Walking in Faith: The Katy Trail Pilgrimage Experience

Pilgrimage Inspiration from Poland

In 2014, Father Timothy Foy embarked on a transformative pilgrimage in Poland, covering approximately 70 miles in six days.

This spiritual journey, walking from Kraków to Częstochowa, where a renowned Marian shrine stands, left a profound impact on him.

Inspired by this experience, Father Foy envisioned a similar pilgrimage in the United States.

The Katy Trail Pilgrimage Begins

A few years later, Father Foy, along with two other priests, traced the same route they still use today, commencing their pilgrimage in Augusta.

The following year, he extended an open invitation to others, a tradition he continued even through the challenging pandemic years.

Record Turnout and Diverse Participants

Reflecting on the recent pilgrimage, Father Foy noted that this year’s gathering was possibly the largest to date.

The group welcomed many first-time participants, as well as dedicated pilgrims who have faithfully joined the journey year after year.

Notably, one couple who had relocated from Missouri to Indiana continues to return for this annual pilgrimage.

Brandee Haskell: A Loyal Pilgrim

Among the devoted participants is Brandee Haskell, a resident of Jennings, Missouri, and a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

Introduced to the pilgrimage by a friend who heard about it on local Catholic radio, Haskell completed the entire pilgrimage in its inaugural year and has been a part of subsequent journeys.

Spiritual Enrichment on the Trail

Haskell found the pilgrimage to be an enriching and spiritually rejuvenating experience, offering respite from the demands of everyday life.

While pilgrims are not obliged to part with their phones during the journey, Haskell voluntarily did so, finding that this digital detox enhanced her experience.

The Eucharist’s Strength

Haskell, who works for the Franciscan Sisters for the Martyr St. George as a CNA, emphasized the strength she derives from daily Mass, particularly after switching from night shifts to daytime work.

The Eucharist, she said, empowers her to see her elderly patients through the compassionate lens of Christ.

Prayer Intentions and God’s Will

During the pilgrimage, Haskell carries a prayer intention for the religious sisters she serves and holds a personal prayer in her heart, asking God to help her accept His divine will for her life, even when it challenges her own desires.

Prayers for Peace in the Holy Land

The ongoing conflict in the Holy Land weighed heavily on the minds of many participants during the pilgrimage.

Several pilgrims dedicated their journey to praying for peace in that troubled region.

The Schrievers’ Journey

Roland and Susan Schriever, both in their mid-70s and avid travelers, have previously visited the Holy Land on pilgrimage.

This time, they embraced the Katy Trail Pilgrimage, not only as a means of prayer but also as an opportunity to connect with Father Foy, their associate pastor at St. Clare of Assisi Parish.

A Spiritual Journey in Nature

The Schrievers, who are passionate walkers, saw the pilgrimage as a way to combine prayer and a love for the outdoors.

Walking along the Katy Trail offered them a unique way to bond with their priest and delve deeper into their faith.

Religion News

TDPel Media

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