Gov. Holcomb, Fr. Jenkins help kick off Notre Dame Trail

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The Notre Dame Trail officially got underway Sunday evening.

After a South Bend sendoff and a long bus ride, the 32 pilgrims took the first steps of their two week, 300+ mile journey alongside university president Fr. John Jenkins and Governor Eric Holcomb.

"This is a special day for all of Indiana," Gov. Holcomb said. "To be here, with Notre Dame at the kickoff of the journey to walk on this trail, one that was taken 175 years ago and now we take it again. To be able to do that with Fr. Jenkins, I consider it not just a blessing, but one of the more special walks of my life."

For Notre Dame, the goal of the Trail is to honor history, while still looking forward.

"Your future is your past," Fr. Jenkins said. "It’s important to remember where you came from and what your original mission is. Things happen, so much changes, but we want to remember our original mission, and how to make that alive now in 2017 and in the future – that’s really what we’re about on this Trail."

For Holcomb, the kickoff was especially significant.

"I lived in Vincennes for a number of years after I got out of the United States Navy," Holcomb said. "I moved back to Indiana from overseas, and I moved to Vincennes. To see the transformation that’s occurred here, where we stand right now, makes days like today – they just don’t get any better."

This journey though, is just getting started.

"We have almost 300 miles to go, but we will do it and we’re excited to grab that group and make that walk," Fr. Jenkins said.