About the FSSP Washington DC Pilgrimage

From the earliest days of the Christian Age, faithful followers of Jesus Christ have been drawn to holy people and places. Some go seeking answers. Some go to obtain favors. Some go because they wish to give or have promised to give thanks for favors received.

But perhaps the most common reason for making a pilgrimage is to atone for sin. Since the Garden of Eden there have been only two sinless souls to come into this world; Jesus and Mary. The rest of us are sinners; unworthy to approach Almighty God, and deserving of everlasting fire.

In His infinite Mercy, God has granted that men might atone for their sins by prayer and penance. And so it is that pilgrimages have always been made in a prayerful spirit of humility and mortification as acts of penance.

In this tradition, priests and seminarians from Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary and laymen from around the country annually make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the pilgrimage is to do penance for our sins and for the sins of our nation. Each of us is a sinner. But more than that, our nation which has been blessed by God to rise to a place of world leadership faster than any other nation in history, and has profited more than any other nation from the fruits of the modern age, has led the world in the most perverse and offensive sins imaginable. Further, our country has spent its money and resources, gifts of God, to export our evils and to promote them in other countries.

The greatest example of this is the fact that American money and technology is responsible for more deaths by abortion in the 20th century, at home and abroad, than the Nazi Holocaust, Vietnam, Korea, AIDS, cancer, drunk driving, and violent crimes combined. Other examples abound.

And so we make this pilgrimage, approximately 60 miles in 3 days, walking along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal to Washington, D.C. to atone for our sins and the sins of our nation; to implore God to convert our hearts and our country; and to pray for mercy for ourselves and for America in that day when we will all stand before the Awesome Judge from whom nothing is hidden.