This is the recap of the start of our journey — Our Lady of Bethlehem Pilgrimage 2016.
Thursday 19th of May 2016
The entire family ventured out for our Annual Our Lady of Bethlehem Pilgrimage.
We went up a day early to ease the strain on the littles. All would have been good had there not been winds of 45mph. You know that means trouble for a large van. The winds and hills led to some queasy stomachs. One stop and a custom essential oil blend is all that was needed.
The journey continued and we arrived at our first destination around 10:30 pm. We met up with two other families at a camp site close to the Mission and slept in our cars. It was the start of reparation. I failed to get a decent peek into our “camper,” just imagine something similar to this…
Friday 20th of May 2016
The Holy Spirit , Spirit of Holiness under the patronage of St Catherine of Sienna
The crew had an early rise, 5:30 am to be exact. I don’t recall ever falling asleep. We prepared for 7:30 am Mass and the first leg of our walk.
Our fellow pilgrims met at Mission San Juan Bautista.
Our personal intentions and all intentions shared with us were collected by Fr. A, carried by him on the pilgrimage, and placed on the Altar for every Mass, Benediction, and Compline.
It is a great blessing to have a Chaplain accompany us for the entire pilgrimage, one that we have not always had.
My girls were committed to walking the entire 45 miles.
I have good reason to believe that this is the last pilgrimage we will take as a complete family of 9 living under the same roof and I wanted to cherish each moment of our journey to the fullest – a new season awaits.
Dad could not walk since he is still recovering from his surgery for a ruptured achilies tendon but that didn’t stop him from serving. He took on the primary support role for our family, taking care of the littles, preparing meals, transporting, organizing our cargo, and photography.
The journey on foot followed the blessing of pilgrims by Fr. A.
We were off around 8:15 am, singing traditional hymns along the way.
The tides are shifting with each year, the young children are growing and taking the lead on this journey that has become part of their upbringing.
Rose and I had many opportunities to reflect on our relationship, journey, and life.
The view at every turn was stellar.
He was refreshed with the open spaces that spoke to his heart.
We had an eager 5yo leader that needed to be reigned in a time or two — that’s why we put him in neon clothing when we venture out.