The Ampleforth Pilgrimage to Lourdes was founded by Frs Martin Haigh and Basil Hume, monks of Ampleforth Abbey, in the 1950s. It remains one of the key works of Ampleforth Abbey and now has over 400 people joining us in Lourdes every year, including a number of monks from Ampleforth.
Our Pilgrimage Today
The Ampleforth Pilgrimage is a family Pilgrimage, bound together in a strong and welcoming community, where all are equal and care for each other as we answer the call of Our Lady to come to Lourdes. People join us from all over the UK and further afield, including a group from the USA.
Our service in Lourdes is centred around the needs of the Assisted Pilgrims who travel with us, creating a welcoming and inclusive group. As it says in the Rule of St Benedict:
"The care of those who are sick in the community is the absolute priority which must rank before every other requirement so that there may be no doubt that it is Christ who is truly served in them."
Our week in Lourdes includes Daily Mass, going on Procession, a trip to the Lourdes Baths, visits to the Grotto, a Service of Reconciliation, time spent in reflection as Groups, as well as many social occasions, including our own Café Society, and a lot of opportunities to stop for ice cream!
Ampleforth is recognised by Lourdes as having its own "Hospitalité", after two years' service pilgrims can join this more formal Pilgrimage family, showing their commitment to serving in Lourdes. We celebrate many 5 and 25 year anniversaries in Lourdes each year, showing the strength of our warm and welcoming community. Many pilgrims also choose to offer additional service in Lourdes during the year by going on "Stage" and volunteering their time to the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes.
We organise events throughout the year to keep in touch with each other, around the UK and online, including an Annual Retreat at Ampleforth and a Virtual Pilgrimage for those who cannot travel to Lourdes.
The Pilgrimage is organised on behalf of Ampleforth Abbey by a volunteer committee of experienced and dedicated pilgrims, under the Spiritual Direction of Fr Ambrose Henley OSB, Pilgrimage Chair - Caroline Joy and Pilgrimage Director - Diana Williams.
Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 the Pilgrimage this year will be a Virtual Pilgrimage.