Asociatia Maria
MARIA - Association for Supporting Disadvantaged Young People

A week with "Maria"

Every year, some disabled or disadvantaged children from Romania are invited by HCPT (Pilgrimage Trust for Disabled Children) from Great Britain ( http://www.hcpt.org.uk) and by  MARIAAsociation for Protecting Disadvantaged Young People ( www. asociatiamaria.ro)  in collaboration with Caritas Bucharest (www.caritasbucuresti.org)  to spend the first week after the Catholic Easter,  together with friends from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the United States Ameripcii, West Indies, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Slovakia and Croatia, in Lourdes in France - one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Europe.

Throughout the week children together with volunteer helpers, doctor and chaplain will form a family group. Our purpose is to make them experience the positive effects of carring, sharing God’s gifts of love, hope, friendship and joy, and seeing the world from a different point of view. 

The pilgrimage involves both participation at liturgies held in major churches in the city, visiting the monuments with great religious and emotional meaning: the Grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette, Cross Road, home of Bernadette, and an attempt to make children better understand the significance of apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes and the miracle and joy of Resurrection.

Also, throughout the holiday, children have the opportunity to meet and make friends with children from all over the world by participating in multiple activities: trips to the mountains and sea, outdoor games, fency paries and festive evenings.

This trip organized by HCPT – The Pilgrimage Trust for Disabled Children -  and founded by Dr.M.Strode in 1956 brings together in Lourdes over 8,000 participants from all over the world.

Last but not least we have to mention Bridget Mullens who has had an important role in the smooth running of this project. She is the initiator of this important project in Romania in 1998, and member of HCPT for over 40 years.

Our project is carried out from sponsorships and, where possible, from parents or guardians' contributions.

We hope and wish with all our hearts that your child will join our group in the wonderful experience called LOURDES.      

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Asociatia Maria Made by Irina & Tamara