By: David Doyle, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
As I was reflecting on the recent trip to Washington DC, one thing that kept coming to me is that, while the trip has one clear, obvious, focus, which is to march for and defend all human life, we are there for more than that. We are on a pilgrimage, a movement someplace to encounter the Divine. The Archdiocese of New Orleans took over 600 high school students, chaperones, seminarians, and priests to encounter God on this trip in one another, in those we met, and in marching to defend all human life. The experience of pilgrimage is, perhaps, most clearly seen on the trip to and from Washington, D.C. Twenty-two hours on a bus is not exactly the model of comfort, and thus, sleep was not always the easiest thing to come by. However, this was just one way that I was able to invite God to enter this pilgrimage and walk with me personally. I left with prayer intentions, and the long bus trips provided the perfect opportunity to pray not only for those who asked me to pray, but for the girls that I was traveling with, so that they might encounter Jesus in a real and true way on this trip. The bus rides also gave us opportunities to get to know each other. The girls got to see that priests and seminarians are normal people, who like to have fun. Of course, the march itself was wonderful. Turning around and seeing a sea of 600+ purple hats behind me as we walked up Constitution Avenue was a sight to behold. It was a truly moving experience to see this, to know that our local Church loves life, to know that they were willing to spend all that time on a bus to stand up for every person, from conception to natural death. To stand up for the least among us in society. But, perhaps, for me, the best part, was knowing that over 600 people got a chance to experience Jesus in a real and tangible way on this pilgrimage, and that, by the time we got back to New Orleans, lives were changed, and we saw Jesus dwelling among us in a new light.
About the Author: David Doyle, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
David is a seminarian in First Theology.
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