A Jubilee of Mercy Pilgrimage Walk

Posted on: March 21, 2016 11:50 am
Tags: Blog,

The 2016 pilgrimage group at the Cathedral in Covington, KY

by Sr. M. Margaret Agnes Hemmerle

In spite of the weather forecast of rain for March 12 a widely diverse group of thirty-one pilgrims showed up at Blessed Sacrament Church at 7:00 a.m. They were ready to begin a Jubilee Year of Mercy walking pilgrimage to seven diocesan churches in the Covington area. Included in the group were students of Notre Dame Academy with their President Dr. Laura Koehl and Principal Mr. Jack VonHandorf, Associates of the Sisters of Notre Dame, friends who found our invitation on Facebook, including parishioners of St. Henry and St. Agnes Churches, and Mr. John McCoy from St. Patrick Church in Taylor Mill, as well as several Sisters of Notre Dame.

Deacon James Bayne waited at the door of Blessed Sacrament to welcome the walkers, joined in our singing and prayers for mercy, gave us a pilgrim’s blessing and sent us on our way down Dixie Highway to St. Agnes Church. We arrived just in time to participate in a sung Morning Prayer and Eucharistic celebration with Msgr. Donald Enzweiler and parishioners. From there the planned route took us to St. John Church, to Mother of God Church, to Our Savior Parish, to St. Benedict, and finally to our Cathedral-Basilica of the Assumption where we were met by Rev. Ryan Maher. At the Cathedral we sang the official Jubilee Year of Mercy song, prayed the Prayer composed by Pope Francis for this year and were offered the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Passing through the Jubilee Door of Mercy together was a tangible act of faith and a positive demonstration that praying and singing together nourishes unity and love.

A few comments from those who walked the Pilgrimage:

Lauren Reinersman, Junior at Notre Dame Academy 

"More than just the exploration of beautiful local churches and their historical background, I appreciated the much-needed reminder that friends, prayer, and God can pare down my worries and release me from guilt and stress. It is a great experience which helped me to embrace the Lenten spirit once more."

 Sr. Marina, SND

"For me, it was a spiritual journey, entering into prayer and presence of one another in the spirit of a true pilgrim. I was able to find the peace to pray with moments of grace and love."

 Joanne Kenner, Associate of SND

"I have participated in the walk in previous years --it is a beautiful day of fellowship, faith sharing and Lenten preparation.  It is a day full of many blessings -- spending time with friends and sharing with one another. It's a great day -- a Lenten activity that I have come to look forward to each year."

Sr. Mary Joell Overman, SND

 "One mind, one heart, one spirit! That was my experience of the Pilgrimage. It was an occasion for like-minded individuals to deepen their faith through visible expression of walking, praying, and sharing together. I experienced the pilgrimage to be a good prelude for the forthcoming time of Holy Week."

John McCoy, St. Patrick Parishioner

"There was of course the temptation to sleep in, but by the end of the day I was glad I went on the Lenten 7 Churches Walk. I met some great people, saw beautiful churches I’d never seen before, and encountered God in many new ways. You snooze, you lose."

Theresa Brugger, Associate of SND

"No matter who I happened to be walking with at any given time, I was reminded over and over again that we are all on the same journey towards the Father. This pilgrimage was a wonderful reminder of that. Doing the pilgrimage together gave us all yet another common experience from which each of us can draw strength. It was an uplifting experience. We live in a society that could use a lot more of such experiences and opportunities. Many who came did not know what they were getting into. Yet their hearts were open and I think all were pleasantly surprised. God does work in mysterious ways."

 Sr. Mary Rose Moser, SND

"I loved that we had youth as well as adults participating. I felt as though I could have "pilgrimmed" aside any person who was there as we shared our stories along the way. I felt we extended mercy to one another."

Leah Britt, Associate of SND

"The walk was a wonderful way to celebrate the year of Mercy, meet new people and experience the beautiful Churches of our Diocese. What an amazing way to stand back and reflect on our own Lenten journey."

Sr. Mary Janet Stamm, SND

"Walking is a kind of seeing, a kind of feeling, a kind of being present, rendering oneself present.  There is a way of knowing a place because you have put it under foot." E.J. Farrell

I experienced this in a very real way.  I saw and experienced things and places I had not noticed or seen before when riding through the same areas.

"...for the pilgrim the journey is holy, a celebration of God-with-us on the way.  It is also a celebration of God-with-us in others on the way and God-with-us at a destination, which is holy." E.J. Farrell

This too expresses what I did experience as I walked with others.  It was an inspiration to share the pilgrimage walk with them. It was truly a celebration of God-with-us."

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