Volunteers’ testimonies

“This service to pilgrims is an outward-looking experience and spiritually enriching. It enables me to meet people from very different geographical and social backgrounds.  It’s a breath of fresh air that makes me travel.  It helps me to understand other people’s faith and to respect everyone.”

 

“The Chapel is the place to meet the Lord, Bernadette and all those who come here to entrust their intentions to Bernadette.  And it’s amazing to greet people from all over the world, to witness their faith and their hope.  It’s amazing to think that the Lord hears all the sufferings left here and answers them in the secret of their hearts.  It’s a great joy to give some time to the service of our brothers and sisters.”

 

“We shared many things with the Sisters of the Congregation, who were extremely friendly, also with the international team of volunteers from Japan, Germany and Spain.   We appreciated this time with them.  While still working at the service of the house, the garden, the cleaning, the meals, reception … the shared meals and common prayer time … we were still able to enjoy ourselves.”

 

“For 30 years, I spent my holidays as a volunteer in Lourdes.  Now I want to keep up with Bernadette’s message, near her, in Nevers.  The welcome and availability of all those working in the house were like a sign for me, just as the Virgin Mary made Bernadette welcome.  Lourdes remains in my heart and Nevers is the second step in my volunteer’s life.”

 

“In Lourdes the Virgin Mary welcomes us publicly.  She does it privately in Nevers.  It’s a little piece of heaven.  Bernadette came to Nevers to hide herself.  She was not a star.  I have been coming here as a volunteer for three years to say “thank you for everything.”  Here, I feel privileged.  I try to do my best to help others, as I was helped.  For the last few years, despite my weaknesses, I try to become more humble.  In speaking of Bernadette to the pilgrims I meet, I say: “She’s waiting for you.”

 

“I’m very sad to leave.  Living with the other volunteers, walking with pilgrims in Bernadette’s footsteps was a blessing.  I was very moved by a meeting with two ladies from the Republic of Cameroon.  Their daily life is much like Bernadette’s.  They came here to get courage.  We prayed together.  I also had the pleasure of guiding a group from the Marquesas Islands.  I was extremely moved when they offered me a shell necklace.  I will also remember praying in this peaceful place where today the light is so soothing.”

 

“Meeting Bernadette is the first step.  Spending some time near her is accepting to listen to the story of her life, to discover who inspired her and taught her to love others.  This encounter enticed us to be more open, to share what we received from her.  So, for the past few years, we have been volunteers and have put our “skills” at the service of Bernadette’s house.  In this house, as members of a team, we live an intense experience for a generous, beautiful and sanctifying cause!”