On the Thanksgiving weekend, my husband and I took a road trip to Rawdon, QC, to make a pilgrimage to St. Seraphim of Sarov Church. Located only to the north-east of Montreal, the town contains a small Christian Orthodox community. While most of the people I met on the trip had Russian/Eastern European origins, some were also native francophone. The building itself is not very big, but the wooden structure and a traditional Orthodox dome provide it with a special charm.
The day before the official start of the pilgrimage program, we decided to do something spontaneous and drove to Mount Trembalnt, a small ski resort located north of Montral. We visited the town before, but were happy to visit again, this time during the colorful fall season. Surrounded with mountains and forests, the picturesque road to Mount Tremblant will provide you with a chance to “detox” from the busy city life. We used the little time that we had to explore the town and the waterfalls “hidden” in the ski mountain. We later drove back to Rawdon to rejoin our church community at the evening service.
The next morning, we had the liturgy and a communal Thanksgiving luncheon. Father Nikolai then took us around the church cemetery and told us the stories of the Russian families that came to Canada during the last century in hopes of escaping oppressive regimes and finding a new life. He also took us to Rawdon’s Multicultural Interpretation Center and another church. After finishing with the sightseeing, we were given free time to explore the waterfalls of the town.
It goes without saying that this trip was incredibly powerful. There were a few mishaps along the way, which included navigating the highways of Montreal and discovering that the hotel that came with the package was incredibly old and in a dire need of reparation, but overall, we had an amazing time. Rawdon turned out to be such a magical place filled with history, cultural heritage, and spirituality.