Is this what’s stopping you? How to get it right from the beginning: forming a new brigade – Pilgrimage 2024

Dear Fellow Pilgrim,

Over the many years of making pilgrimage and helping others to do the same, we have developed a series of steps that the organizers have learned from their experiences. When brigades fail to form or reform from year to year, it is usually because the people try to circumvent the methods that I attempt to explain.

1. Brigades are organized and led by lay people.

This does not mean that the clergy cannot contribute by helping to recruit, and by providing leadership within the brigade while on pilgrimage. Organizing and leading a brigade is a great task that requires the prayers and sacrifices and contributions of many people – even people that are not able to come on the pilgrimage. Currently I am not aware of any men and women from your brigade with whom I can communicate. There should have been lay people serving as officers last year filling positions such as safety, banner bearer, morale officer, captain, and song leader. It takes at least 10 people to fill these positions.

2. Second, the Pilgrimage for Restoration cannot be treated like a soccer club or a bus trip to Atlantic City.

Making an announcement and putting out a sign up sheet is a fine step to take but it will never be sufficient. Making a pilgrimage is an act of faith. God calls people to make pilgrimage and we need to help our friends recognize the call.

3. The first step is to find a few people who wish to make pilgrimage together and then register.

Pray with these people and then begin inviting others – one by one.

4. Invite a chaplain for the brigade and then begin inviting other officers.

When you invite, we always recommend that you avoid discussing the material details that everyone thinks that they must know before registering. Did the pilgrims who traveled to Jerusalem in the 10th century know where they were going to sleep or what they would eat or how many miles they would walk in a day? Instead you should focus the pilgrim’s mind on the spiritual realities. For example, we are making pilgrimage to pray together, to make reparation, and to bring honor to God. These things should appeal to at least a few people in the Church!

The next step would be to send an email to the pilgrims who walked in your brigade last year. Mary Rose Kadar-Kallen, Vice-Director for Invitations, can provide you with that information. You should ask if anyone would be willing to help organize the brigade. If they say they cannot return this year, tell them that you are not asking if they can return. Will anyone help to organize the brigade? If not, then it cannot reform.

Veni Creator Spiritus,
Click here to read about how to form a new brigade.

Reuben DeMaster of New Tripoli, Pennsylvania has served pilgrims as Chief of Brigadiers and the Vice-Director for Brigade Life for almost a decade. He and Mrs. Demaster have also led their Family of now nine children on pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine at Auriesville since 2011.

Reach Reuben at demasterr [at]

29th annual

Friday – Sunday
27-29 September A.D. 2024

“Nobody makes pilgrimage alone.”
“In unione orationum.”
Now is the acceptable time.

Now is the time to register to pilgrimage to Auriesville. Register on this page. It’s simple and easy.

You can make pilgrimage from afar, from home or parish: obtain a plenary indulgence, sponsor a pilgrim (or two), request prayers or offer them — all from this page.

Need spiritual supplies?

Listen to and learn the Songs of Pilgrimage!