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Sisters and Pilgrims Say a Grateful Goodbye to Beth Neer

Beth Neer, center, with the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love, whom she has been transporting since New Hampshire on the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage Caravan.

YORKTOWN, INDIANA, July 11 — The Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love who have been accompanying the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage from its inception on the 55th day of their journey needed to bid adieu to Beth Neer, of Milton, New Hampshire, who has volunteered as the driver of the truck transporting the Airstream RV since New Haven.

Beth needed to return to New Hampshire to keep a previous commtiment to drive a group to the Steubenville Youth Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is allowing the Daughters to drive her truck for the remaining part of the Pilgrimage to Indianapolis.

Before she left, we were able to interview her about her experiences over the first eight weeks of the pilgrimage.


Beth, how did you originally get signed up to drive the sisters along the pilgrimage?

Two weeks before the Pilgrimage started, I received a text from my RCIA instructor and she said, "You need to do this." And I said, "I can't." Then I received it from the RCIA coordinator. And she said, "You need to do this." And I said, "I can't because I'm building a house." And then Father Paul Gousse called the following day. And he really made me realize that my question to God, every time I leave adoration, is, "God, show me what I can do for you and I'll do it." And that was just. It clicked. I needed to do this.

What have been the highlights of your eight weeks with us?

The people. The continual blessings and small miracles and big miracles that have happened in the last eight weeks. The people are amazing. I mean, this group is amazing. But everybody that we meet, everybody that has met us, there's just so much love in the world. And this Eucharistic pilgrimage, I think, is not only amplifying that, but making it visible. People want to be able to do these things and show their love for God. Often they don't or don't know how to, but this pilgrimage has given them the opportunity.

How has your faith grown over the pilgrimage, especially with regard to the Eucharistic Lord?

Exponentially. I've learned so much. And with all of these little miracles, you know that God is real, that Jesus is real. I've never had a doubt that Jesus wasn't in the Eucharist. But even now, just watching people's eyes light up when they see the monstrance go by holding Jesus and the faith in the absolute belief and the truth that they exude. I mean, you can see it, it's palpable. That's been the most eye opening and life changing.

Many years ago, I had an encounter where I was told that there's a reason for everything. I thought that meant there's a reason for everything bad that happens in the world. Only just in the last couple of days, it's come to light for me that everything, absolutely everything has a reason and builds on each other. And that's what I think this pilgrimage is bringing up.

What lessons have you learned from being so close to the sisters over these last 54 days?

I've learned that I've always had to work on my patience! They've really brought that out in me, not in a negative way, but making me realize with faith in God that we're on this earth for a finite amount of time. All of those little things that used to bother me, they don't mean anything.

The biggest thing I think I've learned, is the love, not just the love that the sisters have for one another, but the love they have for Jesus, the love they have for God, and the love that they have for everyone. It floors me. It really does.

And as you prepare to return to New Hampshire, how will your life have been changed by your time as a pilgrim?

Well, one thing I'm gonna go to Mass every day now. That's become very important to me. I think the way it's going to change my life is my eyes and ears will be open. I'm going to take one day at a time, each day as it comes, because God's going to provide for me what I need. All those little things, all those little entrapments that we have, I'm at the point now of just letting them go.

Over the course of these eight weeks, have you come up with a spirituality of a driver?

I think it goes back to the mule carrying Jesus on Palm Sunday. There have been days where I don't feel a part of the group, even though I know that I am. But I've always felt like my job is to get the Sisters where they're going, when they're supposed to be, and help them with everything they need. I took that to heart from the very beginning.

I like being in the background. Not necessarily pulling the strings but just providing everybody what they need.


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