Meet Our 2015 Chaplain

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We are Pleased to announce that Fr. Gismondi will be our group’s Chaplain for the 2015 Pilgrimage to Chartres.

Bio

Fr. Gismondi is from Pittsburgh, PA. After several years of discernment, in 1995 he entered the Fraternity of St. Peter’s seminary, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, then located at Scranton, PA. Following seven years of study, Fr. Gismondi was ordained a priest on June 29, 2002. In July 2008, Fr. Gismondi was appointed as Chaplain to the Traditional Latin Mass community of San Diego. On October 7, 2008, following erection of St. Anne Catholic Church as a personal parish for the Traditional Latin Mass apostolate in the Diocese of San Diego, Fr. Gismondi was appointed as Pastor at St. Anne’s.

Updated Images – Pilgrimage to Chartres

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We have recently received some additional images which have been added to both our PICTURES page as well as our Shutterfly Photo Album site. The new photos add even more prospective into the Pilgrimage to Chartres and continue to show the amazing journey as well as the beautiful scenery the path to Chartres provides to each Pilgrim.

June in Paris…..What to Wear to Prepare for the Weather!

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During the three day adventure, be sure you are prepared for what June weather can bring to Paris, France region. This article by www.holiday-weather.com helps you understand the average temperatures and possible weather conditions you will experience along the Pilgrimage to Chartres. (Picture provided by LA Times)

June is a fantastic time to visit Paris, France, when the weather is mostly warm, dry and sunny. The average temperature at this time of year rises up from 16°C (61 degrees F) on June 1st up to 18.5°C (65.3 degrees F) by June 30th. Daily highs tend to range from 21°C to 23° C (69 – 73 F) over the course of the month, very rarely rising above 29°C (84 F) or falling below 16°C. Daily low temperatures range from 11°C to 14°C (52-57 F) throughout June, only falling below 8°C (46 F) or rising above 18°C one day out of every ten.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Paris in June in recent times is 35°C (95 F), with the lowest temperature ever recorded for this month being 1°C (33 F). Take a look at these temperatures alongside the average for the month – 16°C – and it’s clear that they’re the extremes and aren’t what you should be prepared for during your holiday. The longest cold spell in 2013 took place between May 14th and June 6th – that’s 24 consecutive days which had cooler than average low temperatures.

Throughout June, Paris is subject to an average of 25mm of rainfall which is spread across 11 days throughout the month. With so many days receiving some type of precipitation, it’s highly likely you’ll experience a shower or two during your holiday, so be prepared and pack an umbrella. Moderate rain is the most common type of precipitation and tends to fall around June 1st. Thunderstorms are the second most likely type of precipitation and usually occur around June 24th. The likelihood of rainfall decreases as the month develops, falling from 50% on June 1st down to 45% by June 30th. In spite of the fair quantity of rainfall, Paris is only affected by fog on less than one day each June and snow is almost unheard of for this time of year.

At 14°C (57 F), the average sea temperature for the closest coastal location to Paris in June is much higher than any of the previous months. Despite the increase in temperature, 14°C is usually considered to be too cold to enjoy a dip, so you’re best off sticking to indoor swimming pools if you’re eager to have a swim. Throughout the month, the average daily humidity is 66%, made up of highs of 92% and lows of 50%.

Paris enjoys an average of ten hours of sunshine each day throughout June – that’s one more hour each day than in May. Throughout the month, the sunshine and daylight hours stay roughly constant, with the day increasing by only 16 minutes between June 1st and June 30th.

Over the course of June, wind speeds tend to vary from 1 m/s to 7 m/s, almost never rising above 9 m/s. The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s happens around June 13th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 7 m/s. On the other hand, the lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s usually occurs around June 30th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s.

Full article located here.

While in Paris….

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The Pilgrimage to Chartres is a grueling 3 day adventure that starts in the beautiful city of Paris. If you get into town early before the pilgrimage starts, take the time to check out the history and culture that Paris provides. Touropia provides their top ten list of tourist attractions in Paris. Here are a few highlights of the lesser known tourist spots.

Check out the entire list here:  http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/

Place de la Concorde

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At the east end of the Champs-Elysées is Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris with fantastic vistas in every direction. It was in this square that the French King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and many others were guillotined during the French revolution. The large 3200 years old Egyptian obelisk in the center of the Place de la Concorde was brought from the Temple of Luxor in the 19th century. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
 Sainte Chapelle
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Begun sometime after 1239, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of Gothic architecture. Its construction was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns, one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom. Although damaged during the French revolution, and restored in the 19th century, it retains one of the most extensive in-situ collections of 13th-century stained glass anywhere in the world. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
Centre Pompidou
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Designed in the style of high-tech architecture, Centre Pompidou is a cultural institution in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement. It houses a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, a bookshop, a movie theater and a panoramic terrace. The library occupies the first three floors of the building, while the museum’s permanent collection is located on floors 4 and 5. The first and top floor are used for large expositions. The Centre is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
Topping the list of the world’s most visited museums, the Louvre Museum is located in the Louvre Palace with its signature glass pyramid marking its entrance. Housing a collection of more than 1 million objects, the Louvre boasts some of the world’s most famous art works such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Michelangelo’s “Dying Slave” and the Greek statue, “Venus of Milo.” Other popular exhibits include the extravagant apartments of Napoleon III, the ancient Code of Hammurabi, Egyptian antiquities and paintings by masters like Rembrandt and Rubens. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s. Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s. Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s. Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s. Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s. Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf
A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s. Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet. – See more at: http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-paris/#sthash.M1eHlkXV.dpuf

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Welcome to the Notre Dame- Chartres Pilgrimage Our Lady of the Rosary Chapter Web Site!

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The Notre-Dame to Chartres Pilgrimage

This is a pilgrimage which has an ancient origin in France since at least the Middle Ages.  Chartres Cathedral was the home of one of the greatest relics of Catholicism, that of the Veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary which had come to Constantinople from Jerusalem and then the Empress Irene presented it to the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne whose  descendent Charles the Bald brought it to Chartres Cathedral. 

Today we walk the 105 km to Chartres starting out at Notre-Dame Cathedral on the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday and finish on Monday in Chartres for a Tridentine High Mass in the cathedral.  We are accompanied by Christians from all over the world on this long and hard, but spiritually uplifting walk.  It is an opportunity for reflection, penance and spiritual growth, not to mention the making of many friends from all over the world.

 

What is a Pilgrimage?

    From time immemorial people have journeyed to find answers to the spiritual meaning of their lives; thus, a pilgrimage is a type of journey, a traveling of one place or mindset to another.   For the ancients it was the pilgrimage to Delphi; in the Middle Ages the big pilgrimages were to the Holy Land, Santiago de Compostela in Spain or to Chartres Cathedral in France.  All mankind is on a journey of some sort, one that begins at birth. 

So a Pilgrimage is a journey and for the Christian it has even greater meaning since it reminds us that our home is not here on earth in the mortal realm, but in the eternal realm of the beatific Vision of the Blessed Trinity.  It is a realm that the very essence of our being longs for with an insatiable appetite.  An appetite that can’t be satisfied until it possesses the most intimate lover… God himself for eternity.

We see a glimpse of this pilgrimage when we walk down the aisle at the Holy Mass to receive the Eucharist.  We journey to church, leaving the comfort of our home, and then the church pew to embrace and receive God.  And unlike when we consume ordinary food where  it becomes elevated into our being , when we receive the Eucharist we are elevated to become divinized and like God.(Provided we are properly disposed and cooperate with God’s Grace) 

From the first centuries pilgrims traveled to the Holy Land and other sites where God   manifested His power in some special way whether through a miracle, saint or the actual places walked by Christ.  It was a form of Piety especially popular in the  Middle Ages which often involved great hardship and sacrifice much like our Savior whose own pilgrimage began at birth and ended at Calvary, or only seemed to end at Calvary…  for the Christian sees hope beyond the toils of this life by Christ’s  resurrection.  The journey is complete when Christ ascends into heaven where we hope to follow to embrace our heavenly family… Home.

 

Thus, the Pilgrimage is a means to grow in Holiness which really means growing closer to the Blessed Trinity, becoming Christ-like.  It is penitential since without the Cross there is no holiness.  To embrace the cross is to embrace Christ, they are inseparable.  We sacrifice and travel with others on a like mission to find a deeper meaning of Christ in our lives that we may be transfigured into a more Christ-like person. 

 

 

 

What is the Order of Malta?

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta .

The Order of Malta is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilization and  is one of the few Orders created in the Middle Ages and still active today. It is also the only one that is at the same time religious and sovereign. This is due to the fact that most of the other Orders of chivalry lacked the hospitaller function which characterises the Order of Malta, so they disappeared as soon as the military purposes that represented the reasons for their existence ceased.

 Present in Palestine in around 1050, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. Its 13,500 members include Professed Friars and others who have made the promise of obedience. The other Knights and Dames are lay members, devoted to the exercise of Christian virtue and charity. What distinguishes the Knights and Dames of Malta is their commitment to reaching their spiritual perfection within the Church and to expending their energies serving the poor and the sick.

The Order of Malta remains true to its inspiring principles, summarized in the motto “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”, nurturing, witnessing and protecting the Faith and assistance to the poor and the suffering, which become reality through the voluntary work carried out by Dames and Knights in humanitarian assistance and medical and social activities. Today the Order carries out these activities in over 120 countries.

It’s a long walk, better keep your feet in mind

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The Pilgrimage to Chartres covers approximately 70 miles spread over three days. Those 70 miles add up to  a lot of wear and tear on your feet and legs. This article from Outdoorgearlab.com “walks” you through a guide to purchasing shoes that will hold up and more importantly keep your feet protected and comfortable over long distance hikes:

When it comes to choosing the best shoe for your outdoor adventures, it’s important to be critical about your uses and decide what style of shoe compliments your needs best. Do you travel with light loads in decent weather? Maybe all you need is a trail running shoe. We typically break shoes down into four categories (from lightest to heaviest): trail runners, hiking shoes, hiking boots, and mountaineering boots.

Trail running shoes

Women's Brooks Cascadia 7

Women’s Brooks Cascadia 7
Credit: Brooks Running

Although trail running shoes are built for exactly that, they can fit a nice niche of hikers. If you do not need a very supportive shoe to handle heavier pack weights or like moving fast with ultra light gear, trail running shoes could fit your needs. They only come low cut, have soft rubber soles but with thick tread for gripping the trail, an EVA cushion midsole, and a breathable mesh or nylon upper. Very occasionally do these come with waterproof options, but most of the time they do not. They are more sensitive and agile than traditional boots.

Best uses: ultra-light backpacking, day hikes, rock hopping

Hiking Shoes

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Drying out the Patagonia Drifter after a waist-deep wade across a creek. We were impressed with how waterproof the shoe is, and how well it hiked after it was saturated.
Credit: Tommy Penick

Hiking shoes find common ground between full cut hiking boots and trail running shoes. They are lighter than boots, but sturdier and more supportive than running shoes. Usually they come with a waterproof option and a non-waterproof option. They are usually low cut, though some shoes have a tiny bit of ankle support, but never as high as with a backpacking boot. They come usually with burly Vibram soles with a lightweight upper. Like running shoes, they are comfortable right out of the box and do not require any break-in time.

Best Use: moderate backpacking, long distance lightweight hikes, day hikes.

Hiking Boots

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Asolo TPS 520
Credit: Asolo

Hiking boots range on a spectrum of light hikers to backpacking boots, and the weight varies considerably along this spectrum. What mainly classifies a “boot” is a cut that reaches up on the ankle, a hard rubber sole, and the fact they are usually waterproof. A traditional backpacking boot has a higher cut above the ankle than a light hiker, and is usually constructed with a full leather upper. A light hiker might have parts of mesh or lighter textile on the upper, but typically still protects the ankle.

Best Use: backpacking with heavy loads, hiking particularly rough terrain, hiking through snow where kicking steps might be necessary.

Mountaineering Boots

La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX

La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX
Credit: Ls Sportiva

With full shanks, very stiff soles, and a high cut that usually also includes a gaiter, these are the heavy-hitters in the world of boots. Mountaineering boots are also insulated and have hard plastic inserts along the heel and sometimes on the toe to accommodate crampon bales. Though the weight and stiffness of these boots is overkill most of the time, these features are vital to mountaineers and ice climbers who spend their time traveling in snow and need the option of strapping on a crampon.

Best Use: extreme hiking through snow, mountaineering, ice climbing.

After choosing which category fits your needs, there are a few important decisions to consider.

Fit
We all know a shoe poorly fit to your foot shape is a recipe for disaster in the backcountry, with discomfort being the best case scenario and infectious blisters and frostbite being on the bad end of the spectrum. We try to give you the best assessment possible for each shoe regarding the cut and fit, but this is a category that you need to decide yourself. Check out your local outfitter and try on as many shoes as you can that fit your requirements — see where the shoe breaks on your foot, how the heel fits, and how much room you have in the toe box.

It’s important to try on shoes with the footbed and socks you will be wearing in the backcountry. Some modern footbeds have a very high stack height which will drastically affect the shoe’s fit.

Waterproofing

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Any low cut shoe obviously won’t hold up to a soaking like this, but while shooting the photos our tester did proclaim, “wow, my feet still aren’t wet,” and was astounded by the Drifter’s waterproofing.
Credit: Tommy Penick

If you are in a rainy climate and expect to wear your hiking shoes to work, it’s an obvious choice. For a casual user, a Gore-tex membrane is going to provide great waterproofing without many drawbacks. However, long-distance hikers often prefer non-waterproof shoes because when they (inevitably) get wet, they dry quicker, and drain well. While Gore-tex and other membranes are becoming better every year in terms of breathability, they are still miles behind open mesh panels such as those found in the Merrell Moab Ventilator. If you will be in the snow often, the Gore-tex option is generally the right call.

Weight
The old mantra of long distance hiking states, “It requires five times as much energy to move weight on your feet as it does to move weight on your back.” Ask any PCT or AT hiker and they will attest to this. Going from a two-pound pair of shoes to a four-pound pair of shoes is equivalent to adding 10 pounds to your pack. With folks being as weight conscious as cutting toothbrushes in half, it would be silly to hit the trail with shoes that add virtual weight equal to hundreds of half-toothbrushes.

At Outdoor Gear Lab we generally advocate lighter gear because it can allow you to move faster and freer on your adventures. We have found that this also applies to footwear. Though heavy boots can sometimes have their purpose, the light weight of a shoe is preferable 90 percent of time.