Dates Announced for 2016 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage

Applications now being taken for all-expenses paid spiritual journey May 17-23

Wounded warriors on pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, May 2015.

Wounded warriors on pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, May 2015.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA(AMS), and the Knights of Columbus (K of C) announced dates for the 2016 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage for U.S. Military Personnel, including the wounded, disabled, and infirm. The pilgrimage will take place May 17-23, 2016, from the United States; and May 18-23, 2016, from Europe. Servicemen or women currently on active duty, or any honorably discharged since 9/11, are encouraged to apply for an all-expenses-paid, spiritual journey to Lourdes, France. Expenses for approved designated caregivers will also be covered by Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. Companions and volunteers are invited to attend and participate.

The pilgrimage, co-sponsored by the AMS and the K of C, is the latest event in a long history of both organizations’ involvement with Lourdes and service to the military. The pilgrimage is a part of the U.S. participation in the 58th Annual International Military Pilgrimage (PMI), which will bring tens of thousands of troops, veterans, and other pilgrims from around the world to the famous Marian shrine where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, said:

“Thanks to the Knights of Columbus’ interest and sponsorship, U.S. participation in this annual event has grown every year. The time at the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin—so linked to healing of mind and body—is an opportune moment to beg for peace and reconciliation. The presence of military personnel from around the world united in faith makes this an exceptional moment of prayer. During the Holy Year of Mercy it will be an important occasion to foster understanding, cooperation, and dialogue among believers from around the world.”

The Warriors to Lourdes will take part in a five-day retreat including special Masses, Eucharistic Procession and Benediction, Blessing of the Sick, a visit to the baths at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, a candlelight vigil, and a closing prayer service.

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said:

“The Knights of Columbus is pleased to be able to work with the Archdiocese for the Military Services to provide such a profound spiritual experience to the men and women who have served our country so well. We look forward to being with these brave men and women on this pilgrimage, which marks the latest chapter in our nearly century-long history of care and support for our troops and veterans.”

Applications will be reviewed by the pilgrimage leadership team and medical director. Each approved package includes lodging, meals, PMI credentials, and, in the U.S., round-trip airfare from Washington, D.C., Houston, Seattle, or Charlotte, N.C. The K of C will book flights from the nearest local airport to the four departure cities for all pilgrims outside those areas. Companions are invited to attend and may be offered needs-based, financial assistance on a case-by-case basis. U.S.-based and European-based medical and non-medical volunteers are also encouraged to apply. The AMS-K of C package rate for companions and volunteers traveling from the United States is $2,600 for a double occupancy room and $2,900 for a single occupancy room; and for those traveling from Germany, $580 for a double occupancy room and $780 for a single occupancy room, including round-trip bus ride from Kaiserslautern.

Since military personnel, companions, designated caregivers, and volunteers will all lodge in a hotel, the wounded, disabled, or sick warriors must be able to fully perform their “activities of daily living” either alone or with the assistance of their designated caregivers. Potential applicants and their clinical providers should not anticipate that professional medical or nursing services, including hospitalization, will be delivered during the pilgrimage. In addition, potential applicants should be spiritually motivated to participate as a pilgrim.

Applications and, if applicable, payments in full, are due no later than January 15, 2016. Applicants may be contacted by pilgrimage staff with additional questions. All applicants will be notified of decisions regarding their applications and those of their companions or designated caregivers by February 15, 2016.

To apply for the 2016 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage, click here.

Brochures are available outlining travel packages from either the U.S. or Europe.

Watch video here.

For more information, visit the 2016 Warriors to Lourdes website or contact the Knights of Columbus.