Order of Malta

The 2006 Lourdes Pilgrimage



By Elissa and Joe Metz, Chairpersons

“We leave as Strangers and come back as Family”

The 2006 Pilgrimage of the American Association of the Order of Malta, under the leadership of our President, Dan Kelly, departed from Newark International Airport on April 26th and returned from Lourdes on May 3rd.

Three hundred-sixty Pilgrims experienced the journey of a lifetime in Lourdes. We all walked hand in hand to the Grotto with our beloved Malades and their caregivers. We had seven wonderful teams, and we thank all of our Team Members and their respective Captains for making the Pilgrimage a great and happy occasion.

If we received one comment from our beloved Malades, caregivers, Knights and Dames, and Auxiliary, it was that this was a spiritual pilgrimage, one in which we all shared in the Light, the official Lourdes theme for 2006. We were blessed with a special feeling of “peace” that comes to those in Lourdes who are following the Blessed Mother’s request to St. Bernadette, “Drink and wash in the water and come in Procession.”

Our Pilgrimage family, and we did, in fact, come home as a family, included 52 beloved Malades and their caregivers, members of the clergy, physicians and nurses, auxiliary members who helped us care for our Malades, especially when we processed through the narrow streets of Lourdes to the Domain, volunteers, and our Members and members in preparation. In addition to our Teams in Lourdes, each day we prayed for our Malades-in-Spirit, numbering over 100 sick and disabled persons back home whom we brought to Lourdes with us in our hearts and spirit as virtual Lourdes Pilgrims.

We thank all of our Members, each and every one of you, who did not come on the Pilgrimage but who prayed the Novena for us during our week in Lourdes. We thank our hundreds of benefactors who contributed with such generosity to bring our Malades to Lourdes as guests of the Order. You were all there with us in spirit!

In closing our 2006 Pilgrimage, we say, with each of you, “Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for Us.” One hundred forty-eight years ago, our Lady appeared to the child Bernadette, and the world is better for this powerful gift to mankind.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and we thank the photographers, Michelle Babyak, Mel Orendorf and John Bycraft, for providing us with a “Photo Gallery” of our Pilgrimage which can be found by clicking the tab at the top of this page.

Order of Malta

American Association, U.S.A
St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parish House
14 E 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 371-1522