Quite simply a special place…

Friday May 16th 2014

Hi everyone,

One of the many highlights of last month was my journey to Lourdes with the Irish Pilgrimage Trust. I was nervous travelling out to Lourdes this time, as it would be a completely new experience and group to work with. The responsibility was huge and something which I had never really encountered before. These young people, with different needs, abilities and backgrounds where placed in our care and it was our job to ensure they enjoyed every minute of their time in Lourdes, and, most importantly, bring them back home safe and sound to their families.

Once our opening Mass for all the Irish groups was over all my worries and doubts about the week ahead began to fade away. I began to see the reason why I was here and knew that our group was going to be okay. Seeing the pure joy and laughter the children showed in this opening Mass was something I had never seen before. The atmosphere was immense!! The amount of dancing, singing, colour and sheer happiness brought many, including myself to tears. Despite all the children’s problems, needs and disabilities they continued to keep on smiling. Quite frankly they put all us leaders to shame as to how happy life there lives can be! We can all sometimes fall into the trap of talking over people with special needs and ignoring what they have to say. Maybe it’s because were nervous and don’t know what to say or how to react during conversations. However, if we where to just spend time with them, talk to them and most importantly listen to what they have to say I can guarantee you that it will be the best thing you will ever do.


In last month’s blog I spoke about how I wanted to give the children the same positive and enjoyable experience I received when I travelled to Lourdes as a pilgrim. In turn it was in fact the children who give something back to me. They gave me a new perspective on life and a feeling of happiness that I had never witnessed. The people I met, stories I listened to and enjoyment agus craic is something that I will never forget. I could fill this month’s blog and many more with the memories I have. However, the only true way to describe is by seeing it for yourself. Lourdes is quite simply a special place.

By the time you read this myself, along with fellow Michaela Scholars Aoífe, Áoise, Eiméar, Fionnuala and Stephen will have just completed the Belfast Marathon for The Michaela Foundation. After months of intense training, specially controlled diets and many motivational speeches I have no doubt who ever has followed this strict routine will find the marathon experience a doddle! For me, however, my training hasn’t been as professional as I had hoped but I’m sure the encouragement and adrenaline will help push us all over the line!


You can still donate by clicking the link below. Your donation, no matter how big or small, will go a long way in helping the Foundation achieve it’s future goals.




Now with the Easter holidays well and truly behind us, which did included the aforementioned pilgrimage to Lourdes and the odd trip or two to Dublin, it’s now time for 4 weeks of hard work to get my first year of University life all wrapped up.  With a bit of hard work, a few prayers and even a touch of luck they should all go according to plan…roll on the 4th June!

Good luck to everyone sitting summer exams and completing end of year assignments. Just remember not to worry or stress about them, as they will never define who you are. Keep going even when summer seems miles away and most of all never forget that no matter what way your results turn out to be it will always work out in the end.


Until next month,