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.

Pilgrimage of ‘reconstruction’

Welcome to the blog of the Pilgrimage for Restoration — or what’s left of it since hackers destroyed it and untold numbers of other blogs on StBlogs’ server November 16.

Reconstruction is almost complete.

Check back soon for updates, including an exciting announcement about next year’s pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, visit the main site for general information about the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration.

Pilgrims join Angels in praise of The Way

Along with the New York Catholic Chorale which has also sung the final Mass beautifully for years, the “Pilgrimage Choir” has often been a presence at the Pilgrimage for Restoration, providing the music for the weekday Masses and some years for final Liturgy Saturday.

As the name implies, the Pilgrimage Choir’s members are themselves pilgrim veterans, hailing from St. Joseph Oratory in Green Bay, WI. As pilgrims themselves, they truly enter into the spirit of the pilgrimage and understand the import of the Liturgy which sustains the pilgrims on their journey.


Pilgrimage Choir, directed by Professor Rebecca Ostermann,
rehearses in Coliseum church at Auriesville, 2010

The members of the Pilgrimage Choir 2010 are:

Hannah Haltom, alto 1st-year pilgrim
Christina Kanzenbach, soprano 8-yr vet
Rebecca Kanzenbach, soprano 10-yr vet
William Kanzenbach, tenor 8-yr vet
Kaleb Kerscher, bass 4-yr vet
Andrew Ostermann, bass 3-yr vet
Julia Ostermann, soprano & organist 6-yr vet
Sarah Ostermann, soprano 8-yr vet
Alberta Qamar, alto 7-yr vet
Fabian Qamar, tenor & organist 7-yr vet

This year’s Pilgrimage Choir was honored to welcome four guest members from the Schola of the New York Catholic Chorale, Artists-in-Residence at Sienna College, Loudonville, New York:

William Helmer, tenor     Dennis Coker, tenor     Chris Ritter, bass     Ken Rudolph, bass

The Pilgrimage Choir is conducted by Rebecca Ostermann, 12-year pilgrimage veteran, including the groundbreaking Pilgrimage for Restoration in 1996. Formerly the conductor of St. Joseph Oratory Choir in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Rebecca is now serving as Lecturer in Music and Assistant Conductor of Choirs at Ave Maria University in Florida.

The Pilgrimage Choir repertoire has included:

Missa Secunda, Hans Leo Hassler
Mass for Three Voices, Antonio Lotti
Ave Verum Corpus, William Byrd
Salve Regina, Antonio Lotti
Jesu Rex Admirabilis, Palestrina
Ave Maria, Jacques Arcadelt
Exsultate Justi, Ludovico Viadana
Vous etés san pareille, Claude Thompson
Proper chants of the Mass

Veni Creator Spiritus!

An ‘old’ Pope connects with young pilgrims, heart to heart

“And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures”, (Lk. 24:32.)  and the mysteries of The Life in via?

6 November 2010 (VIS) – At 4.30 p.m. today Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for the Holy Year of Santiago de Compostela in the city’s Plaza de Obradoiro, so called because it once housed the workshops of the stonemasons who worked on the cathedral.

“[…] I would like this message to reach all young people: this core content of the Gospel shows you in particular the path by which, in renouncing a selfish and short-sighted way of thinking so common today, and taking on instead Jesus’ own way of thinking, you may attain fulfilment and become a seed of hope.

“The celebration of this Holy Year of Compostela also brings this to mind. This is what, in the secret of their heart, … so many pilgrims experience as they walk the way to Santiago de Compostela to embrace the Apostle. The fatigue of the journey, the variety of landscapes, their encounter with peoples of other nationalities – all of this opens their heart to what is the deepest and most common bond that unites us as human beings: we are in quest, we need truth and beauty, we need an experience of grace, charity, peace, forgiveness and redemption. And in the depth of each of us there resounds the presence of God and the working of the Holy Spirit”.

Taken from the Vatican Information Service’s e-posting of November 7, 2010: PV-Spain/VIS 20101107(1430)

Read more about the Pope’s pilgrimage to Spain and to the Shrine of [St. James the Apostle] Santiago de Compostela at


One man’s report

The following personal account of Pilgrimage 2010 is especially noteworthy coming from returning veteran pilgrim Ted Amberg of Michigan.  He and wife Audrey are also distinguished co-builders of the pilgrimage organization in its early years.

[Ted’s account appears here edited, since he had not written it with publication in mind.  Supposing, according to the adage, that “it is easier to obtain forgiveness than pardon”, the editor hereby begs the author’s pardon in anticipation of the need!]


Greetings, Pilgrimage Director!

I almost feel remiss in not writing sooner after the pilgrimage. Things have returned to their usual hectic around here. But let me try to describe my experiences during this, the 15th annual Pilgrimage for Restoration.

As I had written to you in the summer, we would try to make it – well, thanks be to God, we did, after about a 2000 mile car trip east, south and then north to the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament [Lake George, NY].

Audrey and I are very glad we did.   Read More

Too Soft for Suffering?

by Michael A. Six

The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence,
and the violent do bear it away. Mt. xi: 12

Know you not that the unjust shall not possess
the kingdom of God? Nor the soft …. I Cor. vi:9-10

Imagine people young and old (but mostly young, very young) up at the crack of dawn, kneeling on the cold earth at holy Mass, taking meager breakfast almost as an afterthought, then walking all day long: confessing, singing, reveling and finally – exhausted – sleeping under the stars. Imagine three more days of the same.

A chapter from a story book of long bygone days in a land far away?

Imagine again. It happens every year since 1996, in the Adirondack wilderness of New York State.  Read More

UGRENT Message about Camps

Greetings Pilgrims!

Please read this very important message.

It has to do with where you may camp Tuesday night, and how to get to the rendezvous & step-off point Wednesday morning.

This year the Lake George Battleground Campground closed earlier than usual on account of construction.

That means pilgrims who elect to camp Tuesday night will have to do so at a NEW LOCATION: Hearthstone Point Campground, 3298 Lake Shore Drive, Lake George Vlg NY 12845.

<http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24470.html> 518/668-5193

The NEW CAMPSITE is located on NY Rte 9N, three miles north of Wednesday morning’s rendezvous location, and just a half mile short of Cramer’s Point Motel.

Holy Mass will be celebrated as usual at 7:15 Wednesday under the monument to St. Isaac Jogues in the Lake George Battleground Park.

Rendezvous and final check-in will begin as always at 05:45 in the Million Dollar Beach (MDB) parking lot across the street from the monument.

But this year, campers will have to be shuttled there.

Beginning very early Wednesday morning organizers will shuttle pilgrims from Hearthstone Campground (and from Cramer’s Point Motel as usual) to the MDB parking lot to form up their brigades.

Because of all the early commotion, organizers urge you more strongly than ever to check-in early Tuesday at Hearthstone from 4:30 until 7:15pm or at Cramer’s Point Motel from 8:00pm till 10:30pm.

Further instructions will be given to you at check-in.

God grant you a blessed pilgrimage!

Greg Lloyd
Director of the Pilgrimage

Blood of Martyrs, Seed of the Church in North America, too

by Farley Clinton

During the second part of the nineteenth century, the bishops of the United States were perhaps more zealous, more persistent, more successful in promoting the canonization of the French Jesuit martyrs of North America than they would ever be in working for any other American canonization.

They encouraged devout Catholics to make pilgrimages to sites associated with these martyrs, and the laity in fairly large numbers did make such pilgrimages — and often reported striking answers to their prayers of petition.

One French nun, recently beatified by Venerable John Paul II, may well have played an important role in spreading the fame of the martyr Jean de Brebeuf, SJ. This was the Blessed Catherine of Saint Augustine. She was reportedly said by the first Bishop of Quebec — the Blessed Francois de Montmorency Laval — to be the holiest person in the whole diocese. Supposedly, he added that miracles confirmed his opinion of her great sanctity, though he had had no need of those miracles to feel sure of it.

Blessed Catherine had visions of Saint Jean de Brebeuf, in which the holy martyr assured her that God would make use of him to confer great blessings and benefits on “Canada,” which would seem likely to mean North American a general way, rather than the political unit, the modern nation, that later came into existence, which bears now the name. It was then still the colony built up by French Catholics, who labored seriously to evangelize the native peoples whom they met, but eventually were themselves defeated and conquered by English Protestants in 1763 — and, 13 years after that (in 1776) did not rebel against English rule in the fashion of the strongly Protestant colonies that had been founded by the English in the 17th century.

The priest Isaac Jogues and the two who were not priests, Goupil and de Lalande, died in what later became the state of New York in the USA, and on this account attracted special veneration there. Everywhere else St. Jean de Brebeuf seems always to have treated as the outstanding figure among all these martyrs. He had a great many visions and apparitions, and none of the other martyrs seems to have resembled him in this point.

In one of his visions, he saw a Jesuit who was slowly but horribly turned into a demon. Until the last sixty years and the wide circulation of Teilhard de Chardin’s writing denying the existence of God and specially calling for a revolt against the whole traditional understanding of many virtues, such as chastity, detachment, and resignation, no one seems to have professed to know what Saint Jean de Brebeuf’s vision of a devil-priest might predict.

Among the French in Quebec, it appears that the one great miracle-worker was Catherine Tekakwitha, while the Jesuit martyrs hardly had any comparable fame. Eventually, in 1925 the efforts of the United States bishops achieved the beatification of the eight Jesuit martyrs — helped by strong prodding from Pius XI. And it seems that no miracle was recognized as justifying their public veneration — nor was thought necessary, in view of their unquestioned fame as great martyrs. After their beatification two miracles — both cures of nuns evidently — were accepted by the Holy See to authorize their canonization in 1930. TIME — the Luce magazine — published a small article about them. Both took place in Canada.

To be continued.

Among innumerable works of mercy in a long-life of inestimably kind contributions to the Church’s new evangelization, Farley Clinton is an advisor to the 30+ year-old apostolate, NCCL.

‘Alms for Palms’, or Nobody Goes It Alone

palmer — a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land, palm branches in hand

alms — money or goods given as an act of charity

* * * * * * *

Dear Friend,

You might call it “alms for palms”.

For as long as Christians have been making pilgrimage, they have known that no one in the Church goes it alone – ever.

Some go by giving.  Others give by going.

Every pilgrim who returns palm in hand, knows he has gone hand in hand with those who have supported him by prayers and alms.

Whether from home or highway, everyone can participate in the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration.

Pilgrimage without Travel Form

Join your prayers to theirs, and ask fellow pilgrims to remember your intentions along the way.

Or offer alms in return for the ‘palms’ in their hands folded for you in prayer.

It’s easy.

Sponsor a needy pilgrim online for just $80.

Or provide fresh water, food, transportation, first-aid, construction of an altar, etc. in whatever amount you can.

Pilgrimage without Travel Form

You may also donate online using PayPal, starting from the same webpage (above).

To skip the form and go directly to PayPal, click on the “Make a Donation” button at the bottom of the following link.


(Be sure to include a brief note explaining your request.)

Or mail in the following form with a check payable to “NCCL”.

Prayer Request and Sponsorship Form Download

Whether you go by giving, or give by going — thank you!

In the union of prayers,
Greg Lloyd

Pilgrimage Director

610/435-2634 tel
Gregory P. Lloyd, M.A.
Executive Director

National Coalition of Clergy & Laity
621 Jordan Circle, Whitehall PA 18052-7119 USA
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” St. Padre Pio


Here are some ways to help pilgrims with the material support they need.

[ ]   Brave Huron Converts give $25 to provide pilgrims fresh water along the way

[ ]   Medics of St. Dr. Rene Goupil give $50 in first aid for weak pilgrims

[ ]  Co-Missioners of St. John de Brebeuf give $75 to help teach children catechism

[ ]  Joseph Chihwatenha’s Christian Warriors give $100 to transport the weary

[ ]  Colleagues of St. Isaac Jogues give $250 to feed & shelter hungry pilgrims

[ ]  Mission Builders of North America give $500 toward the material needs to bring as many as 20 holy Masses* into the wilderness over 4 days

* all liturgical rites in the “extraordinary, traditional Latin-Roman form


Pilgrimage for Restoration.
Come to restore.  The rest will come.

Sample Bulletin Announcement

Attention clergy, bulletin editors, and webmasters! We now have sample bulletin text available in three formats: the html text below, an MS Word document, and a PDF file. Feel free to cut and paste, and help us to get the word out about the pilgrimage.

15th annual

Pilgrimage for Restoration

to Auriesville

September 22-25

inspired by & modeled on the annual Pentecost Pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine-Cathedral of Chartres, France

Looking for spiritual adventure, Catholic fellowship … a way to thank God & Pope Benedict publicly for rehabilitating so many benefits of tradition?

Join fellow Catholics in penance and hope on the way to Our Lady’s Shrine of the North American Martyrs, Auriesville NY.

Join in one day or four — for 7 miles or 70. Transportation for weary pilgrims provided every step of the way.

‘Modified Pilgrimage’ for parents with young children, and for seniors. Family discounts available until September 8.

All liturgical rites of the pilgrimage are in the forma extraordinaria, the traditional Roman usage.

Can’t travel to make pilgrimage? Participate from home or parish, request prayers, or sponsor a pilgrim at www.national-coalition.org/pilgrim/.

For more info, or to register online, visit www.national-coalition.org/pilgrim/.

Or, send your postal address & request to Pilgrimage Director at coalition@fast.net.

Pilgrimage for Restoration

September 22-25, 2010

National Coalition of Clergy & Laity

621 Jordan Circle, Whitehall PA 18052-7119


“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 …

Press Release: 2010 Pilgrimage Theme Concerns Our Lady and the Conversion of America

Gregory Lloyd, director of the Pilgrimage for Restoration, has announced the theme for the fifteenth annual pilgrimage, which takes place September 22 to 25, 2010. This year’s theme is “Restoration of True Devotion to Mary, Queen of Missionaries and the Reconquest of America.”

The Pilgrimage for Restoration begins at the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament (a.k.a., “Lake George”), New York, and ends at the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs, in Auriesville, New York. Pilgrims walk, sing, and pray along the paths traversed by the North American Martyrs — venerating as they go the places these heroes of God sanctified by their blood witness to Christ and His Church. High Mass in the traditional Roman Rite (forma extraordinaria) is offered daily, and priests are available for confession and spiritual guidance throughout the pilgrimage. The journey terminates in a beautiful Solemn Mass offered at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs on Saturday, September 25.

Pilgrims can go the entire distance — seventy miles over four days — or come for the last day’s seven-mile walk, which starts at the Shrine of Blessed Kateri in Fonda, and terminates at Auriesville. Transportation for weary pilgrims is provided throughout, as are a safety escort and trained medical personnel. In addition, there is a “modified pilgrimage” for seniors and parents with young children. This lends a Catholic family atmosphere to the pilgrimage.

Explaining the significance of this year’s theme, Gregory Lloyd said, “In view of the recent unmistakable collapses of our own inventions, Catholics in America are daily becoming more acutely aware of the wisdom of St. Paul’s teaching in the letter to the Romans: ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’ The Jesuit and Native American missionaries and martyrs brought the Light of Faith to Huronia and other indigenous American Nations many moons ago. It is high time the new phase of evangelization called for by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI enlighten all Americans, not only those whose minds are eclipsed by life-long ignorance of Christ, but also many of the baptized.”

He concluded with a broad invitation to the Pilgrimage. “We invite all men of good will to pray with us to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Son of God, to obtain from her Son the grace of conversion and Catholic Faith for all Americans; to obtain for the Church in North America victory in the struggle against the tyranny of relativism, Satan’s latest futile tactic; and, finally, to expel again the forces of darkness from our Lands, and to resurrect the culture from death.”

To register online, or to obtain more information, interested parties are referred to the web site of the National Coalition of Clergy and Laity: www.national-coalition.org/pilgrim/. Inquiries may be directed to the Pilgrimage Director, Gregory Lloyd at lloydg@national-coalition.org, or:

National Coalition of Clergy & Laity
621 Jordan Circle
Whitehall, PA 18052-7119

Tel. 610-435-2634

Video documentary of unique spiritual exercise

Note: the documentary linked here previously suggested that the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration begins at the National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Shrine in Fonda and processes to Our Lady’s Shrine of the Martyrs in Auriesville.

In fact, the spiritual exercise begins at the Lac du Saint Sacrement (the “Lake of the Blessed Sacrament”), as St. Isaac Jogues named it, in present day Lake George Village, and ends approximately 75 miles later at Auriesville.

Since its inception the last day of Pilgrimage covers the roughly seven miles from Fonda to Auriesville.

Click here to order the official full length video of all four days of the unique spiritual exercise as recorded by volunteers of the Company of St. Rene Goupil in on Pilgrimage in 2003.

Prayer during the Pilgrimage

Pilgrims of all ages walk in `brigades’ (groups of 15 to 35), under a patron saint. Brigades are formed by laymen who sing hymns, direct meditations, recite the Holy Rosary and other prayers. Pilgrims live according to the mandate of Our Lord and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost – friendship & prayer sustaining each pilgrim on his spiritual way.

Priests & religious lead and accompany the pilgrims along the way, hear confessions, give private spiritual counsel, teach.

The sacred liturgy of the 1962 Roman missal is prayed each day in accord with Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Glorious instrument of prayer, the traditional Roman liturgy stresses the universal character of the Church. Holy Mass in the forma extraordinaria is celebrated in a most solemn manner at the Auriesville Coliseum Church on Saturday.

Can’t travel to make pilgrimage? Pilgrims will remember you in prayer en route, and you can pray for them while making pilgrimage from your home or parish.

Click here to download the prayer request form, to learn how to obtain a plenary indulgence from your home, and/or to sponsor a pilgrim.

Click here for the webform to make the same request online.

Songs of Pilgrimage, and Free MP3s

The Pilgrimage is a prayerful, musical event.  Hymns, songs, and a story of the Pilgrimage are available, all on the official Pilgrimage for Restoration recording — on CD and cassette.

A listing of the tracks of Songs of Pilgrimage can be found here.

Order the CD or audio tape here.

As soon as we are able to reconstruct the blog (after the hacking of November 16, 2010) selected tracks will once again be available as MP3s downloadable from this blogsite.