I hope this update finds you well as we continue our pilgrimage through this wonderful but wounded world. As we grow accustomed to new terms like Omicron, social-distancing and flattening the curve, may we also re-acquaint ourselves with ancient terms as beautiful as grace, freedom and hope. There is beauty to be found all around us!
The Way of Stella Maris planning team is well into planning this year’s pilgrimage. As it stands now, Nova Scotia has reopened and, for the most part, public health restrictions have been lifted. Therefore, we are planning for a full pilgrimage program August 9th to 15th. This means overnight stays in the halls and communal meals, masses and time for reflection and sharing.
There have been a few changes to our route. The biggest change is that the Way of Stella Maris pilgrimage will end in Stella Maris Paris at Saint Michael Church, Spryfield. As such, we have adjusted our last day to compensate for the resultant additional 6.5 kilometers. Additionally, we will stay at Saint Peter Church, Dartmouth for our last night, which is about 12 kilometers from our final destination. Finally, instead of staying at the Old Schoolhouse in Musquodoboit Harbour, we will stay 2.5 km away at the East Petpeswick Yacht Club for our third night. It's all very exciting!!
Speaking of exciting, as the pastor of Stella Maris Parish, I think it’s quite exciting we will end our Stella Maris pilgrimage there with a Mass and family BBQ.
Online registration is now open at: www.thewayofstellamaris.com
The cost for each pilgrim is $295.00. This fee covers all of our operational costs for the full program. The two available options to pay your registration fee are indicated in the registration form. You may e-transfer your payment to: email@example.comSend a cheque to: Stella Maris Parish, 14 Saint Michaels Ave, Halifax, NS B3P 1M5
*Whichever method you choose, please be sure to indicate that your payment is for the Stella Maris Pilgrimage.
** A FULL REFUND will only be available until June 15th. After that time refunds will only be issued due to unforeseen changes in public health restrictions.
Please don’t let the cost of registration be a barrier to your participation in this pilgrimage – if you require financial assistance, please indicate so on your registration form and we will call you for a confidential conversation. I want to emphasize, please don’t let the cost be a barrier.
The 115 km route begins at Holy Cross Church, Middle Musquodoboit and ends at Saint Michael Church, Spryfield in the Parish of Stella Maris on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It traverses the beauty and tranquility of the Musquodoboit Valley before picking up a series of trails along the stunning Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia: the Musquodoboit Trailway, Blueberry Run Trail, Atlantic View Trail, Salt Marsh Trail, Shearwater Flying Trail to the Dartmouth Harbourwalk, across the MacDonald Bridge and peninsular Halifax, along the Northwest Arm to Spryfield. It’s a stunning route!
You can find more route details on our website: www.thewayofstellamaris.com
The daily program for the pilgrimage, in addition to the 12km – 24km walk each day, will include meals, water stations along the route, basecamp hospitality and community sharing. More specific information will follow as the start date grows closer.
Our basecamp travel trailer will be set up at the halls along the way each day. Ideally pilgrims will stay overnight in the halls, but pitching a tent on the property is also an option, as is returning home each evening. Our team will transport any bedding / camping gear and backpack to the next hall each day.
PLEASE NOTE: The pilgrim team is unable to transport pilgrims unless it is to the hospital for an emergency. Individual transportation needs are entirely the responsibility of the pilgrim.
Anyone who would like to be part of this pilgrimage would be most welcome. Please share this information and the website www.thewayofstellamaris.com with your friends, family, community and parish.
The website has plenty of information on how to prepare for a walking pilgrimage and lots of photos from the last three years. Please also feel free to join our Facebook group. Spread the word!
As always, if you have any questions please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our planning team will be in touch.
In summary, with daily Mass, meals, community and fellowship, along with plenty of opportunity for quiet time, this is a great chance to make time for a spiritual retreat.
“Stand at the crossroads, and look, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” -Jeremiah 6:16
Fr. Rob Elford