Pilgrims’ Progress: Journal Entries from a 60th Anniversary Pilgrimage – #7

On August 15, 2019, thirteen Canadian Jesuits will note their 60th Anniversary as members of the Society of Jesus.  Two members of this group – Charlie Pottie Pate, SJ and David Eley, SJ  – have chosen to make a special pilgrimage to mark the occasion.  They have graciously agreed to share their journal entries and photos with igNation which will post them once or twice a week.


# 7 Journal Wed June 12

To pick up from yesterday’s challenges (a little desolation can do the soul good!), today began nice and early with a 6:55 departure from Goteborg, Sweden for Oslo, Norway. A great train – smooth and pleasant.

It was quite noticeable to see the difference in landscape in Sweden (flat and beautiful farm lands) and passing over the border to Norway (more hills and valleys and more rock formations).  Must be the effect of the moving glacier in Norway millions of years ago. But it was a clear difference.

We had Wi-Fi on train and so got caught up on some emailing as well as reading Rick Steeve’s book on Oslo and Norway. We arrived right on time at 10:55 and our hotel was the same group (Scenic) as the one in Goteborg, just 5 or so min walk from Central station. We weren’t charged for the night we missed (David had called ahead of time) only these next 2 nights. Very pleasant room and right in the heart of Oslo.

Oslo, at least downtown, has many different kinds of buildings – tall (well up to 10-15 stories, unlike in Copenhagen) and small and new and old. It’s a bustling centre with trams and buses going from and to the Station.

So we bought a 24hr transit ticket for 2 seniors – good for any trip on tram, bus or ferry. We decided to do a ride through the city to get a sense of the city – passing through the older part and then to the university and up to the hospital and then taking another bus back to the Central station. More hills in Oslo than in Copenhagen.

And different ethnic groups more prevalent in some parts of the city -just on observation from the tram (electric).  That was an education in itself. In the central part one can see the rich variety of peoples in Oslo.

We stopped for a light lunch at a sushi place and met a Vietnamese who came from Vietnam in 1989 and then to Oslo in 1992. He was the owner. Very friendly.

Coming back to Central station,  I went to see the Oslo Lutheran Cathedral (dating back to the 1600’s) where there is still regular services. (David’s knee was acting up and he said he would need to go back and rest a bit).  It is a beautiful structure and well kept within.

I came in and there was a short afternoon prayer beginning. So I joined them. All in Norwegian but they had the sheet in English to follow. It was a woman priest leading it. It was good to stop and reflect a bit.  I found the short prayer refreshing.  Then I continued to look at the painted ceilings, the beautiful altar piece and carvings, and stain glass windows up in the sanctuary area. The outside structure was also quite unique.

When I came out, it was what the Norwegians call a misty rain, not heavy but misty like. It was actually fairly cool and damp today in Oslo.  So I did a little tour of the area. They have a café Cathedral which looks like it might have been part of a monastery. Tables inside and out.  Thought that might be a place to eat later.

Time for a little rest after all that.  Then we did decide to go to this Café Cathedral for our evening meal. A delicious pizza- pepperoni and the other smoked salmon , with light thin pastry and a glass of wine. A little walk around the block and back to hotel room.

I decided to take advantage of the Sauna in basement of hotel. Very relaxing. I’m sure it will help me sleep tonight. I’m down in the front lobby where there are people coming and going. Busy place. Hope you are all well.  Peace to you all

Ps the last photo is the Tiger, a symbol of Oslo, in the square of Central station.


Charles Pottie Pate, SJ, is the Prairie and Rockies regions Ecclesial Assistant for CLC. He resides at St. Mary's Cathedral Rectory, Calgary.

  • Peter Chouinard
    Posted at 10:45h, 23 August Reply

    Enjoyed this one particularly Charlie. I was good to see you in Fredericton.

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