Congregational Pilgrim Experience 2023
November 2, 2023
On September 14, 2023, six of us (Sisters Eufrasia, Evarista, Bernarda, Korzita, Paula and Resa) arrived in Rome, the heart of the Catholic Church in the world and the Motherhouse the heart of our Congregation. The 15 days in Rome were very enriching, seeing the history of the Catholic Church, especially by visiting the four major basilicas and the other ancient church buildings. We had the privilege of an audience with Pope Francis. It was an encouraging experience to receive a blessing from Pope Francis. He was so close that some were even able to touch his hand.
We also visited the beautiful city of Assisi, which is the home of the stories of St. Francis and St. Clare. We spent much time praying and reflecting as we visited many churches in Assisi. In Rome, after a pilgrimage to the Catacombs of Callisto, we also celebrated the Eucharist in the room/office of St. Ignatius Loyola. The experience of the saints and martyrs strengthened our faith in the Risen Lord and encouraged us to proclaim God’s goodness through the witness of our lives.
On September 28, we continued the pilgrim’s journey to Coesfeld. We felt the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of the countryside. Although the weather was colder than in Rome, we were still excited to visit the places where Sr. Maria Aloysia, Sr. Maria Ignatia, Mother Chrysostom, and the Sisters who preceded us, had lived and received their formation. Our visit to St. Lamberti’s Church was especially memorable because we could see the Coesfeld Cross, where Sister Maria Aloysia Wolbring and Sister Maria Ignatia Kuhling decided to follow Christ radically and found the Congregation. In addition, our visit to Namur was a gift of grace for us, because we could visit the museum with the historical objects of St. Julie Billiart and Francoise de Bourdon, and we had time to pray at the tomb of St. Julie.
Thank you to the Congregation as “Mother” for giving us the opportunity for this pilgrimage. Thank you to Sr. Mary Ann, Sr. Maria Kharita, and the Council for this pilgrimage opportunity. Thank you to the Sisters who faithfully accompanied us on our pilgrimage. We reflected that this pilgrimage became part of our spiritual renewal.