A small group of students from St Benedict’s Sixth Form helped to look after the sickest of the pilgrims whilst in Lourdes this summer. Working as the Kirkstall care team, our students befriended those in their care, giving up most of their free time to reach out to those in need.
In this the Year of Mercy each school group was given a ‘secret mercy’ to carry out – ours was ‘Let me entertain you’. The St Benedict’s group took this task seriously and entertained at the Diocesan Garden Party and ran a concert for the ‘Hospital Sick’ end even sang our staff team – they were marvellous.
There were lots of smiles, care and tears and a possibly life changing experience for some of our students.
Giovanna Giona of Y13 writes
Enriching - that is the single word I would use to describe our July, 2016 pilgrimage to Lourdes. It is not every day that you witness fifteen of your school friends, three of your teachers, and six pilgrims (whom you met just short of a week ago) crying from the rewarding feeling that the whole Lourdes experience had brought and an experience which you had been able to have an impact upon.
For many of those we cared for, Lourdes was the only possible holiday they could have and to think that by assisting throughout their pilgrimage, entertaining them and simply being their friend, we were able to witness their happiness and joy. This together with experiencing this feeling for ourselves, with each other, with the rest of the Leeds diocese. We would encourage as many people as possible to go to Lourdes next year in Y10 or in Y12 or like many of us are doing, to return as adult carers in July 2017. You will not only strengthen your faith and volunteer to help others but you will enjoy the interaction with a variety of other people. This will allow you to mature and develop as person whilst simultaneously having fun throughout the week with your friends and teachers and having God beside you the whole time.