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For the Friends and Family who want to know and care about John's well being, on his Journey with ALS

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Posted 2019-10-09T21:02:00Z

Trip to Lourdes France


Since I was diagnosed with ALS our life has been a whirlwind of activity. To say the least, it has been a life changing course.

From a moral perspective, from the human condition, my story is not good. But when I look through the same eyes, through a spiritual lens, I see great hope for me,

We don’t believe God willed this cross but He can bring good out of all that happens. So because of our faith we have embraced this cross. Our hearts are filled with gratitude, overwhelmed by the continual love and support of so many. We are blessed by all of you, who in faith, lift us up in your prayers and deeds, including you, the good people at the Gleason Foundation.

When I started thinking of a bucket list, at the top of the list was the Sanctuary in Lourdes, France. Second on the list was to visit wine country. We chose the adventure to Lourdes, France because of a strong faith and devotion to Mary.   For those who are not familiar, below tells a little bit about The Sanctuary at Lourdes.

The Sanctuary at Lourdes, France was built to honor Mary the mother of Jesus who appeared many times to Bernadette Soubirious in the grotto. Mary told Bernadette that the waters of Lourdes would heal. There have been 67 miraculous healings since 1868, healings of all kinds. It seems like everyone who visits is assured a healing whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual. And you, the Gleason Foundation helped to make this bucket list dream come true.

Here’s what one of our best days looked like

We started out early Wednesday September 11, 2019.  We wanted to make every minute count, it was my 60th birthday. We went to the International Catholic mass in the underground church. There were over 100 celebrants and approximately 8000 attendees. Following mass we went to confession to begin our spiritually healing. Then we went to the baths, where hundreds of people were waiting in line for the healing waters, (fortunately I had a fast pass-a wheelchair.) We prayed the rosary, and sang songs to honor Mary with the others waiting. You could not help but feel Gods love and our human love for each other. It left us with feeling spiritually alive. Everyone we met, people from around the world, was there for healing. There was a true feeling of community where each person wanted healing not only for themselves but for all who were there together.

“I am blessed to be a part of a collective spiritual energy with people from all around the world celebrating the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation and the special blessings of the healing waters in the baths of Lourdes.” 


Across from the baths there was an area to light candles for prayers for healing. Together we lit a huge candle in honor of John for healing and because it was his 60th birthday. Afterwards, we went to celebrate with French café food and wine.  The day ended with a candlelight procession and a healing service in the Sanctuary. What a great day!

Not only did we visit Lourdes but we were able to travel to the Occitanie region near Toulouse, France and visit wineries on the second half of our trip.

We did not think this adventure was a real possibility but between the Gleason Foundation and our A team what started as a bucket list dream, became a reality. Never been to a more peaceful, prayerful, calm and spiritual place in all of my travels. Nice to get off the treadmill of life and re-center my life around Christ our Savior and King.

We Give Thanks!

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