4th International Meeting of Hospitaliers - Lourdes 6th, 7th and 8th December 2013
Hospitaliers of Lourdes, faithful of Christ
Three years after the last one, a fourth international meeting of hospitaliers is being organised in Lourdes. Some have questioned our decision to hold this meeting after the damage and difficulties brought about by the exceptional flooding of the Gave. We feel that we can best serve Lourdes by going ahead with our meeting.
As with the previous one, this pilgrimage without the sick must be seen as an opportunity to take steps to develop our charism as hospitaliers in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus and to become ever more faithful to the message of Lourdes. This year we will ask ourselves what it means “to be faithful to Christ” for each one of us and for our hospitalities.
We take this approach in the Year of Faith, 50 years after Vatican II and 25 years after the publication of “Christi fideles laïci”. We will also look at our individual and collective participation in the new evangelisation.
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For each of the 4 half-day sessions on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th December, we have planned an introductory talk, a personal testimony and a round table discussion.
Here are the key themes for each of the sessions and the names of the speakers who have already agreed to take part.
Friday morning. The specific role of the laity in the Church and in society with M. Michel Camdessus, honorary governor of the Bank of France and former president of the Social Weeks of France, as opening speaker.
Friday afternoon. From serving in Lourdes to the Christian vision of humanity. Monsignor Hervé Gaschignard, Bishop of Aire and Dax, has agreed to give the introductory talk of this session. Dr Alessandro de Franciscis, head of the medical bureau of Lourdes, will then talk, not of the miracles, but of his own personal experience as a doctor who accompanies sick pilgrims.
Saturday morning. The specific nature of the different groups of the faithful and their role in the new evangelisation. Professor Agostino Borromeo, vice president of Unitalsi has agreed to open this session.
Saturday afternoon. Growing in Christian Life as a hospitalier with a talk by Monsignor Brouwet, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes.
All the opening talks and personal testimonies will be given in French, with simultaneous translation into the languages most commonly used in the Sanctuary. Participants from visiting countries will be able to take part in the round table discussions in French or in their own languages.
We hope that you will come in numbers to pray, worship and reflect together.