Quick info on the Walking Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, June 6 - June 10
PDF Brochure Pilgrimage 2011 includes the application form
One of my favorite things in life is pilgrimages. But they have to be on foot. Two years ago, Catholic Youth Expeditions and I teamed up to walk from Oshkosh to Holy Hill. We're doing it again.
This year's pilgrimage is to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, which recently became the only approved site of a Marian apparition in the United States. We will leave from Oconto, WI on June 6, 2011 and walk 50 miles, arriving at the Shrine on June 10th.
- Good quality hiking shoes or boots Good hiking shoes are worth the money. You need at least 50 miles to break in your shoes so do not buy them at the last minute, or you will regret it. Waterproof or water-resistant are best.
- Two sets of clothes, preferably quick-drying.
- Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
- Socks (wool) and underwear (not cotton)
- A backpack to put it all in
- A positive attitude
- A walking stick and rosary
- Start walking now! Your body will experience less soreness and fewer blisters if you have already made it work hard.
- You need to be walking at least a half-hour every day with a couple walks exceeding 1 1/2 hours each week.
- All pilgrims are expected to attend a meeting Saturday, May 7th at 10am at Holy Trinity. You will meet the other pilgrims and be briefed on the trip. Almost all your questions will be answered.
What if I can’t walk there?Even if you cannot make the trek yourself, there are other ways you can join in the pilgrimage.
- Pray for the pilgrims A pilgrimage is challenging mentally, spiritually and physically. Please pray for those whom God has called to walk.
- Join us for Mass We will celebrate a send-off Mass at Holy Trinity on Monday, June 6 at 8:00 AM. We will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Shrine Friday, June 10 at 3:00 PM. Please join us.
- Entrust prayer intentions to the pilgrims Pilgrims have plenty of time to pray along the way. Give some prayer intentions to the pilgrims and they will bring them to the shrine for you.
- Food! We need volunteers to deliver a meal each night. We could also use help with breakfast and lunches. If you can help, please call the Holy Trinity at 835-5900
- Financial contributions Pilgrims will contribute a $50 fee. They will also need to provide their own equipment. The actual costs of the trip will be higher. Perhaps you could help sponsor the bus for the trip back home? Checks can be made out to Holy Trinity Parish. Any excess funds that remain will be donated to the Shrine.
- On-Call Support Team Lots of things can happen along secondary roads. One of our greatest needs is a small team to be available with a vehicle in case any emergencies arise.
What is a pilgrimage?A pilgrimage is an ancient form of prayer and devotion. The Early Christians were fond of traveling to Holy Places. The best of all places was the Holy Land, to see the places Jesus walked, taught, died and rose. The tombs of great saints were also popular destinations, especially Rome and the tomb of St. James in Compostella. Even to this day, pilgrims continue the long trek on foot across the entire country of Spain from the French border. Many walk for a month or more.
Why are you walking?Why not walk? Jesus and his disciples walked everywhere. We have become prisoners of our cars, using them even for short trips. Walking is the most basic form of transportation, the only form available to most of the world’s poor. We choose solidarity with them. Walking energizes the body and calms the mind. It connects us with the creation around us.
What if I can only make one day of pilgrimage, can I still walk that day?Pilgrims move at their own schedule and their own pace. It is hard to come from the pace of the world and try to adjust to the pace of a pilgrims. No one will be chased away if they want to walk along, but the pilgrims will not adjust their pace or schedule to accomodate.
Where will you sleep?Pilgrims depend on the hospitality of others. We have made arrangements to sleep on the floor in church basements for most of the nights. Please bring your own sleeping bag and pad. Some of the places might have showers. We will avoid tenting if at all possible.
Are there any requirements?Pilgrims must be at least 18 years of age and in reasonably good physical shape. They must also attend two required meetings, one May 7th and one TBA (all excuses must be approved).
What if I fall down, get sick along the way or can’t finish?We will always take the time to care for those who are struggling. We are looking for a couple of hardy volunteers who could serve as an On-Call Support Team. They will be available to help those who are sick or injured. Every pilgrim journey is unique. I cannot guarantee that you will have a good experience or nice weather. I can however guarantee that if God calls you to this journey, he has something special in mind for you.
Are you Crazy?Yes, see 1 Corin. 3:18-19 and 1 Corin. 1:25
More pictures from last year: