Saturday, January 27, 2007

Helping to Build a Culture of Life

With much joy, I'd like to quickly sum up our missionary work for the weekend.

Bright and early, we started walking. Carrying the Eucharist within us, it was the best thing that we could do to support our Missionaries who had already been praying for 8 hours through the bitter chill of the downtown DC air. What a thrill it must've been to start praying at 12:30 AM, knowing that there were 40 hours ahead. But, with our minds set that the Lord would provide the safety and warmth for our counterparts in DC, we set off on our walk to eventually join them, but we had to make it there first.

Throughout the day, we walked and talked. We grew to know each other; we sought to spread the Gospel and rejoiced in the chances that the Lord had given to us. The only thing left was to keep going and keep praying. What a blessing it was to know that we were going to have a Holy Hour that night. Especially, since our pray-ers were still praying: long and hard, through cold and darkness.

We arrived at St. Mary of the Mills, in Laurel, MD. Beginning with Vespers, we celebrated our role in this weekend's events, knowing that our prayers were helping those in DC, now at 17 hours since the beginning. Food, a talk by Josh, and a Holy Hour carried us to our sleep. Again, all offered for the pray-ers, now 22.5 hours into the vigil. Patrick came and went. Leslee and Jean had to picked up from the airport and dropped off at the Planned Parenthood for reinforcements.

It was simply amazing, the vigil managed to attract all kinds of people. Random CUA students who had heard about it, but hadn't planned on attending would walk by and stop in to join the prayers. Freshmen stayed extra hours to make up for the early morning shifts that people managed to sleep through. Through the cold and chill, the pray-ers kept on praying.

31.5 hours after they started, the walkers attended Mass again, continuously uniting their time in front of the Blessed Sacrament with that of the prayer warriors who suffered through the harsh elements of winter. The walkers continued there walk. Throughout the day, they kept a spirit of joy and thanksgiving despite the wind and chill that the pray-ers had been experiencing for 37 hours now.

Almost there.

With a new dent to Lacy's car, the walkers began their last shift, at 39 hours into the prayer vigil, and they made it to the Planned Parenthood. The sight of them brough joy to the hearts of the vigilers who knew now that their time was over. It was time now to get warm after spending 40 straight hours in the cold, which was probably even colder due to the aura of death that surrounded Planned Parenthood.

With a quick walk to the Cathedral, the walkers and pray-ers began to pray together for the first time throughout the weekend. So much time physically aprat, yet united in prayer; now united in both, the Missionaries consecrated their weekend with a little Vespers in the St. Francis chapel at the Cathedral. With a little more union and Communion with Jesus, the Missionaries marched with a statue of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary through the streets of DC singing songs and celebrating life all the way to the Planned Parenthood. Through praying the Rosary, they all hoped to invoke the Blessed Mother's protection for the women who would enter the abortuary in the months to come. With the Litany of Loretto having been chanted the whole way through, the mission, for now, was over. It was time to celebrate.

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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.