Dates Announced for 2015 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage

Applications now taken for all-expenses paid spiritual journey May 12-18

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), and the Knights of Columbus (KofC) announced today the 2015 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage for U.S. Military Personnel, including the wounded, disabled, and infirm, will take place May 12-18, 2015, from the United States; and May 13-18, 2015, from Germany. 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 KofC. Companions and volunteers are invited to attend and participate.

The pilgrimage, co-sponsored by the AMS and the KofC, 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 57th Annual International Military Pilgrimage, which will bring tens of thousands of troops, veterans, and other pilgrims from around the world to the famous Marian shrine where the 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:

“This event, which began as an effort to foster reconciliation between the belligerent powers of the Second World War, has become a truly international celebration of our Catholic faith and an intense moment of prayer for peace. The formal events of prayer, liturgy, and military tradition are coupled with informal exchanges in the sanctuary and throughout the quaint city of Lourdes, which allow all military pilgrims an opportunity to share culture, exchange military insignia and keepsakes, and deepen the unity in faith which surpasses national boundaries.”

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.

Archbishop Broglio said:

“In a particular way, wounded and disabled warriors are encouraged to come to Lourdes — a place where healing is common.”

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said:

“The Knights of Columbus is pleased to be able to work with the Archdiocese for Military Services to provide such a meaningful and 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.”

All expenses for approved non-wounded, wounded, disabled or sick military personnel and their designated caregivers will be covered by Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. Applications will be reviewed by the pilgrimage leadership team and medical director. Each approved package includes lodging, meals, credentials, and a round-trip air fare from Washington, D.C. or Houston, Texas. The KofC will book flights from the nearest local airport to either Washington, D.C. or Houston, Texas. 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-KofC 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 31, 2015. 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, 2015.

To apply for the 2015 Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage, click here.

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

For more information, visit the 2015 Warriors to Lourdes website.