I’ve been visting Auriesville Shrine since I was a young boy. My Mom brought me here first. Four of my cousins were Jesuit priests. They were missionaries in South America. I never met them. Their father was the obstetrician who helped to bring me into the world. My Mom came from a decidedly more Jesuit background. Among her many accomplishments is a Masters in Mathematics from Fordham University so it makes sense that being the good Catholic that she is, I’d get to Auriesville. I like visiting here if only to remember our first visits and the role my mother played in my faith journey. Auriesville is mystical. I can sense the presence of John LaLand, Rene Goupil and Isaac Jogues. One cannot visit here without being haunted by their presence. This peaceful ground was one a living hell for those dedicated Jesuit priests who tried to bring the Gospel to the Mohawks. I have to wonder how much 17th century French and British politics had in poisoning their relationship with the Mohawks.
Part of Auriesville today is a huge circular church with many altars and God only knows how many seats. I spent some time here praying for our principal, Ange Melaro, who is battling cancer. I left a card for him and some other intentions in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. I took a picture of a statue of Jacque LaLand standing just in front of the crucified Jesus. I recommend a visit here if you ever find yourself in the Mohawk Valley near Fonda, Fultonville, Johnstown or even nearby Albany.