British Pilgrims entering the Cathedral at Chartres

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Chartres 2018!

Bonjour, Pilgrims!

Yes, it is that time of year again when the siren bells of Chartres Cathedral begin their slow but relentless peal of welcome.  Will you answer that call?

We are now accepting registrations for the 25th British Pilgrimage which leaves London on Friday, 18 May 2018 at 7:30 am.  Cost, at £275.00 (£140.00 for children under 12), is the same as last year and the Itinerary (as far as we know at this early stage) is virtually identical to last year.

Registration deadline (when payment in full is due) is Palm Sunday, 25 March 2018.

We understand that it will not be possible this year to register on the spot in Paris as this has put too much of a strain on the French organisers.  So, you must register in advance!

2017 was a fantastic Pilgrimage and a reminder can be accessed here. (put together by our Danish friend, Frederick Winslow).

We look forward to welcoming you in May!    

Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Pilgrimage is Over! Now the Work Begins!

British Pilgrims at the  Shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar

Dear pilgrims,

Two thousand seventeen (2017) is an exceptional year. First of all we have the great joy and honour of being gratified by the presence of his Eminence, Cardinal Burke. Secondly, this year we can thank Our Lord for numerous anniversaries. The first one being of course the first century of the apparitions of Fatima, the second being the tenth anniversary of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, and last but not least, 2017 is the thirty-fifth anniversary of our pilgrimage. 
The apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima have a particular link with our pilgrimage. At Fatima the Virgin asked all of human kind to pray and to do penance for the conversion of Russia. She condemned communism while warning us about the misfortunes to come of the twentieth century. In nineteen-eighty-three, during the launch of the first Chartres Pilgrimage under the pontificate of John-Paul II, our founders wanted for us to be an echo to the famous polish pilgrimage of Częstochowa and therefore amplify the catholic resistance to communism. 
Our choice for the Traditional Liturgy, as one of the founding acts of this pilgrimage, was not done for a certain liturgical beauty or a sense of nostalgia or for conservatism but for faith. The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, published by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, 10 years ago, wanted to pacify the Church with herself. We are therefore, forever grateful to Pope Benedict XVI who acted courageously and published this document which is in itself an act of faith, charity and justice. Today, 10 years have gone by since the Motu Proprio, and the Chartres Pilgrimage has become a providential event for generations of pilgrims because of the holiness of this liturgy, this extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, “the first act of the new evangelisation” to quote his Eminence Cardinal Burke. 
One last anniversary, in 1997, 20 years ago, His Holiness John-Paul II was here in France, on the grave of his beloved friend, Professor Lejeune, “We are, said the Pope, in front of a great Christian of the twentieth century,…a man for whom the fight for life became an apostolate.” Jérôme Lejeune is a modern example of this fight for christianity and Catholic teaching. Our priority today is the fight for the importance of life against abortion and euthanasia, for family against the fake “same sex marriage”, and against the gender theory. For 35 years, pilgrims from Chartres have been in the heart of this fight for christianity, vocation of our pilgrimage. 
Lastly, a few words on Notre Dame de Chrétienté : The growing numbers and new regulations make the pilgrimage harder to organise every year. Next Year, God willing, we will have to change and improve our organisation, find solutions to keep and develop the Chartres Pilgrimage which we love because of its traditions and its spirituality. We will give you more details and ask for your help very soon. Be sure to follow us on our website. 
Have a safe journey back. Come back next year in 2018. The theme will be “Saint Joseph, pilgrim and servant.”

Notre Dame de la Sainte Espérance, convertissez nous ! 

Jean de Tauriers,
Président de Notre Dame de Chrétienté

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Consecrate Yourself to Our Lady!

Every year, on the evening of Pentecost Sunday, the pilgrims of Chartres consecrate themselves (or renew their consecration) to the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the middle of the campsite at Gas. 

This act of consecration is very important on a personal level. It is all the more fruitful for the one who makes it if his dispositions are better. 

In this year of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté has decided to offer you a totally new "preparation of the 33 days". This preparation will allow us to know more about the apparitions (each day we will have a small history) and the extraordinary means that the Mother of God has come to give us: devotion to her Immaculate Heart. 

This devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is made concrete by the devotion of the "5 first Saturdays of the month" which will be explained throughout this preparation of the 33 days. Indeed, on Saturday, June 3rd, the first day of our pilgrimage will be a "first Saturday of the month." If you wish to make this devotion of the first 5 Saturdays in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Providence has provided that between the first Saturday in June and the first Saturday in October (the anniversary month of the end of Apparitions), there are precisely 5 Saturdays. What an opportunity not to be missed during these months, and to prolong our pilgrimage, united by prayer with all the other pilgrims!

This preparation for the Consecration is an excellent means to make our pilgrimage fertile and to give it the best spiritual climate for the good of all our souls. It is also a beautiful way to thank the Blessed Virgin for all the graces she never ceases to obtain for us with her Son. 

During the 33 days before the pilgrimage, from Monday 1st May to Friday 2nd June, you will have the possibility to receive by e-mail the texts of the preparation. They will allow you to support your daily meditation and prayer. Registration for Marian Consecration.  (NB. The information from Notre Dame de Chrétienté will be in French, but you can also use information from the website "fish eaters" to make your Consecration).   

PRAYER OF POPE PIUS XII This prayer, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, was composed by the Pope for the Marian Year (December 8, 1953-December 8, 1954), which was proclaimed to mark the centenary of the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. 

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, 0 Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side. 

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe. 

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! 0 Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell! 

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace. 

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Chartres 2017

Organisation for the 35th Pilgrimage of Notre Dame de Chretiente (the 24th undertaken by British Chapters) is well underway.  Registration Form is located here.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Impressive Video from The Remnant

featuring our very own, Jamie Bogle!

Chartres 2016!

Welcome to the 34th Chartres Pilgrimage (2016)! Briefly, we walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, to Notre-Dame Cathedral, Chartres, involving 70 miles in three days. This involves long hours of walking, early morning starts, arriving at the campsite late in the evenings and requires a reasonable level of fitness.
The British Pilgrimage starts on Friday 13 May 2016 with the Holy Mass in Westminster Cathedral Crypt at 7.00am and the coach leaves for Calais at 7.30am. Each day on the Pilgrimage the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated and we will also meditate on the Holy Rosary.  Also, confession and spiritual guidance will be available throughout the day. On Tuesday 17 May 2016, there is Mass in the Crypt of Chartres Cathedral before the coach takes us back to England via the Eurotunnel arriving at Westminster Cathedral at 8.00pm.
   What is the Chartres Pilgrimage ?
Chartres is at the centre of the religious history of France. Since Roman times, when the "Virgo Paritura" was venerated here, to the present day, the shrine has not ceased to attract pilgrims from the most distinguished (all the kings of France) to the most humble.
The Chartres pilgrimage is a very old tradition in France, and has been given new vigour by the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté‚ which has organised it for over 30 years. The president of the Association is Jean de Tauriers and the new Chaplain is Abbé Alexis Garnier.
The pilgrimage is a walk of prayer and penance, and has both an individual and a social character. Encouraged by Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and numerous bishops, over 8,000 pilgrims take part, with about 750 coming from 20 foreign countries. All are united in prayer to Our Lady during a three-day walk of 70 miles, making this the largest pilgrimage of its kind in Western Europe, both in the distance covered and in the number of pilgrims. Each day, Mass is celebrated in the most beautiful way, according to the Roman Missal of Pope John XXIII. The liturgy is the traditional Latin one: magnificent instrument of prayer, stressing the universal character of the Mass.
The spirit of the Pentecost Pilgrimage
The pilgrimage is organised in a dynamic spirit, as a reaction to the materialism of our times. We place ourselves within the traditional doctrine taught by the Church. Wishing to work for the Social Reign of Our Lord, we want our Faith to overflow into our personal lives, our family lives, our working lives, and into the very life of our country. Following Huysmans, Psichari, Peguy and other illustrious converts, the Chartres pilgrims walk for Christendom, "that sunny side of a civilisation where the Kingship of Christ spreads over the lives and works of men, over the families and over the nations, searching obstinately amidst the cultures and earthly battles, for an uncompromising balance between nature and grace, wishing, by heroism and holiness, to trace already on earth the avenues of the Kingdom."
A call to conversion, a public act of reparation to the Sacred Heart, this pilgrimage is a homage to Christ the King and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The pilgrims walk in ‘chapters’. The Chapter of Our Lady of Walsingham (all ages) is led by Francis Carey and Jamie Bogle. The Chaplains, Fr Edwards and Fr Byrne, will accompany us all along the walk, hearing confessions, providing meditations, prayers and teaching the Catholic Faith. Our Juventutem (Youth) Chapter is under the patronage of Saint Alban. This is led by Andrew Plasom-Scott and the Juventutem Chaplains are Frs. Withoos and Redman.

THEME FOR THE YEAR 2016 :"Come, Holy Ghost!"
This is the final theme on the three year programme dealing with the mystery of the Holy Trinity.  Therefore, after our themes meditating on God the Father and on Jesus Christ, we now meditate upon the third Person of the Holy Trinity.  As the Pilgrimage is always at Pentecost, this is a very fitting theme indeed.  For the Saturday, our Patroness is St Catherine of Siena and our subtheme is “The Holy Ghost, Spirit of Holiness”; for Pentecost Sunday, our Patron is St Pius X and our subtheme is “The Holy Ghost and His gifts for the Church”; and on Pentecost Monday, under the Patronage of the Martyrs for the Holy Name of Jesus, we meditate on “The Holy Ghost, Soul of the Mission”.
It is highly recommended that pilgrims consecrate (or reconsecrate) themselves totally to Our Lady after the manner of St Louis de Montfort at the campsite at Gas before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on Pentecost.   The preparation for this takes 33 days and, therefore, you should start this on 11 April 2016 (to finish on the day we leave England for the Pilgrimage).  Previous pilgrims wishing to renew their Consecration should start on 23 April 2016, the Feast of St. George.  Further details can be found on the Website.
Food during the pilgrimage
Notre-Dame de Chrétienté supplies bread and water at lunch throughout the walk and at the evening campsite.  At the campsite, hot soup is available in the evenings and a very basic breakfast (coffee, hot chocolate and bread and jam) is available in the mornings.  Pilgrims should, however, bring with them their own food, enough for three cold picnic lunches and to supplement the evening soup and morning breakfast.  These should be organised in England as there are very limited opportunities to buy anything during the pilgrimage.
Assistance during the walk
Permanent medical assistance is assured by the doctors and hospitallers of the Order of Malta, who have an outdoor hospital at each campsite.
At each halt, shuttle buses provide transport for pilgrims who can no longer walk or, in case of emergency, to take them to hospital.
  Les Pieds (Feet!)
During the pilgrimage it is important to look after one's feet as walking with blisters is not a lot of fun.  Along with the usual precautions of wearing good walking boots (well worn-in) and wool or cotton socks (not synthetic), experienced walkers have found that the application of "Elastoplaste", a very sticky medical tape available in French chemists (there is one near our Paris hotel), to the sole and heel of the foot results in no blisters!  It costs about £5 for a box, but is well worth the investment.  A foot/hand cream is also recommended.  While the  services of the Order of Malta are always available en-route and at the campsites, they are no longer there to treat blisters and other minor injuries.

   Pilgrim's equipment
Clothing for walking, particularly boots or good walking shoes (synthetic fibre socks are not advised). Here is the list of essentials:
a small backpack to carry throughout, containing :
·     Food: lunch for the day and energy-giving snacks (dried fruit, salty nuts, etc.).  Tins of     tuna salad, cheese, salami, glucose tablets etc.
·     Waterproof raingear (heavy rain possible!)
·     pullover
·     water bottle (water supplied) and knife/fork/spoon
·     cup for tea/coffee/soup (contents supplied, bring tea bags if tea required)
·     hat, to protect against the sun (and sun cream)
·     Pilgrim’s Booklet (supplied, containing all the Mass texts, hymns, and other prayers)
·     Small plastic bag/cover for Pilgrim’s Booklet
·     plasters and general simple medication (for blisters, headaches, dehydration etc.)
·     rosary
a larger bag, which will be taken in the special pilgrimage lorries and which is retrieved each evening, containing :
·     food reserves (for remaining meals)
·     torch
·     warm jumper/garment (cold early mornings)
·     change of clothing (a pullover, shirts, trousers, pants, vests, socks)
·     light shoes for the evening (good boots recommended for the walk)
·     toiletries and toilet paper (not essential)
·     night-clothes
·     warm sleeping bag
·     personal tent (if you have one) or Groundsheet and mat (for collective tents)

(When packing your luggage, make sure that that you line it with a plastic bag.  Luggage is left in the open at the campsite and, if it rains, clothes may get wet.  Especially, make sure that your sleeping bag is in a waterproof bag.)


 Itinerary (subject to alteration)

Friday, 13 May 2016
07:00                        Mass in Westminster Cathedral Crypt (Ambrosden Avenue)
07:30                        Coaches pick up outside Cathedral
11:10                        Coach boards ferry at Dover
18:00                        Coach arrives at Hotel near Paris

Saturday, 14 May 2016 (Vigil of Pentecost)
05:00                        Breakfast
05:30                        Coach to Notre Dame Cathedral
07:00                        Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
08:30(est.)               Leave Notre Dame towards Chartres
13:30                        Lunch at Bièvres (les Damoiseaux)
20:00                        Arrive at Ferté-Choisel for dinner and bed (“Veillée amicale” at 21:00)

Sunday, 15 May 2016 (Pentecost Sunday)
06:15                     Prayers of Departure
07:00                     First Chapters leave Campsite
13:00                   Solemn Mass of Pentecost & Lunch at Sonchamps (les Courlis)
20:00                     Arrive at Gas Campsite
21:00                   Benediction, Consecration to Our Lady and All Night Exposition          

Monday, 16 May 2016 (Pentecost Monday)
06:30                        Load Luggage onto London Coach or Lorry at Campsite at Gas
07:00                        Leave Gas for Chartres
10:30                        Lunch at Gasville-Oisème
15:30                        Solemn Mass in Chartres Cathedral
20:00                        Dinner in Chartres
????                         Bed!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 (Pentecost Tuesday)

08:30ish               Breakfast
10:00                       Mass in Chartres Cathedral Crypt—Notre Dame de Sous Terre
12:00                       Depart Chartres by coach for London
18:20                       Board Eurotunnel (not Eurostar!)
20:00                       Arrive London Victoria Railway Station

Important Requirements of Pilgrims to Chartres 
1.     Live the spirituality of the pilgrimage in your chapter
2.     Welcome and support new and lone pilgrims
3.     March to the end of each stage, unless unable to do so for serious reasons
4.     Adopt appropriate dress and behaviour, in conformity with the pilgrim spirit: immodest clothing is prohibited, especially dresses which are too short, cropped tops, paramilitary paraphernalia.  The use of drugs is strictly forbidden.  Alcohol and tobacco use should be discrete and moderate.  Young people will be particularly supervised in this regard.
5.     Respect silence when it is requested.  Mobile phones and electronic devised are not to be used while walking, except in an emergency.
6.     Avoid wasting any food or drink,  and help to maintain cleanliness; it is a basic responsibility not to drop litter of any sort
7.     Help the logistics teams when asked, and respect their instructions (in particular, pitching tents in the appropriate marked spaces).

The organisers reserve the right to exclude from the pilgrimage any person who does not respect these instructions or who refuses to followthem.

Registration Information
The  Registration Form should be completed and returned with a deposit of £50 per person to reserve your place.   Payment in full by 25 March 2016, please.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Another Successful Pilgrimage

British Chapters near their destination (photo John Aron)
It's all over for another year!  80 souls joined the British Chapters on the annual Pentecost Pilgrimage from Notre Dame de Paris to Notre Dame de Chartres this year.  Weather was practically perfect.  3 beautiful Pontifical Solemn Masses celebrated by the Abbots of Le Barroux and La Grasse and Bishop Athanasius Schneider were interspersed by long miles of walking where meditations on the theme of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World were given by our hard working priests.  1500 pilgrims registered on the day in the square in front of Notre Dame giving the organisers a logistical headache.  Due to work in the nave, the British pilgrims were not able to squeeze into the Cathedral at Chartres, but they were well placed to view the giant screens erected in front of the Cathedral and the processions in and out. A number of photos have already appeared on the internet including at the NDC website  and Latin Mass Society Facebook (where we borrowed the photo above).  See you next year!