Friday, July 28, 2006

The Day and Life in the Van...by TJ Lee

We have a white van that we use as a support vehicle and to travel long distances in a short period of time when walking is not feasible. We also have a trailer hooked up to it that carries all of our supplies and personal gear. On the ceiling of the van we are making a holy card “shrine” out of it. Then on the windows we have pro-life, Catholic messages and pictures made with shoe polish.

During the days that we walk, the van drops off who ever wishes to walk and then it drives up three miles so that the walkers can walk to it. Once the walkers reach the van, they can refuel with water and food. Then if choose too, any walker can rest in the van for a shift or two (a shift consists of one hour, which is about three miles of walking). Many things go on in the van during this resting time. To begin we always start off with car prayers (which is a selected list of prayers that we choose too say whenever we start driving anywhere). Once stopped, sometime within that hour, those in the van, pray a rosary or chaplet together. The other random things that everyone does in the van is to sleep, eat, re-hydrate with H2O, read a book, talk with each other, do missionary work for the group, call family and friends, clean, and talk to people who stop by. Some of the times the van will stop to get gas or allow people to use the restroom.

After the walkers reach the van again, the whole process starts all over again. This continues throughout the day until evening comes and we have completed our miles for the day that needed to be walked. Then we do the same the following day.

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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.