READ: A PILGRIM’S DIARY w/ DAWN HAUSMANN: Here are some great photos charting the progress of 50 brave young Catholic pilgrims drawn from across Michigan who undertook a near-14-mile pilgrimage from Cheboygan State Park to Cross in the Woods in Indian River this weekend (July 23-25). Helping to lead the young adults was Dawn Hausmann, Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Lansing. Here is Dawn’s diary of the three-day spiritual journey:

“We give praise and glory to our Lord Jesus for blessing 50 amazing young adult pilgrims from around the State of Michigan (and a few from Ohio and Chicago) who said ‘yes’ to this wild Northern Michigan adventure!”

“Friday through Sunday we set up camp at Cheboygan State Park without normal amenities and made a 13.5-mile hiking trek down the North Central Trail along Mullet Lake to the Cross in the Woods (our Pilgrimage destination) in the glorious rain. God surely wanted to purify and stretch us on this mission.”

“Father Adam Maher, our chaplain from the Diocese of Saginaw, gave us a beautiful opening reflection on the difference between pilgrimage and vacation, as he encouraged us to be always be joyful Christians and count all thing, even trials, as blessings from God and a participation in our Lord’s own suffering. He encouraged us to offer the many sufferings that we would have for intentions that we brought on the trip, people we were praying and interceding for, as well as our own personal intentions. And we sure did have suffering…from the pouring rain throughout the day on Saturday; to wet tents and mosquitos at the bonfire; to no showers or electricity at the campsite; to sore feet on the long hiking journey.”

“In the midst of all of this, it was quite amazing to see how much bonding happened and fun that was had. The Lord was surely our strength. We prayed together throughout the weekend …. Night Prayer both nights; times of silent walking on the trail as we offered our intercessions to God; the Holy Rosary; Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; Divine Mercy Chaplet; and, of course, Holy Mass.”

“Father Maher, Patrick Howard and myself all gave reflections during the trek on our themes of the pilgrimage: Petitioning, Perseverance, and Joy. Mark Graveline and his family gave their weekend to us to provide all of our meals! Such an amazing gift to us!”

“At the end of our trek on Saturday evening, in the last hour, the sun came out and skies cleared as we journeyed our final couple of miles to the Cross in the Woods. It felt like we went from the crucifixion to the resurrection with our Lord throughout the day as nature expressed that pattern.”

“After prayer at the Cross in the Woods, we bussed it back to Cheboygan State Park to have an amazing pulled-pork dinner on the beach pavilion as some of us then went in Lake Huron to wash off and watch the sun set over the water before heading back for our final bonfire and reflections and prayer of the day. Sunday morning, we finished our time together by returning to the Cross in the Woods for their outdoor Mass. We thank the Lord for his many blessings individually as well as collectively experienced. We pray that the blessings of the weekend continue in the lives of the pilgrims and strengthen them in their faith.”





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