Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lourdes - Day 5

Tuesday Morning I was up at 5:30 to shower and get ready to head out to help the pilgrims with their morning routines. My pilgrim didn’t need any assistance so I stood outside her door so I could walk her to breakfast. After breakfast, we escorted the pilgrims upstairs for their orientation meeting. We all had to say our name, where we were from and the students said their major and the pilgrims said why they were here. It was really inspiring to hear others stories of why they came to Lourdes and how long it took them to get here.
After the meeting, Pam took the medical students to register with the medical bureau and they we went to lunch. After lunch, I happened to be sitting in the hall playing with Makayla and Carol the nurse came out and asked for four nursing students. I volunteered and she brought us into their meeting about any medical issues that had come up during the past twenty-four hours. It was very interesting to hear the doctors and nurses communicate.
When the meeting was finished, we assisted the pilgrims to the ground floor (which was actually the zero level) and taught them wheelchair, watour, and chaise bleue safety. We got everybody situated and then we headed out two by two to visit the taps and the grotto. All week I was paired with Liz so I pushed her wheelchair or pulled her watour which was such a beautiful way to serve her. We stopped across the river from the grotto and Marlene (the president of North American Lourdes Volunteers) gave a talk about St. Bernadette and her life. We all had Voxes and ear buds so we could all hear without Marlene shouting. After her talk, the pilgrims all washed at the water taps and drank of the water and then we made our way over to the grotto. For many of them it was their first time visiting the grotto and it was a memorable experience to watch their faces when they saw the grotto and the statue.
After spending some time in the grotto, our group made our way over to the St. Joseph chapel which was reserved for us for Mass, but another group was just beginning Mass so Marlene directed us all to the Immaculate Conception Basilica. We had to push the pilgrims up this huge ramp because the basilica was on the top of two other basilicas so we had two people for each wheelchair and three people for each watour. We made it up to the top and got everyone situated inside so Mass could start. It was a beautiful Basilica and it had windows depicting each of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother to Bernadette.

Dinner was served for the Pilgrims back in the Accueil and I was on dinner clean up again. I stayed around to help out with odd jobs and visit with the pilgrims and then Cecelia and I decided to go to the rosary procession which had already started. We found some of our pilgrims and volunteers so we joined them during the third mystery. We wound our way back and forth with the rest of the procession in front of the rosary basilica and sang and prayed the decades of the rosary. It was so beautiful. We helped the pilgrims back to the Accueil and then made our way back to the Ave Maria. 

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