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A Unique Home Visit
ISRAEL | MEMBERS | NEWS
RC Mission Corps volunteers reflect on their pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Anne Crittenden
RCMC volunteer Anne Crittenden after the conclusive retreat on the Mount of the Beatitudes.

May 18, 2010. Jerusalem, Israel. It’s hard to say you really know someone if you’ve never been to their home. The 36 Regnum Christi Mission Corps volunteers (formerly called coworkers) who spent April 6th – 16th on pilgrimage in the Holy Land have an “up” on their friendship with Jesus – they can now say they’ve been to His home.

As part of the annual RC Mission Corps program, volunteers traveled from their different cities of work around the United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, and Brazil to meet in the land where Jesus Christ lived.

Beginning with their stay in Jerusalem at the Notre Dame Center, the volunteers had the chance to follow the steps of Our Lord in his passion. This was only the beginning of a journey that brought each mystery of Jesus’ life alive in a real way. From Jerusalem they traveled north to Galilee, where they spent the last 3 days of the trip.

Highlights of the pilgrimage included a Eucharistic Hour in the garden of Gethsemane, an early morning Mass in the Holy Sepulcher, a journey with the cross through the streets of Jerusalem along the Via Crucis, and a day of retreat
Kayce Crone, Elyse Herbert, and Lucia Benavides in front of the Church of the Beatitudes
Volunteers Kayce Crone, Elyse Herbert, and Lucia Benavides in front of the Church of the Beatitudes.
on the Mount of the Beatitudes.

An Encounter with Christ

But to pick a favorite from all the holy places they visited is a tough task! Every place held an intimate encounter with Our Lord for each person in a unique way.

As Anne Crittenden, a volunteer in Louisiana said, “I just kept experiencing more and more love from Christ. And I asked Him, ‘What can I do to love you in return?’ and he helped me see that all he wanted me to do was thank him and enjoy every moment he was giving me.”

When asked what place on the pilgrimage was special for her, Caroline Pilon, a missionary who is currently working in New York, knew right away.

“Mount Tabor, the mountain where Jesus was transfigured, was my favorite spot,” she said. “Climbing the mountain was hard and I just kept telling Jesus, ‘I really want to be here with you.’ When we got to the top I was reflecting on hope. How much hope it would have given the apostles to be there with Christ at the Transfiguration! And how much hope he gives me now in my own life.”

For Molly Hodgdon who is volunteering her year
The RCMC volunteers at the site of Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.
The RCMC volunteers at the site of Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.
in DC, the special experience wasn’t at one particular place; it was the discovery of Christ as a real person who lived on earth.

“I realized that it’s not just about feeling his presence in the Holy Land, but knowing His presence in the Eucharist,” she said.

The preparation beforehand that helped the girls know the geographical, historical and religious background of each spot they were to visit as well as the atmosphere of prayer at the holy sites created a deep impact on each participant. 

“They wanted to make the most of being in every Holy Place that we visited,” said Katie Tuttle, one of the consecrated women of Regnum Christi who helped lead the pilgrimage. “What helped make it so fruitful was the chance to have Mass in a special holy place every day, as well as the chance for confession whenever they wanted during their journey.”

Along with Katie to help guide the volunteers on their pilgrimage were consecrated women, Lindsey Gahafer, Johanna von Siemens, and director of the RC Mission Corps in the United States, Veronica Estebanez.

Anne marveled at her experience saying, “I have been truly blessed by God. I am changed. My love for him
The RCMC volunteers pose in front of the Sea of Galilee on the property of the Legion of Christ in Magdala.
The RCMC volunteers pose in front of the Sea of Galilee on the property of the Legion of Christ in Magdala.
has grown and it will keep on growing.”

An Adventure Not to Be Missed

The experience in the Holy Land was a once-in-a-life-time adventure. Spread throughout the visits to the holy places were the “must do’s” when visiting the Holy Land, such as riding camels, swimming in the Dead Sea, enjoying the Mediterranean cuisine, and shopping in the street markets. The best part about it was that Jesus had a place in it all.
 
As Anne explained, it wasn’t hard to keep him at the center because, “This is where my great faith and my great love for him all started!”

One of the volunteers summarized the trip as “Opening a present that just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

Other volunteers agreed, adding, “If anyone gets the opportunity to visit the Holy Land, DO IT! It is grace upon grace.”

Learn more about the RC Mission Corps program and download an informational flyer at this link.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2010-05-24


 
 


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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


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