the ladies gathered at this year’s convention of the Harrisburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (HDCCW) that they are both Marys and Marthas, called to serve the Church in various ways, but to serve nonetheless.

Sacred Heart Parishioner Sees Miracle

He went to the Our Lady of Lourdes shrine from Sept. 9-19 for a ten-day pilgrimage with a group of about 30 volunteers with Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers, LTD. 

“I didn’t know this until I got there, but everyone who goes to Lourdes is called there,” said Harrell, a Sacred Heart Catholic Church parishioner. 

In February 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in the grotto where the shrine is now located. Soubirous, now referred to as St. Bernadette, uncovered a fresh-water spring in the grotto at the request of the Blessed Mother that many believe has healing powers.

When the American Volunteers Organize Themselves

Marlene Watkins founded a movement of volunteers in North America associated with the Lourdes pilgrimage. Notably supported by Mother
Angelica of the television network EWTN, this new Hospitality movement is developing at an extraordinary rate. Of the thousands of Hospitality members from around the world, just a few years ago less than 100 were from the United States. The impractical ship travel over one hundred years ago did not lend itself well to diocesan pilgrimages or hospitality service. Today, the same flights that bring pilgrims from around the globe to Lourdes can now bring hospitality members, too. 

Best of All Worlds: Ehrman Combines Nursing, Missionary Volunteering into Rewarding Life

In addition to being a wife, a mother of five home-schooled children, and a missionary volunteer, Lori Ehrman is also a surgical nurse at Hunt Regional Medical center the thread that knits all of these roles together is love, she points out.

Lourdes in Wyoming

In June of 2016, a group of thirty pilgrims from St. Anthony’s, Cody, embarked on a pilgrimage to Portugal, Spain, France and Italy. We spent several days in both Fatima and Lourdes. Visiting those two Marian Shrines were the highlights of the trip for all of us. There are no tourists, only pilgrims, in those two holy places.

Auburn church hosts virtual pilgrimage to Lourdes, France

Several hundred people made a pilgrimage of sorts to Lourdes, France, last month without ever leaving American soil.

Instead, they gathered May 8 at Sacred Heart Church for a Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience presented by Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers, which is based in Syracuse. The approximately 300 people present at the Auburn church that evening not only learned about the 18 times Mary reportedly appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, but they also were able to touch a rock from the grotto where those apparitions are said to have taken place and bless themselves with water from the spring at the site of the apparitions.

Discovering the Blessed Mother's Love: Through the North American Lourdes Volunteers

When she was very young, Mary Suddath watched The Song of Bernadette with her father, and it made a marvelous impact on her impressionable heart. Through the story of St. Bernadette, the Blessed Mother touched Mary’s soul in a way that remained with her for the rest of her life. “Watching this movie was very instrumental in my desire to visit Lourdes,” Mary says. “After surviving cancer in 2011, I felt a strong pull to make that dream a reality. I began searching for pilgrimages to Lourdes and found an article about the North American Lourdes Volunteers [NALV]. 

A Longing for Lourdes: A Family's Faith is Strengthened Thanks to a Special Needs Ministry

At the urging of Monsignor Richard Shirley, the seed was planted back in 2005 for the Schulz family to visit Lourdes, France. Our first daughter, Jenna Schulz, was experiencing idiopathic seizures, that were relentless and which continue today. Our family had planned the trip back in 2006 when doctors from Driscoll Children’s Hospital were monitoring Jenna and later by Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. We had our passports ready and then the night before we were to board our transatlantic flight, Jenna had to be hospitalized for a delayed swallow reflex which resulted in aspiration. We had to cancel the trip. 

An Unexpected Miracle at Lourdes

Our daughter died in my arms as we lay together in the emergency room bed.  In my grief, while holding her lifeless body, I was taken back to the baths at Lourdes, where we had visited just over a month before.

My brothers and sisters, friends, and even strangers had paid for us to travel to the shrine at Lourdes, France to seek a miracle for our daughter and our son, both of whom had Leigh’s Disease, a mitochondrial disorder. My husband was so confident that Our Lady was going to do this for us; that she was going to make our children well and show the world that miracle still happen. I believe in miracles but I had my doubts about a miracle for our children.


A Body And A Spirit Transformed By Faith

The first inkling Gilly Charbonnet had that something was wrong with his body came when he began having trouble tying his shoes and buttoning his shirt.

For someone who as an expert “key grip” had spent more than 25 years moving heavy lighting equipment and carefully setting up nuanced shadows for hundreds of New Orleans-based movies, television shows and commercials, it was easy just to shrug it off as life after 60.

But when the warning signs accelerated, Gilly mentioned what was happening to him to Father Herb Kiff, pastor of Mater Dolorosa Church, who had presided at Gilly’s marriage to Rhonda in 2018.

“Father Herb said, ‘You need to get that checked out,’” Rhonda recalled.