Family Chapter

The Family Chapter is for pilgrims who are not able to walk 100 km in three days, but who are committed to walking approximately 15 km per day. The chapter includes, but is not limited to, children (usually ages 8 to 12), the parents of participating children, and seniors.

The Family Chapter offers the opportunity for more parents, younger children and even whole families to participate in the pilgrimage. Pilgrims young and less young can give glory to God by offering to the Virgin their joyful song, weary legs and ready heart.

“To go in a spirit of prayer from one place to another … helps us not only to live our life as a journey, but also gives us a vivid sense of a God who has gone before us and leads us on, who himself set out on man's path, a God who does not look down on us from on high, but who became our travelling companion.”

- Letter of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II concerning pilgrimage to the places linked to the history of salvation, 29 June 1999.

Logistics of the Family Chapter:

  • The Family Chapter participates with the same spirit of pilgrimage as the regular chapters
  • All pilgrims attend the same meals, rest stops, masses and camp.
  • Pilgrims of the Family Chapter walk approximately 15 km per day and drive / are driven the rest of the distance. Driving arrangements should be made in advance.
  • Adults in the Family Chapter assist in the transportation of Family Chapter pilgrims.
  • Approximately one vehicle for every two families is required. * (see note below)
  • A rotation of drivers ensures that everyone who wants to walk gets an opportunity to do so.

Tips for Parents

Marie Reine du Canada has been kind enough to allow families and persons with lesser physical stamina to participate in the pilgrimage from Lanoraie to Notre-Dame-du-Cap, walking only the safest and most manageable sections of the route. What is trying for parents with younger children, but who are in general good health, is usually not the walking itself, but everything else around it, namely the mounting and taking down of the tents, the management of extra food for children and camping gear, and the constant eye they have to keep on their children. Here are a few hints to make things run smoothly for all family members :

  1. If you can manage it, take Friday off, and leave early to avoid the worst of the traffic. Going through Montreal on the Friday of the Labour Day weekend can take up to 2 hours. Especially if you do not have air conditioning in your car, it is important that you go through Montreal as quickly as possible, or else have plenty of water to avoid dehydration. This year (2008) promises to be a road construction favourite in la belle province. Check the Quebec Ministry of Transportation Website for the more convenient route:
  2. As the Family Chapter gets to the camp sites earlier that the rest of the group, take that opportunity to mount your tent without delay and plan for the next day.
  3. Make sure you pack any necessary medication for yourself and your children, and make sure it stays available at all times in any of the Family Chapter vans, or in your backpack.
  4. If you have a cell phone, bring it along. It is a good way for parents and families to communicate especially if there is an emergency.
  5. If you can afford it, instead of rushing back home right after the closure, rent a hotel room to have everyone take a good shower, and take time for a good meal. Leaving later the same day will spare you a good part of the heavy traffic stress and fatigue. Be careful at all times and if you feel sleepy, stop immediately and take a nap.
  6. Things to bring: the usual stuff, as per the general instructions for the regular chapters. Water is provided, but you can bring extra bottles if you carry them yourselves. Check the Environment Canada Website for weather forecast and plan your clothes and your children’s accordingly.

"I rejoiced when I heard them say, ‘Let us go to God’s house’. And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!” Ps. 122:1-2.

Getting there

For more information please contact Mrs. Claire Pachla at (613) 834-8204

* All vehicles that are not needed during the three-day walk are transported to the Cape parking lot on Friday night, the eve of the pilgrimage. Drivers move their own cars, and return to Lanoraie by carpool in designated vans.

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Contact Us

Address: Marie Reine du Canada Pilgrimage,
    c/o 528 Old St. Patrick Street,
    Ottawa, ON K1N 5L5
Phone: (613) 761-6151