Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, recently made its annual pilgrimage to the site where the first Canadian martyrs lived and died, according to its website.
A group of students, faculty, staff and friends braved several feet of snow in order to pray at the martyrs’ shrine and outdoor Stations of the Cross. The Academy reports:
The next site which the pilgrims visited was a little more travel-worn at this time of year than the shrine. The first Mass in Ontario was said 399 years ago, in the midst of what is now several farm fields. The group paused here to pray a decade of the Luminous Mysteries (the Institution of the Holy Eucharist) in front of the altar and the large stone cross that now marks this site.
…The final stop on the pilgrimage was the actual site of the martyrdom. Professor Meenan explained that the martyrs were forced to walk through the woods and the snow from St. Louis to this site, called St. Ignace II. He read a bone-chilling account of the martyrdom of one of the Jesuit priests, St. Jean de Brébeuf, and the group prayed a living Rosary, followed by a few minutes to pray and reflect silently. After this, the pilgrims returned to the bus to head back to Barry’s Bay.
Reflecting on the day of pilgrimage, third-year students Liam Gainey and Ksenia Choly said that they enjoyed the experience, and they even appreciated the deep snow they had to fight through. “I felt like we actually experienced more of what the first Canadians did, blazing a trail, falling in the snow,” Ksenia said. Liam explained that he appreciated the spiritual dimension of the trip: “It was actually a spiritually refreshing experience, not just a fun day trip,” he said. “Not that it wasn’t fun,” Ksenia was quick to put in.
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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