The Skaro Pilgrimage takes place on the weekend of Aug. 14-15 in accordance with the feast of the Assumption.

WCR FILE PHOTO

The Skaro Pilgrimage takes place on the weekend of Aug. 14-15 in accordance with the feast of the Assumption.

July 11, 2011
GREG BOUNDS
SPECIAL TO THE WCR

This summer avail yourself of the opportunity to take in one or all of the annual pilgrimages that occur in the Edmonton Archdiocese.

If those dates do not work then still take the opportunity to stop by on your summer travels and visit the shrine or historic church in the area to appreciate the design and sacredness of these holy sites.

Each pilgrimage in the archdiocese has a unique history, culture and focus. The history of each site and event often dates back over 100 years. Each shrine and pilgrimage is a modern-day interpretation of the faith traditions of the early Albertan European settlers.

By attending one or all of them, you will get a feel for the rich Alberta Catholic cultural vibrancy.

St Peter-St Paul — Golgotha Grotto in Mundare: A hill was built near the Basilian Fathers monastery there to resemble Mount Calvary. The 14th station of the cross leads to the top of the hill where a 17-metre metal cross stands.

The Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage in July is one of the summer highlights of life in the Edmonton Archdiocese.

WCR FILE PHOTO

The Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage in July is one of the summer highlights of life in the Edmonton Archdiocese.

This amazing shrine normally has a Vidpust-Pilgrimage celebration around the feast day of Sts Peter and Paul. This year's event took place on June 26. The pilgrimage has a strong Ukrainian heritage. While in Mundare, visit the Basilian Fathers Museum.

(http://www.ualberta.ca/CIUS/religion-culture/c-alberta/tour/p6.htm and http://http://basilianmuseum.org/

Historical Churches Driving Tour: While in the Mundare area a great side tour is to visit the many historical churches in East Central Alberta. http://www.ualberta.ca/CIUS/religion-culture/c-alberta/tour/c-tourframe.htm.

Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage: This event takes place on the shores of the lake just west of Alberta Beach. This predominately aboriginal event draws thousands of pilgrims from all across western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest. The event takes place around the feast of St. Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the pilgrimage this year is from July 16 to July 21 (http://www.lsap.ca).

St. Albert Shrine and Pilgrimage: This event takes place on Mission Hill in St. Albert behind St Albert Catholic Church. The site includes the outdoor grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and an altar for Mass. The open space in front of the grotto is flanked on both sides by the Stations of the Cross. The pilgrimage takes place on Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the parish. This shrine and parish pilgrimage reflects the strong French and Métis heritage of the area (http://www.stalbert150jubilee.com/home.html).

Brother Anthony is buried in the St Albert cemetery. His gravesite is visited year round by many pilgrims, mostly of Polish heritage (http://www.lpca.us/Brother%20Anthony%20Kowalczyk.htm).

Vegreville — Our Lady of the Highway Shrine: This beautiful roadside shrine is sculpted in Italian white marble. It is a stopping point and place of rest and contemplation. It also has the Stations of the Cross in a park like setting. View this YouTube video: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgwBc02NkY4).

Skaro Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes and annual pilgrimage: The grotto is build of fieldstones with tall evergreen trees in the background. In the cave of the grotto is the altar. The pilgrimage takes place on the weekend of Aug. 14-15 in accordance with the feast of the Assumption. The Skaro shrine reflects a strong Polish heritage (http://www.polishheritage.ca/news_detail.aspx?cat_id=16&page_id=0&news_id=484).