MADISON — In visiting the places he preached and ministered, those gathered at a special pilgrimage in Madison on Saturday, Aug. 11, will have the opportunity to walk in the historic footsteps of the Rev. Sebastian Rale. All are welcome to attend.

The group will meet at Notre Dame de Lourdes Church, 273 Water St. in Skowhegan, at 9 a.m. before driving to the site of the old mission at St. Sebastian Cemetery on Father Rasle Road in Madison.

Originally from France, Rale joined the Society of Jesus — the Jesuits — in 1674 and traveled to the Americas 15 years later.

“When he encountered this amazing, burning love from the heart of Jesus, it lit his own heart on fire,” said Joseph Moreshead, a seminarian of the Diocese of Portland who will lead the pilgrimage. “He had to make the love of Jesus Christ known to the farthest corners of the world. In Father Rale’s day, Madison, Maine, was the farthest imaginable corner of the world!”

Rale lived much of his life among the Abenaki people. He composed a catechism and a dictionary in the Abenaki language and is credited with establishing Maine’s first school. He fiercely defended the rights of the Abenaki people and was killed by the British in 1724. Seven members of the tribe died trying to protect him.

There will be several opportunities for prayer and meditation during the pilgrimage, and excerpts from letters written by or about Rale will be read along with Scripture passages. The pilgrimage will conclude around 1 p.m. at the memorial of Rale in St. Sebastian Cemetery on the spot where he was killed.

For more information about the pilgrimage, contact Joseph Moreshead at [email protected] or call Christ the King Parish at 207-696-3203.

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