Order of Malta

Bringing Lourdes to Northern Indiana

Many years ago we brought our annual Lourdes Pilgrimage to our friends and neighbors in Northern Indiana. Held at the famous grotto at the University of Notre dame, there were talks for the malades and their care-givers, a rosary procession, washing with Lourdes water, the sacrament of Anointing and Holy mass. Assisting our own chaplains were Frs. Robert Dunn and Thomas Lynch from the Archdiocese of New York.

As many of you know Fr. Dunn is the chaplain of the Westchester NY Area. He was so impressed with the day that he made a brilliant variation in bringing the Lourdes day to the residents of the nursing facility where he lived. He even wrote a beautiful rosary meditation about the life of St. Bernadette that allows residents to identify their own situations with hers.

We recently brought this “Lourdes in a box” (as Fr. Dunn likes to say) to the residents of three nursing facilities during the last year and hope to do more very soon. Although the directors of the nursing facilities never expect their residents to be very much interested in the event, in every case we have received an immediate invitation to return.

I personally brought a woman down in a gurney who had recently returned from the hospital. Her mood was as crooked as her body. Over the course of the event I watched her mood change from “dropping f-bombs” every time the gurney hit a bump, to intensely watching and listening and finally to what could only be described as radiance as she gazed at our Lord during the consecration at Mass. Weeks later during an Octoberfest celebration another resident walked up to the director saying, “It was so beautiful”, to which the director asked, “The Octoberfest?” “No” said the woman said, “Lourdes Day”. The buzz word today is “Dignity” to which is often attached the word “Death.” Whereas it should be “Aging with Grace and Confidence”.

Order of Malta, American Association, U.S.A.

American Association, U.S.A
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