May 19, 2015

5th. annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Bethlehem 2015

The weekend of June 5th.-7th. will be the 5th. annual pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Bethlehem, whose statue was the first to arrive in California with Fr. Serra and now is at Mission Carmel.  The initial purpose of the pilgrimage was to have Our Lady returned to the High Altar where she was originally and the novena we have prayed asks for the elevation of Fr. Serra to the altar.  (This will happen in October.) For the history of Our Lady of Bethlehem’s statue please visit

We will start with Mass at 8:30 AM at Mission San Juan Bautista with breakfast at 9:30, graciously provided by the members of the Monterey Bay Area Latin Mass Community.  We leave at about 10:15AM over Old Stage Coach Road and into Salinas/Prunedale.  The pilgrimage ends at Queen of Heaven Cemetery Chapel where we hope to have Benediction at 5PM. (We may end at the bottom of Harrison and drive to the cemetery).  We will then camp at the Sheriff's Posse Grounds for one night, where accommodations are very bare boned.  We will probably have Compline in the evening at the camp along with conversation.  Fr. Zach Akers, FSSP will be the chaplain for the entire pilgrimage.

The second day (Saturday June 6) we will have Mass at the Cemetery at 8 AM. We will drive down to Russell and Harrison where we will begin the pilgrimage via Espinoza into Castroville and onto the Monterrey trail toward Marina.  We will stop at St. Jude's Parish, Marina but not into the parish itself.   We will then be transported to Veteran's Memorial Park campsite in Monterey for the overnight where we will again have Compline in the evening. 
(If there are any generous souls who would be willing to help, if needed, to drive from the cemetery on Saturday morning to the Veterans campsite to park vehicles in order to save and register the sufficient number of campsites, that would be great.  It is first come first serve (no reservations) and we need a contingent of vehicles to go there ahead of the pilgrimage to save at least 6 or 7 campsites.)
On the third day (Sunday External Solemnity of Corpus Christi) we will have to travel from Monterey back to Marina at the beginning of the Monterey Trail to begin the pilgrimage.  We must begin early in the morning as we must arrive at Carmel by 2:30PM for Mass at 3PM.  We should leave Marina at about 7:30 or 8 AM.  This part of the pilgrimage must proceed at a relatively quicker pace due to the time constraints at Mission Carmel. 

If there is interest in joining us, please let us know no later than the end of this week (May 22) as we need to restrict numbers somewhat due to both accommodation restrictions and also numbers on the roadways.  We presently have about 50 people (mostly families).  Local families can simply join the walk and return home for the evenings if they like.  There would be no problem joining the pilgrimage anywhere along the way.  (We do need to get information on those who plan to come in case things change or to contact the pilgrimage along the way.) Each person (family) is responsible for their own food and accommodation.  We may also collect a stipend for Fr. Akers but this is goodwill offering and intended only for those taking part in the whole "experience". There is a dress code of no jeans or shorts, as this is a religious event.  Pilgrims should wear collared shirts and suitable pants for Mass and walking (usually Kaki) for men and skirts or dresses for women.
Please let me or June Ely  know if you are interested in coming or helping. Thank you and God bless you.

Phil Carey
Sacramento Traditional Mass Society