“What is a brigade, anyway?”
Consisting of between 20 and 35 pilgrims, brigades are the most fundamental units on pilgrimage. Each brigade is led by a layman or woman, a “brigadier”, and a corps of officers.
Each brigade is expected and strongly encouraged to recruit, support and honor its own chaplain.
A brigade is dedicated to a patron saint, or title of Our Lady. Every pilgrim belongs to a brigade. New-comer pilgrims are customarily assigned to a brigade, or may join a brigade with the brigadier’s permission.
Be advised: all brigades have some restrictions and one is expected to belong to a brigade for life — so choose carefully. Furthermore, if there are not enough pilgrims in a brigade they may be reassigned from another brigade in order to meet the required-minimum of pilgrims (to avert disintegration by attrition).
Brigades – in order of seniority
Nota bene. Some of the oldest brigades, first formed (from parishes) when the pilgrimage was still a one-day event in 1996, are not yet singled out below. E.g., Immaculate Conception, Mater Ecclesiae, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Czestochowa, St. Philip Neri … aka “The Cornell Society for a Good Time!”, etc. [Check back for updates.]
A few of the brigades that march Friday-Sunday have not reformed in three or more years and are thus listed as “inactive” — but may be re-activated at any time by their brigadesmen or women, or chaplains.
A few of the brigades have blogsites, some under construction, and links to them will be added here in due time.
Saint Joan of Arc
chant: “A-chick-a-chick-a-chick! Eiy! Eiy! Eiy! A-chick! Eiy! A-chick! Eiy! A-chick-a-chick-a-chick! Eiy-yei-yei! Sainte Jeanne d’Arc! Priez pour nous!”
bio: St. Joan’s Brigade was the first formed on pilgrimage in 1998. It is a brigade for ladies of all ages. For first-timers unaffiliated with a brigade, this is the brigade for you.
Saint Isaac Jogues
chant: “For Christ Jesus! Strength and honor!”
bio: A close second in chronological formation, this all-male brigade is dedicated to the holy martyr, Jesuit Fr. Isaac Jogues. For first-timers unaffiliated with a brigade, this is the brigade for you.
chant: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph! We love you! Save Souls! Jesus, Mary and Joseph! We love you! Save Souls! Jesus, Mary and Joseph! We love you! Save Souls! Holy Family! Pray For Us!”
bio: This brigade is for families making the modified pilgrimage, and for those seniors not up to joining the main column on the road during the day.
Immaculate Heart of Mary
chant: “I-I-I with an H! H-H-H with an M! I with an H!, H with an M!, I-H-M! Immaculate Heart of Mary! Pray for us!”
bio: Founded as a school-based brigade, IHM brigade members are now also ladies of all ages from all over with ties to the St. Benedict Center in New Hampshire, led by the teaching-Sister Slaves of the Immaculate Heart.
San Fernando y Santa Isabella
chant: “Viva Cristo Rey! Que viva!”
bio: Founded as a brigade for young men and women, it now attracts collegians, most recently in large numbers from Thomas More College.
chant: “Ite, ite, ite ad! Ioseph, Ioseph, Ioseph ad! Ite! Ad! Ioseph! Ad! ITE AD IOSEPH!”
bio: Another men-only brigade, this brigade is dedicated to Saint Joseph, and its brigadesmen come from near and far, often associated with the St. Benedict Center in Richmond, NH. Its leaders are laymen & Religious of the Center.
Our Lady of LaSallette (Maple Hill, KS – inactive)
Holy Seers of Fatima (Pequannock, NJ – inactive)
Saint Benedict (Chesapeake, VA – inactive)
chant: “Saint Michael! Defend Us! Defend Us! In Battle! Saint Michael! Defend us in battle! Who is like God?”
bio: This brigade is comprised of parishioners of all ages from St. Michael’s Parish in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and more recently has acquired not a few friends from afar.
Saint Phillip Neri
chant: “No great mortification! No great sanctity!”
bio: This is a young adult brigade open to pilgrims aged 18-35, it is comprised of both male and female pilgrims.
Company of René Goupîl
bio: This brigade is an apostolate of laymen founded by the late Bob Murray of Troy, NY and friends who are dedicated to imitate the charity of their heavenly Patron in the temporal assistance they give freely to pilgrims in need along the way.
See the CSRG blogsite.
Saints & martyrs of New France, patrons of Pilgrimage
Joseph Chihwatenha – read about “The Forgotten Martyr“, whom his spiritual father, St. Jean de Brèbeuf hailed as the “Pillar of the Church in North America”.
Eustace Ahatsistari – read about this noble Huron who persevered in love of Christ even to death through most horrendous torture.
St. René Goupîl – Read the account of St. René’s martyrdom, in a letter of St. Isaac Jogues.
The Canonized Eight – Read about the eight canonized Jesuit-Martyrs of New France (offsite link)