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Catholic Shrines and Pilgrimages

Pilgrimage grotto, St. Laurent, September 1950.
Everett Baker (Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society)

A devotional practice which has become a tradition for many Saskatchewan Catholics and their families over the years is participation in a pilgrimage during the summer months. Pilgrimages usually take place at a church or shrine, where pilgrims gather for the day or in some cases camp for a few days, around the time of a special feast day. Pilgrimages usually involve a journey of some sort, with some pilgrims walking for long distances to the pilgrimage site, then praying and singing together, receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick, celebrating Eucharist, participating in candlelight rosary processions or the Way of the Cross, hearing talks or homilies on religious topics, and sharing food and stories with relatives, friends and fellow pilgrims. Most of the shrines and pilgrimage sites are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, although some are dedicated to saints or local holy people.

Some Saskatchewan shrines and pilgrimage sites, with the year each was established or the first pilgrimage was held:

Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Laurent, 1879

Our Lady of Sorrows, Cudworth, 1911

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Yorkton, 1915

Our Lady of Lourdes, Kronau, 1917

Sacred Heart Shrine, Lebret, 1919

Our Lady of Lourdes Redemptorist Shrine, Yorkton, 1921

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Carmel, 1922

Our Lady of La Salette, Forget, 1922

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Wakaw, 1925

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Lisieux, 1930

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Reward, 1932

Calvary Shrine, Candiac, 1934

Our Lady of Sorrows, Ponteix, 1934

Our Lady of Sorrows, Blumenfeld, 1936

Our Lady of Lourdes, Rama, 1941

Our Lady of Lourdes, Kaposvar, 1942

Mary, Queen of All Hearts, Lestock, 1942

Immaculate Conception, Ile-à-la-Crosse, 1944

Our Lady of Lourdes, Lake Lenore, 1947

Our Lady of Lourdes, La Loche, 1954

Our Lady of Lourdes, Cochin, 1955

Our Lady of Lourdes, Battleford, 1957

Our Lady of Lourdes, Dillon, 1957

Our Lady of Lourdes, Yorkton, 1958

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Saskatoon, 1965

Our Lady of Lourdes, Wollaston Lake, 1981

Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Walburg, 1981

Mary, Mother of God, Cole Bay Mission, 1981

Our Lady of the Prairies, Saskatoon, 1982

Blessed KateriTekakwitha, File Hills, 1983

Margaret Sanche

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Further Reading

Lozinsky, J. and H. Leir. 1987. Mary as Mother: The Pilgrimage Shrines to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Saskatchewan: A Pictorial and Historical Approach. Muenster, SK: St. Peter’s Press.
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