The Diocese of Dromore made its first official pilgrimage to Lourdes, France in 1971 and members of Dromara Parish were part of that group. The Dromara Lourdes Committee was set up under the direction of Fr. Michael O’Rourke PP to aid pilgrims travelling to Lourdes, via Dublin with the Diocese of Dromore.
Pat Gordon, President of our present day Lourdes Committee was a member of that first committee and has remained faithful to its cause and goals ever since.
In the summer of 2014 Fr. Peter McNeill, at the request of a few of the Drumgooland parishioners, approached the Dromara Lourdes Committee to ask about the possibility of bringing Drumgooland on board. After a meeting held on 1st October that year with the Chairman of the Diocesan Committee (Mr Joseph Doyle), Dromara Committee and parishioners from Drumgooland, the Dromara and Drumgooland Lourdes Committee was formed. We are not the only committee in the Diocese to be made up of two or more parishes.
Over the decades many pilgrims from this area, with the help of the Committee have been assisted to journey to the home of St. Bernadette in Lourdes. This would not be possible without fundraising and very generous donations received each year which enable us to take some of our sick in the Parishes to pray at the Grotto and bathe in that same spring that Bernadette exposed in 1858.
The aim of the present committee is to fund the 4 beds allocated specifically to our committee in the Acceil (hospital) in Lourdes where they can take care of the medical needs of our assisted pilgrims each year. The Committee fund raises to cover the cost of this pilgrimage and thanks to the generosity of our fellow parishioners, as well as funding our sick we are able to partly fund, as is required, two nurses, two females known as handmaidens and two males known as brancardiers (translated as stretcher bearers) to assist with their medical needs and assist where required, in serving meals, cleaning wards, pushing wheelchairs and buggies etc. Without workers we would be unable to send assisted pilgrims to Lourdes.
NB. If our own committee do not have two nurses available to accompany our assisted pilgrims, the Diocesan Committee will appoint nurses to assist and the Dromara & Drumgooland Committee are responsible for paying their full fares.
We welcome not just assisted pilgrims but anyone wishing to accompany us, as pilgrims on our journey to Lourdes.
The Grotto at Lourdes can be viewed live at Le Sanctuaire Notre – Dame de Lourdes on You Tube.