Pope Francis launched SHARE THE JOURNEY, a two-year migration campaign, on September 27, 2017, and in doing so, implored each of us to be a witness and take a public stand in support of migrants and refugees during the present global crisis. In 2018, he asked us to stand with migrants through a SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE, to mark “an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal.” Responding to his call, all Catholics are invited to come together and participate in a UNIVERSAL PILGRIMAGE to highlight the plight of our neighbors fleeing violence and injustice worldwide. This pilgrimage is a way for us to show solidarity with those escaping impossible situations worldwide.
Our Pilgrimage took on a different shape than the traditional pilgrimage, but the miles walked, and the prayers offered, are very real. The hallways at Camilla are very long: 338 feet from one end of the building to the other. It doesn’t take too long to reach one mile: 5,280 feet. With this in mind, Sisters were asked to commit to walking at least one mile a week for nine weeks, totaling a pilgrimage distance of 9 miles for each Sister. One hundred thirty Sisters made this commitment and as of November 13, a total of 1,170 miles were walked (or wheeled) by the Sisters. Our intention was to offer our steps as prayer for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and to greet others as we walked, especially welcoming the immigrants among us. A bar-graph recorded our weekly accumulation of miles along the journey. Without a doubt, the very sick Sisters offered many of their own prayers for this intention.
Spiritually: commit to pray as you walk, for immigrants, refugees and each other
Relationally: determine to reach out each day, by a greeting, to immigrants here, or to others who may need a “lift”
Physically: WALK (or ride if that is what you do) at least a mile a week. Record your mileage!
Advocate: sign a letter to Governor Wolf concerning:
Financially: make a contribution to the Catholic Social Services, Refugee Resettlement program of our Archdiocese.
November 13- our pilgrimage closed with a Eucharistic Procession and a specially prepared Evening Prayer for suffering migrants, refugees and asylum seekers throughout the world.
Catholic Relief Services sent us a VERY large banner which was hung in our main dining room.