In-person gathering available in Lewiston, available online anywhere

LEWISTON — All are welcome to participate in a virtual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Lourdes, live-streamed by the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality’s North American Volunteers, in cooperation with Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Interested parties can participate online or in-person. Fr. Patrick Finn, parochial vicar of Prince of Peace Parish, will lead portions of the program, including Eucharistic adoration, from the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, which will then be broadcast worldwide. Fr. Finn served as a pilgrimage chaplain for the North American Volunteers during a 2019 special needs pilgrimage to the shrine.

Deacon Dan Revetto, a permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will serve as the guide for the pilgrimage. Deacon Dan made his commitment to the Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes (the international fellowship of men and women who commit to volunteer at Lourdes) in 2014. He has served for many years with the North American Volunteers helping lead many service pilgrimages to Lourdes and as a virtual pilgrimage guide.

In 1858, Marian apparitions occurred in the small town of Lourdes, located at the foot of the Pyrenees in southwest France. On Feb. 11 of that year, 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, on a walk to pick up sticks for firewood, met the Mother of God at the Grotto below the town along the River Gave.

“Mary and Bernadette would meet 17 more times over the year, and Mary brought a simple message of penance, reconciliation with God, and that to be close to God and seek the intercession of Mary, our Mother, is what’s most important,” said Fr. Finn. “Today is not so different from 1858 France, when a cholera epidemic swept that nation; now, as COVID-19 has ravaged the whole world, hope seems to be in short supply. But we know where hope can be found, and we know by whose intercession hope can be restored to us: Mary, the Mother of God.”

Participants, whether at home or in the basilica, will have the opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence as though they were visiting the shrine in France itself.

Those who register to attend at the basilica will be able to view the entire program on big screens and receive a “pilgrimage” kit that includes a container of water from the miraculous spring in the Grotto at Lourdes, a prayer card touched to a piece of the rock of the Grotto, a candle, and a rosary.To learn how to participate either online from home or in person at the basilica, visit www.princeofpeace.me/lourdes.