Saturday, 24 March 2012


Yes, it is now confirmed that three Trovati will be gracing the Chartres pilgrimage with their presence.  I will be going, along with Ant (our eldest) and Dominique (our youngest).

Both Bernie and Charlie are really sad that their exams at (respectively) university and school mean that they can't come this year.

Anna (Mrs T) is pleased that she has to stay home to look after Charlie (and her mum, and Goldie the dog).

For anyone who is wondering whether to go: make the decision, and go.

For anyone who doesn't know what I am on about, here's what I said about it on our return last year:

The Chartres Pilgrimage is a traditional annual event every Pentecost. Pilgrims assemble at 6.00 am in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and after a brief prayer in the Cathedral, set out to walk to Chartres: around 8500 of them, mainly young, mainly French, but with many other nationalities represented.

On the first day, we walk for some 15 miles, then stop for Mass in the woods and lunch, and then another 15 miles to the campsite where we spend the night.

The second day, Pentecost Sunday, is similar, with all-night adoration at the campsite for those who can't - or choose not to - sleep...

The third day, we walk the remaining 10 miles or so to Chartres, for High Mass in the Cathedral.

All the Masses are in the Extraordinary Form, and along the way, we pray rosaries (sung in Latin) and have meditations, confession, hymns and marching songs, and good old-fashioned conversation...

Those are the bare facts: what is much harder to convey is the experience: to be one of so many Catholics of so many nations, marching in honour of Our Lady, united in belief and worship (Latin is so self-evidently the way forward for the Universal [=global = Catholic] Church); to walk till it hurts and realise it is only lunchtime; to sing till your voice gives out, and realise there are five more decades to be sung; to turn over and over in your bed, and then be told (at 5.00 am) that it is time to get up; to be offered grace after grace...

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