Skip to comments.Just a Closer Walk With Thee: Friars Trudge 300 Miles and Find Kindred Souls on the Way [Ecumenical]
Posted on 07/29/2009 8:08:41 AM PDT by Pyro7480
They've been mistaken for Jedi-wannabes headed to a Star Wars convention. They've been investigated by police, approached by strangers, gawked at from cars and offered gifts of crumpled dollar bills and Little Debbie snacks.
After trekking along more than 300 miles of dusty Virginia country roads and suburban highways, six Franciscan friars reached Washington on Tuesday, having seen it all during an offbeat modern-day quest for God.
For six weeks, the brothers walked from Roanoke with only their brown robes, sandals and a belief in the kindness of strangers to feed and shelter them.
The sight of six men in flowing habits, trudging single file on the side of the road, prompted many to pull over and talk, even confess. People on their way to work described their loneliness. College students wanted help figuring out what to do with their lives....
"Dressed like we are in our habits, it's like a walking sign that says, 'Tell us your life's problems,' " explained Cliff Hennings, the youngest of the friars at 23.
In every instance, the friars made time for conversation. They shot the breeze with a gang of drunk bikers, dispensed relationship advice to the brokenhearted commuters and bore witness to one and all....
Then last month they drove from Chicago to Salem, just outside Roanoke, parked their van at a church and set out on foot.
They tried to live by the ascetic rules Jesus laid out for his 12 disciples: "Take nothing for the journey -- no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic." The less they brought, they reasoned, the more room they could leave for God. The friars did make a few modifications, carrying a toothbrush, a wool blanket, water and a change of underwear...as well as one cellphone in case of emergency....
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Cool. I wonder if they were from Fr. Groeschel’s group? Article didn’t say.
Some of this would have made great video.
LOL! Are any of the young men Chinese?
Apparently not, judging from their habits.
From left, Roger Lopez, Mark Soehner, Joshua Van Cleef, Richard Goodin, Clifford Hennings and Ed Shea walk beside an inner city thruway in Arlington as a driver stares. On their journey from Roanoke, the friars have been mistaken for Jedi wannabes and Shaolin monks.
Thanks for the post that has nothing to do with the Obamas. Whenever I hear that Gospel, I know that I am not worthy of following Jesus’ advice. It is refreshing to read about those who do. God Bless them and I hope that they remember the unworthy in their prayers.
Second, I wonder even if I would have the nerve to take them in should they pass by here? I pray that I would.
It said they came from Chicago ... maybe they are conventual Franciscans from Marytown.
God bless and keep them. Such an uplifting story. I’ll bet that they inspired some who saw them to turn toward God.
How beautiful! Look how young they are. I am encouraged by the fact that the young men we are getting today seem to have real vocations. They’re certainly not it in for the glory!
May God bless each and every one of them.
What this tells us is that the call of faith is very deep, and that the traditional signs of faith are branded in the subconscious of all of us who have grown up in Western tradition.
What does this mean for us? We shouldn't hesitate to proclaim the Faith. As Pope John Paul said, "Be not afraid."
I think the religious communities that gave up their habits made a huge mistake, not merely because the habit did something for the religious who wore them, but moreso because the habit was a continuous, visual means of evangelization.
Campion, I agree 100%.
When I was a little girl, growing up in a nominally Protestant family, the nuns I saw at the hospitals and schools made a big impression on me, and that impression is part of why I became a Catholic 5 years ago.
The signs of the Faith (Gregorian chant, traditional habits, Latin, statues, etc.) are signs that even the most lost among us recognize.
That can’t have been an easy walk in sandals.
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