Join us as we cast of routine for eight days. Participate for a day, two days, or the entire pilgrimage!
The number of pilgrims who can participate is limited, so register early!
Table of Contents
- How Much Does It Cost?
- Can I Buy Pilgrimage Clothing?
- How Does the Pilgrimage Work?
- Contributions and Thanks
1. How Much Does it Cost?
- Complete 8-Day Pilgrimage (includes food and amenities): Adults aged 18+ – $400 | Youth up to 18 – $125
- Only interested in specific dates: $75 pp/day | $150 max per family/day
- Want to participate virtually (includes access to The Martyrs’ Shrine): $75
Transportation – Pilgrims need to arrange their own transportation home from Midland. Transportation option: If there is sufficient interest at time of registration in securing transportation from Midland back to Guelph, those interested will be contacted and advised of the additional cost and payment due date.
2. Can I Buy Pilgrimage Clothing?
On your walking journey, identify yourself with the Guelph Walking Pilgrimage T-shirt and/or sweatshirt. The nicest people will come up to you and say hello! See the trip planner or registration sections for links to clothing order form and samples.
3. How Does the Pilgrimage Work?
Once having confirmed your place in the pilgrimage, make a list of personal items that will ensure your comfort and safety on the walk. See the Trip Planner webpage for details and checklist.
During the walk, you will most likely develop sore, tired feet, maybe even a few blisters. This is part of the pilgrimage experience. Here are a few key things that make a successful pilgrimage:
- Pilgrims need to be able to walk at a pace of 4 to 4.5 km per hour depending on terrain for 20-28 km daily.
- Consider gathering prayer petitions from friends, neighbours, and others for your pilgrimage. Petitions will be carried collectively and burned on the last day.
- Foot care is critical so train ahead of time. See the checklist for tips but everyone’s feet are different, pack a first aid kit.
- For safety reasons it is critical that the group walks no more than 2 side by side, always staying on the shoulder of the road and that the gap between the front and end of the line is minimized.
- Review and be familiar with all safety rules that are part of the registration package. Safety is critical for a successful pilgrimage.
- Those unable to keep up with the group’s pace can use the support vehicles to be shuttled up hills or to the next rest spot.
- Tired or sore feet for a day? Rest from walking and volunteer for the day.
- Breaks: Morning and afternoon snack and water breaks 15 minutes each; Lunch is one hour and Porta Potties will be available.
- Walk in silence: 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon
- Pilgrims are responsible for setting up and packing up their camping gear daily. Remember that August nights can be cool.
- Camp Chairs, tents and duffel/hockey bags are packed in different locations on the trucks.
- Ensure everything is clearly labeled with your name as tents, bags and chairs all look alike. Duct tape and a sharpie are great helpers.
The Pilgrimage is about community, not just walking. It is about being generous with your talents to help others. It is organized and run by volunteers. Many hands make light work. We have all paid to participate and while some serve more time than others, everyone has an opportunity to serve along the way. You are encouraged to help out where you can.
- Assist with meal preparation (means giving up some walking time)
- Loading and unloading bags and tents to and from the truck
- Setting up sun canopies for meals
- Setting up chairs for meals, closing them under the canopies for the night, or loading them into the truck
- Preparing Epson foot baths for when walkers arrive at the day’s destination
- Washing dishes
Day 1 Start from Ignatius Jesuit Centre
6:00 Meet at the 1st parking lot on the left as you enter the Ignatius college grounds. Go to registration table to collect your name tag and check in.
Drop the following off in the correct pile for loading onto the trucks
- Camp chair (goes on smaller truck)
- Tent (stacked on racks in the large truck)
- Duffel Bag or hockey bag with your clothing, sleeping bag, pillow etc. (Absolutely no suitcases or garbage bags as they will not stack safely.)
Keep with you whatever you need for the day: full water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, band aids, hat, backpack or fanny pack, etc.
Make your way to Loyola House with your family if they would like to attend the 7 am Mass with you.
Cars can remain parked for the week in this parking lot.
A “typical” walking day
- Walk at a pace of 4.0 to 4.5 km/hour. Total distance – approximately 20-28 km daily
- 6 am – wake-up, pack up tents, and possibly start breakfast
- 7 am – Mass
- 7:30 am – breakfast, finish packing up & help loading trucks
- 8:15 am – spiritual input
- 8:30 am – begin walking
- 10:15 am – having travelled 5-7 km: 15-minute break and water replenish
- 12 noon – having travelled another 5-7 km: 1-hour lunch, Porta-Potties available
- 2:30 pm – having travelled another 5-7 km: 15-minute break and water replenish
- 4 pm – having travelled another 5-7 km: arrive at the destination to set up tent
- 6 pm – supper followed by dishes
- 7 pm – spiritual group sharing
- 10 pm – quiet time
Dates & lodging
- Day 1 – 20 km – camping at St. Peter’s Church grounds in Oustic
- Day 2 – 28 km – camping on private property, Caledon
- Day 3 – 22 km – camping at Valley of Mother of God Monastery
- Day 4 – 25 km – camping at Immaculate Conception Church grounds, Alliston
- Day 5 – 28 km – camping at Tiffin Conservation Area (Rainbow Valley Rd.)
- Day 6 – 26 km – camping at St. Patrick Church, Phelpston
- Day 7 – 27 km – camping at St. Ignace II (1645 Rosemount Rd., Waubaushene)
- Day 8 – 17 km – arrive at Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland
- Note – locations are subject to change
4. Contributions and Thanks
The organizers of the Walking Pilgrimage are most grateful to:
- The Italian Canadian Club, Zehrs, Loyola House, Blue Haven Farm, local parishes, CWL groups, and Knights of Columbus members who give of their time by providing food and preparing meals that nourish us on our journey.
- Our gracious hosts who welcome us so warmly on our journey.
God bless them all!