Young Pilgrims Embark on Cross-Country Journey for National Eucharistic Pilgrimage: Stories of Faith and Sacrifice Unfold

Young Pilgrims Embark on Cross-Country Journey for National Eucharistic Pilgrimage: Stories of Faith and Sacrifice Unfold

As the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage commences, pilgrims embark on four distinctive routes, each laden with spiritual significance.

The St. Junipero Serra Route, the longest of the four, initiates with a grand procession across the Golden Gate Bridge, promising a journey through the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.

Specially designed vans will accompany the pilgrims, transporting both the Eucharist and the participants through specific segments of their routes.

Georgia Native Jaella Mac Au Makes Sacrifices for Spiritual Calling

One of the pilgrims, Jaella Mac Au, a Georgia native and undergraduate student, has chosen the challenging St. Junipero Serra Route.

Despite delaying a crucial internship opportunity, Mac Au feels a strong calling from God to undertake this two-month pilgrimage.

She emphasizes finding “security in the insecurity,” trusting that the transformative experience will align with her desire to serve in a missionary capacity.

Charlie McCullough’s Encounter with Christ Leads to Juan Diego Route

Charlie McCullough, a 22-year-old college senior, will walk the southern Juan Diego Route, starting near the U.S.-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas.

His deep connection with Christ, sparked after receiving the Eucharist during his freshman year, motivates him to take this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

McCullough expresses eagerness to help others encounter the profound impact of Christ in the Eucharist, hoping to stir questions and inspire a deeper faith in those they encounter.

Shayla Elm Joins Juan Diego Route: A Lifelong Catholic on Fire for the Lord

Accompanying McCullough on the Juan Diego Route is Shayla Elm, a North Dakotan working for Christ in the City, a Catholic ministry aiding the homeless in Denver.

Elm, a lifelong Catholic, emphasizes the excitement of walking alongside other young adults passionate about their faith.

The Eucharist holds a central role in Elm’s spiritual journey, and she sees it as the cornerstone of her vocation, whatever path it may lead her on.

Formation and Preparation for the Pilgrimage

Preparation for the pilgrimage includes weekly Zoom formation sessions and a retreat in February.

Pilgrims, coming from diverse backgrounds and possessing unique gifts, eagerly anticipate the shared journey and the opportunity to deepen their faith.

The Catholic formation provided in recent months has already proven beneficial for Shayla Elm and her fellow pilgrims.

Authors Behind the Journey

Jonah McKeown, a staff writer and podcast producer for Catholic News Agency, and Peter Pinedo, a DC Correspondent for CNA, bring insights into the spiritual stories of these young pilgrims as they embark on this transformative National Eucharistic Pilgrimage across America.

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