National Eucharistic Pilgrims June 18, 2024

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10: 41-42

I have a longstanding affinity for Saint Martha, my confirmation saint. Like the patron saint of cooks, homemakers, and domestic work, I gravitate toward doing, which can cause feeling overly “encumbered about many things.” I need to learn from Martha’s sister, Mary, and from Jesus’ gentle admonition to bustle less and sit to listen more.

My inner Martha sprang into action to host ten pilgrims on the aptly named Marian route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage at The Basilica. Preparing for their May 26 sojourn sent my mind racing, outlining plans for room preparations, air mattresses, bedding, checklists, signage, laundry, and grocery lists.

But, as is often true, it was the time spent with these dedicated pilgrims that was the better part. Our guests (six lay perpetual pilgrims, two seminarians, a Franciscan friar, and a Franciscan priest) were so very present and filled with an infectious joy. Despite long days of walking and greeting guests in procession, warm chatter and easy laughter filled the rectory dining room. All were pleased with simply being together in community. Though they greatly appreciated our extra hospitality efforts, it was clear that they would graciously and joyfully accept any degree of offering given through God’s grace by their hosts.

What a gift it was to my own spiritual journey to have a short but meaningful encounter with these disciples. May we hold the pilgrims on all four Eucharistic Pilgrimages to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in our prayers, and may their dedication to God’s invitation to renewal and accompaniment bear much fruit.

Let us know if you are planning to attend the National Eucharistic Congress, July 17-21 at

Melissa Streit
Director of Engagement