Annual pilgrimage held at Holy Rosary Shrine, Reward, SK

Parishioners gathered for Mass at the outdoor grotto located next to Holy Rosary Church at Reward for the annual pilgrimage July 4. (Photos by Kiply Lukan Yaworski)

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News

Prayers for reconciliation and healing were part of the 2021 Reward pilgrimage, as parishioners from throughout the area gathered July 4 at the outdoor grotto next to historic Holy Rosary Church.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen joined priests from several parishes in the region for the annual outdoor Mass at the shrine.

Praying of the Rosary, Marian hymns, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the traditional procession of parish banners was again part of the pilgrimage, which started 89 years ago in the area known as St. Joseph’s Colony.

History of the Reward Pilgrimage

The Roman Catholic parish at Reward has its beginnings in the heart of Saint Joseph’s Colony, which was established by German-Russian settlers in 1905. The Holy Rosary Church building was constructed on ten acres of donated land in 1918 for $12,000, replacing a smaller structure. The “church on the hill” is a designated historic site, and features 15 large paintings completed in 1928 by Count Berthold Von Imhoff, depicting the Mysteries of the Rosary.

In 1932 the annual pilgrimage in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary was initiated for St. Joseph’s Colony, with the Holy Rosary Church at Reward chosen as the colony’s pilgrimage site because of its central location. A wooden outdoor grotto was built as the shrine in 1936, with the present shrine altar built in 1966.

Although the parish is now closed, volunteers continue to care for the building and pilgrimage site – with the help of  donations. Parishes throughout the colony continue to assist in holding the annual pilgrimage. I

Parishes and missions of St. Joseph Colony (many of which are now closed) include: St. Pascal, Leipzig (1905); St. Charles, Revenue (1905); Our Lady of Assumption, Kerrobert (1906); St. Henry, Salvador (1906); Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, Handel (1906); St. Michael, Tramping Lake (1906); St. Anthony, Grosswerder (1907); St. James, Wilkie (1909); Sacred Heart, Denzil (1909); St. Joseph, Scott (1909); Our Lady of Holy Rosary, Reward (1910); St. Francis/Sacred Heart, Broadacres (1910); St. John, Salt Lake (1910); St. Mary, Macklin (1910); Holy Family, Ermine (1910); Our Lady of Fatima, Landis (1910); St. Peter, Cosine (1914); St. Donatus, St. Donatus (1914); St. Peter, Unity (1914); Immaculate Conception, Major (1914); St. Eugene de Mazenod, Luseland (1915) and St. Elizabeth, Primate (1916).



Live-stream video of Mass during the Reward pilgrimage 2021: