A working community
In order to welcome its pilgrims and visitors in the best way possible and to maintain an area of 53 hectares, the community of the Sanctuary is made up of men and women, religious or secular, volunteers or employees, who take part in the Sanctuary’s everyday life.
A national Sanctuary
On 11 February 2021, the Sanctuary was elevated to the rank of national shrine by the Bishops of France, by the promulgation of new canonical statutes.
The Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes presides over the life of the Sanctuary with the help of the Rector, who is assisted by a Vice-Rector, people in the service of the Sanctuary, including the “chaplains” (…), and a Council.
The National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is under the supervision of the Episcopal Orientation Council which depends on the Bishops’ Conference of France and is chaired by the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes.
The Council of Economic Affairs of the Sanctuary (“CAES”) is chaired by the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes. The latter appoints a director for the ordinary administration of the Sanctuary on the Rector’s proposal and after consulting the CAES. (Article 4)
Mgr. Jean-Marc MICAS
Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes since 29th May 2022. Ordained a priest on 10th March 1991, in the Archdiocese of Toulouse then priest in the Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice on 6th June 1999. He was appointed superior of the regional seminary of Saint-Cyprien in Toulouse, from 2007 to 2013. He was secretary of the National Council of Major Seminaries from 2011 to 2013 and appointed French provincial of the Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice in 2013.
Father Michel DAUBANES
Rector of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, since 1st September 2022, by the permanent council of the Conference of Bishops of France, on the recommendation of Bishop Jean-Marc Micas, for a term of 5 years, renewable once. Ordained a priest on 24th June 2001, he was vicar general in the diocese of Evreux.
Father Jean-Xavier SALEFRAN
Vice-Rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Mr Guillaume DE VULPIAN
Director of the Sanctuary since 2017.
Who works in the Sanctuary?
The Sanctuary’s chaplains
They are priests from various communities and dioceses and come from different countries such as France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Argentina, Benin, Congo, Nigeria or Sri Lanka. They work for the pastoral care of the Sanctuary and welcome pilgrims from all over the world; they celebrate masses, organise processions and administer the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
• Diocesan priests
• Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception (MIC)
• Oblates of Mary Immaculate
• Community of Saint Martin
• Friars Minor Capuchin
• Sons of the Immaculate Conception
Under the direction of the general manager who works in close collaboration with the rector, the staff numbers 240 employees and 80 seasonal workers. Guards, florists, sacristans, feutiers, cooks, plumbers, electricians… there are 50 different trades at work in the Sanctuary.
The “UES” (economic and social unit) of the Sanctuary is organized in 4 structures:
• the Diocesan Association of Tarbes and Lourdes (all professions),
• the Ave Maria Association (accommodation and catering),
• the “EURL” (one-person limited company) of the Basilica of the Rosary (bookshop, events, sales and IT services),
• the Sanctuary’s limited liability company (accommodation of the sick).
The Hospitalité Notre-Dame de Lourdes
The HNDL hospitallers are volunteers from all over the world. Their mission is to welcome and accompany thousands of pilgrims, especially the sick and disabled who come to Lourdes.
Coming mainly from France and Europe, the Sanctuary’s volunteers welcome the pilgrims of Lourdes in all their diversity and pay particular attention to the most fragile people.
The religious communities
Some missions within the Sanctuary are assigned to religious communities:
• the Sisters of Charity and Christian Instruction of Nevers (pastoral animation at the Accueil Notre-Dame)
• the Daughters of the Church (adoration prayer in the Sanctuary and reception at the Boly Mill)
• the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes (who welcome the pilgrims at the mass and donation Office)
• the Missionary Workers of the Immaculate Conception (who welcome the pilgrims at St. Peter & St. Paul House)
• the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (who welcome the pilgrims at the Information Centre)
• the Lebanese Franciscan Sisters of the Cross (sacristy of the Grotto of the Apparitions)
• the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Marc (who welcome the pilgrims at the mass and donation Office)
• the Immacolatine Sisters (who welcome the pilgrims at the Information Centre)
• the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (who welcome the pilgrims at Bartrès Village)
• the Casa di Maria (spiritual accompaniment of groups of pilgrims; reception at the mass and donation Office)