Readers of Catholic New York have once again been invited to nominate two children with disabilities from the archdiocese, along with one parent each, to take part in this summer’s 63nd annual U.S. National Rosary Pilgrimage to Lourdes, France.
The offer was extended by Our Lady of Lourdes Knights of Columbus Council 5890 in Washingtonville, which raises funds to sponsor pilgrims from the archdiocese each year. The Lourdes pilgrimage will depart on Thursday, June 22, and return on Saturday, July 1.
Walter Kozlowski, co-chairman of the Knights’ pilgrimage, made the request for assistance to Catholic New York in an email earlier this month. The deadline for nominations is Monday, Feb. 6.
This year’s U.S. pilgrims will attend the International Mass of Lourdes on Sunday, June 25, with participation by all national pilgrimage groups. After lunch, a scenic excursion will follow to the village of Gavarnie.
On Wednesday, June 28, Mass will be offered at the Grotto of Massabielle, the site of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
The itinerary includes tours of places associated with the saint’s life, as well as an opportunity to bathe at the Lourdes Shrine. Also at Lourdes, pilgrims may participate in a Eucharistic procession, blessing of the sick and Benediction.
Pilgrimage costs are completely covered for the child and the parent/guardian. The only cost for the family would be obtaining a passport and any incidental personal expenses. Departure is from JFK Airport in Queens.
The child must be under age 18. Because of airline regulations, he or she must breathe without the assistance of an oxygen machine. Wheelchairs must be collapsible.
Nominations should include the name of the child and parent/guardian, home parish and contact information. There should also be a brief description of the child and how he or she would benefit from such a pilgrimage.
Readers should send their nominations to Catholic New York’s general email address: firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “Lourdes Pilgrimage” in the subject line. They may also be mailed to Catholic New York, 1011 First Ave., New York, NY 10022.