Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Knights lead pilgrimage to Isle LaMotte

Aug. 1, 2018

By John T. Ryan
Contributing writer

Isle LaMotte, Vt. – On Sunday, July 22, Knights of Columbus from throughout the Diocese of Ogdensburg Isle LaMotteparticipated in the organization’s 70th annual pilgrimage to St. Anne’s Shrine in Isle LaMotte, Vermont. Bishop Terry R. LaValley celebrated the 12:15 p.m. Mass and later joined the Knights and their families for a picnic lunch. Many attended Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as part of the event.

Dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of Mary, the Shrine’s religious history dates to 1666 when the French erected a fort and chapel on the beautiful site bordering Lake Champlain. The chapel was blessed in 1893 and a beautiful statue of St. Anne was erected. Later in 1893 nearly 2,000 people attended the Shrine’s first organized pilgrimage with several people traveling to the pilgrimage by steamboat.

The late Past Grand Knight Earl Carter of Dannemora Council 2166 originated the pilgrimage as a council program in 1949. Interest in the family day of prayer and fellowship gradually spread to neighboring councils and, in 1958, the New York State Council Knights of Columbus took over the pilgrimage sponsorship.

During the pilgrimage’s early years, Knights formed a car caravan that crossed the Rouses Point Bridge to Vermont in a line that stretched for miles.

Beginning in 1994, Watertown area Knights began chartering a bus to travel the 200 miles to Isle LaMotte.

It takes months of planning to ensure the pilgrimage runs smoothly. Peter Keenan, a member of Peru Council 7273, has served as pilgrimage coordinator for almost 20 years.

“Shrine Director Father Brian Cummings and all the staff do everything possible to make things go smoothly,” Keenan said. “They cooperate in every way possible.”

Keenan said everything went exceedingly well this year.

“Bishop LaValley was able to stay at the picnic for at least an hour,” Keenan said. “He talked to so many people. It was wonderful.”

Larry Douglas, a member of Dannemora Council 2166, and his wife, Audrey, have attended the pilgrimage for many years and even travel to the Shrine the night before to erect a tent that’s used at the picnic.

“I enjoy the camaraderie and the ceremonies at the Mass are so special,” Larry Douglas said.

Bill Boulio and his wife, Joan, have traveled on the bus from their home in Dexter for at least 20 years. “It’s so quiet and it’s nice to get away for a weekend,” he said.

Don Recore, a member of Plattsburgh Council 255, and his wife, Dawn, have attended since the 1970s.

“It’s a beautiful setting,” he said. “We used to live right across the lake from here, so we came by boat.”

“We don’t see people as often as we used to, so it’s wonderful to see them,” Dawn Recore added. “I really enjoy it.”

One of the most invigorating aspects of K of C membership is working on charitable and spiritual programs with people from throughout the diocese.

Many lifelong friendships are renewed during the Knights of Columbus’ annual pilgrimage to St. Anne’s Shrine.


North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.