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home : features : youth / young adults September 24, 2017


8/26/2017 3:57:00 AM
Manalapan pilgrim shares reflection from four-day Polish walk
Christine Melilli of St. Thomas More Parish carries a speaker for three miles on the last day of the Polish pilgrimage. Photos courtesy of Gabriella Furmato

Christine Melilli of St. Thomas More Parish carries a speaker for three miles on the last day of the Polish pilgrimage. Photos courtesy of Gabriella Furmato

Father John E. Large, parochial vicar in St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan, poses for a photo with those who took part in the Polish walking pilgrimage Aug. 10-13 from Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Great Meadows, to the Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown, Pa. Among those pictured were those from Young Adults in Faith, a group of millennials from around Monmouth County, and Christine Melilli, a parishioner of St. Thomas More Parish.
Father John E. Large, parochial vicar in St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan, poses for a photo with those who took part in the Polish walking pilgrimage Aug. 10-13 from Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Great Meadows, to the Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown, Pa. Among those pictured were those from Young Adults in Faith, a group of millennials from around Monmouth County, and Christine Melilli, a parishioner of St. Thomas More Parish.

From staff reports

From Aug. 10 to 13, many from around the Diocese took part in the 30th anniversary of the Polish walking pilgrimage, a nearly 60-mile walk from Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Great Meadows, to the Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown, Pa.

Among them were members of the Young Adults in Faith, a group of millennials from various parishes around Monmouth County; Father John E. Large, parochial vicar in St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan, and adviser of the group, as well as fellow parishioners.

Following is a reflection on the pilgrimage from Christine Melilli, a parishioner of St. Thomas More who walked with the young adult group. Melilli is in her fifth year as a catechist and is launching a Women’s Bible Study in the parish in September.

“For me, the pilgrimage was more than just walking. In fact, I am convinced that God did not bring me to the pilgrimage for the physical penance.

“Honestly, I struggle with trusting God with my life completely. During the course of the four-day pilgrimage, I was exposed to sheer and pure kindness from every pilgrim. So much can go wrong with a group that size. One bad egg would ruin the entire pilgrimage.

“It made me realize that this is what heaven must be like. Everyone is good. Not one bad egg in the bunch. This should be our goal in life – to live in community for God.

“The difficulty now is taking what God taught me and applying it to everyday life. The pilgrimage was the second best investment I have ever made in myself. The first was, and always will be, exposure to God’s word through Scripture. I am looking forward to continuing this tradition. However, I suspect my first pilgrimage will always be the most special.” 

Related Coverage: Manalapan priest inviting young adults on local Polish pilgrimage 



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