Dawn broke as approximately 150 pilgrims arrived for an early Mass on Friday, July 17. This was the beginning of Cataldo 2015, the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of the Sacred Heart. The premier event of Catholic Tradition in the Northwestern U.S., this 3-day journey draws faithful from southern Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon, and quite a few other locales.
Following Mass and breakfast, Fr. Pierre Duverger reminded everyone of the reason for the journey – the Family. With the idea of the family so much in decline today, and even attacked viciously from so many sides, the faithful of Tradition take up cross and banner to beg God’s mercy and to seek His grace and assistance in raising up strong Catholic families.
The morning was spent walking through the resort city of Coeur d’Alene. Lunch was taken in a beautiful grassy area next to the lake.
In the afternoon the city was left behind and the way became more rugged. After a total of 26 miles, the pilgrims stopped for dinner, folk songs, Compline, and a good night’s sleep.
Next morning, Saturday the 18th, Mass was attended outdoors in the crisp morning air.
As the pilgrimage continued, the lay chapter leaders helped to maintain the spirit of silence and prayer. Rosaries, litanies and hymns were sent up to God, whom all true pilgrims seek. Periods of silence permitted meditation and preparation for confession. Priests were available between the chapters to dispense this sacrament and to give consultation.
This day’s walk was spent almost completely in the forests of North Idaho. After lunch in a clearing and many more miles under feet already sore and blistered, all welcomed the night’s rest in an open hayfield.