St. Philomena Walking Pilgrimage August 11 - 14, 2019
Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Regina
Day 1 - St. Gerard's Parish, Yorkton to Springside Apostolic Bible Camp 24.6 km
Day 2 - Springside Apostolic Bible Camp to Burgis Beach, Good Spirit Lake 28 km
Day 3 - Burgis Beach, Good Spirit Lake to Buchanan 26.4 km
Day 4 - St. Anne's Buchanan to Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rama 21 km
What is a pilgrimage?
A pilgrimage is going somewhere special to one's faith. Once on a pilgrimage, the pilgrim will have time to pray, to leave behind the everyday concerns from back home and to spend time in the presence of God. The pilgrim may be looking for peace or healing and this is a good time to do it. In these ways one can become closer to God.
A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey to which the pilgrim joyfully responds "yes" to God's invitation. It is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey, during which significant changes take place. Every step of the way has meaning.
Day One Sunday August 11 2019
7:15 am Bus departs from St Anthony's Church in Rama for Yorkton
9:00 am Mass at St Gerard's Church in Yorkton with Father Louis Kim Nguyen and the parish
10:00 am Breakfast and pilgrimage registration (Breakfast provided by St Gerard's Knights of Columbus)
11:00 am We start walking!
12:15 pm Rest stop at SW 35-26-5 W2 (Property of Brad Stroud)
12:45 pm We enter the RM of Orkney
1:45 pm Lunch stop at Orkney (Lunch not provided)
3:15 pm Rest stop at SE 35-26-5 W2, (Property of Don and Bilkies McKen)
4:30 pm Rest stop at SE 10-27-5 (Property of Warren and Kathy Crossman)
5:45 pm Arrival at the Springside Apostolic Bible Camp, set up camp
6:30 pm Supper provided by St Henry's, Melville
7:45 pm Talk by Warren Crossman
8:20 pm Evening prayer
Day 2 Monday August 12 2019
7:15 am Morning prayer
7:30 am Breakfast provided by St Henry's in Melville
8:30 am We start walking!
9:40 am We enter the RM of Good Lake
10:00 am Rest stop SW 28-28-5 (Property of Murray and Brenda Scheller)
11:45 am Arrival at the Whitesand Church
12:15 pm Divine Liturgy (Ukrainian Catholic Rite) (Chief celebrant TBA)
12:45 pm Lunch break (Lunch not provided)
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm Arrival at Sask Hwy no. 229
One mile shuttle provided as walking along this highway is considered unsafe.
2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Arrival at Good Spirit Market
3:00 pm - 3:15 pm We arrive at Good Spirit Park.
3:30 - 4:30 pm We walk along the Main Trail to the Ski Shack
4:30 pm Rest stop at the Ski Shack
4:45 pm We walk along Rabbit Trail and Sand Dune Trail, but leave the trail before it ends, finishing our day's walk along Good Spirit Lake.
5:30 pm Arrival at Burgis Beach, set up camp
6:30 pm Supper provided by St Gerard's Knights of Columbus
7:30 - 8:30 Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction
8:45 Evening prayer
Day Three Tuesday August 13 2019
7:40 am Morning prayer
8:00 am Breakfast provided by St Gerard's Knights of Columbus
9:00 am We start walking!
10:15 am Rest stop between sections 10&14-30-5
11:30 am Lunch stop at Canora Beach (lunch not provided)
12:45 pm Rest Stop SW 30-30-5 (property of Max and Jae Zbitniff)
1:15 pm We enter the RM of Buchanan
2:00 pm Rest stop location pending
3:15 pm We arrive at the Rec grounds at Buchanan and set up camp
4:30 pm Mass at St Anne's with Fr Michal Pajak OMI
5:15 pm Wiener roast (food supplied)
6:30 pm Campfire fellowship
8:15 pm Evening prayer
8:30 pm Prayer time (Rosary - Ecumenical service)
Day Four Wednesday August 14 2019
7:45 am Morning prayer
8:00 am Breakfast (Available at JC Café, but not provided)
9:00 am We start walking!
10:25 am We enter the RM of Invermay
10:30 am Rest stop SE 12-32-7 (Property of Rodney Dergousoff at Dernic)
12:45 pm Lunch stop SW 16-32-7 (Property of Levi Soltys) (tentative)
2:15 pm Final rest stop NW 18-32-7 (property of Roger & Elsie Genoway)
2:30 pm We will make the final, short leg as a group, entering Rama via a gravel road from the south, praying the Glorious mysteries of the rosary as we proceed to the Shrine.
2:35 pm Pilgrim prayers at the Shrine
2:45 pm We have the opportunity to join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet with other pilgrims and participate in the events of the Rama Shrine program
3:15 pm We have the opportunity to join other pilgrims for the outdoor Stations of the Cross
4:00 pm Those who will stay on until tomorrow can set up camp.
4:30 pm We have the opportunity to join other pilgrims for supper at the shrine
For the Rama pilgrimage schedule, go to ramashrine.ca
When does the pilgrimage take place?
Sunday August 11 to Wednesday August 14, 2019. It begins with 9:00 am Mass on the morning of the 11th at St. Gerard’s Parish, Yorkton, Sk. The pilgrimage ends at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rama Sk., Pilgrims are welcome to stay and take in the Rama Pilgrimage August 14-15.
How much does it cost?
We invite all pilgrims to pay a registration fee of $60.00/adult, $20.00/ages 6-16, and no charge for those under 6. This covers the cost of portable washrooms, trucks, buses, etc. It also includes the cost of water and most meals. The meals on Wednesday are not provided, but can be purchased ahead of time. Pilgrims are able to purchase one or both meals when they register. The cost for the breakfast in Buchanan is $8 for adults, $4 for those age 12 or less, the cost for supper in Rama is $13 for adults, $7 for ages 6-12, and no charge for those under 6. The price of the pilgrimage with all meals included is $81/adults, $41/ages13-16, $31/ages 6-12, and no charge for those under 6. We understand that for some the cost may be too much. If that’s the case, offer what you can and don’t worry. It’s more important that everyone who wants to come comes.
Cheques should be made payable to “St. Philomena Walking Pilgrimage” and sent to the following address:
St. Philomena Walking Pilgrimage c/o Dave and Bev Hudy R.R. #1 Melville, Sk. S0A 2P0
Registration deadline is August 4, 2019.
Free t-shirts will be given to those who register before July 15th.
Who can come on the Pilgrimage?
All ages are most welcome. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or appointed guardian over the age of 18. All are required to register and provide the needed information (emergency contact, etc.)
Will I have to carry all of my baggage?
The camping equipment, etc., is loaded every morning into a trailer that transports it to the next destination. Personal items (water, snacks, sunscreen, etc) are carried by pilgrims in their own backpacks.
What about safe drinking water?
Throughout the pilgrimage water is provided at the resting points. Please bring your own water bottle to cut down on garbage and so that you have water to keep in your walking bag.
What do I need to bring?
Each person is responsible for their own tent, sleeping bag, shoes, clothes, wash towels toiletries, etc. Some of the meals are provided, but not all, so you’ll need to bring some food. Paper plates and utensils will be provided for the meals.
What will we eat for meals?
The meals are provided by the parishioners from neigbouring parishes. Each meal is different but there is an effort to make sure that there are sufficient gluten free and vegetarian options.
What meals are provided?
Breakfast is provided Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday and is available on Wednesday.
Supper is provided each evening of the walk, and is available at Rama on Wednesday.
You’ll need to bring some snacks to get you through lunch each day. You really do not need to bring much food.
Will there be coffee?
There will be coffee each morning! Please, bring along your favourite coffee cup.
Will there be any showers?
Yes, we expect to have a certain amount of showers available on the evenings of Day one and Day three, but it will be up to pilgrims to have their own towels and wash cloths.
What happens if I am not able to walk any farther or need medical assistance?
We always pray for everyone to make the whole pilgrimage in safety and in good health. For whatever reason, if you are unable to continue walking, you’ll be given a lift by car and receive the necessary first aid.
I am not able to come for the full 4 days, am I able to participate?
People are able to participate for any length of time. We invite all to experience the full pilgrimage yet realize that that’s not possible for everyone. We invite you to come to begin any day that you are able. Please still register and make note in the registration when you will come.
If you would just like to come for the Masses or adoration, you are most welcome and don’t need to register for the pilgrimage.
How do I get home?
For those who would like to leave their car in Rama there is a bus going from Rama (departing at 7:15am) to Yorkton on Sunday morning. If you choose this option, please be sure to indicate this in the registration.
The best arrangement, if possible, is to have a family member or friend bring you to Yorkton on the first morning and pick you up in Rama at the end. This is an opportunity to include others in the pilgrimage, especially the 8:00 p.m. Mass, Living Rosary and Candlelight Procession at Our Lady of Lourdes Pilgrimage in Rama.
Little is known about the life of St. Philomena. However, it is believed she was a Greek princess who became a virgin martyr and died at 13-years-old.
Remains of a young lady were discovered in May 1802 at the Catacombs of Priscilla on the Via Salaria Nova with three tiles reading "Peace be to you, Philomena."
All that is known about St. Philomena's life comes from a Neapolitan nun's vision. Sister Maria Luisa di Gesu claims St. Philomena came to her and told her she was the daughter of a Greek king who converted to Christianity. When Philomena was 13-years-old, she took a vow of consecrated virginity.
After her father took his family to Rome to make peace, Emperor Diocletian fell in love with Philomena. When she refused to marry him, she was subjected to torture.
St. Philomena was scourged, drowned with an anchor attached to her, and shot with arrows. Each time she was attacked angels took to her side and healed her through prayer.
History of Radar Base Location
The Royal Canadian Air Force Station, (Orcadia Radar Base near Yorkton) was a Long Range Radar and Ground Air Transmitter Receiver facility. Construction was started in 1961 and the stations were operational in 1963. Radar functions were operated by 46 Radar Squadron under the control of NORAD. The site was renamed Canadian Forces Station or CFS Yorkton in 1967 upon the unification of the three branches of the Canadian military into the Canadian Armed Forces. CFS Yorkton was closed in 1986 as part of the deactivation.
The White Spruce Youth Treatment Centre took over the site as a youth addiction facility until 1998 and then it changed to:
Orcadia Youth Residence as a youth custody facility.
In 2015, the Whitespruce Provincial Training Centre took over the site. It officially opened giving low-risk offenders the opportunity to get education and rehabilitation in preparation for the end of their sentence. This is part of the Corrections and Policing Ministry. It houses up to 39 male offenders in a minimum security environment.
History of the Stone Orkney Church & School
Located six miles northwest of Yorkton, SK. In 1882 the first settlers arrived and settled in this district. They were part of the “York Farmers” who acquired land through the York Farmers Colonization Company and its managing director, James Armstrong. The land was in township 26, ranges 4 & 5 and west of the second meridian, in the district of Assiniboia, North West Territories. This company offered the settlers 160 acres free, the adjoining 160 acres at $2.00 per acre and three years credit without interest and they could obtain money at 6% per annum to improve their homesteads. It was with much faith, courage and vision that the settlers secured their homesteads and named the district “Orkney” after their beloved Orkney Islands of Scotland.
The Orkney Presbyterian Church was built in 1894. The stones were hauled from surrounding farms in wagons and stone boats pulled by oxen. The church took six months to build. This church became the Orkney United Church in 1925. From 1939 to 1958 the Orkney Church was turned into a school for higher grades. Church services were still held occasionally. It remained unused until 1963 when it was repaired. In June 1963 the Orkney Church and School were declared historic sites. Church services were conducted by a lay minister until the early 1970’s when the church closed. Yearly memorial services are conducted by a Westview United Church minister and continue each June to this date.
The Orkney Protestant Public School District was formed June 2, 1887. The original school was built of logs in 1888, and was the first building in York Colony. The settlers officially named it “Orkney School #97”. The stone Orkney School was built in 1897. Classes continued in the stone school until 1958 when it closed and students were transferred to the new Orkney School in Orcadia.
In 1980 the Orkney Historical Society was formed to the purpose of restoring the Orkney Church and School and to record the history of the district. The upkeep of these historical buildings and grounds is through donations and memberships in the Orkney Historical Society. A special celebration and official dedication of the book, “Orkney Stones” was held on July 16, 1989, as a memorial to those pioneers who dedicated their lives to this new homeland and settlement.
Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, Whitesand
The parish was founded in 1911. The first church was built in that same year, to care for settlers, chiefly from the village of Lytsivka, district of Dolyna, who had arrived in the area beginning in 1903.
The site, located 10 miles northeast of Springside, was donated by Vasyl Shpyley. From 1911 until 1913, the church was Presbyterian, since 1913 it has been Catholic. In 1937, the church building was dismantled and the present building was erected at the same site. The parish hall (dismantled in 2016) was purchased in 1949 from the Yorkton airport. The total area of the church grounds is 2 acres.
The parish has been served by the Redemptorist Fathers from Yorkton since 1913, on August 1st, 2019 a new Redemptorist order, based in Lviv, Ukraine will take over the administration St Mary's in Yorkton and her affiliated parishes.
Some statistics: At the time of foundation there were 75 parishioners, but in 1985 there were only 20. Presently, there are 12 families and they have Liturgy once a month from May to November. There have been 5 religious vocations from the parish, 3 priests and 2 nuns, Sister Francis who became the Mother Superior in Rome of all Ukrainian Catholic nuns, and Sister Mechtilde, the famous librarian of Sacred Heart Acadamy, Yorkton.
Good Spirit Lake Sand Dunes
As we walk along the south and south east side of Good Spirit Lake, we will be able to observe the older sand dunes, one that were formed hundreds of years ago. These large dunes were formed in periods of drought when the original river became dry and it and the surrounding sandy soil were moved by the prevailing north west winds. So, these largest, oldest dunes were formed before the lake came into being. These dunes are farthest from the lake and are now stable, covered by trees and vegetation. They will be visible as we walk along the trail. Closer to the lake are newer sand dunes, even today, more dunes are being formed. Waves effected by the still prevailing strong north west winds carry sand to the shore, from which it is carried further inland by the same winds.