2020 Warriors to Lourdes Applications being accepted
Sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and the Knights of Columbus, the Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage takes place each May in Lourdes, France during the International Military Pilgrimage. Non-wounded, wounded, ill or injured military personnel who are selected to attend will travel from the United States and Europe to Lourdes for a time of spiritual renewal. Pilgrimage highlights include an international opening ceremony, special Masses, a visit to the baths at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Unified Sports Challenge and a candlelight vigil that draws tens of thousands of troops to the sacred shrine every year. The Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage will take place May 12-19, 2020 during the 62nd International Military Pilgrimage (PMI) in Lourdes, France.
Applications for the 2020 Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage will be made available here below beginning 13 September 2019 through 15 January 2020.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?
Each category of eligibility is outlined here below. Please note that while expenses are covered for selected warrior pilgrims and their designated caregivers, it is not the case for their companions, pre-9/11 veterans and non military-affiliated volunteers. Exceptions may apply.
WOUNDED, ILL OR INJURED MILITARY PERSONNEL
Includes wounded, ill or injured individuals serving on active duty, honorably discharged, separated or retired from the United States Military (priority given to post-9/11 era). This category includes individuals suffering from PTSD, Moral Injury, and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Since all pilgrims will lodge in hotels, wounded, ill or injured warriors must be able to perform all “activities of daily living” either alone or with the assistance of their designated caregiver. Applicants and their clinical providers should anticipate that professional medical or nursing services, including hospitalization, will be limited during the pilgrimage. EACH wounded, ill, or injured individual must complete and submit the full application to include the wounded, ill, or injured medical annex with physician signature.
NON-WOUNDED, NON-ILL OR NON-INJURED MILITARY PERSONNEL
Includes non-wounded, non-ill or non-injured individuals serving on active duty, honorably discharged, separated or retired from the United States Military (priority to post-9/11 era). EACH non-wounded, non-ill, or non-injured applicant must complete and submit a separate application to include the appropriate medical annex.
Designated Caregivers, as defined by the VA and Military Services, include healthcare providers, spouses, adult relatives, significant others or friends who serve as a *certified designated caregiver for a wounded, ill or injured warrior. Services caregivers provide may include, but are not limited to, assistance with activities of daily living (i.e., personal hygiene, dressing, sitting, standing, feeding, bathing, etc.), ensuring the correct dose and timing of prescribed medications and/or providing supervision to ensure the safety of the warrior. A designated caregiver must be in good health, capable of sitting and/or standing in place for extended periods, capable of walking long distances (up and down stairs, hills and on uneven surfaces) and cannot have physical limitations that will prevent them from properly assisting the pilgrim. Designated caregivers should anticipate that professional medical or nursing services, including hospitalization, will be limited during the pilgrimage.
To Apply click here
Capt. Kathy T., USNR (Ret.), 2018 Volunteer
“The trip to Lourdes will be forever etched in my memory, witnessing 15,000 + servicemen and women from around the world praying for peace to our Blessed Virgin Mary, all part of the PMI. It was the “Olympics for Mary,” with all the fanfare of pageantry which she deserves, and beautiful music from Irish tenors, musicians and bands representing 30+ countries. All I could think of is the Psalm 98:4-6 – ‘Make a joyful noise to the Lord, break forth in joyous song and sing praises.’ With this special experience of his grace, it will and has amplified my faith, for my road ahead.”
Jonathan A., Marine Corps, 2017 Warrior Pilgrims
“Caroline and I were so incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to participate in the 2017 pilgrimage. I cannot say enough about what it did for us, both as individuals and as a couple, dealing with the constant challenges of active-duty service in the Marine Corps. It is very easy to lose faith or suffer both physically and spiritually, but the healing we have enjoyed, both during our trip to Lourdes and since returning, is something that I wish we could share with all of our fellow service members, particularly those suffering.”
Claudia J., Marine Corps Spouse and Nurse, 2018 Volunteers
“You don’t have to go to war to feel its devastating effects. As a military wife, I have witnessed my husband change following his deployments and training. Though I’m proud of his service, the effects on our marriage have been ravaging. But there’s hope. There is Lourdes. As a wife and caregiver, I am so blessed to have been part of the Warrior to Lourdes pilgrimage, and I tell you, I found peace, joy, friendship, and healing to carry on my call as a military wife. I guarantee you that you will experience one of these fantastic gifts God has for each one of us, as you encounter the mother of our Lord, Jesus.”