Friday – Sunday, September 27 – 29, 2024
The pilgrimage is an annual journey of the faithful to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY. Here, Saint Isaac Jogues, SJ, Dr. René Goupîl, St. John de LaLande, and numerous Native American Converts were martyred in 1642. Since 1996, pilgrims walk near and along the paths the saints followed as captives of the Iroquois. Their journey was hundreds on miles over 28 days under torture. Modeled on the annual Pentecost Pilgrimage to Notre-Dame de Chartres, France, our journey is 62 miles over 3 days and, though penitential, is full of joy. Our purpose is to publicly honor Christ Our King, pray for the restoration of His Kingship in the family and civil society, and make reparation for sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There are many ways to participate for walkers and non-walkers. Each way allows pilgrims to gain a plenary indulgence.
A Walking Retreat
Most pilgrims choose this option.
After an early Mass and communal breakfast in camp, pilgrims set out on foot from “The Lake of the Blessed Sacrament in Lake George Village, NY towards their ultimate goal: The Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY. Pilgrims cover an average of 20 miles a day in three days. Pilgrims form “brigades” of 30-45 members, accompanied by a chaplain. Along the way, they sing, pray, confess, hear meditations, receive spiritual direction, rest intermittently, and take a ride in one of our accompanying vans if needed. At the end of the day each brigade arrives in camp for a communal supper with the rest of the pilgrims.
Popular with seniors and families with small children, the modified pilgrimage takes place mainly in camp. The daily schedule conforms to the needs of family life. Participants are organized into their own distinct brigade with their own chaplain, with time for prayer, confessing, spiritual counsel, singing the Hours, catechism for children, and fellowship with other pilgrims. Many participants choose to step off with the rest of the pilgrims in the mornings and go out to meet them on the road to walk back with them in the evenings.
Those who sing can join the St. Cecilia’s Brigade. Accompanied by a chaplain, these Pilgrims chant daily Mass, pray the Divine Office throughout the day together, learn and practice all of the music the Pilgrimage requires, confess, receive meditations and spiritual direction, and do a minimal amount of walking.
These pilgrims take care of many of the material needs of the pilgrims, so pilgrims can concentrate on prayer, penance, and fellowship. Organizers prepare for holy Mass and the sacraments, organize and guide the brigades, provide pilgrims minor first-aid, supply all the water the pilgrims need each day, transport weary pilgrims in vans, haul baggage from camp to camp, supplement the pilgrim’s personal food supply with hardy soups, fresh bread, and sometimes jam & fruits. And much more.
Sponsoring pilgrims financially is an ancient practice in the Church. The Pilgrimage fees (which cover multiple expenses) are as low as possible, yet they still present a burden to some pilgrims. Sponsors pay some or all of the fees, submit their intentions, and receive the benefit of the prayers, works, and sufferings of the pilgrims. It is up to individual pilgrims to seek their own sponsors, as the Pilgrimage itself does not have the manpower or budget. However, the Pilgrimage does provide the alms for palms webform to facilitate paying the fees and grant the sponsor a tax deduction.
Those who are not able to attend the Pilgrimage but still wish to join spiritually may participate by offering up their prayers, works, and sufferings from home.