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Pilgrims Grateful to Those Who Made The Pilgrimage Possible

On the vigil of the beginning of the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, the pilgrims who have been chosen for the route took some time to pray for and remember those whose support have made their participation in the pilgrimage possible.

The Seton Route pilgrims remembered their benefactors in the prayers of the faithful in the opening Mass upon arrival in New Haven to prepare for their 65 day journey and then later shared individual names and their generosity.

PIlgrimage Natalie Garza, a native of Texas who teaches at St. James Catholic High School in Kansas City, Kansas, said,

"In preparation for this pilgrimage, there were many people who helped make the way possible. Through the generosity of many friends and family, I have been able to prepare spiritually and physically for this experience of discipleship.

"I would particularly like to thank Sara Garza and Debbie Nearmyer for the encouragement and spiritual mentorship in the discernment process. For providing a way monetarily, thank you so much to Andy Tylicki and the St. James Academy Board of Directors. Thank you Dr. Shane Rapp for allowing me the time away. It is a gift to work at a place where the administration and faculty put first things first for Jesus.

"Thank you to Chris Walters and the theology faculty for my backpack, shoes, and clothing. Thank you to Tim Weubker, Sam Rockford, Sherri Denton, the Campus Ministers, Science Department., English Department, Math Department, and Administrative Assistants for also helping provide clothing and shoes for this trip.

"Thank you also to Deacon John and his wife Zena Weist for the sleeping bag-turned-third class relic."

She said in a public shout out to those whose help has been so instrumental, "I will be praying for you all and for the conversion of your family and friends. Certainly your generosity will be noticed by the Lord and your reward will not be lost."

Pilgrim Zoe Dongas, a native of Nashville and a resident of New York City, gave a litany of names who assisted her and for whom she said she is praying.

"I'm so grateful to Katie Allsup, Marcus and Frenchy Canada, Audrey Caplan, Kailtyn Colgan, St. Joseph's Parish, especially Fr. Boniface and Fr. Jonah as well as the St. Joe’s Young Professionals Community, Brent and Maria Dongas, Ana-Alicia Armendariz and her family, Enrico Fernando and his family, Shaymus Burke and his family, Myrna Belingon and her Family, Martina, Grace, and the Foley Family, Mary Fernando, Susan Fiore, Will Fraser, Ben Lerner, Kelly Myslinki, Tori Park, Sarah Schulz, Alicia Sidik, Matthew Smith, Josh, Tseng-Them, Shukry Zablah, Zac and Á nh-Mai Kearney Zubia."

Christoph Bernas, a seminarian from St. Paul's Seminary in Pittsburgh, who will be making the entire 65-day journey with the perpetual pilgrims, similarly had a long list of people to whom he was grateful.

"I would like to thank Bishop David Zubik and Fr. Tom Sparacino for letting me go off for the summer on this journey, my parents and sister for always supporting me along the journeys of my life, the St. Paul's Seminary staff, Jim and Joyce Walsh, Nick Wytiaz and the Jesus and the Eucharist small group at Christ the Divine Shepherd in Monroeville, PA., all of my fellow pilgrims, all who have been supporting me in prayer and those who are preparing to open their hearts, lives, and homes to my fellow pilgrims and me, all of my saint-friends who have been interceding for me, Holy Family, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, South Hills, John F. Kennedy, and Mid-Mon Valley Councils of the Knights of Columbus — and Saint Michael the Archangel Parish — for helping to finance the journey, and my seminary brothers for supporting me in prayer."

Pilgrim Marina Frattaroli, a Texas native who just graduated from Columbia Law School in New York, said,

"I would like to thank my parents, Tracey and Christopher Frattaroli, for their love and support. Thanks also to my aunt and uncle, Jonathan and Jennifer Frattaroli, for all help they have lent my preparations, as well as my great aunt Elizabeth Manning. Thanks to my wonderful siblings, Elena Frattaroli and Caroline and Matthew Lillard. And I would like to thank my dear South Carolina grandparents Robert Frattaroli and Janet Schutz for all their love. I would like to thank my Texas grandparents Diane and Tracey Taylor, as the whole Taylor Family, for their prayerful support. I am also grateful for the prayers from my many friends at the Thomas Merton Institute, especially Marie Norita and Madeline Wiseman, as well as the consistent mentorship of Father Roger Landry."

Dominic Carstens, a Wisconsin native who last week graduated from Wyoming Catholic College, stated, "I would like to thank Bishop William Callahan and those who have supported me from the Diocese of LaCrosse. I would also like to thank the Allen and Wilmer families as well as my family!"

Amayrani Higueldo, a nurse and youth minister from Norristown, Pennsylvania and native of Acupulco, had a long list of those who had helped her for whom she said she is praying.

"I am so grateful to Meghan Cokeley, Valorie Daskilewicz, Laura Sanchez, Marisally Santiago, Anthony Albanese, Fr. Thomas Viviano , Mickey Kelly, Cathy Roberts, Adele Abi Khattar, Rosa Gonzales, Anthony Jurewicz, Debora Scaramucci, Joseph Wetterling, Martha Quintero, Nancy Laskowski, Bernadette Montemayor, Mónica Vázquez, Kevin Flood, William McKenna, Steven Pustay, Ministerio de La Divina Misericordia , Cursillos de Cristiandad de Norristown, Grupo de Oración Guadalupano, the IHM sisters, todos los feligreses de San Patricio, Miguel y Gloria Sigala, Dottie DiMeo, Fr. Herbert Sperger, Griffen Schlaepfer, Kyle Landrum, Axel Mendez, Stephanie Russo, Joan Brown, Theresa Burg, Oswaldo Adan, Mary Lou Forgione, Susan Flore, and Samuel Foling. They have all so much for me!"

Fr. Jan Vanek, a finally-professed brother of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal born in the Czech Republic, thanked Fr. John Anthony Boughton, CFR, and Fr. Malachy Napier, CFR, for making it possible for him to join the Seton Route pilgrimage for the first week as well as all the benefactors of his religious community who have made it possible for the CFR fathers and brothers to participate in all four routes of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

Without the commitment of the CFRs priests in particular, the National Eucharistic PIlgrimage would never have been possible. The Seton Route will be joined by several CFR priests, brothers, novices and postulants along the two month journey.

Finally, Fr. Roger Landry, chaplain for the entirety of the Seton Route, a priest of the Diocese of Fall River who serves as Catholic Chaplain at Columbia University in New York and as Ecclesiastical Assistant to Aid to the Church in Need USA, said:

"I want to thank God, first of all, for the vocation to the prieshtood and for arranging for me to be the luckiest priest in America, capable of walking with Jesus the entirety of the route! I'd like to thank Bishop Edgar da Cunha of the Diocese of Fall River, who originally asked me to be a National Eucharistic Preacher, as well as Bishop Andrew Cozzens and the leadership of the National Eucharistic Congress and National Eucharistic Pilgrimage who have done so much work to make this pilgrimage possible.

"I thank all of those who have been praying for me and the pilgrims, especially all of the cloistered nuns of the North American Association of Dominican Monasteries, the Carmelites of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Los Angeles, and all of the other groups of religious sisters who have adopted me and the pilgrims and have committed to praying for us all along the journey.

"I also thank all those who are responsible for various of the stops along the journey, who have given so much time to welcoming us together with the Eucharistic Jesus.

"I would like to thank James Burke for buying for me two new sets of great walking shoes to help me make Indianapolis. Finally, I would like to thank my twin brother, Scot, and nephew, Dominic, for helping to build the website to help chronicle our journey."

The Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage officially begins tomorrow, May 18, with a 4 pm Mass for the Vigil of Pentecost celebrated at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut by Archbishop Christopher Coyne of Hartford.

It will be preceded by a "prelude" talk by pilgrimage chaplain Fr. Roger Landry with a 1 pm talk entitled "The Christian Life as a Eucharistic Pilgrimage," to be held at the Blessed Michael McGivney Pilgrimage Center in New Haven. All are welcome.

Seton Route pilgrims pose for a pre-pilgrimage photo at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut, where Blessed Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, served as a parish priest and is now buried.

Front row (left to right): Br. Jan Vanek, CFR, Fr. Roger Landry, Dominic Carstens, Amayrani Higueldo and Marina Frattaroli.

Back Row (left to right): Natalie Garza, Zoe Dongas, Christoph Bernas.


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