Due to extreme weather, the remainder of the 2023 pilgrimage has been cancelled.
Due to extreme weather July 24, and under advice from the RCMP, it is great sadness that we announce that the remainder of the 2023 Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage is cancelled.
Emergency protocols have been implemented. We are working with the Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation and Lac Ste Anne County to ensure everyone has food, warm clothing and safe shelter. There were no injuries, and damage is being assessed.
This is the first time in modern history that the pilgrimage has been cancelled, but the safety of all pilgrims is paramount. There were about 10,000 campers on site; many of them left and others stayed in the concession, church hall, and shrine. They were provided with coffee and food.
Please continue to pray for the pilgrims and the continued success of the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage in the future.
We look forward to welcoming you again next year.
– LSA Pilgrimage Committee, 25 July 2023
Each July, thousands of pilgrims make their way to the shores of Lac Ste Anne. Many come in search of healing and spiritual renewal. Some simply come to reconnect with old acquaintances and forge new friendships.
This pilgrimage, which began over a hundred years ago, has become the largest annual Catholic gathering in Western Canada.
First called Wakamne or God’s Lake by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation who live on the west end of the Lake, and Manito Sahkahigan or Spirit Lake by the Cree, Lac Ste Anne, about 75 km northwest of Edmonton, is the site of the annual pilgrimage, one of the most unique and memorable spiritual gatherings in North America.
As Pope Francis said during his 2022 pilgrimage visit to Lac Ste Anne,
“Dear brothers and sisters, âba-wash-did! Tansi! Oki! [Good day!]
I am very pleased to be here, a pilgrim with you and among you.
In these days, and today in particular, I have been struck by the sound of drums that accompanied me wherever I went.
This beating of drums seems to echo the beating of so many hearts: hearts that, over the centuries, have beat near these very waters; hearts of the many pilgrims who walked together to reach this “lake of God”!
Here we can truly feel the choral heartbeat of a pilgrim people, of generations who set out on a journey towards the Lord in order to experience his work of healing.”