We all arrived in Paris safely, where we met Lauren and Fr. Ralph; we were grateful. All luggage arrived, even the big orange duffle bag in the oversized cage; we were grateful. Fr. John greeted us and welcomed us to France; we were grateful. All buses so far have been in great working condition with super drivers; we are grateful. I have now learned the names of all my fellow pilgrims and am so grateful that they have adopted me as the bandit pilgrim outside of Student Affairs. All the basics have been covered! Blessings abound!

We were able to visit the shrine of Blessed Basil Moreau today. Before we went in, Fr. John shared with us much of the history of these buildings, which truly represent the birth of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Congregation lost these building for a period of time to the Jesuits and then to the government, and how wonderful that we were able to again secure the church and one of the buildings. We were standing in the courtyard of the building where Blessed Moreau would have chosen to send Fr. Sorin and the 6 Brothers to America. The community would have prayed for them and sent them from this very spot over the Atlantic to New York City, and then by water to Vincennes, Indiana, and eventually to what is the campus of the University of Notre Dame. I have now visited all of Fr. Sorin’s major stops, but in the opposite order. Last summer, I visited the Basilica of St. Francis in Vincennes; last March I visited St. Peter’s Church in NYC where Fr. Sorin said Mass upon his arrival to America; and now I have stood in the Shrine of Blessed Basil Moreau, where it all started. It is extraordinary that we will bring all of these learnings together as part of the 175th anniversary of the University of Notre Dame later this year through the Notre Dame Trail. I am eternally grateful for this experience! Alleluia!

Written by Katherine Lane