Every little thing is so memorable
Lottie, who travelled to Hosanna House this Summer (her third stay), told us why a week on pilgrimage with HCPT is so special for her.
"I spent an amazing week at Hosanna House this summer with HCPT Group 512 (from Leicestershire). I had the pleasure of being a part of the care team. During the day I assisted the other helpers in the group, in particular the younger students from a local college. I helped support them, as for many it was their first time doing something like this.
One of my favourite moments a week in Lourdes is the Torchlight Procession – in fact it's one of my highlights of the year! The sheer volume of people singing 'Ave Maria' at the top of their voices, holding their candles as the sun sets on the Domaine, never fails to give me goose bumps.
Other highlights from the week this year was sharing a drink and crepe with Paul, a man with quadriplegic cerebral palsy (pictured above with Lottie), in a café overlooking the river, after we had attended the International Mass and explored the Underground Basilica. We also went for a long swim in the Lac de Lourdes. It has such incredible views of the mountains from the middle. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite so picturesque, or felt as calm, as I did floating on the surface.
Our day in the mountains at Gavarnie is always a fun one. We start with a picnic, then move to one of the bridges where we have a duck race. In the days leading up to our trip, we all buy a duck – and then anticipation builds about who will win! As one of the younger pilgrims, I always seem to pull the short straw of standing in the freezing cold river, with the job of catching all the ducks as they come down the river. Despite the cold, it's so much fun - even if we always seem to manage to lose a duck or two!
After this, some of the group chose to hike up to the top of Gavarnie, whilst some of the older group members chose to stay in the village for some retail therapy. This year, I didn't make it all the way up into the mountain because it was so foggy. Instead, a few of us stopped at the hotel halfway up for a well-earned crepe and hot chocolate!
If I were to talk about all my memories of the week, I think I'd end up writing a book. There's always so much going on and so many people to talk to. Every little thing is so memorable. I'm so grateful to have been able to spend another week of my summer in Lourdes. I hope I get the chance to do so for many years to come!"
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