230 people are expected to participate in Gonzaga University’s 40th Anniversary Pilgrimage, which celebrates the establishment’s history with a 9-mile hike from Enaville to The Mission of the Sacred Heart. University Ministry Coordinator of Freshman Retreats and Student Faith Activities Megan McCormick said this is the only Gonzaga retreat with the whole community of students, staff, alumni, family and friends.
The group will leave for Idaho at 6 a.m., she continued, to have breakfast at the Enaville Resort. From there, they will walk the Forest Service road to the Old Mission State Park. McCormick explained students will give presentations on the Jesuits and background of the pilgrimage during the hike to the historical grounds.
Experiencing the important connection to the Native American community and being outside in the North Idaho wilderness, she stated, are a few of the best parts of the annual trip.
"It’s a beautiful area,” she commented. “That’s a pretty cool part.”
Old Mission State Park Manager Lonnie Johnson said staff has been preparing the area for the visit and will showcase a living history on the Black Robes, explaining the relationship between the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the Jesuit missionaries. Participants of the pilgrimage will be given the opportunity to tour the church and parish house, he continued, with park personnel answering questions.
There will be a Catholic Mass at 2:30 p.m., McCormick added, which park visitors are encouraged to attend.
Johnson said the students along with other members of the pilgrimage are always well-behaved and very appreciative of the park.
“We do what we can to make their visit enjoyable,” he added.
Father Pierre De Smet, S.J. and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe (here)
Photo is of the Idaho Jesuit Mission, The Mission of the Sacred Heart