Volunteering in Lourdes since 1901

The Catholic Association (“CA”) is a UK-based charity that has been running pilgrimages to Lourdes, France for over a hundred years. The CA is comprised of the diocesan pilgrimages of Clifton, East Anglia, Northampton, Southwark and Stonyhurst College, as well as the Glanfield Children’s Group. Our vast community of volunteers is made up of a diverse range of age groups and backgrounds, all of whom share a commitment to returning to service in Lourdes every year.

Lourdes is a town in the French region of Bigorre, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, where in 1858 the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared eighteen times to a simple teenage girl, Bernadette Soubirous, in order to draw people into a deeper relationship with her son Jesus. Nearly 150 years later, the Lourdes shrine attracts over six million visitors a year, which includes our pilgrimage of approximately a thousand people. We spend a week in Lourdes every August. Whether we are assisted pilgrims or helpers, young or old, clergy or laity, we are all in need of spiritual renewal, and our journey to Lourdes helps our pilgrims to refocus in their life’s journey to God.

As Chairman of the Catholic Association, I am immensely proud of our work and encourage all newcomers interested in joining us, whether as individuals or groups, to reach out to a member of our team. We hope that the information we have compiled in this website, including the various resources, is helpful to you.  

Rev Paul Hendricks, Chairman
Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees manage and oversee the Catholic Association’s activities and guard its funds.  


Heads of Service

The Trustees appoint four Heads of Service, each of whom hold a four-year term and oversee the core pillars of service.


Hospitalité Council

The Catholic Association Hospitalité of Our Lady of Lourdes is responsible for coordinating the welcome and care of all pilgrims in Lourdes, with a particular focus on the assisted pilgrims who travel with us.

Mrs. Theresa Mahon

Mgr Rev Vincent Harvey

Mr. Chris Thorpe
Chief Executive & Appointments

Rev Paul Hendricks

Dr Nuala Mellows

Dr Steve Gill
Financial & Assurance

Dr Sadie Vile


Dr Nuala Mellows
Chief Doctor

Tina Quinn
Chief Nurse

Richard Hargreaves
Chief Brancardier

Lina Al-Araj
Chief Handmaid


Jonathan Roche

John Wynne-Jones
Youth Representative

James Silsbury
Elected Member

Christopher Page
Elected Member

Cliona Devereaux
Safeguarding Officer

Richard Hargreaves
Chief Brancardier

Lina Al-Araj
Chief Handmaid

Bishop Peter Doyle
Northampton (Patron)

Anne Hoskins

Dr Nuala Mellows
Chief Medical Officer

Tina Quin
Chief Nurse

Fr Nick King
Chaplain to the Sick

Ella Corcoran
Elected Member

John Hirwe



Both the Care Committee and the Programming & Spirituality Committee form a core part of the organisational side of the CA pilgrimage.


Dioceses & Groups

The CA Pilgrimage is made up of the diocesan pilgrimages of Clifton, East Anglia, Northampton, Southwark, as well as the Stonyhurst College Lourdes Pilgrimage and the Glanfield Children’s Group, with each of these groups being overseen by a Diocesan or Group Director.

Members: Pilgrimage Director, Diocesan Directors, Glanfield Group, Master of Ceremonies, Hospitalité Chaplain, HCP, Music Director, Chief Brancardier, Spirituality Trustee, Travel Trustee, Operations Trustee (Chairman)

Programming & Spirituality Committee:

Oversees the Pilgrimage Programme, theme and services

Members: Chief Doctor, Chief Nurse, Chief Brancardier, Chief Handmaid, Safeguarding Officer, Medical Trustee, Hospitalité President (Chairman)

Care Committee:

Manages care of all Assisted Pilgrims


Chantal Hobday
Director, Glanfield Children’s Group

Dr Nuala Mellows
Director, Stonyhurst College

Fr Edward Perera
Director, Southwark

Rev Michael Fleming
Director, Northampton

Fr Simon Blakesley
Pilgrimage Director

Deacon Paul Thompson
Director, Clifton

Prof John Morrill
Director, East Anglia