Exciting new development for Pilgrimage 2011

Life on pilgrimage just got better.

In response to years of requests from pilgrims young & old, the Pilgrimage to Auriesville offers an exciting new opportunity.

Mark your calendar.

The 16th annual Pilgrimage for Restoration is scheduled for 23-25 September 2011.

The new dates & days, Friday through Sunday, have the event now take place over a ‘long weekend’.

That will make it easier than ever for collegians, home-schoolers & high-schoolers, working families and just about everybody to participate.

The only change will be to the last day of pilgrimage, on the third day, this year a Sunday.  Instead of turning west after lunch to the Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the pilgrimage will head due south, directly to the Shrine at Auriesville.

The turn will make the pilgrimage 12.5 miles shorter, and bring everyone to the final shrine destination a day earlier.

The new path eliminates the customary stop-over at the Kateri Shrine.  But that will hardly mean a change in veneration to one of the Pilgrimage’s most beloved patronesses.  Neither will it exclude newcomers from joining up the last day of pilgrimage.

Just the opposite.   It will make the Pilgrimage for Restoration much more like the model and inspiration, the Paris-to-Chartres Pentecost Pilgrimage.  And Blessed Kateri will receive due and even improved veneration already in planning.

The French counterpart is 62 miles long (100 kilometers according to their website.)  Most pilgrims there join the last day, Pentecost Monday, at around lunch-time.

Organizers of the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration are already planning something similar for the last day, now a Sunday.

In fact, there’s something already in the works for everybody.

Check it out.

And check back soon for updates.

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“Adirondack Life” magazine covers Pilgrimage 2009

Complete with great black and white photos, including the one below, the award-winning Adirondack Life magazine wrote up our spiritual journey through their part of the world. An excerpt follows, with the essay by Lisa Bramen and photographs by Jason Hupe also linked below.

pilgrimage for restoration
St. Isaac Jogues Brigade en route, September 2009

MOTORISTS slow at the sight of a long line of pedestrians—more than 270 of them—stretching single-file along the dirt shoulder of Route 9N south of Lake George. A few of the walkers, teenage girls, wave cheerfully at the passing cars, and the gesture is occasionally reciprocated, if with quizzical looks.

A long walk in the Adirondacks is a common enough endeavor. Even a 65-mile trek, like the one this group is undertaking, is barely notable—dozens of people hike the 133-mile Northville-Placid Trail each year—but most distance-walkers follow wooded trails, not two-lane highways.

Other details about this procession are bound to stoke the curiosity of passersby: Almost all of the females wear long skirts—hardly the usual hiking attire—and many cover their hair with lacy scarves. At the head of each group of 15 or so is a leader carrying a satin banner or flag proclaiming the name of the “brigade” it represents—Sainte Jeanne d’Arc, Our Lady of Fatima Scouts. Others hold up tall wooden crucifixes. If these hints don’t clue the drivers in to the fact that they are witnessing a religious pilgrimage, the smattering of nuns in habits and priests in black robes might clinch it.

The Pilgrimage for Restoration, organized by Pennsylvania-based National Coalition of Clergy and Laity, has brought hundreds of the faithful to the Adirondack Park each September since 1996 for four days of walking, prayer and fellowship. The route—from the village of Lake George to the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, at Auriesville, 40 miles west of Albany on the Mohawk River—commemorates the life and martyrdom of the saint Isaac Jogues, a 17th-century French Jesuit missionary who was captured, tortured and eventually murdered by the Mohawks, one of the five original nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Jogues is believed to have been the first European to see the heart of the Adirondacks.    Read more …

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