Thursday, June 01, 2006

Propelled Forward by Others

<As we near our departure north, the temptation for doubts has grown. How in the world are we going to pull this off? What are we thinking? Isn't there another way we could have done this? Is there anyone who will listen to us? Will our whole summer go for nought?

In a moment like this, I’ve found great encouragement in thinking about how others' support.

Some have put the unconventional nature of our efforts into perspective. Fr. Paul at St. Mark’s in Hyattsville said, “In our up-side-down world sometimes doing what seems to be up-side-down is perfectly sensible.” When I’d shared my worries about the “stability” that I’d rejected by turning down a summer job, my old roommate Lowell replied: Stable plans don’t also equate with stable hearts. And if you had to pick one or the other . . .

Others have reaffirmed our efforts simply by their generosity. The Newmans (twice!), the Myers, Joey and Britt, Our Lady of the Angels youth group, the Guenthers, and the DeGances have had us over for dinner. Friday morning, the Poor Clare nuns brought out donuts and orange juice for us after Mass. Even with his wife eight months pregnant, JP DeGance – who works for the Leadership Institute – invited us over to his house and helped us refine our slogans until almost 11:00pm. The Myers didn’t flinch when we needed a place to sleep on Saturday night. Last night, Fr. Bill Byrne made us dinner and Fr. Dominic from the Dominican House of Studies joined us for four hours to be a part of our silent retreat. The list goes on and on. We haven’t even left Maryland yet. These people are amazing.

They remind me of the support I’ve received from my parishes - St. Joseph’s in Raleigh and Holy Rosary in Cleveland - and from my family in Pennsylvania. Experiences like Monsignor Williams reassuring me, “You can join the workforce later, I think you’ve made the right decision,” or Fred Karboski promising to keep a candle lit for us all summer, or my eight-year-old sister giving me five dollars right before I left - these are propelling me forward.

I think about all of their promises to pray, the energy in their voice, and the gleam in their eyes. It all says to me, “We believe in you.” Even when I don’t have confidence in myself, they have confidence in me. They have confidence in God working through me. Praise God for how He is working through them to strengthen my resolve to push forward. They believe that what we’re doing is meaningful and they haven’t been afraid to contribute what they can. They hold me accountable in a holy way that, even in tense times like these, helps me to be bold in accepting God’s grace.

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Who we are?

Every summer we, the Missionaries of the Eucharist, are walking from Lewiston, Maine to Washington, DC to proclaim the beauty of the Catholic faith to everyone we meet, specifically through the Theology of the Body.

Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.

We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.