Holy Child Killiney
Actions Not Words



Holy Child Killiney has been involved with the Dublin Diocesan Annual Lourdes Pilgrimage to France for over 35 years. Each year 5 girls travel as volunteers, alongside 120 other young people from schools throughout the Diocese. These young volunteers are known as ‘Blueshirts’, and they spend 6 days in Lourdes working alongside a huge team of approx 550 doctors, nurses, priests, chaplains and return volunteers. This team accompanies approximately 1,200 Pilgrims, including 180 sick pilgrims who stay in the Acceuil Hospital.

It is organised by the Helpers Council and brings over 2,000 people together, young and old, in a meaningful and rewarding shared journey of faith.


It is a truly uplifting and joyful occasion for the pilgrims, many of whom return each year.

The students who travel are selected by an independent outside person who interviews the girls following submission of an application form.

Holy Child involvement in the annual Lourdes Pilgrimage is a very important expression of our Cornelian Ethos, and each year our girls meet with over 40 past pupils, return volunteers, known as ‘Whiteshirts’, the biggest return group of all schools involved. This is a testament to the depth of commitment that HCK students of all ages have to “Actions not Words”.

Here we see the words of Cornelia become a daily reality :

"To do anything well we must do it with our heart, with our mind and with our strength, for the love of God, of ourselves and of our neighbour".

These are some words from the ‘Blueshirt’ student volunteers which help capture the experience of Lourdes :

“Being a Lourdes ‘Blueshirt’ is a challenging, enlightening, humbling and powerful experience”

“It is the combination of the people, the location and the atmosphere which makes this experience so special”.

“It is impossible to have a bad day in Lourdes, because we are in the company of these funny, courageous, warm-hearted, sometimes outrageous, pilgrims who simply love their time in this holy place”.

“We have a duty co-ordinator who checks in with us and supports us in Refectory Duty, Ward Duty and Stewarding Duty”

“The days fly by in a whirlwind of friendship, spiritually, support, humour and respect”.

“We love accompanying our VIP’s (Very Important Pilgrims) to all the uplifting ceremonies and rituals- the Stations of the Cross, the Torchlight Procession, the Baths and all the Masses”

“The Youth Mass was a really special experience of affirmation, friendship and healing. The music and singing was so beautiful, all done by the student Blueshirts ourselves”.

“Picnics with our Pilgrims, Pizza tea with HCK Past Pupil Whiteshirt Volunteers, Prairie Reflections with the other schools, quiet Prayer Time at the Grotto, shopping with our Pilgrims for ‘holy’ souvenirs - these are my Lourdes memories”.

“Waiting for our return flight we decorated the Transit lounges to create a party atmosphere, and laughed, sang, told stories and danced with our VIP’s (Very Important Pilgrims)”

Military Road, Killiney, Co. Dublin
01 2823120
Le Cheile
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