Standing left to right: Pam Barton (Pilgrimage Leader) of Wisconsin; Dan Schmit of St. Mary’s of Osmond; Ray Gubbels of St. Mary’s of Osmond; Marvin Stech of St. Mary’s of Osmond; Jane Mattini of Holy Cross Parish in Omaha ; Jacob Wiebelhaus of Texas; Aimee Colemen (RN Nurse) of Texas; Norma Preister of Lindsay Holy Family; Francine Wolff of St. Mary’s of Norfolk; Tom Wolff of St. Mary’s of Norfolk; Seated left to right: Jackie Schmit of St. Mary’s of Osmond; Katharine Mattini of Holy Cross Parish in Omaha; Dominic Wolff of St. Mary’s of Norfolk; Christine Wolff of St. Mary’s of Norfolk.
A group of people from Northeast Nebraska left Omaha on June 18 on a weeklong Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes, France. They went with an organization from Syracuse, New York called Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers. This organization was founded in 2002 by the Syracuse Diocese under the Ecclesial Authority of Most Revered James Moynihan to serve the sick and suffering at Lourdes following the loving example of St. Bernadette in simplicity, humility and obedience.
Volunteers from the United States including priests, doctors, nurses, care givers and companions accompanied the disabled and handicapped to assist in their daily tasks. The group stayed at Accueil, Notre-Dame, a hospital especially designed for the sick that come to visit Lourdes, which is located within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes overlooking the Grotto where Our Lady visited Saint Bernadette eighteen times in 1858.
The group celebrated Mass each day in several of the many chapels located at Lourdes. On one of the days they visited the Bathes (Piscines) where the visitors enter the bath water of a spring. Many people have been known to be cured physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually after entering the Bathes. During the evenings they participated in a candle light rosary procession. They also, had a tour of the footsteps of Bernadette visiting her birth place and the home where she grew up.
If anyone has an interest in volunteering or going as a pilgrim with special needs, contact information can be found on the North American Volunteers website at http://www.lourdesvolunteers.org/