Question: My sister and I — and maybe a brother or fellow parishioner — are very interested in signing up for pilgrimage.
Answer: Thanks be to God for the grace of pilgrimage. What’s keeping you from registering today?
Q: We’d like to know how far it is from start to finish.
A: I thought you might ask that. Before I answer that, and however many other questions of a practical sort you are bound to have, consider this. Making pilgrimage is different than signing up for a soccer team or a bus trip. There are a lot of unknowns. It requires a fair amount of preparation and expense to make pilgrimage. In short, it is inconvenient – and not a little daring. For this reason, we recommend that you begin your inquiry with the spiritual end of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is an act of faith which means that a pilgrim should not expect to know everything about a pilgrimage before he participates. A pilgrim should make pilgrimage for a holy reason, with hope – to thank God, to petition Him, to do personal penance, to make reparation for sin, or to seek a deeper encounter with The Most Holy Trinity. When pilgrims come for these reasons, they are never disappointed. People inevitably wish to know the practicalities BEFORE they resolve to make pilgrimage. But the encouraging news is that pilgrimage organizers have thought of all of the details already and will communicate them to pilgrims once they register. The short answer is that registering is an act of faith & hope that is necessary to begin the pilgrimage. Hence the byline, Come to restore. The rest will come.”
Now, back to your original question: Start to finish, the pilgrimage is an hair under 63 miles, walked over the course of three days. It’s about four miles farther than our ‘sister pilgrimage’, the ancient Pentecost Pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine at Chartres, from Notre Dame de Paris.
Q: Has the Pilgrimage been relocated in 2023?
A: Thanks be to God, this year (as last) pilgrims resume the usual route to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York.
Q: Can a pilgrim walk as far as he can or will each day, and then hitch a ride in a van?
A: Yes. Vans shadow the column of walking pilgrims all day. Shuttled-pilgrims may spend time resting in the vans, and often ‘leap-frog’ ahead of the column to rejoin their brigades up the road. Or, get back in a van to rest some more.
Q: How does the so-called ‘modified pilgrimage‘ work?
A: Many adult pilgrims, and most seniors, decide whether to spend more or less time in camp or on the road. One’s decision can change from day-to-day, depending on strength, over-all health, weather, terrain, and resources available (usually transportation) at any given time to organizers. Parents with young children also make pilgrimage in the camps. See this page.
Q: Is there a time or distance a pilgrim of the modified sort must walk?
A: Not at all. Families with little children, and seniors who wish, may walk out of camp in the morning with the main column: for about a mile or two: then return to pray a second Mass offered for the pilgrims who spend much of the day in camp. They do the same in the evening: walking out a couple miles to meet the approaching column.
Q: From mapquest it looks like 20 miles a day for 3 days, so that seems rather daunting.
A: Made on one’s own, any part of it would be daunting. But one of the most blessed aspects of pilgrimage is that it is never made alone. As has been an axiom since the first day of the first pilgrimage, now 28 years ago: “Nobody makes pilgrimage alone.” Fellow-pilgrims and organizers are supporting you every step of the way.
Besides, we’ve not lost a pilgrim yet! Everybody who’s ever made pilgrimage has returned home safely, thanks be to God. Many return year-after-year. And almost without exception, every pilgrim also tells others that it’s been the ‘ecclesial experience of a lifetime’. The entire experience — penance, pain, and all — can be spelled in three letters: Joy.
Fellow-pilgrim-organizers are there, at your side, every step of the way.
Q: What do registration and the registration fee cover?
A: Plenty. For example:
– pilgrims’ prayer & songs booklet
– brigade organization to lead in prayer & guide a pilgrim on the road and in camp
– modest first-aid for foot-sore pilgrims on the road and in camp
– all the bottled water a pilgrim needs to drink over the course of three days
– the camping fee for two nights at two private campsites – Friday & Saturday nights, day-1 & day-2
– bread, soup, and hot water for two suppers (Fri-Sat) in camp
– bread & jam, apples, and hot water for three breakfasts (Fri-Sun) in camp
– hauling of all baggage & gear from camp to camp each day
– vans to give rest to weary walkers all three days
– port-a-potties all three days for the main column, walking
– shuttle service to step-off location Thursday evening, from the Auriesville shrine parking lot to the step-off location in the Lake George Battleground Campground.
See this post — Q #9 — for more info: http://pilgrimage-for-restoration.org/blog/?p=5243
Find out more in Questions & Answers 1 through 8 on the blog. http://pilgrimage-for-restoration.org/blog/?cat=35
How to afford the rest of pilgrimage’s material expenses? Confer this page on the website. https://pilgrimage-for-restoration.org/how-to-afford-pilgrimage-the-traditional-way/
Q: I ask all these questions especially because it will be my first pilgrimage — hopefully not my last! (And some interested folks from our circle of friends are in their 60s.) What else should we be thinking of in advance?
A: Registering is your first step. Once you do, we’ll walk you through every step to prepare you for the journey — in the order that we know from experience is best for pilgrims. So, there’s no need to worry, no need to ‘re-invent the wheel in preparation’, and no need to do everything all at one time.
For the same reasons, do not delay to register!
Pilgrimage for Restoration
Come to restore. The rest will come.
Friday – Sunday
September 29 – October 1 2023 A.D.
“Now is the acceptable time.”
Jump-start your plans, even if you are not sure you can make it to Auriesville. PRE-register on this page. It’s simple, easy & there are no strings attached: you are left free to decide later whether you can make it or not.
Register by September 1 to save beau-coup bucks. See this page for discounts.