There is a room for everyone on our pilgrimage and lots of different ways in which to enjoy the week and to experience what it means to be a pilgrim in Lourdes. The following are a few avenues to explore:
Many pilgrims join us in Lourdes to get to know the shrine and to spend some time in reflection and prayer, joining in with our diocesan liturgies and celebrations. All are welcome on our pilgrimage in this way, and will find that when in Lourdes new friendships will be formed very quickly.
Lourdes is a place where the sick and frail are placed at the centre and all are welcome. If you need assistance in Lourdes during our pilgrimage, our volunteers are here to help. Whether needing some assistance in moving around Lourdes by being supported by our young helpers, or if you have more severe medical needs and need the support of our adult helpers and medical team, there is a place in Lourdes for you.
Volunteer Adult Helper
One of the great charisms of Lourdes is the call to service, and there are many roles in Lourdes where we can serve. Whether as a helper caring for the sick in the St Frai, joining our Ceremonies team or supporting the families on our pilgrimage, there is a role for everyone.
Volunteer Medical Staff
A central part of our pilgrimage is taking the sick from the diocese to Lourdes in response to the shrine being a place of healing in mind and body. In order to take the sick, we rely on the goodwill of volunteer doctors and nurses to join us for the week, working as part of a team on a rota basis, allowing time in Lourdes for your own personal spiritual nourishment.
Volunteer Youth Helper
Our Youth Helpers are aged 16-upwards and are known as Redcaps, although are distinctive by the red tabards they wear when serving in Lourdes. These consist of young people from our schools and parishes and they play a big role in supporting the day to day running of our pilgrimage, and assisting our pilgrims who need help. They are led by our Team Leaders, who themselves were Redcaps and are keen to share their joy of serving others in Lourdes.
Being a Redcap gives you a chance to explore what it means to live out our Christian values, to make new friends and to have an unforgettable week with lots of fun. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and to discover more about yourself and your faith.
Lourdes is a great place for a family to come and grow in their faith together and on our pilgrimage, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make new friends and have a fun week together. Those who are 15 years old or younger can join our Reds Team. They have a special place in our Masses and processions, learn about the life of St Bernadette and the meaning of Lourdes and have opportunities to mix with our assisted pilgrims. As well as all of this, our Reds team also makes time for games, quizzes, tours and other fun activities including a party during the week.
The pilgrimage are very blessed to have a group of musicians and singers who help us celebrate our liturgies worthily whilst we are in Lourdes. Anyone who wishes to do so are welcome to join the choir, with the group rehearsing each day and singing at least once each day at our pilgrimage services. New musicians are also very welcome to support the choir.
The clergy have an important role in Lourdes accompanying our pilgrims. Whether bringing a parish or chaplaincy group, or getting involved as St Frai or Reds Chaplain, clergy are always welcome to join our pilgrimage.
Caritas St Josephs
Every two years, a group of adults with intellectual disabilities from Caritas St Joseph Centre, join the Westminster Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. If you or someone you support would like to join this group in Lourdes in 2025, get in touch with the Pilgrimage Office so you can become part of this caring and joyful group on our pilgrimage.
Register your interest
This year's Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes will be from 19th to 26th July 2024. An 'Expression of Interest' form can be downloaded here, and more information will follow over the coming months.