The 2nd Annual Regnum Christi Marian Pilgrimage was an extraordinary event that brought together a group of 60 devoted pilgrims. This year the pilgrimage extended from Calgary to Tsuut'ina Nation. It was a day filled with deep faith, unity, and heartfelt charity, leaving a lasting impression on all who attended. This pilgrimage brought us together with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, to honor Our Lady of the Cape, Queen of Canada and Queen of the Holy Rosary as protectress of our country and families.
The pilgrims journey started with a reflection offered by Fr. Daniel Wilson, LC, at the beautiful St. Thomas More Chapel, on the campus of Clear Water Academy, creating the perfect introduction to the sacred voyage that awaited us. Following this, with great joy, we gathered to form a Living Rosary, symbolizing our strong connection with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Once in order, with devoted hearts, we set off by motorcade on our pilgrimage.
Our first stop was at the Glen Eagle Hotel & Casino parking lot, where we were joined by the Tsuut'ina Nations' police escort. There Father Daniel blessed the land, and led us in the litany of Canadian Saints. Together, we bowed our heads in prayer, seeking blessings, and offering our intentions to the Lord. Continuing on our journey, we arrived at the Tsuu T'ina Community Hall, where we disembarked the motorcade, and began a procession with the statue of Our Lady of the Cape. As we witnessed to the passers by, this 1KM walk in song and the Rosary, brought us to the Tsuut’ina Nation, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Mission church. There we were welcomed by a rhythmic drumming ceremony outside the front entrance.
The most memorable part of the day unfolded inside the church. Once again, we gathered as a family, we formed a Living Rosary, reciting the the prayers together. We then, celebrated Holy Mass, followed by the crowning of Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Cape, bringing us closer to her loving presence. The crowning procession, was led by associate Chief, and pastoral leader, elder Regena Crowchild, along with a CWA family.
After the mass, we gathered to share a meal, embracing fellowship, laughter and heartfelt gratitude for the blessings we received during this pilgrimage. We extend our deepest thanks to Kathy Wang, and her exceptional team, in coordination with Melissa DeGroot and Regena Crowchild for hosting this pilgrimage with utmost grace and hospitality. Their tireless efforts created an atmosphere filled with warmth, and room for God’s grace, ensuring that this day will always hold a special place in our memories. We also express our gratitude to all who generously donated gifts for the the gift bags, supporting the meaningful cause of Elizabeth House. The Elizabeth House life skills program and family-oriented home provide a safe haven for at-risk pregnant and parenting women in need.
On our pilgrimage we encountered moments of a cleansing, and refreshing rain, and we were blessed with a divine interlude, as the sun emerged from behind the clouds, bathing us in it’s golden rays. This ethereal transition served as a tangible reminder of the eternal love and unwavering guidance of Mary, offering us hope, and illuminating our path, even when faced with life’s challenges.
The 2nd Annual Marian Pilgrimage stands as a resounding testament to the profound power of faith, unity, and stealth devotion. It deepened our connection to the Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary, leaving a lasting imprint on our hearts and spirits. We look forward to seeing you and many more pilgrims, join our Annual RC Marian pilgrimage next year.
Note: The significance of the statue of Our Lady of the Cape, located at the Tsuut’ina Nation Our Lady of Peace Mission Church, dates back to the 1947 Marian Congress to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the the diocese of Ottawa. (1947 Marian Congress Documentary - YouTube) Over the six days, an estimated one million people — thronged to Lansdowne Park to venerate the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of the Cape. The statue had left the Shrine at Cap-de-la-Madeleine near Trois Rivières, Que., on May 1 to process through 340 parishes and institutions. On June 17, when the Congress opened, the statue, on a specially-fitted vehicle, joined 40,000 men who processed about six kilometres from Notre Dame Cathedral, across downtown, then along the Rideau Canal to Lansdowne Park where thousands of women and children waited to greet them.
Replicas of Our Lady of the Cape, from Canada’s National Shrine dedicated to Our Blessed Mother located at Trois-Rivières, in the district of Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, were distributed in western Canada following this monumentous event. The statue of our Lady of the Cape at the Tsuut’ina Nation, Our Lady of Peace Mission Church, is believed to be one of these, replicas having been at the mission chapel, for over 65 years. As requested by Rev. Father Cristino Bouvette, National Liturgical Coordinator, for the Office of the Papal Visit to Canada, the parishioners of the Tsuut’ina Nation offered the loan of this special statue for the Papal Visit, Reconciliation Mass, held at the Commonwealth Stadium, July 24, 2022 in Edmonton, Alberta. It was fitting that this statue be the Marian statue at the Reconciliation Mass. Being a replica of one of the first images of Our Blessed Mother to dawn the land of Canada in the East and to connect with our indigenous people, in the years that followed the founding of our Country by Catholic Explorer, Jacques Cartier. Today Our Lady of the Cape of the Tsuut’ina Nation is present for us in the West as Queen of Canada, a sign of protection, unity, and love, bringing peace and reconciliation with our Church and our Indigenous people.
Our Lady of the Cape at Tsuut’ina Nation, was crowned by Most Reverend Bishop William McGrattan, following the Papal Visit, with a crown donated to Rev. Fr. Cristino Bouvette, by the Sisters of the Queenship of Mary from Ottawa, Ontario. The golden heart adorning the Our Lady of the Cape statue was donated by the Marian Devotional Movement directors Dennis and Angelina Girard from Ottawa, Ontario. This heart was carefully crafted and modeled after the heart of the original statue of Our Lady of the Cape donated by the Irish community. Both the replica crown and the heart had been prepared for the Papal Reconciliation Mass and were gifted to remain with the people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, Our Lady of Peace Mission, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, Alberta.
Published June 26, 2023
Authors: Christine Gamache and Natasha Sorobey