Types of Service

Experience Our Lady’s Love in Lourdes

Join us on one of two types of Pilgrimage to Lourdes

 Special Needs Pilgrimage

In June and October each year, we bring the sick to Lourdes, accompanied by teams of medical, adult and youth volunteers. They make pilgrimage as one family, lovingly attending to one another’s needs.

 Hospitalité Pilgrimage

Multiple times each year, we bring volunteers to Lourdes to serve the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes, the Association of volunteers worldwide that sustains the Sanctuary in Lourdes.

Be the Hands that Make the Difference

Experience life-changing service in Lourdes

Click here for Información En Español!

Hospitalité Service

For volunteers seeking to serve Our Lady’s pilgrims alongside volunteers from around the world!

Medical Service

For loving and compassionate doctors, nurses and practitioners willing to make the impossible possible!

 Advance Team Service

For dedicated volunteers with a servant’s heart, a great smile and a willingness to serve others!

 Youth Service

For youth, young adults, families and youth groups looking to live their faith in action and live, love and learn the Message of Lourdes!

University Service

For university students interested in serving alongside like-minded volunteers while being transformed through service!

Ways to Serve in Lourdes

Find the right fit for you

Advance Team Volunteers serve our on Special Needs Pilgrimages each June and October. 

 

Service on the Advance Team 

Special Needs Pilgrimages are an invitation to special needs pilgrims and their families to experience the joy and grace of pilgrimage, which is made possible by the support medical volunteers, lay companions and adult and youth volunteers.

Our Special Needs Pilgrimage relies on the comprehensive service of our Advance Team, who provides prayerful assistance to every dimension of  pilgrimage. The A-Team “cradles” the Special Needs Pilgrimage because they arrive before and depart after our pilgrims in order to lovingly attend to their needs throughout pilgrimage – from arrival to departure. Volunteers are provided with formation, orientation and training to perform a variety of wide-ranging hands-on responsibilities. The A-Team offers assistance with wheelchairs and other transportation needs, housekeeping, hospitality and dining room service. Schedule varies depending on assignment. 

Volunteers on the Advance Team serve side by side and work closely as a team. Our pilgrims simply would not be able to visit Lourdes without the thorough, dedicated service and support they so lovingly provide! 

 

Highlights

– Form life-long friendships as you grow in faith through service to Our Lady and her pilgrims

– Pray in the Grotto and visit the Piscines (Baths)

– Participate in all ceremonies, tours and events 

Youth and Young Adult Volunteers serve on our June Special Needs Pilgrimage

Service for Youth and Young Adults

Special Needs Pilgrimages are an invitation to special needs pilgrims and their families to experience the joy and grace of pilgrimage, which is made possible by the support medical volunteers, lay companions and adult and youth volunteers.

Youth (ages 14-17) and young adult (ages 18-24) volunteers serve in Lourdes accompanied by parents or relatives. They assist our Advance Team and provide hands-on support to our special needs pilgrimage in the areas of transportation, hospitality, housekeeping and dining. Like the Advance Team, youth and young adult volunteers arrive and depart two days before and after the Special Needs Pilgrimage and are provided with formation, orientation and training. These awesome volunteers provide a vital energy to this pilgrimage, not to mention the physical and spiritual assistance that ensure the loving care of our pilgrims. 

Are you looking for a transformative mission trip or a meaningful family experience to live out your Catholic faith? Contact our Pilgrimage Director today!

Living, Loving and Learning the Message of Lourdes

Our youth and young adult volunteers are supported by our Pilgrimage Leader, Youth Chaplain and Catechist, who provide experience enriching daily Catechesis coordinated with pilgrimage activities and rooted in the Message of Lourdes!

Highlights

– Life-changing service as you experience all ceremonies & tours alongside pilgrims

– 4:1 Youth to Chaperone Ratio

– Prayerful time in the Grotto, Piscines and at daily Mass

– Opportunity to serve as a family, while forming life-long friendships with other like-minded youth and pilgrims

– Excursion to Bartres, where St. Bernadette prayed the Rosary while tending her sheep

Medical Volunteers serve on our Special Needs Pilgrimages each June and October

 

Service on the Pilgrimage Medical Team

Special Needs Pilgrimages are an invitation to special needs pilgrims and their families to experience the joy and grace of pilgrimage, which is made possible by the support medical volunteers, lay companions and adult and youth volunteers.

Our mission depends on the support of medical professionals and nursing students on our Special Needs Pilgrimage, who provide round-the-clock supportive care to Our Lady’s pilgrims. Prior to pilgrimage, the Pilgrimage Medical Team works together to assess the supportive care needs of each pilgrim and their family to ensure supportive care across every aspect of pilgrimage, including: specialty consultation, accompaniment, equipment and services. By compassionately caring for pilgrims with a variety of special needs, our medical volunteers make a comfortable, safe and meaningful pilgrimage possible for all!

Service to the Sanctuary

All medical professionals are invited to join the AMIL, the Lourdes Medical Bureau. For a modest fee, AMIL members receive their a pin and three annual publications. All practitioners are requested to register upon arrival for possible consultation at the request of the Medical Director at Lourdes. Additionally, licensed physicians and nurses are invited to offer one week of service at the Sanctuary’s walk-in emergency medical station, assisting those who request medical care on site. Multi-lingual skills are beneficial, but not required!

 

Highlights

– Make the impossible possible! 

– Build relationships with pilgrims and other Catholic medical professionals

– Become a member of the Lourdes Medical Bureau

– Witness the miraculous as you participate in all ceremonies & tours alongside pilgrims

Hospitalité Volunteers serve on our Hospitalité Pilgrimages from April to September

Service to the Sanctuary with Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes

Founded in 1885, the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes (HNDL) is the association of volunteers worldwide who offer service to Our Blessed Mother and her pilgrims. 

Volunteers must be capable and in good health between the ages of 18-75 and willing to serve six consecutive days after two half days of Formation and training. Schedules varies by assignment, and volunteer assignments depend on the needs of the Hospitalité and the suitability of volunteers. 

This  international team of 8,000 lay volunteers includes prayerful service in the following ways: 

St. Joseph Service for Men

Welcoming pilgrims at the train station and airport, assisting at the Piscines (Baths), Sanctuary Processions and International Mass.

St. Jean Baptiste Service

Volunteering in the women’s Piscines, prayerfully assisting women to bathe in the spring water of the Grotto. Volunteers in this St. Jean Baptiste Service have the profound privilege of working intimately with women and children who come to experience the baths. They ensure the modesty of pilgrims during undressing and dressing and physically assist pilgrims in and out of the baths. Piscine service is physically, spiritually and emotionally demanding.  Bending and lifting are required.

Accueils Notre-Dame and Marie Saint-Frai Service

 Offering Service with housekeeping and in the kitchens of the Accueils, the special hospital-like facilities where the sick and disabled are housed and cared for during their pilgrimage.

Serving a Stage”

When volunteers serve the Sanctuary, they become known as Stagiaires, or trainees. Their service is referred to as a Stage.

Many Stagiaires feel called to serve the Hospitalité every year. After five years of service and training, Stagiaires are welcomed to officially join the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes and become known as Hospitallers. At this time, they are invited to make a lifelong commitment to serve the Hospitalité annually, when possible.  Hospitallers are invited to confirm their commitment to Our Lady of Lourdes in a consecration at Holy Mass, at which time they are presented with the sacramental insignia worn by the HNDL since 1855: a silver medal on a blue and white ribbon. For volunteers who feel called to do so, a lifelong commitment to serve the Hospitalité is spiritually transformative!  

 

Highlights

– Forming unspoken bonds of friendship

– Faithful experiences in the Grotto & Piscines (Baths)

– Tours of the Sanctuary & town 

 

University Students serve on our May Hospitalité Pilgrimage

Service to the Sanctuary with Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes

Founded in 1885, the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes (HNDL) is the association of volunteers worldwide who offer service to Our Blessed Mother and her pilgrims. 

Volunteers must be capable and in good health between the ages of 18-75 and willing to serve six consecutive days after two half days of Formation and training. Schedules varies by assignment, and volunteer assignments depend on the needs of the Hospitalité and the suitability of volunteers. 

This  international team of 8,000 lay volunteers includes prayerful service in the following ways: 

St. Joseph Service for Men,

Welcoming pilgrims at the train station and airport, assisting at the Piscines (Baths), Sanctuary Processions and International Mass.

St. Jean Baptiste Service

Volunteering in the women’s Piscines, prayerfully assisting women to bathe in the spring water of the Grotto. Volunteers in this St. Jean Baptiste Service have the profound privilege of working intimately with women and children who come to experience the baths. They ensure the modesty of pilgrims during undressing and dressing and physically assist pilgrims in and out of the baths. Piscine service is physically, spiritually and emotionally demanding.  Bending and lifting are required.

Accueils Notre-Dame and Marie Saint-Frai Service

 Offering Service with housekeeping and in the kitchens of the Accueils, the special hospital-like facilities where the sick and disabled are housed and cared for during their pilgrimage. 

Serving a “Stage”

When volunteers serve the Sanctuary, they become known as Stagiaires, or trainees. Their service is referred to as a Stage.

Many Stagiaires feel called to serve the Hospitalité every year. After five years of service and training, Stagiaires are welcomed to officially join the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes and become known as Hospitallers. At this time, they are invited to make a lifelong commitment to serve the Hospitalité annually, when possible.  Hospitallers are invited to confirm their commitment to Our Lady of Lourdes in a consecration at Holy Mass, at which time they are presented with the sacramental insignia worn by the HNDL since 1855: a silver medal on a blue and white ribbon. For volunteers who feel called to do so, a lifelong commitment to serve the Hospitalité is spiritually transformative!  

 

Highlights

– Building lifelong relationships with like-minded young adults

– Faithful encounters in the Grotto & Piscines (Baths)

– Enriching service that draws deeper connections between their daily lives and their faith

More Information

On travel, accommodations and volunteer requirements

Requirements of Volunteers in All Services

– Possess a sincere desire to join in our charism of family centered in love

 – Vow to embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church, honoring the sanctity of life

– Comply with our Code of Conduct & Dress Code

– Purchase mandatory TravelGuard travel/medical insurance to cover possible setbacks related to travel

– Complete Safe Environment Training with background check

Volunteers Complete or Provide:

– Application and Health Form

– Registration Form

– Copy of Valid US Passport or Visa

– Connecting Travel Form

– Safe Environment Verification Form with background check

– Letter of recommendation from priest or pastor

– If applicable, up-to-date medical license

Mandatory Travel Guard Travel/Medical Insurance:

Your Travel Guard premium is paid with your deposit at the time of your pilgrimage reservation. The premium is based on many factors, including trip cost, age and state. 

Our team is here to make this process as easy to navigate as possible. Please contact our office with your questions or concerns! In the meantime, learn more about Travel Guard from this brief overview

Volunteer Accommodations

Hospitalite, A-Team, Youth and University Volunteers:

– Sanctuary facilities offer modest accommodations with shared rooms. Each room includes a private bathroom with toilet, sink and shower. All volunteer accommodations offer breakfast on-site.

– Self-service cafeteria dining is available at two locations. Three meals are available daily at posted serving times.  Beverages, over than water, are available at a reasonable cost to volunteers.

       

Medical Volunteers:

– To provide round-the-clock medical care to our special needs pilgrims, medical volunteers stay at the Accueil Notre-Dame, a hospital-like facility located across from the Grotto. Pilgrims, leadership, caregivers and medical volunteers have rooms situated on the same floor.

– Family-style meals are served in our dining room three times a day.

   

 International Travel with Lourdes Volunteers

Lourdes Volunteers flies Air France commercial flights from several American gateway cities. Working in partnership with Air France for the past decade has produced greater opportunities for the sick and disabled to make international travel.

Experienced teams of volunteer leaders and a chaplain escort group from each departure city to Paris. From there, the group connects to a regional flight to Pau, in the south of France.  At the Pau Airport, Lourdes Volunteers charters a bus to transport our volunteers on to Lourdes. 

 

Travel Tips for a Successful Journey

For more information on how to travel safely and comfortably throughout pilgrimage, please review our Travel Tips.