As part of our preparation for each pilgrimage to Lourdes, we offer several preparation meetings for helpers or pilgrims to come together and where we share information.
Accueil Pilgrims Meeting
There will be a meeting on Sunday 25th June 2017 June, from 3pm – 5pm, for all our Sick and Assisted Pilgrims. All nurses and doctors are also invited to come along to that meeting to meet some of the pilgrims they will be assisting whilst in Lourdes. It is also important that all Accueil Pilgrims try to attend because we use this meeting to pass on information to all concerned. It begins with a brief video about Lourdes; there is a breakdown of what we will do during the week in Lourdes; and the Senior Nurse and one of our doctors also speaks about the nursing and medical care whilst in Lourdes. The President of Hospitalité usually has a few words to say as well about the week in Lourdes.
Youth Section Meeting
We invite all our young people in the Youth Section to come to an evening meeting at St Benet’s Church, The Causeway, Sunderland, on Wednesday 5th July at 7.00pm. All those under18 years of age are also asked to make sure that their parents are present at that meeting as well. This is usually a very busy meeting, but an important one during which we explain briefly, the journey to Lourdes and back and meeting places and what will happen in Lourdes; we also try to complete the necessary paperwork – Codes of Conduct and Parental Consent forms, so attendance is requested.
The Preparation Day, this year to be held on Sunday 16th July, from 10am – 4pm, has been described as “non-negotiable”, ie attendance is expected by everyone who is a registered helper on the pilgrimage, whether they are 16 or 66 years of age, totally new to the Lourdes experience or someone who has 20+ years of experience of going to Lourdes. All are expected to be present because what we do every year changes and so we use this day to inform all our helpers of the procedures we’re following that year on pilgrimage.
“Prep Day” usually begins at 10am, held in Cardinal Hume High School, Gateshead, and ends by 4pm. It is a day which we are legally bound to hold and make sure all helpers attend, to comply with what is expected of us from our Diocesan Pilgrimage Insurance Company. There is input from our President of Hospitalité, Senior Nurse, Safeguarding Officer, we look at important Health and Safety issues and have some practical sessions and ending with a short liturgy on the theme of the year.
If you know that you are registering on the pilgrimage as a helper, and you normally work on a Sunday, it might be worthwhile even now, making sure that you will be free on Sunday 16th July for Prep Day.