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Walking Pilgrimage 2018: WALK OF FAITH

b y Vivian Igwagu , member of St. Antoninus Youth Group

We the youth and other parishioners of St. Antoninus joined the Walking Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA. There were 18 of us and we participated for one day and one night (Friday, August 10.)
The pilgrimage was a fun and exciting experience. We met other devoted pilgrims, many of whom have embarked on this walk of faith for several years.We passed through the woods, crossed bridges, walked on the streets through the canals while we shared testimonies, prayed the rosary, sang songs. Confessions were going on as we walked on. There were ministrations from religious people including the priest from Syria shared his experiences in Syria. ( He made us appreciate the freedom we had to walk this pilgrimage and the freedom of religion in the United States)  
They were recreational facilities like swings and rides for pilgrims to stretch after a tedious walk. As we walked by a French town, the community members waved to us; it felt welcoming. We walked for almost 20 miles. 
At each stop we had some snacks, fruits and food to eat. Also drinks like water, lemonade, ice tea etc. 
There was a spirit of togetherness because the pilgrims welcomed each other and got to know about each other more.
The guys of the parish
( Youth Ministry) were drumming as we walked. Some pilgrims were dancing to the beat.
After a long day of many miles of walking, we reached our camp site for the night and we were blessed with Mass (in Polish!)
by Ahmed Marie Traore, member of the Youth Group

Well putting up the tent was fun and for a first time for me I found it exciting!!! I enjoyed a small part of sleeping under the tent. It felt cool and warm and natural because it’s outside and the air was fresh. And the other fun aspect was when we woke up in the morning and it was raining and we had to dismantle the tent!!! Then we were discussing and looking for techniques to avoid getting sloppy wet!! That was very interesting! Through a team work we made it!!!
"I Felt Like a Proud Father"
by Fr Joseph

The Church encourages the practice of “going on a pilgrimage” because it helps us see that in fact life is itself a pilgrimage to Our Father’s house. We walk with each other in prayer asking the Lord to bring us into a deeper walk with Him and to help us let go of all of the things, attitudes, attachments to sin, and to intercede with Our Lady for her intentions, including those in our own families. 

I have been on this Walking Pilgrimage about seven times over the last 16 years. The sweetest part for me was seeing our parishioners (all 18 of them) so generously enter into the experience. I was delighted in the multi-generational group of St A’s pilgrims with ages ranging from 7 up to the 60's. There was such a joyful spirit in the midst of the penance of walking. I felt like a proud father. 
We have our sights set on next year’s pilgrimage when, please God, we’ll have an even bigger group to walk all or part of the journey.

337 South Orange Ave, Newark NJ 07103
Rev. Joseph A. Meagher (Pastor)