Pilgrimages are little lives. We encounter people, who have their own issues and goals. We find out things about ourselves. We have our faces set towards the goal. There are hardships.
I saw this at nwi.com:
Polish Catholic pilgrims march across Northwest Indiana
HAMMOND | A river of mostly Polish Catholic pilgrims, including priests in ankle-length cassocks and baseball caps, flowed down Hohman Avenue Saturday afternoon.
Pictures of Pope John Paul II bobbed above the surging, singing crowd. Whistles buzzed and pilgrims prayed as they walked en masse down the middle of the street.
They walked in sandals and sneakers and high-end hiking boots, with floppy hats to shield them from the sun. They wore yellow scarves and religious pins. They hoisted banners, Polish flags and pictures of St. Mary, an important figure in the Catholic faith. They sang along with hymns that blared from the speakers of support vans.
An estimated 5,000 pilgrims — many immigrants who speak Polish as a first language or first-generation Polish-Americans — made their annual 33-mile journey on foot between a South Side Catholic Church and the Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Merrillville. They embarked on the two-day walk from St. Michael Catholic Church, passing through Hammond and Munster on Saturday while on their way to an icon of the Black Madonna, a longtime symbol of Poland that’s believed to have healing powers.
Patrick Grabowski has been marching in the 27-year-old procession — a major event for the Chicago area’s Polish community — for four years. He says his legs get really sore but he’s learned to bring enough supplies, such as extra socks to change into during breaks. He said the long, tiring walk helps him feel closer to God.
“You feel good about yourself, that you completed the whole journey,” Grabowski said.
Robert Sokolowski drove an hour down from the north Chicago suburbs after first hearing of the pilgrimage a few days ago because he wanted his young son Ben to have a spiritual experience. Many of the marchers bought their children, often younger kids in strollers.
Marching for such a long distance forces pilgrims to be contemplative, Sokolowski said.
“You reflect on life, what’s important,” he said. “You have to give something to get something back.”
Read the whole thing there.
Perhaps some of you have made walking pilgrimages. I have thought about the Camino. But whether your pilgrimages have been walking or motorized, they are, when undertaken for spiritual reasons, a microcosm of life.