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Young Adult Catholics Invited to Pilgrimage from Border to Coronado


The diocese's Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, in partnership with the nonprofit organization Modern Catholic Pilgrim, are sponsoring a pilgrimage from the border to Coronado on March 23. (Photo courtesy of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry.)

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SAN DIEGO — All young adults, ages 18 to 39, are invited to take part in the fourth Annual San Diego Young Adult Pilgrimage.The event, sponsored by the diocesan Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry in partnership with the nonprofit organization Modern Catholic Pilgrim, will be held on Saturday, March 23.

The approximately 16-mile route will begin at Friendship Park at the U.S.-Mexican border and end at Sacred Heart Church in Coronado, where the pilgrims will attend the vigil Mass for Palm Sunday.Two alternate joining points are available for those who would prefer to make a shorter pilgrimage of either 10 miles or 1.5 miles.

The full pilgrimage is only open to young adults. Accompanied children can participate in the two shorter routes.The diocesan Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry is expecting about 50 people to participate.“During the season of Lent, we listen to the Gospel readings that speak about Jesus’ experience in the desert, His journey of 40 days walking and wondering,” said the office’s director, Maricruz Flores. “This is the opportunity for us to walk as a community and pray for one another.”“There is something powerful about walking on pilgrimage to the Palm Sunday Vigil Mass, because that is exactly what Christ did 2,000 years ago,” said Will Peterson, founder and president of Modern Catholic Pilgrim. “He was making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover when the people greeted Him with palms and hailed Him as the Messiah.”He added, “The young adult pilgrims will gain a deeper appreciation of Christ while carrying their intentions to Him.”Last year’s pilgrimage was a walk from Mission San Luis Rey to Prince of Peace Abbey, both located in Oceanside. In the two preceding years, the route was from The Immaculata Parish in Linda Vista to St. Brigid Parish in Pacific Beach.This year, pilgrims will drive themselves to Sacred Heart Church by 8 a.m., parking on neighboring streets. They will be transported by bus to Friendship Park, where a brief prayer service will be held. Pilgrims will begin walking by 9 a.m.

About 5.5 miles into their journey, the pilgrims will take a break to pray and to use the restroom facilities at St. Charles Parish in Imperial Beach.St. Charles Parish will be the first of the two alternate joining points. Those interested in beginning their pilgrimage there and walking the remaining 10 miles should plan to arrive at 10:45 a.m.The pilgrims will make another stop at the beach, where they will enjoy whatever lunch they brought with them.The next stop – and second joining point – will be at Glorietta Bay Park in Coronado.Those who arrive at the park around 3 p.m. will be able to walk the final 1.5 miles to Sacred Heart Church.The pilgrimage is expected to conclude around 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Parish, where there will be time for private prayer and the offering of intentions. Confession will be available until 4:30, followed by Mass at 5 p.m. and a provided supper onsite.The cost is $40 for the full pilgrimage from Friendship Park to Sacred Heart Parish.For those beginning at St. Charles Church, it is $40 for young adults and free for children.The cost to those joining the pilgrimage at Glorietta Bay Park is $20 for young adults and free for children.

What are Flores’ hopes for participants in this year’s pilgrimage?“To meet other young adults from all over our diocese,” she said, “and to experience a journey that might be difficult, however a great opportunity to lift our struggles to God and know that there is a community supporting each other.”She added, “Our prayer is that this event helps young adults prepare for Holy Week through prayer, building community and understanding that we are pilgrims, even in our own city.”Peterson said, “We at Modern Catholic Pilgrim strive always to create opportunities for pilgrims to have an ‘Emmaus encounter’ on pilgrimage, where a pilgrim recognizes the Risen Christ at the pilgrimage’s endpoint after walking, talking and praying with his or her brothers and sisters in Christ.“The pilgrim should respond the same way the disciples did there at Emmaus — run back to the community to spread the Good News.”For more information, contact the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry at (858) 490-8260 or more about Modern Catholic Pilgrim at

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