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  • Will F. Peterson

Reflections on a May for Mary

It seems fitting to launch the Modern Catholic Pilgrim blog on the heels of our biggest project to date. 349 pilgrimages were walked across 80 cities, 34 states, 6 countries, and 4 continents. People walked alone, with young ones, with spouses, with friends. The Archdiocese of Denver gave permission for a group of 30 to walk together on Pentecost. Some walked miles and miles. Others walked into the backyard. All did so as a way to honor Our Lady and to offer prayers for her intercession.


When I spent yesterday in reflection on what transpired in the month of Mary, my heart was torn. The utter beauty of the pilgrimages made for Mary, captured in a minor way through the video at the bottom of the post, demonstrate a hope beyond words. People, of their own accord, stepped toward the risen Christ through his mother while lifting prayers to the Queen of Heaven and Earth. This jubilant expression of faith reverberates in ways we will never fully know. Such is the way of hope.


However, Mary is also Our Lady of Sorrows, and in my reflection, I could not escape the immense pain of life in an imperfect world. We continue to experience the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, and now we are confronted with the horrible consequences of inaction and indifference in the face of racial injustice. As our social media manager, DJ Murphy, stated in a post this weekend, it seemed like the need for Our Mother's intercession only increased as the month went on.


I quote from the USCCB statement from May 29th in the wake of the death of George Floyd and national protests, "As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference."


Pilgrims around the world stood for right by walking for Mary at a time when many felt a demonstration of faith was beyond them. May we all continue to stand for the more difficult right and just action. We at MCP pray for all our pilgrims, hosts, supporters, donors, and benefactors, and we pray that the pilgrim mindset, opening the heart to the Other in Christ's love through the Blessed Mother, will remain with all those who raced back from their pilgrimage sites this May to spread the Good News.


Let us remember our encounter of the risen Christ "on the road to Emmaus."



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As a project developed by lay Catholics, Modern Catholic Pilgrim works to allow people to experience pilgrimage and hospitality in the Catholic tradition here in the United States. It is a Catholic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in San Diego, CA.

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