Spiritual Preparation

Your Unique Relationship with God

A pilgrimage is not a ritual or a rite.  There is no prescribed right way or wrong way.  It is an experience of very personal contemplation, reflection and prayer, so each pilgrim approaches it with his or her own unique relationship with God.

We come as we are.  Some come dancing with joy.  Others come with tears of sorrow.  You might prefer to walk alone with your eyes to the skies.  You might prefer to walk intimately with a spouse or close friend.  You might prefer to sing or chant or pray rosaries with others along the way.  You should feel free to walk your journey in whatever way best opens your heart to the whispers of the Holy Spirit.  We only ask that you respect the sacred spirituality of the other pilgrims, understanding that, while all walk the same path, God has given each his or her own journey.

In preparation, you might find it helpful to do an examination of conscience, asking yourself what is holding you back from fully and freely being the person God created you to be.  What is it you fear?  Who do you need to forgive?

Some might find Eucharistic Adoration meaningful in preparing for the pilgrimage.  Others might find the Sacrament of Penance helpful as a way to bring peace to their hearts.  The biggest thing is that you prepare your heart for openness.  Make room for the Holy Spirit!

Walk to Mary Prayer

Dear Father in heaven,

Just as the three Kings journeyed from the East to find Christ;
Just as Jesus, Mary and Joseph travelled by foot from Nazareth to the Temple in Jerusalem;
Just as Peter and James and John hiked up the mountain all day with the Lord;
Just as Christian Pilgrims have trekked across Europe and the Middle East to the Holy Places;
Just as Saint John Paul II voyaged to all mankind to find Christ and bring Christ;
So too we set forth on foot today, starting at the National Shrine of St. Joseph and Walking to Mary,
to visit the grounds made holy by Our Lady of Good Help, Queen of Heaven, as we commit ourselves
to answering her call to "teach the children what they need to know for their salvation."

May the archangel Raphael accompany us on our pilgrimage, may our guardian angels protect us, and may we know the joy of the presence of God throughout the day as we rejoice in the gift of life and grace in the beauty of your creation.

Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

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"As part of the New Evangelization, I invite all in our area who are able to join in this journey of faith. Participation in this pilgrimage is a wonderful way to engage the entire family, and especially our young people."

Bishop David L. Ricken
of the Diocese of Green Bay