SEPTEMBER – We have our first meeting after a break of two months during the summer where we look closely at depleted funds and decide on fund raising to cover the cost of the Pilgrimage for the following year.   The Committee meet on the second Wednesday of every month until after the Pilgrimage in May.

The committee would encourage anyone interested in going out as a worker to join the committee at this stage as a lot of information they need to know, will be discussed over the coming months.

OCTOBER – Names of new workers must be put forward to the Diocesan Leaders of each group, i.e.   Nurses, Handmaidens and Brancardiers.  Names must be forwarded for vetting and Awareness and Vulnerable Adults course.

DECEMBER- Notice put in the parish bulletin advertising Pilgrimage, 17th May to 22nd May each year, encouraging anyone interested in going to Lourdes to put their name forward, either as an assisted pilgrim or as a pilgrim. Assisted Pilgrims will be fully funded if sufficient funds are available.

Prices for Lourdes are not published until mid January each year.  The Committee recommends, you check your passport details and have a current EHIC Card (European Health Insurance Card) – This Card is an Essential Document and no one can travel on the pilgrimage without it.  This can be obtained online, free, from the web site,  (Contact any Committee member, if you need assistance to order EHIC Card).

JANUARY- Diocesan Committee inform each committee of the cost of the Pilgrimage for Assisted Pilgrims, Pilgrims and Workers.

Last year’s prices – Assisted Pilgrims   £540
                           Pilgrims                £570
                           Workers               £550

A single room supplement of £125 applies to anyone who requests a single room.

 A reduction of £30 applies for children under 12 sharing a room with 2 adults.

Insurance- Special Insurance arrangements have to be made for assisted pilgrims or pilgrims over the age of 85+.  An additional insurance premium of £20 will be charged for persons aged 85-93.

FEBRUARY -  A Parish Representative Meeting is held in Banbridge that must be attended by representatives of each committee.  Booking forms and medical/nursing assessment forms are available for collection.  These forms must be completed over the next month by each pilgrim, assisted pilgrim and worker going to Lourdes.

MARCH  - All completed medical certificates and nursing assessment forms must be returned to the Diocesan Committee by 6th March.  It must be noted that there is a strict Diocesan Executive policy that must be adhered to regarding-

People travelling on the Dromore Diocesan Pilgrimage.

The completion of medical certificates

Selection of Assisted Pilgrims travelling to Lourdes

Secure and Confidential Handling of Assisted Pilgrims’ personal information, both written and oral.

By March 15th – All deposits must be paid.

By 31st March – Full fares must be paid

APRIL – Spiritual Reflection Ceremony for all workers going out to Lourdes – held in Banbridge or Newry.

MAY- Workers’ meeting held in Newry/Banbridge before the Pilgrimage.

A Special Pilgrimage Mass is held in one of our own chapels before the pilgrimage, where the assisted pilgrims, pilgrims and workers are encouraged to participate with the readings, gift bearing or communion reflection.

Parishioners, not travelling to Lourdes, can if they wish, bring money for candles that will be lit for them in Lourdes, or petitions, to Mass’ on Sundays prior to the Pilgrimage or to the Special Lourdes Mass, usually held on the Friday night before travelling.   Petitions are put in a sealed envelope and taken to Lourdes on their behalf.

Last year the Committee decided to light one big candle from all the money received, rather than 50 – 100 small candles.  The size of the candle lit is decided by how much money is donated.

Flight tickets and itinerary are usually not received until approximately two weeks before departure.

 Lourdes Committee Schedule