Niagara Catholic school board’s annual Pilgrimage is one of the most important dates on the school year calendar. This very popular – and very public – event raises tens of thousands of dollars annually for programs at home and around the world.
Again this Sunday, thousands of students and staff, trustees, alumni and family members will walk through the streets across Niagara in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at home and in developing nations, raising awareness of, and funds for, social justice programs to support people in need.
Here’s an overview of what’s taking place in Sunday’s 44th annual pilgrimage. The first was at Notre Dame in 1975, led by Rev. James Mulligan, CSC.
Notre Dame College School
Notre Dame’s Pilgrimage will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m., followed by a prayer service in Dillon Hall. The route will head south along the Welland Canal Trail to Dain City Bridge and return. Mass and Candlelight Liturgy will begin at approximately 1:00 p.m.
Raising funds for: Development and Peace, Yancana Huasy in Peru, and the Dominican Canadian Community Development Group Saint Michael and Saint Paul Catholic High Schools
Lakeshore Catholic High School
Registration will take place between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. followed by Mass in the auditorium celebrated by Bishop Gerard Bergie. Pilgrims will leave the school after Mass, to embark on their walk along a new city route. They will leave the school and walk south on Janet St. and cross Killaly St. and continue south on Fares St. and then cross the Clarence St Bridge. Left (South) on West St. and Right on Victoria St. Right on King St. and straight along King St. to Main St. Right on Main and cross the Main St. Bridge. Right on Clarke St. and back to Lakeshore Catholic for lunch and fellowship.
Raising funds for: Lakeshore Catholic has been supporting three organizations in Dominica for the past 20 years. These include: St. John’s Public Elementary school, The Grange‐ a Nursing Home for Seniors and CALLS‐ Centre where Adults Learn to Love & Serve.
Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School
The BT Pilgrimage will begin with mass at 9:00 in the gymnasium. Following Mass, at approximately 10:00 a.m., students will proceed west on Livingston Avenue to Casablanca Boulevard, south on Casablanca to Main Street, east on Main Street to Centennial Park in Grimsby, the halfway point where students will be provided with food and drinks courtesy of Pillar’s grill team. Students will then proceed back down Main Street back to Blessed Trinity.
Raising funds for: A variety of projects in Las Pajas, Dominican Republic through the Dominion Canadian Development Group.
Denis Morris Catholic High School
Pilgrims will leave DM at 9 a.m. to walk to Market Square. They will follow Glen Morris Drive to Jacobson Avenue, turn right on Jacobson and proceed to Glendale Avenue. From there, they will proceed to Glenridge Avenue, then follow Glenridge to Westchester Avenue, and from Westchester to King Street.
They will be joined by students from Holy Cross and Saint Francis Catholic Secondary Schools and Mass will be celebrated at Market Square. All three schools will then process through the downtown area, return to Market Square for lunch and then leave from there at approximately 12:30 pm.
Raising funds for: Ecole Immaculee Conception in Pilate, Haiti, and Wells of Hope in Guatemala.
Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School
Pilgrims will meet at Holy Cross at 7:30 a.m. and depart for Market Square at approximately 8:00 am (or shortly thereafter). Mass at Market Square is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. After Mass, they will have lunch and participate in an inner‐city walk. Students should be en route back to the school by 12:30 p.m.
Raising funds for: Regina Assumpta elementary and secondary schools in Cap Haitien, Haiti, Immaculate Conception School in Pilate and Holy Cross Elementary School in Thibeau Haiti.
Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School
Registration will begin at 7:45 a.m. for the Saint Francis Pilgrimage, and will be followed by a short prayer service at 8:30 a.m. Pilgrims depart Saint Francis for the 15‐kilometre walk down Lake street at 9:30 a.m. to join Holy Cross and Denis Morris for Mass at Market Square. This is followed by a downtown loop with all three schools together that moves along King Street, Ontario Street, St. Paul Street, Geneva Street, Russell Avenue to Lake Street and back to Market Square for lunch and departure.
Raising funds for: Marie Immaculeé School and Marie Porte‐du‐Ciel Orphanage, run by the Holy Cross Sisters in Haiti, Fogquest and the Centre for Hope in Guatemala, the Dominican Canadian Community Development Group and various local charities.
Saint Michael and Saint Paul Catholic High Schools Once again, Saint Michael and Saint Paul Catholic High Schools will walk in together in Niagara Falls. This year’s Pilgrimage is hosted by Saint Michael Catholic High School. Registration will take place at 8:00 a.m. with Mass beginning at 9:00 a.m. Pilgrims will walk beginning at approximately 10:15 a.m. and will proceed east on McLeod Road, North on Kalar Road, east on Lundy’s Lane to the Millenium Trail towards McLeod Road., and then west on McLeod Road back to the school.
Raising funds for: Saint Michael is raising funds for Hope for Rwanda Children’s Fund, Saint Paul is raising funds for Ste. Croix de Milot, in Milot, Haiti.
(Source: Niagara Catholic District School Board news release)