Notre Dame recreates historic walk to celebrate anniversary

Aug 11, 2017

The University of Notre Dame will hold a walk of more than 300 miles this year to replicate the pilgrimage the school’s founders undertook in 1842. The university’s 175th anniversary celebration set to kick off Sunday, August 13.

The trek begins in Vincennes and ends in South Bend two weeks later. This is the first time the University has recreated the event.

Katherine Lane is the Senior Director of the Notre Dame Trail. She says the walk is a reminder of the original mission of the University and its founder, Rev. Edward Sorin.

“He said, ‘This university is going to be a means for good in this nation. And I’d like to say that 175 years later, that’s exactly what we’re still trying to do,” she said.

Thirty two people will travel the entire 300 mile trail. Along the way, they will stop for mass and to rest.

The participants will walk most of the trail away from major roads. Lane says more people will join the walk when it reaches Rochester and Plymouth.

“They are from all walks of life, they’re alums, they’re parents, they’re friends, they're fans, the age range is from 23 to 80, and they’re going to do the whole thing together,” Lane said.

The University is expecting about 2000 people to join for the final 3 miles.

The journey will kick off in Vincennes on Sunday, at the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier. Governor Holcomb and University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins will deliver a brief address at Kimmell Park after the mass.