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Aug. 1, 2018

By John T. Ryan
Contributing writer

ADAMS – Bill Ose and his wife, Janet, residents of Adams, loved the Knights of Columbus’ annual pilgrimage to Bill OseSt. Anne’s Shrine in Isle LaMotte, Vermont

They enjoyed the shrine’s beauty and the chance to get together with K of C families from throughout the diocese. Because of their love for the pilgrimage, in 1994 they chartered and offered an all-inclusive price including meals, overnight accommodations and transportation. Janet Ose passed away in 2003, but Ose’s second wife, Jill, took up where Janet left off. Sadly, Jill passed away in February 2018. Nevertheless, on Saturday, July 21, the pilgrimage bus left Adams for its 25th anniversary journey to St. Anne’s Shrine.

The bus pilgrims arrive in Isle LaMotte on Saturday afternoon and check into the shrine’s cabins located on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful grounds, main building, chapel and Lake Champlain. In late afternoon, the pilgrims enjoy a social hour and dinner followed by a candlelight Mass.

Bill Ose estimates that about 900 Watertown area Catholics have traveled on the bus over the past 25 years.
Having made so many visits to the Shrine, Ose has kept a keen eye on the shrine’s needs.

In 2009 Lake Champlain’s waters overflowed causing severe damage at the Shrine. A wooden prayer bench in front of the Marion grotto was heavily damaged. Bill Ose asked past and first-time pilgrims for donations to purchase a replacement.

The pilgrims responded, and a beautiful granite prayer bench was unveiled at the 2009 pilgrimage. It was inscribed, “In honor of Jeff-Lewis Counties, NY Knights of Columbus, families and friends past-present-future, traveling by bus each year since 1994.”

In 2016 Ose noticed that the grotto’s wooden kneeler needed to be replaced. The following year a granite kneeler was unveiled thanks to the generosity of the bus pilgrims and Ose’s leadership.

This year Ose asked all the K of C Councils in the Diocese of Ogdensburg to support a fundraiser for an unusual gift: a golf cart.

The Shrine uses a golf cart to assist visitors needing transportation from the hilltop cabins to activities on the grounds. The old cart was worn out.

Ose’s friend and longtime bus pilgrim Bill Boulio, a member of Brownville-Dexter Council 7598, organized a raffle and Knights of Columbus throughout the diocese responded. On Sunday, July 22, a beautiful four-passenger electric golf cart was unveiled.

“It was so great when Bishop LaValley came over and blessed the cart,” Ose said.

During the 200-mile journey back to Watertown at least a few of the bus pilgrims must have asked, “What will Bill think of next?”


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