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.

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

http://press.catholica.va/news_services/press/vis/englinde.php

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!]

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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

“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 …

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.