2023: Extreme weather cancels final days of Pilgrimage

Due to extreme weather on 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

2022: The Pope is Coming to the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage!

A few months back when the Indigenous delegation went to Rome, delegates invited the Holy Father to come to the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage, which has great spiritual significance in the lives of indigenous peoples, drawing pilgrims especially from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, B.C., and the North.

Papal Visit Video

Elders and chiefs invited him hoping that the Holy Father’s attendance could serve as an ideal venue for his pilgrimage of healing and reconciliation.

Father Garry Laboucane OMI, who has served the Indigenous community for decades, and Audrey Poitras, President of the Metis Nation of Alberta, are excited and also aware that this visit has a profound role in reconciliation, not just locally, but for the entire province and country. They together gratefully hope for forgiveness, healing and a new beginning.

Having the pope attend will have great potential for healing; the model shown by the pilgrimage can benefit all people across Canada, with the example of the Holy Spirit healing us as we celebrate together in unity.

82-year-old Alberta woman treks 429 kilometres to pilgrimage after hearing God’s call

Dene grandmother had a dream to go to Lac Ste. Anne

She finally made it.

Arm-in-arm with her son and granddaughter, Mary Agnes Herman slowly stepped into the cool waters of Lac Ste. Anne. Dipping her fingers into the water and making the sign of the cross, she began to pray.

With that, the 82-year-old completed her own pilgrimage to Lac Ste. Anne — named after Jesus’ grandmother — for the first time. Herman walked all 429 kilometres from her home in northern Alberta to be there.

“I did what I set out to do, I did it,” said Herman, who was inspired to make the three-week journey from her home in Chard, Alta. — 126 kilometres south of Fort McMurray — after God called her to Lac Ste. Anne in a dream.

Herman was one of hundreds who made the annual pilgrimage to Lac Ste. Anne, west of Edmonton, this year. The lake is renowned for its healing waters and for its spiritual significance to Catholics and Indigenous people. Herman herself is Dene.


Why thousands come for the healing waters of Lac Ste. Anne

The national Globe and Mail newspaper published a wonderful piece that explains the story of why every year pilgrims travel from all over the country to pray and bathe in in the healing waters of Lac Ste. Anne. The article also features some outstanding photos by award-winning photojournalist Amber Bracken.

“At the centre of Alberta lies a small prairie lake, weedy and cloudy with dirt, the lake of many names: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/why-thousands-come-for-the-healing-waters-of-lac-steanne/article25784853/