Disabled Persons Service (O.C.H.)
Next to the Saint-Michel gate, in the Sanctuary, the Disability Service is animated by the Christian Board of Disabled People (O.C.H.).
All the pilgrims are welcome in the OCH. The OCH is an association dedicated to the service of the sick or disabled pilgrims and their families and friends. The OCH supports any action for the disabled, whatever their handicap or difficulties may be. The OCH is inspired by the Christian faith. The OCH publishes a newspaper called Ombres et Lumière.
For the sick or disabled pilgrims
You come alone or with family? The Disability Service welcomes you. This service is a space in the Sanctuary led by the OCH (Christian Board of disabled people), which provides:
- A café, a moment of friendship
- Listening, personalized support
- Advice for your pilgrimage to Lourdes, taking into account the different disabilities (mental, physical, sensory or psychological)
- Loans of wheelchairs
- A weekly attendance of a person engaging in Sign Language (LSF).
- A tactile model of the Sanctuary ...
Some examples of questions you can ask yourself ...
- My 44 years old husband is invalid. We want to come to Lourdes. How are things?
- We live in Canada. We have three days in Lourdes with family, my wife suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. We want a personalized warm, and with a priest.
- Our son goes to Lourdes schizophrenic. What can you offer him?
- I accompanied a group of deaf people to Lourdes. What can we live?
- I come to Lourdes with a young Down syndrome. How to teach him the message Bernadette?
For the pilgrimages organizers
In the Sanctuary, near to the "calvaire des Bretons", there is the Disabled Pilgrims Service (OCH) where you can find :
- testimonials of disabled persons
- a training for the new or young hospitaliers : how to take care of a disabled, old or sick person? Very concrete answers based on the encounters between Mary and Bernadette.
- meetings for the families suffering from handicap or disease : sharing experience, information and help for the "after-Lourdes".
- information about mental illness
- tools of sensitization of handicap : videos, sign language workshop… for everyone, children and adults as well.