When I was six months old, my parents decided that they wanted to try and make me Holy from an early age.
And 20 years later, I am still going so it has obviously had some impact on my life.
Not because I am overly religious or anything, but now if from the 12th to the 17th September, I was sitting at home, I know that there would be a void in my life.
Now, when I was younger, my classmates used to laugh at me when I said that Lourdes was a “Holy” place, and that I went every year, but now it seems that these people have grown up and understand how much it really means to me.
I get to see how lucky I am, and also it is a feel-good factor when you come home because you know that you have done something worth while.
In 2011 for the first time I was privileged to go to Lourdes as part as the Hospitality Staff. You may be wondering what Hospitality staff actually is, but with the Diocese of Meath, every year we bring about 200 sick pilgrims with us and they stay in the hospital. So because of this, a huge number of staff are needed to look after our pilgrims, whether it is pushing chariots to mass or to the grotto, or to bring some of them shopping in the town.
We would also help at meal times, serving the food and cleaning up afterwards. So, Lourdes for a week means early mornings, late nights (usually spent drinking Rose wine, and I know you are sitting reading this, going.. wine in Lourdes, but trust me it happens!)
And as with everything that you get involved in, making friends has become a vital part of this journey.
We also cannot forget the bread, because French “Brennan’s” just isn’t as good as ours!
So, now its time to start getting ready to go again.