The sick, the chronically ill, the elderly and persons with limited mobility can all expect a warm welcome at Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Since 1944, the Work of the Pilgrimage of the Sick has overseen the needs of sick and disabled persons when they visit the shrine. The Work continues the mission of Brother André: to welcome, listen and offer compassion.
The Work of the Pilgrimage of the Sick offers spiritual support to those facing the ordeal of illness or loss of autonomy. Its team consists of a pastoral worker, a chaplain and dedicated volunteers ready to help the ill. Together, they carry out Jesus’s bidding, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25, 40)
The traditional “Mass for the Sick” celebrated every Wednesday at 2 PM is an important weekly event. During community prayer after the Mass, various petitions are made to Saint Joseph, known as the “Hope of the Sick.” The entire assembly is invited to this moment of recollection.
Maintaining accessibility to all the different parts of the Oratory remains one of the ministry’s priorities. A brigade of volunteers is responsible for the reception of visitors and the movement those in wheelchairs during major celebrations. At any time, pilgrims with reduced mobility can make use of two elevators that, since 2008, have provided access to all levels of the site, from the crypt to the basilica, including the Gift Shop at the Concourse Hall, the permanent display on Saint Brother André and the museum.
In March 2012, the Kéroul organization granted the Oratory certification as a site adapted to people whose mobility may be limited in some way.
People who have difficulty getting around may borrow a wheelchair free of charge during their visit. This will facilitate their getting around the extensive Oratory site. To take advantage of this service, you must present and leave a piece of identification at the reception desk located at the entrance to the Votive Chapel.
Wheelchairs are also available to pilgrims during the Eucharistic celebrations that take place in the basilica.
The Work of the Pilgrimage of the Sick also offers religious and recreational activities for regular members during the year: celebration of the sacraments, prayer time, festive meals, guided tours, pilgrimages to other shrines, etc. A small membership fee is demanded to become a member of the Work of the Pilgrimage of the Sick, as well as a nominal supplementary fee to participate in certain activities.
Seniors or the ailing can request that a team from the Work of the Pilgrimage of the Sick or its coordinator visit them at home for spiritual support. “I was sick and you visited me...” (Matthew 25, 36). A gospel-based presence among all those who are suffering is a key part of the Work’s mission.
For information and registration:
Jean-Réhu Joseph, coordinator
514 733-8211, ext. 2241