By Jessica Easthope
With Easter fast approaching, the Diocese of Brooklyn’s very first Lenten Pilgrimage is winding down. One woman is in the final stretch.
All during Lent she has been sacrificing her time and energy to make it to as many pilgrimages stops as possible.
With a spring in her step and good friends by her side, Sr. Mary Ann Ambrose is on her way toward accomplishing a goal. But, on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Lenten Pilgrimage it’s not about the destination – but the journey.
In total, Sister Mary Ann, from St. Ephrem Parish, has been to more than 30 churches and she’s more energized now than ever.
“It has been amazing to be able to get around and visiting churches that I’ve been connected to in some way and there were many on the list,” she said.
Sr. Mary Ann has visited 32 parishes, and with her passport in hand, she enters the 33rd, St. Rita’s in Long Island City for the angelus prayer and a rosary. She comes with a crew, her good friends Carol LoPorto and Sr. Mary Sivillo.
“I’m 84, I’ve lived in Brooklyn my whole life, I thought I knew it all, I’ve had so many wonderful experiences,” Carol said. “I bring all my prayers, I pray for all of you and for everybody in the church when I come and so I think it’s been a wonderful praying experience for me,” said Sr. Mary.
And she’s met pilgrims along the way with a similar purpose.
“Brooklyn and Queens has a rich diversity of wonderful people who worship the Lord and we’ve gotten to meet each other,” said Sr. Mary Ann.
With each church – she’s reminded of moments throughout her 40 years in religious life. The stamps in her passport have come to represent something deeper and the pilgrimage has allowed her to reflect on Christ’s resurrection.
“I track on my Fitbit and my heart rate goes lowest when I sit in the church and just let go of the things of the day and just remember, isn’t that what Jesus is about, remember me,” she said.
She’s on a mission to get to as many churches as she can. At the end she’s hoping it’s a moment of glory, not for herself – but for Him.
There are just two more stops in this Lenten Pilgrimage before the Easter Triduum.
Pilgrims are going to St. Francis Of Paola Church from Divine Mercy Parish in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Tuesday April 4th, for more than 12 hours of spiritual activities.
They will then make their way to Holy Cross Church in Maspeth, Queens on Wednesday April 5th, to close out the Lenten journey.