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Latest Book

Courage on Tap:

A Lourdes Memoir

"Lourdes is a place of calm and clarity. It is a place of constant hope and renewal."
                                                 -Carla Knorowski

Photo: Fortress from terrace of Notre Dame de Lourdes, Lourdes, Pyrenees, France ca. 1890-1900 © Library of Congress

In Courage on Tap: A Lourdes Memoir, Carla Knorowski shares the intimate story of her experiences and explorations in Lourdes, the City of Miracles, located deep in the heart of French Occitan country.


A fleeting visit to the Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes in 1982, encouraged by her mother, Mary, leads Carla on a search for the meaning of miracles, hope and courage. Born into Catholicism, Carla puts her faith to the test as she enters the 19th, 20th and 21st century worlds of Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year old girl whose apparitional experiences over a six-month period in 1858 ultimately led to her



Revealing, funny and relatable, Courage on Tap to be published in 2024 by ACTA Publications, challenges each of us to drink from the cup of life; to persevere and overcome obstacles both big and small that we may not only come to live more vibrantly and purposefully, but embrace our individual destinies no matter how constricted or confined.

Carla has written a deeply felt description of her experience caring for the sick at a special hospital at part of the domain. This is where the real meaning of religion can be found.

Bill Kurtis, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist of National Public Radio's Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!" 

Listen to his beautiful and compelling introduction:

00:00 / 04:16

Through our friendship, I have learned two things about Carla: She is one who “looks up” with a vibrant, hopeful perspective and she embraces the miracles in her life. This book tells the story of Carla, her mother Mary, and how over time, Lourdes was woven into their lives, bringing them even closer together in the most beautiful of ways. It is a miraculous journey of reflection, hope and love; one, I know you will enjoy.

Michele L. Sullivan, author of Looking Up: How a Different Perspective Turns Obstacles into Advantages and retired director of Corporate Social Innovation and President of the Caterpillar Foundation.

Lourdes from train.jpg
“If the esplanades could talk, the stories they would tell. For all the curious tourists who visited, there were millions upon millions who came to Lourdes for more serious reasons. They came on gurneys or in wheelchairs, hobbling on crutches or limping with canes. Few were healed; most were not. And still, they came. They came deaf or blind, bearing physical deformities, diseased with hidden maladies--cancer, diabetes, leukemia, AIDS. They brought their struggles with autism, dementia, Down syndrome, anxiety, depression, and addiction.

They were one-hundred-and-twenty-four-years’ worth of mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, co-workers, bus drivers, teachers, machinists, engineers, homemakers, doctors, lawyers, cobblers, builders, students. They were famous, infamous, anonymous or forgotten. They came from near and far, hoping to experience something miraculous.”

-Excerpt from Courage on Tap

Cultural explorer Carla Knorowski in Lourdes 1982.

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