Many of my fellow pilgrims have already reflected on the special bond and connection we have felt with one another on this trip; nonetheless, I want to share my experience as well. Our last evening fellowship in Paris was a fitting end. We hiked Montmartre for the last holy site visit and then dinner at La Bonne Franquette where we sang many Happy Birthdays to fellow pilgrim Heather Grocke-Saunders, signed the ND flag for Fr. John, and toasted one last time.

As we journeyed down the mountain, I decided to be adventurous and slide down a set of steep decline rather than taking the steps: “You want to see something cool?” It was “cool” for about a second until I lost control, wiped out, and hit my face against the rocky concrete. While I got right up from the fall, pride and scar tissues remained on those rocks.

The concerns that everyone expressed for my reckless abandon save all embarrassment and physical pain. Of all the groups that I have been a part of, this group exhibits the most nurturing fidelity I have ever had to privilege to be a part of. It did not come as a surprise because as I got to hear each individual pilgrim’s stories and connect with each one individually, I recognized that we are a nurturing bunch. It worked out for me because I was the beneficiary of this nourishment on this particular night.

Written by Nhat Nguyen