National Pilgrimage Comes to NYC, Blessed Sacrament Travels Through Diocese of Brooklyn

Tags: Currents Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Media, National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

Zoe Dongas’ feet are tired, but her soul is energized. Christ is the song in her heart.

“My gift that I’ve been able to receive is getting to share music during this pilgrimage,” Dongas said. “It’s been such a blessing to be able to give glory to God in that way. Honestly, I think it’s the Holy Spirit because there should be no way that I’m still able to make noise, but we’ve been able to sing basically the entire day. God is good, and God is providing, even when we’re tired.”

Her voice is evangelizing along the way—she’s been walking for days in the name of the Eucharist as a perpetual pilgrim headed to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. The Bread of Life passed through her hometown, New York City, on Sunday, May 26.

“It has been so wild,” Dongas said. “We’ve experienced so many different communities. Getting to walk through the Archdiocese of New York and now the Diocese of Brooklyn is just such a gift since this is my home.”

The day started with Mass and Benediction at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with Cardinal Timothy Dolan thanking the pilgrims for their dedication.

“No wonder this Archdiocese is thrilled as we welcome the pilgrims accompanying the Most Holy Eucharist on the national journey to the heartland in Indiana for our American Eucharistic Revival this coming July,” Cardinal Dolan said. “As this cathedral, as Fifth Avenue, as Rockefeller Center, as our parishes, our seminary, our streets, our shrines of Elizabeth Ann Seton and Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, even the Statue of Liberty, will welcome our Eucharistic Lord these days awash in God’s grace and mercy.”

Then it was off, taking thousands of pilgrims with it, making its way down 50th Street in Midtown Manhattan, and hours later, meeting Bishop Robert Brennan and hundreds more on the Brooklyn Bridge. The city skyline served as a backdrop as pilgrims built up the Kingdom of God.

“It’s exciting to be part of something bigger than ourselves,” Bishop Brennan said. “This isn’t just us. So this connection—New York to Brooklyn—is really a connection between all those walking from Hartford all the way to Indianapolis.”

Praise and worship continued through the streets of Brooklyn to Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral. It was unlike anything perpetual pilgrim Dominic Carstens had ever seen.

“It’s really different for me,” Carstens said. “I grew up on a farm with trees, and now I’m in the urban jungle, but there’s so many people on the sidewalk, and they look, and they hear the music. Then they see the Lord, and they’re just put in awe and curious. It’s those sorts of interactions that I’m going for—to get people to start being curious about our Lord in the Eucharist. From there, they can build their own relationships with Him.”

Hearts on fire with love for the Bread of Life—these pilgrims made a commitment to Christ to proclaim a sacred mystery and fundamental belief many Catholics have fallen away from.

“I’m hoping it’s a powerful sign to those who see the pilgrimage, to those who see the procession, that they themselves are drawn into the power of this moment,” Bishop Brennan said. “Maybe it might ignite that experience of faith, bringing people closer to the Lord.”