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2024 Core Leader Pilgrimage to France


DAY 1: Thursday, April 4, 2024

Lourdes – Arrive

Welcome to Lourdes, situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Lourdes rose to prominence due to the Marian apparitions and has become one of the most important sites of pilgrimage.  Enjoy the day exploring The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Stations of the Cross on your own. 

DAY 2: Friday, April 5, 2024


You will have the morning free to explore further before we gather for the opening ceremony at 3 pm where you will have the opportunity to greet your fellow Pilgrim companions.  Dinner will be at 6 pm, followed by the torchlight procession at 9 pm. We join people of all nations as they come with their intentions and pray together. 

Group Dinner & Reception

DAY 3: Saturday, April 6, 2024

Lourdes to Carcassonne

We will have an early morning departure for Carcassonne, the UNESCO World Heritage site comprising the upper walled “La Cite” and the lower Bastide, birthplace of Father Medaille. We will have a light lunch on arrival before discovering Fr. Medaille’s home, including the place of his baptism, the Cathedral of St. Michael’s and the Jesuit School his father was involved in founding. Later in the day, we will explore the ancient walled fortress city itself. 

Small Group Dinner

DAY 4: Sunday, April 7, 2024

Carcassonne to Le Puy en Velay

This morning we depart for Le Puy en Velay, across the impressive Millau Viaduct. Journeying northwards into the wild Cevennes Mountain range, we will join the Sisters for an inspiring pilgrimage walk in the footsteps of Fr. Medaille and St. Jean Francois Regis. The walk will be followed by a light lunch in the tiny rural hamlet of Pradelles. We will arrive at Le Puy in the early evening. Le Puy is a major gateway for the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage.

Hotel: Ibis Styles

DAY 5: Monday, April 8, 2024

Le Puy en Velay

We will gather for a morning of reflective integration before discovering first-hand the origins of the Sisters of St. Joseph during a walking tour of Le Puy. Le Puy is the town where the Sisters were founded in 1650. We will have an early afternoon guided visit and private pilgrims’ blessing at the 12th Century Romanesque Cathedral of Notre Dame du Puy. Later in the afternoon there will be time to visit the other sites.

Hotel: Ibis Styles

Small Group Dinner

DAY 6: Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Le Puy en Velay

We will gather for a morning of reflective integration.  Pilgrims will have an opportunity to explore the sights later in the morning.  This will be followed by an afternoon visit to the founding ‘Kitchen’ of the Sisters of St. Joseph and reflective time in the chapel.

Hotel: Ibis Styles

Small Group Dinner

DAY 7: Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Le Puy en Velay to Lyon

We will gather for a morning of reflective integration.  Boarding our coach mid-morning, we will visit Bas en Basett, the family home of Mother St. John Fontbonne before journeying to Monistrol followed by our group Lunch, which will be hosted by Sebastian Farison and his family. Then on to the great city of Lyon, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its historical and architectural landmarks, silk production, gastronomy, and vibrant international University.

DAY 8: Thursday, April 11, 2024


After breakfast, we will visit the Motherhouse and Chapel of the Sisters of St Joseph of Lyon, where Mother St. John Fontbonne re-established the order following the French Revolution. Boxed lunches will be available in the garden of the Motherhouse.

Small Group Dinner

DAY 9: Friday, April 12, 2024


In the morning, we will cross the Saone River to the cemetery and the grave of Mother St. John Fontbonne , before our Emmaus walk to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.  You will have free time for lunch (box lunches provided), and then afternoon service in The Chapelle of our Lady.  We will close with an evening reception.

Closing Dinner

DAY 10: Saturday, April 13, 2024

Lyon – Depart 

Now it’s time to bid a fond aurevoir to France as our Pilgrimage comes to an end.

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