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Franciscan Students, Faculty on PBS Documentary

Fifteen Franciscan University of Steubenville students, a faculty member and a Franciscan priest volunteered on a military “Wounded Warriors” pilgrimage to Lourdes that is the subject of a major PBS-TV documentary series.

“Sacred journeys: Lourdes” premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16 on most PBS stations. The program follows more than 40 veterans/wounded soldiers who suffer from a range of injuries and disorders related to combat duty or military service. It is hosted by author and adventurer Bruce Feiler.

Subsequent “Sacred Journeys” episodes will examine pilgrimages of five other major world religions.

The Franciscan students and faculty provided medical and other basic assistance to the soldiers and their families, enabling them to more fully experience the pilgrimage, which took place in May 2013. Prior to departure, a PBS film crew came to Franciscan University to interview several of the students, asking them about their Catholic faith and the call to serve others.

Of the 15 students on the pilgrimage, eight were nursing majors. Franciscan University nursing professors Richard Antinone and chaplain Father Ronald Mohnicky provided leadership throughout the pilgrimage.

The Wounded Warriors Pilgrimage was sponsored by the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers, which hosts 12 Lourdes pilgrimages a year, and was co-sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and the Knights of Columbus.

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