Finding spirituality in nursing

Each year, five million people make the pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, where a young Catholic peasant girl named Bernadette had visions of the Virgin Mary in 1858. The site is home to a spring believed to heal those who bathed in its water. These pilgrimages could not be possible without the help of volunteers that assist the travelers — among them, Loyola’s own nursing students.

Connect with the spirituality of nursing by participating in this unique, international experience. 

The focus of this service immersion is spiritual care. On this trip, sophomore, junior or senior nursing students care for people from around the world who come to Lourdes to participate in the religious ritual of bathing in the healing waters of Lourdes. As a service immersion, it does not qualify for course credit. 

Each year, 10 students and one student leader are chosen to participate in this unique service opportunity. An information session is held in October with interviews and acceptance into the Immersion program by December. Four preparation sessions are held during spring semester of the following year with the service immersion taking place in May.

About Lourdes

Lourdes, France became famous in the 1850s after 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary. The vision instructed her to build a sanctuary and spread the word of the healing powers of the spring waters. Since then, as many as five million people pilgrimage to Lourdes every year to bathe in the spring waters. Today, it is one of the largest Catholic shrines in the world.

How To Apply

To apply to the Lourdes Pilgrimage, you must complete the application and submit it to Ann Solari-Twadell. Due to COVID-19, all student travel has been put on hold. Please check back for more information.

Any student wishing to participate in the service immersion and experiencing financial hardship should indicate such in the application.

Deliver applications to:
Dr. Solari-Twadell
School of Nursing
BVM Building, Room 917, Lake Shore


Cost to Student: $1,800.00

The fee that is paid by the student covers food, lodging, and travel. The remainder of the cost of the trip is paid by donations and contributions from the Loyola University Chicago – President’s Office and Campus Ministry.