Our annual pilgrimage is in September and is solely financed by our charity cycle. It brings those diagnosed with cancer and a loved one to the beautiful town of Lourdes, to experience a spiritual and personal journey with our organisers and volunteers. The trip consists of a five night, all inclusive stay in the Hotel Mediterannee*** with a full religious programme.
Each year the pilgrims are
selected from nominations by the participating cyclists of our annual
fundraising event. The selected pilgrims are then met individually by our
organisers to discuss the details of the trip and to provide and gather any
information necessary to ensure their trip is as enjoyable as possible.
"We couldn't believe at first when we heard we were nominated for it, we couldn't believe that someone would actually do that for us. I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. I feel happy, I feel content and I feel a peace within me now. And whatever comes or goes now we'll be prepared for it. I can't explain it. It's this peace comes over you and I'm happy for the first time in a long, long time." Marion
“I didn’t really know what I was at for a while and the next thing my sister nominated me for Lourdes. I often heard about the 250 Mile Cycle but I never took any great notice to it. It’s wonderful. Since I’ve come here, mentally, spiritually and physically I feel a lot better. I feel more relaxed in my head and this has given me a different outlook on life you know.” Annonymous
“Since I’ve come here and I can put my hand on my heart and say I know what living is about now. I feel good mentally. Mentally is the main thing because physically I know I won’t ever be back to normal. I believe I have that peace. The most important thing I’ve got out of it is acceptance, that’s the bottom line. I can accept it and move on.” Noel
"Life has to have some sort of a meaning and faith becomes a big part of that. A really peaceful experience comes over you when you’re here (Lourdes). When you arrive here you just get the sense, the connection of such vast amount of people have a belief in something. There’s a purpose here and it’s magical.” Michael
"You get a totally different view of what the 250 is all about. We go up to mass and see ye coming in and give a few bob and you’d say God the cyclists were great but it’s only when you come and see what ye do with the money, how good it is and how it makes all of us feel. I really think it’s wonderful." Margaret
"As a cancer patient you get caught up in the whole hospital healing system and you get overwhelmed by the whole struggle and you don’t give yourself time to heal. But I found this time here, with other people, the time to relax and heal properly. Spiritually it’s good for your whole wellbeing and you laugh about things with the people you meet on the pilgrimage. I really enjoyed the time here and I think it’s a very worthwhile experience for anyone in a situation like mine. Just let yourself come and enjoy and be pampered because sometimes you deserve a bit of that." Mary
"The pilgrimage has brought people together and it’s important I think for people who just deal with illness on their own, and I would be that type, rather than dealing with groups or meeting other people. To see the level of illness and what people suffer and still make the effort to come here, I think it makes your own situation seem very insignificant. If you haven’t come already decided that I’m just going to get on with life and let this be a part of it coming here would certainly make you do that. It has been very special and I’m thrilled to be here." Gerry
"I feel very privileged to be here. It is wonderful. It’s such a professional group of people. The highlight of my trip was the mass in the grotto yesterday morning. It was spectacular. I wouldn’t say I was the most religious person in the world but I just felt so much peace down there yesterday morning and at ease. I have made some fabulous friends that I would never have met from all around the county and I know now that we’re going to be great friends as long as we’re going to be around." Michael
"I supported the pilgrimage always but it isn’t until you go on it, now that I’m on the receiving end of it, that you realise how wonderful it is. It’s great to be a part of a nice group and it’s very special. When you get sick, spiritually you get more in tune with your God and Our Lady so to be able to come out here and see the whole thing and be a part of the experience is great. And a lot of people would never have the chance only for the cycle." Mary