Lourdes Vocab

Accueil The meaning of this term is literally ‘welcome’ in French. There are two Accueils in Lourdes: the Accueil Notre Dame as used by the Catholic Association and the Accueil Saint-Frai located in the town of Lourdes. The Accueils are modern buildings, and are neither a hotel or hospital but adapted to the specific needs of the sick and disabled who come to Lourdes on pilgrimage.

Assisted Pilgrim The preferred term for those who are ill or disabled who are staying in the Accueil and hotels, needing assistance from our team of helpers.

Brancardier A male volunteer helper and are identified by their Royal Blue polo shirt. Brancardier is french for ‘stretcher-bearer’, and is the traditional title for the male helpers, reflecting their original role.

BSP Blessed Sacrament Procession The CA will usually participate as a group at 5pm on one day of the week.

CA The Catholic Association. This is the charity which runs the Pilgrimage to Lourdes for the participating Dioceses and children’s groups which form the Annual Catholic Association Pilgrimage to Lourdes each August.

Carmelites The Carmelite Order is one of the Church’s ancient religious communities, founded in the Holy Land some 800 years ago. Today the Carmelite Family is made up of friars, nuns, sisters, hermits and lay people, who form praying communities at the service of all God’s people. Carmelites have a particular devotion to Mary the Mother of God, and the final apparition of Our Lady to Saint Bernadette took place on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The British Province of the Carmelites joined the CA pilgrimage in 2008.

Chaise bleu These are small temporary wheeled chairs used for moving people short distances in the Accueil.

Chief Brancardier and Chief Handmaid. They work together during the year and in Lourdes to organise non medical

Chief Handmaid and Chief Brancardier. They work together during the year and in Lourdes to organise non medical

Chief Medical Officer Organises all the doctors.

Chief Nurse In charge of all the nurses.

Duty All volunteers will be given specific duties as part of a team comprising a mixture of new and experienced helpers. You will be allocated your duties by your heads of service and notified of them by the Chief Brancardier, Chief Handmaid or Chief Nurse.

Glanfield A children’s group, who specialise in looking after disabled children and those with learning disabilities. The people working in this group can be identified by the blue and white quarter pattern rugby shirts they wear. They are based in the Mediterannee Hotel.

Grotto The cave in which Bernadette’s eighteen visions of the Virgin Mary took place, also known as Massabielle

Gypsy The Gitanes Pilgrimage for the Romany people of Europe often takes place during the time of the CA Pilgrimage. It is a very colourful and unique event with their travelling musical bands etc.

Handmaid A female volunteer helper who are identified by their blue dresses.

Heads of Service The CA (like many other Pilgrimages) has four Heads of Service: Chief Brancardier, Chief Doctor, Chief Handmaid, Chief Nurse – which adheres to the four “services” in the HNDL and Lourdes, i.e. brancardiers, handmaids, nurses and doctors.

Helpers Children’s Program (HCP) Offers a crèche for children of helpers working on the Pilgrimage, they will look after them from 8:30-12 and 2-6 allowing you to work.

HNDL The Hospitalité de Notre Dame de Lourdes, is the parent Hospitalité for all the world’s Lourdes pilgrimage hospitalités. It is a large volunteer organisation which deals with organising the various pilgrimages in Lourdes and the day to day management of the daily events and processions etc. It also runs the loading and unloading teams at the airport and railway station and organises the work at the piscines.

Hospitalité The Catholic Association Hospitalité of Our Lady of Lourdes is the organisation responsible for coordinating the welcome and care of pilgrims, especially sick pilgrims, who come to Lourdes. The members of the CA Hospitalité are volunteers who have made a commitment to serve fellow pilgrims in Lourdes on a regular basis; one week each year when possible. They help in the smooth running of religious and other activities on the Catholic Association Pilgrimage, so that everyone can benefit from the spiritual and social benefits of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Each pilgrimage throughout the world will have its own Hospitalité.

Rolling This duty involves moving Assisted Pilgrims in wheelchairs or voitures to and from services and around town.

St Mary’s School Catholic public school for girls in Cambridge. They usually send a large contingent of schoolgirls with the East Anglia Diocese on our pilgrimage.

Stage Working directly for the Hospitalite de Notre Dame de Lourdes (HNDL) helping to organise and run things around the domain at the station or airport. The CA group usually go out to complete a stage the week before the regular CA pilgrimage.

Stagiere Is an individual who is doing a Stage.

Stonyhurst College Catholic public school originally founded in 1593 on the continent. It has been based in the north west of
England since 1794 and is one of the oldest Jesuit schools in England. Once boys only, now mixed, the school usually send a large group on the CA pilgrimage – which includes present pupils, former pupils, teachers, friends and a number of Jesuits.

Torchlight Procession A highlight for many is this procession where thousands of pilgrims process around the esplanade in the domaine carrying candles, singing and praying. An event not to be missed and for those who want to a great view can be had from the viewing balconies on top of the Accueil Notre Dame.

Voiture A blue three wheeled chariot chair, pulled and steered via a long handle at the front. The device is ancient in design but is surprisingly comfortable for those privileged to be towed around in one.

Young Helpers Group Leader The leader of the Young Helpers’ Group who works closely with the Heads of Service, but particularly the Chief Brancardier and Chief Handmaid.