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HCPT Manchester Region

Changing lives through pilgrimage...

Pilgrimage holidays to Lourdes for children, young people and adults with social, emotional, and physical needs

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Each morning, our helpers came to our rooms to get us up, and we greeted them with smiles or moans, depending on how much sleep we had! We washed and dressed, and then we all went down to breakfast together. We have a traditional French breakfast of croissants and bread rolls, and there is coffee, tea and hot chocolate for those who want it. After breakfast, we had a few minutes to get our things from our rooms. We were then ready for our morning activity!


We do something different every day, maybe a trip to the zoo, or up the mountains; we visit the grotto and the places that Saint Bernadette grew up in. Every day, we also have Mass together, sometimes with other groups as well, and most days we visit a café for a drink or an ice cream! We also like to go down to the meadow and play games, or just enjoy spending time together.


On Thursday, we had Mass with all the other people who have come to Lourdes with HCPT. There were over 5000 of us in the underground basilica, so it felt more like a party than church! We all had our group clothes on (jumpers, neckers and hats), so that we stand out as a team of friends. Some of us had our faces painted too. There was lots of singing and dancing, as well as some quiet time for reflection, and we all came away buzzing with the excitement of it all!


Most days, we go back to the hotel for lunch, unless we have a packed lunch. We had a full four course meal of traditional French food. There are usually lots of things that we like, as well as a few that we haven’t tried before, but we all taste everything and most of it is very good!


After lunch, we usually go out for more trips and activities before coming back to the hotel for some quiet time before dinner. Sometimes, we read, draw or play games in our rooms, but some days we are so tired we just sleep!


Then it is time for another big dinner! Before every meal we sing grace together. Dinner can take quite a long time because we all have so much to say to each other, even though we’ve spent the whole day together! After dinner, we always find time to have a sing song, and on some nights we have a party, or a talent show, or go down to the grotto for the torchlight procession or to light our group candle.


By the time it is bedtime, we are all exhausted and usually go to sleep as soon as we get into bed. We are always looking forward to our next day in Lourdes, and are sad when we have to leave!


Stories from young people

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