Why go to Lourdes as a Helper?
The main reason for visiting Lourdes is to make and take part in a pilgrimage – to grow our spiritual experience and deepen our relationship with God through Mary our Blessed Mother. It is also important to share our pilgrimage with others, particularly those less fortunate who may need our help and support. It is often said that friendships made in Lourdes are made for life.
What will I have to do as a Helper?
Helpers support our medical teams of doctors, nurses and carers in looking after our sick or disabled pilgrims throughout the duration of our pilgrimage. The work is very varied and can be demanding, both physically and mentally. During the pilgrimage you will be expected to:
- Pray, listen and talk with our pilgrims but above all be a friend and companion
- Help our pilgrims with washing, dressing and eating
- Take our pilgrims shopping or out for a coffee
- Assist with moving a sick or disabled pilgrim into or out of bed or a wheelchair
- Accompany our Pilgrims to the Grotto, Daily Mass or other services including the Baths
Time spent at Lourdes is one of joy and laughter. Social activities and companionship are important and you are not expected to spend time in spiritual retreat but to take the opportunity to build on your faith through sharing, work and prayer.
lf you feel you are ready to offer your services to the Society of Our Lady of Lourdes you will be given guidance and support in your preparation from experienced helpers. Once in Lourdes you will be part of a team under the direction of a team leader who will be able to guide you through your pilgrimage. We welcome all helpers and a grant is available to assist with expenses, if you travel with us and help us on the journey.
To apply, you may:
Download and save an application form (above) and email this to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or simply phone us on 020 8848 9833
Clergy and Religious Groups
The Society pilgrimage has always been led by a distinguished and pre-eminent member of the Clergy. From 1990 till 2002 the Leader was the Rt. Rev. Christopher Budd, from Plymouth Diocese, supported by a large group of Priests and Nuns, who together tended to the spiritual needs of our pilgrims and helpers.
We welcome all Priests and all Religious who would like to accompany us. Can you help us?
If so please email us
Doctors and Nurses
Why go to Lourdes as a doctor or nurse
The Society of Our Lady of Lourdes Pilgrimage allows time for you to be with people and to get alongside them – both Hospital Pilgrims and fellow helpers away from the constraints of the National Health Service and normal working life.
There are usually at least three doctors and twenty-five to thirty nurses although this varies from year to year. The Pilgrimage provides a unique opportunity for medics to work together and learn from one another, sharing their expertise and enthusiasm. The week in Lourdes is a learning opportunity for us all. We welcome medical students, and many have benefited from this informal teaching over the years.
The Accueil Notre Dame, where our Hospital Pilgrims stay does not have full, technical equipment (emergencies have to be referred to the local French General Hospital) but we do need an innovative and collaborative approach to enable us to cope with most challenges as they arise.
Working in Lourdes is a very different but always stimulating experience. The week we spend together means different things to different people. An unexpected aspect of Lourdes is the ready laughter always near the surface. Friends are made who remain friends after more than twenty years, possibly due to shared significant experiences, and there is an air of comfortable oneness with others from Lourdes, either when there together or later when at home. We become part of a Lourdes family.
If you’re interested get in touch with Dr. Solange Tranmer (Chief Doctor) or Billie Clinton (Chief Nurse) at email@example.com
Our musicians lead the singing at all the services and provide entertainment for our guests on some evenings and social occasions. They are supported by up to 500 pilgrims - all of them in good voice!
We welcome all helpers who would like to accompany us. Can you help?
If so please email us
Youth Groups (see Youth Groups page!)
Over the years, whenever the pilgrimage dates coincide with UK schools half term we have had a number of youth groups supporting our pilgrimage: among them the Holy Family and St. Bede's Schools from Yorkshire and St. Michael's in Watford, London.
With their boundless enthusiasm and energy these young people are ready for action from sunrise to sunset and always make a great and valued contribution to our pilgrimage.
We welcome all Youth Groups who would like to accompany us. Can you help? If so, please e-mail us.
A Thank You to all our Helpers
Blessed Mother Teresa said: