300 Hail Marys, 63 Miles, 3 Days

by Thomas More College on September 27, 2013

DSC_0049Think you can walk? This past weekend, this was a question that thirteen Thomas More students took to task as they followed in the footsteps of the Jesuit Martyrs of North America.  Since 1996, the National Coalition for Clergy and Laity, a non-profit lay apostolate, has sponsored a walking Pilgrimage of Restoration. The pilgrimage begins at Lake George, New York, and stretches for a distance of sixty-three miles, concluding at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in the town of Auriesville. Although some of the students that went were seasoned veterans, it was the first time for many. Expectations were high as they drove out of campus Thursday evening. But what did they find on their pilgrimage?

Current junior Ian Kosko shares his impressions below:

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” Last weekend, the thirteen of us that went exchanged our books for hiking boots and our pens for prayer beads, and journeyed to upstate New York to take part in the annual Pilgrimage for Restoration to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs.  This three-day trek brings pilgrims from all over the country.  They come to venerate the places hallowed by the martyrs and pray together for the restoration of a culture with Christ at its heart.

The Pilgrimage is thus a time of great camaraderie and common joy in the Faith, but it is also an opportunity for great individual growth for each pilgrim.  In addition to plentiful time for prayer and reflection, there is opportunity to speak “cor ad cor” with the priests also making the pilgrimage, and the frequent reminder that each pilgrim is to carry an intention of his or her own on the long and sometimes arduous way. For the wanderers from Thomas More College who are just entering a new school year, the pilgrimage offered encouragement for the work of study ahead, and a reminder of the one who will help them carry it out.  As St. Augustine wrote, speaking for pilgrims of every age, Deus Christus patria est quo imus; Homo Christus via est qua imus. Christ as God is the homeland to which we go; Christ as man is the way by which we go.”
More pictures from the Auriesville Pilgrimage may be viewed below.
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Holy Mass at 5:00 in the morning: not for the faint of heart
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The sights of pilgrimage:  enjoying the beautiful fall weather
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Thomas More pilgrims taking a well-earned break
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Freshman Anthony Wright enjoys a post-pilgrimage feast

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