Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Posted in General on December 9, 2014

This year marked the second year that the Sursum Corda Brigade reunited to participate in the 19th Annual Pilgrimage for the Restoration from the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament (Lake George) to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs. This year the pilgrimage was held September 19th -21st and was blessed with both perfect weather and a healthy dose of pilgrim’s enthusiasm. Altogether the brigade totaled around eighteen members, and had a mix of new and returning faces.

The pilgrims embark upon their journey as a means of stepping away from the distractions of daily life. Each pilgrim strives to refocus their thoughts, words and actions on God through prayer and intense mortification. In order to give their absolute best to God, each brigade member begins by forming their personal intentions before stepping off. Along with private intentions, each year there is one public universal intention that all pilgrims pray for. This year's intention was the restoration of true devotion to Mary, Queen of Families.

The Sursum Corda Brigade, comprised of young adults from across the country, recited 15 decades of the rosary daily whilst offering up the aches and pains of the road. Despite the difficult trek, morale was always high. Pilgrims carried each other's packs and lent helping hands and steady shoulders to their friends in need. No steep hill went unconquered through a steady stream of Ave Marias. The cold mornings were met with smiles and laughs as the sun rose in the distance. Each day began with a Solemn High Mass. Breakfast soon followed and the pilgrims' smiles never faded. Banners were held high, war cries were shouted loud, hymns were sung and rosaries prayed. And through all the hardships, the pilgrims had the opportunity for daily confession on the move and excellent spiritual talks given on devotion to Our Lady, the extraordinary form of the Mass and the discernment of vocations.

The pilgrimage talent show again boosted morale with such memorable skits as the "Nuns Switchboard Operators", "The 12 Things of Pilgrimage that I Remember Most", and "Catholic Yoga". Crusader pose anyone? Poor Canon Hellmann was even roused from a deep slumber so that he could showcase his now world famous banjo playing. The memories, the prayers, the friendships forged and the sufferings endured have tested the body and soul of every member of the Sursum Corda Brigade. Yet through it all they persevered to the very end. As they stood at the site of the martyrdom of St. Rene Goupil, they knelt low and kissed the ground. Through God's grace, they had marched 65 miles to the shrine of the North American Martyrs. They had survived another year and offered it all for the greater glory of God.  In the words of Sursum Corda's brigade cheer: "No great mortification, no great sanctity!"

Writers: Therese Ptak, Audrey McDonald, Julian Ptak

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage
Sursum Corda at Holy Martyrs Pilgrimage