Hospitalité Stage Group
For over 10 years now, some members of the Ampleforth Hospitalité have been going to Lourdes to do a ‘stage’ in June. For a week they work as volunteers for the Lourdes Hospitalité which runs all the ceremonies, manages the venues, assists with pilgrimage arrivals and departures at the station/airport and runs the Baths, St Frai and the Acceuil Notre Dame. Without stagiare volunteers, Lourdes could not function.
A few people do both stage and pilgrimage each year. Others find that the June dates are more convenient for them, or that the small scale of the group suits them better. The stage can also be a very economical way of serving in Lourdes. Accommodation and catering are basic but perfectly functional and group members can travel by whatever route they find most convenient.The stage gives our experienced pilgrims an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how Lourdes works and to meet with other like-minded volunteers from all over the world . The stage group work very hard but have a very enjoyable week. The rhythm of the stage week is very different to the Pilgrimage, with more time for independent prayer and quiet time. The personnel changes from year to year – though some group members have gone on to make a commitment to work in Lourdes every year if at all possible. They wear the blue-ribboned medal which signifies that commitment to the message of Our Lady of Lourdes and by that very nature membership of the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes.
It is easy to arrange to do a stage at any time from Easter to the end of October if the group dates are not suitable. It can be really interesting to see Lourdes at a different time of year, with different pilgrimages in town.
If you are interested in joining the stage group or would like more information, please contact John or Fiona Dick.