On Saturday August 26, more than 3,000 people joined the 32 core pilgrims of the Notre Dame Trail for the final 3 miles of the walk to campus. The Notre Dame Trail followed the same trek that Father Sorin and the seven Holy Cross Brothers who founded the University made 175 years ago at the genesis of Notre Dame. The journey spans from Vincennes, an Indiana city along the Wabash River, to campus, totaling more than 300 miles.
The group was given personalized walking sticks to mark their journey.
The pilgrimage concluded with the Opening of the Academic Year Mass in Celebration of Notre Dame's 175th Anniversary. In his homily, Father Jenkins urged for unity in light of national events.
"Racism, anti-Semitism and hatreds of any kind are malignancies of the heart. If we allow these cancers to spread, they will destroy our community, our nation and ourselves. Yet we do not effectively counter them by hating the haters or doing violence to the violent. We counter them most by providing an example of a university community where we pursue truth openly, speak freely and at times disagree passionately, but show respect for those with whom we disagree and care for the community we share. We counter them by giving witness to a different set of values."
- Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.