Aleena Francis, a 6th year at St Modan’s in Stirling, has written about the final full day in Lourdes of her first trip with DLS.
Thursday was the most emotional day that I, and I’m sure many others, experienced in the Lourdes trip. In the morning, at 10:30, the entire pilgrimage came together for a final closing meeting Mass. Seeing everyone gathered in the church stirred up feelings of gratefulness and appreciation in me, and it hit me of how much I’ll miss the welcoming atmosphere of the Dunkeld Diocese.
After Mass, one of the other helpers and I took one of the Accueil pilgrims for an outing in the local area. We ate ice cream and helped her shop. All of us had a great time and I realised that seeing the happiness in the pilgrims is the true reward of this job.
The day ended with night prayer, at which a lot of tears were shed as everyone came to the realisation that we had come to the end of our pilgrimage. It has been an extraordinary experience for all of us and it has been a privilege working alongside these amazing people.
In my opinion what made Lourdes 2019 so spectacular, other than the beautiful surroundings (and daily gatherings at the Café Jeanne d’Arc!), was the people of the pilgrimage. All of the team leaders were very approachable and, along with the rest of the volunteers, a pleasure to work with. I must say with pride that this pilgrimage was an event in my life that has left its mark in my heart and created memories I’ll treasure forever. ❤️