A group from Loreto College recently embarked on their Easter Pilgrimage to Lourdes with HCPT. Each year HCPT takes around 1000 disabled and disadvantaged children aged 8-18 to the HCPT Easter pilgrimage holiday.
But what is Lourdes? Lourdes is a town in France, where it is believed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared to a girl called Bernadette. The town has become associated with miracles of healing, so is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. Many sick and disabled people visit Lourdes, some with the hope of healing, others for the opportunity for prayer and friendship.
Our week in Lourdes was hard work, great fun, and hugely inspiring. Here’s what some of the students had to say about the trip:
‘I absolutely loved our trip to Lourdes with HCPT. It was so brilliant to be able to serve others in so many different ways whilst having fun. I especially loved all of the singing! I have learnt so many new skills and made so many amazing new friends. I think the thing I have taken away most from this trip is a new refreshed outlook and motivation in life which has been formed by this year’s theme ‘you are special’ and so many other enlightening, enjoyable moments of the week. I am so thankful to be able to have taken part in this life changing experience.’
‘This experience isn’t just about helping others and bring joy to them, you will also learn so much from the children you travel with, how your heart tugs when they smile; how you subconsciously connect their happiness with yours. So, my advice would be to remember to read through your packing list so you have everything you need and save up a lot of sleep before the trip! But trust me, you will have a fabulous time.’
‘The Easter Pilgrimage at Lourdes was truly life changing. Although the week was both physically and emotionally tiring, you are rewarded with an experience which is almost indescribable – you have to be there yourself to understand what it is like. Now, I can see why so many people return to Lourdes, which is what I would like to do in the future. Working in Lourdes with Loreto and HCPT has provided me with a great deal of confidence to do more of this work in my life.’
‘My time in Lourdes was absolutely incredible from start to finish. Apart from Lourdes will never truly end for me as it will be a place that will be in my heart forever. I was overwhelmed with love and happiness this Easter. It’s hard to find the words – for me and I’m sure the rest of the group- to explain just how special and life changing this experience has been and is highly recommended to all. Loreto has enabled me to meet the most incredible and unique people I have ever met and discover qualities about myself I was unaware I had. From this trip I have taken gratitude, a stronger connection with my faith, positivity, confidence and Love. I cannot put into words how unbelievably grateful I am to Loreto for this life changing experiences that will not just benefit me now but for the rest of my life as these are definitely memories that will last a lifetime.’