|Prince Edward Island, home of Anne of Green Gables|
Many years before this introduction, I had the pleasure of going with my sisters
|Group photo in Emmaus, March 2018|
While there are differing opinions over the exact locations of certain events, it was undeniable that these were the towns in which our Lord was born, walked, grew, lived, died and rose. The beauty of our pilgrimage took us in a chronological journey through Scriptures from Bethlehem to Nazareth and through to Jerusalem. I can’t possibly capture this entire Pilgrimage in one blog post, but I will do my best to highlight the most powerful moments I experienced along the journey. No longer were these just stories that I heard at every Mass about things that had happened in a land far away. They were right there in front of me to be experienced.
The journey began in Bethlehem, the town we know to be the birthplace of
|Night in modern Bethlehem|
|Valley of the Good Samaritan|
We then went on to Nazareth and saw where Mary and Joseph grew up, where
became flesh at the Annunciation. I was intrigued by this space where they lived their everyday normal lives. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Nativity Story and I could easily adapt the setting to this space. I could see dinner being made, carpentry being taught, and could almost feel the love and hear the laughter of those precious everyday moments. It was amazing to me that the reason so many people settled in Nazareth was because the mountains were made of chalk and easily carved into. Here would be the setting of the majority of Jesus’ earthly life.
|Renewing vows in the wedding church at Cana|
|Modern fishermen on|
the Sea of Galilee
Finally, our journey took us to Jerusalem. We were blessed to walk down the hill of Palm Sunday-- I am so grateful it wasn’t up instead. We saw the Tomb of David, the Garden of Gethsemane, and finally we made our Way of the Cross. We marveled to pass the Roman marble courtyard of Pilate’s home where Jesus would have walked, the same marble from 2000 years ago still there. I was in awe of the close proximity of the shops to the Way, and how difficult it was to navigate through the streets. I was thankful that I wasn’t facing an angry, jeering crowd while carrying a cross. Finally, we arrived at the Holy Sepulchre, and I have to say this is where God answered my greatest of prayers, far above my expectations.
|Celebrating Mass where Jesus walked|
I, along with Father Ed, decided to try bringing
|Renewing baptismal vows|
in the River Jordan
Christine Dufresne has been a Pauline Cooperator for four years. Originally from New Bedford, MA, she served at a mission in Kentucky for 16 months before settling in Waltham, MA. In addition to being a foster parent, she has been working with children in various ways for the past 20 years, helping with the children's program on retreats and with the Holy Family Institute group in Boston, and is currently a nanny for several families. She serves as a Eucharistic minister in her home parish of St. Mary’s in Waltham and visits the hospital monthly to bring Scripture and Communion to patients in the eating disorders and behavioral management wards. Most recently she has graduated with her Associated Degree and has gone on to pursue her Bachelor's and Master's in the Human Services/Social Work fields.