To Lourdes for a Weekend

Dec. 15-21, 2005
To Lourdes for a Weekend
By Connie Cissell/ SUN editor
Lourdes Volunteers will offer a Retreat Weekend at Christ the King Retreat Center

For those who want to experience a Lourdes retreat but who may not be able to arrange to fly across the Atlantic, a weekend retreat in early January might be the perfect solution. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers is offering a Lourdes Retreat with Pere Duguay, chaplain confessor at the sanctuary at Lourdes since 1997, at Christ the King Retreat Center, 500 Brookford Rd. in Syracuse Jan. 6-8, 2006.

One of the highlights of the event will be the Lourdes virtual pilgrimage on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 2 p.m. The pilgrimage provides the experience of Lourdes while never leaving the community. Using digital photograph projection technology combined with the interactive experience of the spiritual activities, the 90 minute tour guides the audience through a prayerful visit to Lourdes.

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, at Lourdes in the Pyrenees Mountains in France, in 1858. There were 18 apparitions in all which included specific requests to uncover a spring of water, pray, build a chapel and come in procession. Since then, there have been thousands of scientifically documented cures and countless numbers of conversions and healings attributed to the waters of the spring.

The virtual tour highlights include: invitation and history of pilgrimage; the apparitions and message of Lourdes; tracing the footsteps of Bernadette; experiencing the Rock of Massabielle; visiting the baths in remembrance of baptismal vow, and a Eucharistic blessing. The virtual tour ends with a decade of the candlelight rosary procession and singing of the “Ave Maria.”

The retreat sessions are offered free but registration is required. There is a cost for accommodations at the retreat center and also for meals. The fee for the weekend meals and accommodations is $150 per person. Cost for the Saturday retreat with meals is $30 for those having lunch or dinner, and $50 for those planning to have both meals. Checks should be made to Lourdes Volunteers and are due by Dec. 21.

Call (315) 476-0026 for more information.

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