Early Friday morning, August 23, a group of intrepid pilgrims set out on a brisk walk on a side road in the countryside outside Denver, Colorado. They were heading for the Mother Cabrini shrine 46 miles away, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
On the first day, their tireless feet would take them 28 miles towards their destination; the rest of the 18 miles would be trodden on Saturday.
There were two great challenges facing the pilgrims along the way: altitude and traffic. Because the Denver area is situated over 5,000 feet above sea level, the air is thin, and a body that is exerting itself becomes easily dehydrated through exercise. That is why the pilgrimage organizers placed helpers all along the pilgrimage route, ready with chilled water and Gatorade, in order to constantly put liquid into the pilgrims so they could continue their journey.
The second challenge was the metropolis of Denver itself. The pilgrims’ route took them straight through the city, without deviating to the left or the right. But having 100 people crossing 100 intersections in a day is not an easy task. That is why the Christ the King Scouts were on hand with Stop signs to block traffic until the last pilgrim had passed, while other pilgrimage helpers held up cars with their 15-passenger vans.
In the end, the main purpose was served by the excellent logistics of the pilgrimage organization: the pilgrims were able to continue their 46-mile walk to the very end. They reached the Mother Cabrini shrine, weary and footsore, but with many songs and suffrages having been offered to God for the increase of priestly vocations. They prayed the Way of the Cross at the shrine, then retraced those 46 miles back to St. Isidore’s—this time by car—attended Mass and celebrated the success of the pilgrimage with a BBQ dinner in the church basement.
Through the prayers offered up during the 2019 Cabrini Pilgrimage, may the Lord grant us many holy priests.