The weekend of September 7-9 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the Society of Saint Pius X's pilgrimage to Auriesville, NY, to the site of the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs. It was in Auriesville that three of the eight North American Martyrs, St. René Goupil, St. Isaac Jogues, and St. John de Lalande were martyred, and where St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born and grew up. Around 500 faithful came from the Northeast area to honor the martyrs of Auriesville through this event.
The pilgrimage began on Friday night with Mass, a campfire, and sung Compline. On Saturday morning pilgrims gathered for a pep talk and a blessing by Fr. Richard Boyle before beginning the ten-mile walk. A life-size statue of our Lady of Fatima, carried by the men and boys of Christ the King parish in Ridgefield, CT, accompanied the faithful on this year’s pilgrimage. The statue was preceded by the boys of Blessed Virgin Mary Academy in Warners, NY, who led the pilgrimage with a large wooden cross. Following the statue came the girls of the academy, who livened the spirit of the pilgrimage by singing chants and hymns along the way.
The midday talk, given by Fr. Steven Soos, highlighted the 25th anniversary of the SSPX's pilgrimage, touched on the message of Our Lady of Fatima, and the crisis unfolding in the Catholic Church.
Upon reaching the shrine, the triumphant but weary pilgrims consummated the pilgrimage with a procession and a solemn high Mass in the shrine. There, the SSPX District Superior of the United States, Fr. Jurgen Wegner, preached about the lessons we can draw from the past and how to apply it to the troubled time in which we live.
Notably, Fr. Wegner made his first public statement on the now unfolding Cardinal McCarrick scandal as well as the Pennsylvania Attorney General's report. Fr. Wegner Stated:
...What can we learn in this troubled period of the church, after this report of the grand jury? After this scandal of Cardinal McCarrick, which reveal sins, weaknesses, in Christian souls, in priests, in bishops, in cardinals... Which are scandalous! Which every Christian has to condemn. But we have to make sure that it will not happen, again. That it will not happen in our circles."
While many left after the Te Deum marking the end of Mass to make the long drive home, others chose to camp overnight in order to attend the Sunday Mass which officially closed the pilgrimage.
Check out the Photos of this year's pilgrimage below!