This summer, Notre Dame’s charitable ethos reached as far as France, when thirteen students and two staff took part in the 80th Leeds Diocese pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Once they’d arrived in this small market town, our students supported elderly, infirm, and disabled pilgrims, working in shifts alongside a group of nurses and carers known as the Leeds Hospitality Team. The duties of students included accompanying pilgrims to services, assisting them during meals, playing board games with them, and taking them to see the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Grotto of Massabielle. Students also attended celebrations for the 80th Leeds Diocese pilgrimage, a historic anniversary that we are extremely proud to have been part of.
Our students travel to Lourdes every summer, a small number of the five million Catholics who visit each year. They make up a valued part of the Leeds Youth Group, instantly recognisable in their yellow T-shirts, which have earnt them the nickname ‘little canaries’ from locals. For our students, the trip to Lourdes provides a chance to develop their spirituality and reflect on the Catholic values of Faith, Hope, and Love. Miss Ashburn, a Philosophy, Theology and Ethics (PTE) tutor who accompanied our students, said: ‘I am very proud of how hard they worked throughout their week in Lourdes, and of the support they gave to pilgrims.’
If you’d like to find out more about this year’s pilgrimage, it was featured on Inside Out on Monday 3 September. You can view this programme here and try to spot our students.