I am not an adventurous type of person when it comes to food.  While many of my fellow pilgrims were excited at the opportunity to enjoy French cuisine, I was not.  Fortunately, I have found solace in my daily baguette (or two). For less than a Euro, I had peace of mind that I would be physically nourished. 

Comfort helps us get through difficult times. In the crypt at the Shrine in Le Mans, we learned of a story of Father Moreau requesting a candle be lit for him in Le Mans during his journey across the Atlantic for his visit to the missions in America. During my pilgrimage to France, my baguette was my candle — it got me through a few challenging food experiences (as a few of my new friends have realized!).

As Holy Cross priests hold the motto AVE CRUX SPES UNICA (Hail the Cross, our only hope) as sacred and a guiding influence, I have found myself praying at dinner how the baguette was my only hope.

When I return to Notre Dame du Lac in less than 24 hours, I will be faced with a number of challenging situations. While I will no longer need a baguette, I have a deeper appreciation for the Holy Cross pillar of “hope” and how important prayer can be… even for something as simple as bread.

Written by Ryan Willerton