A teacher for more than 50 years at Michigan Catholic high schools, Sr. Rose Mary Sam has inspired students, parents, parishioners and friends to join her at Lourdes and serve as volunteers at the “City of the Poor” — so much so that the Catholic Foundation of Michigan created the Our Lady of Lourdes Pilgrimage charitable fund to continue Sister Sam’s 45-year mission.

Current Catholic Foundation board member, Rosanne (Bommarito) Brugnoni, a former student at Bishop Gallagher in the late 1970s, opened the fund in 2021 to honor her former teacher.

The fund created in Sr. Sam’s name will help provide two University of Detroit Mercy students with the chance to join medical professionals in caring for the sick and dying who have made the spiritual trek to Lourdes.

Sr. Rose Mary Sam with Emma Pehote and Allison Molloy, the 2022 UDM scholarship recipients.

“The vision was to create a scholarship fund – while Sr. Rose Mary Sam was still alive – to honor Sister’s 45 year legacy and create an opportunity for medical professionals to accompany the sick and dying on a journey of hope and healing,” shares Brugnoni, creator of the fund.

“The Catholic Foundation of Michigan provided the perfect landscape to work and collaborate with other organizations that shared a similar vision in creating the scholarship fund.”

The collaboration that was created with University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) College and Order of Malta for health care scholarship recipients was beyond the expectations of the fund’s initial vision.  After two years of planning and fundraising, the two UDM healthcare students received scholarships and will be traveling on May 2nd for a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. Sr. Sam will be joined by a total of five travelers for the pilgrimage, including two UDM representatives who were so inspired by the pilgrimage that they self-funded their own trip to join the journey. These representatives had played an instrumental role in recruiting and interviewing the scholarship recipients.

“The spiritual impact of this transformational experience will enrich and empower their vocational calling and personal life. Please keep the students and all those traveling in your prayers,” shares Rosanne.

Past students, friends, and colleagues have been inspired to support this meaningful cause. You too can become a part of this living legacy.

Your support will honor the compassionate legacy of Sister Rose Mary Sam and help extend the spiritually transformative experience of volunteerism at Lourdes to future generations of healthcare professionals. Become part of the Living Legacy to honor Sister Rose May Sam’s 45-year legacy of helping others achieve a transformative, spiritual journey of hope, healing, and reconciliation.


More Information About the Our Lady of Lourdes Scholarship

Update: 5/20/2023

Greetings from Lourdes, France!

A group of pilgrims and two Catholic Foundation of Michigan scholarship fund recipients from the University of Detroit Mercy join Archbishop Vigneron and Sr. Rose Mary Sam with the Order of Malta In Lourdes, France.

Hear more about the impact of this scholarship fund directly from the award recipients in Lourdes, France by watching the video below.

‘This experience has deepened my level of compassion and enhanced my spiritual connection to patient care.’ -Our Lady of Lourdes scholarship recipient