Students on pilgrimage

Prayer is Action

Communion and Liberation University students prepare to go on pilgrimage to pray for peace

As American university campuses explode in protest, a group of eighty students are preparing to go on pilgrimage to pray for peace.

The Communion and Liberation University students traditionally spend the week after the spring semester ends on vacation together in Colorado. This year, however, they encountered people that gave a new shape to the way they wanted to spend their free time together this summer. In a letter to the students, Fr. Pietro Rossotti shared the reasons for this new proposal and an invitation to everyone to participate in the pilgrimage from May 23-28:

“I’d like to take this opportunity to retrace the steps of the journey that brought us to make the exceptional decision to go on a pilgrimage at the time of year when we would usually have our CLU Summer Vacation. Last September, we organized our first CLU Conference: ‘Faith & Culture: Luigi Giussani and the Christian Presence on Campus,’ at Benedictine College. The brief but powerful experience of the conference made many of us realize that the gift of faith we have received entails a responsibility towards the world. We are responsible for living faith in our campuses and for judging all that happens around us with the eyes of faith.

Shortly after the conference, we were shocked and saddened to see war break out again in the Middle East. In December, we had a Zoom conversation with a group of Christians who live in the Holy Land. Their witness of faith and hope in this dramatic moment of history did not leave us indifferent.

On that occasion, we received a video message from Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. In his message, which you can watch here, Cardinal Pizzaballa entreated us to pray for peace, reminding us that, although we think of prayer as being inferior to action, ‘prayer is action.’
This request from Cardinal Pizzaballa was the final prompting that we needed to make the decision to substitute the traditional vacation with a Pilgrimage for Peace to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion in Wisconsin where, 200 years ago, the Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl named Adele Brise. This is the only Marian apparition in the United States that is recognized by the Church, and the site is very dear to CLU. For many years now, we have made a pilgrimage there every August for the Feast of the Assumption. It is an experience that has been life-changing for many of us, and we feel the urgency to give precedence to it now that Cardinal Pizzaballa and our world are begging for our prayers.

Although it may be unfamiliar to many of us, pilgrimage is a form of prayer that is very dear to the Catholic church. For five days, we will walk together towards the shrine. During our pilgrimage, we will pray, sing, spend time together, meet people on the road, and listen to witnesses. We will carry with us all of our intentions and those of our friends: small and great sufferings, needs, and desires, begging Mary for help.

The pilgrimage is open to everyone 18 and older, including those who may have difficulty walking the entire route, and for whom we can make accommodations. I ask you to seriously consider inviting your friends to come and join us on the pilgrimage. This is a wonderful missionary opportunity, one that could change the lives of your friends on campus.”

The CLU invites you to participate in this initiative by donation or by signing up to join them.