An Important Message from the Pastor

Father Drew Braun

Fr. Drew’s News

I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to write a little bit about personal pilgrimages and retreats in my column this week.

I have been blessed to partake in both a personal pilgrimage and retreat over the past month. I say blessed, because I know for some people this may seem like an impossibility given their current circumstances in life: perhaps the demands of kids, family, work, or whatever it may be makes it a real challenge to even find any personal time.

But despite the business of our lives I want to encourage all of you to consider taking a pilgrimage or a retreat, for it is precisely because of the business that we need to do so.

I just think it is so important. So, so important. I truly don’t know if there has been anything in my life that has been more influential than some of the personal pilgrimages I have made.

Nothing has changed the trajectory of my life more than pilgrimages. And I’m not even speaking hyperbolically here. I really think I can authentically and truthfully say that the pilgrimage I took to Medjugorje when I was 13 and my recent trip to the Holy Land has impacted my life unlike anything else. It has changed me.

It has born so much fruit in my life. And so I simply encourage you. Maybe you’re rolling your eyes at me and thinking, “Oh, wouldn’t that be nice, Father, but no way I can pull that off”. Maybe. But I know my parents carted three of us young kids across an ocean on a pilgrimage that to me now seems like absolute insanity. It was expensive. It was far away. We were so young. But I can tell you right now, were it not for that pilgrimage and the “insanity” of my parents, I don’t think I would be a priest today. To be honest I’m not sure I’d be Catholic. It changed everything. It transformed our family and our faith.

So consider taking some time. Try to make it happen. Go on a pilgrimage or make a quiet retreat somewhere. I just know for me it has born so much fruit. I hope you can experience that as well.

The Holy Land