Living Life as a Journey

Participants of the CL National Diaconia joined National Eucharistic Pilgrims for a morning of worship at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Natalie Polzer

On the weekend of June 7-9, over ninety people from across the United States met for the National Diaconia at the Theological College in Washington D.C. Fr. Michael Carvill introduced the weekend by recalling that “it is beautiful to be together because our presence is witness of a ‘yes’ to one another.”

The ‘witness of a yes’ multiplied by the thousands at the surprise invitation to join pilgrims on the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage on Saturday for Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. While priests from the Movement were invited to concelebrate the Mass, other men, women and families filled the pews of the Basilica to capacity.

One friend at the Diaconia shared later that for him, this Mass with the pilgrims was a true experience of being in and with the Church. After Mass, he remained outside in order to catch a glimpse of the Monstrance coming out the doors of the Basilica into the city. By doing this, he shared that he understood how his presence there witnessed the charism of Fr. Giussani because we are part of the Church.

According to the official website, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage is “a beautiful fusion of the journey TO Jesus and the journey WITH Jesus.” An estimated 100,000 pilgrims from the north, south, east and west corners of the United States are following Jesus in the Eucharist stopping at various churches and religious sites across the country to witness Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. These pilgrims on different routes will converge and meet on July 16, 2024 in Indianapolis for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress.

Meeting these pilgrims of the Seton route, (which began in New Haven, Connecticut and continues along the Atlantic Coast) while sharing about the life and work of our CL communities in the US at the Diaconia glimpsed again Fr. Giussani’s words to the young pilgrims from Macerata to Loreto in 2004:

You will certainly have no lack of pains, like life, but you will live life as a journey; even when the walk is exhausting, it will be the discovery of a truly great good.