Spirituality of a Pilgrimage

 An Invitation to a Spirituality of Pilgrimage

 

   
A Diocesan Initiative to Deepen our Understanding of Discipleship and Stewardship

    

You have probably heard it said that ours is a “pilgrim church.” But did you ever sit with this image in prayer and ask yourself what the phrase really means? St. Augustine’s own elaboration of the “pilgrim” image challenges us:, “The Church, like a pilgrim in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until He comes.”

  

Truly to be what St. Augustine says we are called to be, a pilgrim church, means that our lives here on earth are provisional. We are only “passing through,” and. our pilgrimage should be marked by love of neighbor and solidarity with the weakest among us.

  

We invite you, as one of what will be many initiatives in the Spiritual Renewal of our Diocesan Church, to accept our “Invitation to a Spirituality of Pilgrimage.” By accepting this invitation, you will be able to share in the experiences of a true “pilgrim church,” the church of the migrant workers living among us right now in our own diocese.

  
The migrant community, almost all of whose members are Roman Catholics like ourselves, very closely fulfills St. Augustine’s description. They truly are “a pilgrim church in a foreign land, pressing forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until He comes.” By sharing the migrants’ experiences, we can break free of our attachments to false security and regain our place in the pilgrims’ throng.

  

The “Spirituality of Pilgrimage” we are offering is based on a sequence of twenty-one reflections written by the Diocesan Coordinator of Migrant Ministry, Fr. Jesús Flores. Fr. Flores uses the Sunday readings from cycle A as springboards for drawing short, pithy, and challenging connections between the scriptures and the experiences of the migrants among us.

  

To assist your individual or group meditations on exactly how a “Spirituality of Pilgrimage” can enrich your lives in Christ, we are adding discussion questions to each of Fr. Flores’ reflections. These questions can be used directly or adapted for different needs and occasions. We will also add practical suggestions for those who are called to share in the experiences of the migrant “pilgrim church” in a more concrete way, by joining with the migrants in their liturgies and celebrations, as well as in their troubles and trials.

  

Fr. Flores’ reflections, along with the discussion questions and practical suggestions, will be available here on this website beginning in the upcoming Easter season. They will be accompanied by a letter from Bishop Clark and from Mr. Bernard Grizard, Diocesan Director of Parish Support Ministry, the department responsible for our Catholic migrant Ministry. Bishop Clark and Mr. Grizard will offer additional words encouraging us to “press forward… announcing the cross and death of the Lord until He comes.”

  
For samples of Fr. Flores' reflections,
please click on:

blog of Fr. Jesus Flores