Lourdes, France, May 18, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- Every pilgrim to Lourdes has their own motivations and reasons for making the journey. For the Mayors, the International Military Pilgrimage came with an additional grace: a family reunion.
Captain Mark E. Mayor and Captain Matthew N. Mayor are identical twins. Both have served for a decade in the U.S. Army. While the two have been stationed together in the past, they now live a continent apart. Mark is stationed at USAG Wiesbaden, in Germany. Matthew is stationed at Ft. Jackson, SC, but is a student at Northwestern University through the Army Advanced Civil Schooling program.
Last year, Mark and his wife, Malori, were both pilgrims on the Warriors to Lourdes trip. Malori, a registered nurse, volunteered on the medical team, assisted with helping wounded pilgrims, and played the violin at Mass throughout the weekend. This year, all three of the Mayors made the journey to Lourdes.
Mark and Malori told CNA that they are taking a different approach towards this year’s pilgrimage. Last year, they said they both came with a “spiritual agenda,” and were praying for a specific intention. This year, they said they are instead coming to Lourdes with an attitude of gratitude, and will be more relaxed about the experience.
“Coming with an agenda, though, was something that I think was a mistake, last year,” said Mark. This year, he intends to seek wisdom, something that he thinks he and his wife were inadvertently granted last year as well.
During the 2018 pilgrimage, Malori and Mark were praying they would conceive a child. This did not immediately happen, but Malori thinks that she received the gift of courage to break down the stigma and taboo of infertility. She used her blog to share stories about infertility and to inform her readers about holistic, natural, Church-approved methods of tackling fertility.
“I think that’s what we needed, that was our miracle for last year, even though we came with an agenda, God gave us the wisdom to seek out the right resources,” said Mark. “I think that’s the key takeaway with this pilgrimage.”
Malori is now expecting their first child, who is due in January 2020.
“Even before I became pregnant, though, I was kind of reflecting on last year’s experience at Lourdes, and realizing that I need to come here with a different posture, a different attitude; not ‘give me what I want, right now, on my timeline,’ but to just come with gratitude,” she explained.
This gratitude is “not necessarily for infertility–that would be very, very hard to be grateful for that cross itself,” but rather for how she and her husband have grown through this experience together.
Matthew told CNA that he had first learned of the Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage through his brother and sister-in-law, and was inspired to apply for this year. He said that he came into Lourdes with an open mind, and that he is seeking healing for both physical and mental wounds.
“My only expectation is to come here with an attitude of gratitude, to be thankful for the blessings that I have in my life right now,” said Matthew. Matthew also explained that he is looking forward to fellowship with members of the military, as the transition from living on a base to living in the civilian world can be jarring and lonely. The chance to interact with others is “a huge deal for me, to have that fellowship” he said.
Both Mark and Matthew have suffered from their time in the military, and both have been diagnosed with having post-traumatic stress. Mark also experienced a traumatic brain injury. They both spoke about the importance of civilian interaction with members of the military after they have returned home, as they both believe this is key to preventing and treating mental illnesses that many troops experience.
When a member of the military returns home, Mark explained, they are “separated from the tribe,” which can trigger depression and other mental wounds. The International Military Pilgrimage is a way for people to “get the tribe back together,” and is a therapeutic experience for the pilgrims. And while the pilgrims are from different nations and from different branches of the military, Mark is comforted by the fact that they are all in Lourdes to worship God.
“We all celebrate one universal Catholic faith,” said Mark. “It’s just something that I find it really humbling.”
Lourdes is famous for its baths, which have produced 70 confirmed miraculous healings, and hundreds of other cures. The Mayors say they have all been deeply touched by their experiences taking a dip in the ice-cold water.
Malori called her trip to the baths “life-changing,” and said that it came with a sense of peace. Matthew agreed, saying it was an “eclectic and powerful experience.”
“My intentions were for continued healing in body, mind, and spirit, and for the grace of continued wisdom to fulfill and refill my well of fortitude,” said Matthew. He said he was grateful and thanked God for being present for him in that moment.
All agreed that Lourdes is a special place, and that the addition of the pilgrims attending the International Military Pilgrimage only increases the town’s unique sense of holiness.
“Minus all the people coming here with illnesses and wheelchairs, maybe this is a little bit of what like Heaven is,” said Malori. “Everyone’s so peaceful and all these different countries coming together at the military pilgrimage–maybe this is like a taste of that.”
Which “homosexuality” are they referring to? The sanitized for Western consumption, post-AIDS homosexuality where “gay marriage” is still largely “open marriage?” Or the inherently self-injurious “gay lifestyle” due to psychological and physical challenges to immunity (including substance abuse)even in the most accepting of cities, communities?
In the spirit of Aristotle will “gay awareness” include the actual facts/statistics?
Which one is a “misread” of Scripture?
Every single one of them should be pitched out of whatever offices they hold, and laicized, perhaps even excommunicated. And if I were the civil police I would be carefully investigating to see what crimes they have been committing that makes them want this evil legitimized.
Here is more evidence of the spread of the influence of Satan through sexuality. Homosexuality is a deviant sexual behavior along with Pedophilia and TransGenderism. We have already seen liberals calling for an “understanding” and acceptance of Pedophiles as simply another sexual orientation. They want to open the doors to public acceptance of child abuse. So far they have begun to make legal infanticide so it’s not that far a leap to child sexual abuse given the ease at which they have reduced a living human being to nothing more than a clump of cells even after birth. The evil of the past is showing it’s face and the destruction of the human soul starting with the most innocent has begun.
A synodal church to be.
In short, “We make these demands! Have a nice trip to Rome and say hi to the pope for us.”
What is Holy Mother Church in America doing about punishment for convicted child molesters? Celibacy is one of the vows a priest makes when receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Obviously when a priest breaks his vow of celibacy he needs to speak with not only his bishop, to find out if he would be better suited as a married man; but, he also needs to speak with a licensed trained psychiatrist to help discover why he should remain a priest or live the rest of his life as a married Roman Catholic husband and future father of children. I’ve seen priests who were almost forced into the priesthood by parents who simply had to have one son who would be the priest of the family. Child molestation is another matter altogether. Convicted pedophiles should never be shuffled from parish to parish. These men are preditors and not merely men who made poor career choices. The Roman Catholic Church should never try to hide these men. Of course pedophiles require intensive therapy by trained psychiatrists. As an almost 68 year old Roman Catholic woman, I am ashamed that my beloved church has covered up for these men. I truly believe that the pedophilic priest must be defrocked and never, even as a Roman Catholic layman, be permitted to work with children as long as he lives. Permitting the pedophile to continue as a priest is wrong. He is a mentally disturbed person who needs help, of course. He is not a man to be trusted with the innocent child, ever again. The priest should always be able to be trusted by children and adults, especially those who have no one else to comfort them in their day to day life. I’ve always put my priests upon a pedistal because I realized, especially as I became an adult, they gave up married life, a wife and family, to deserve me calling him, with the greatest of love, “Father.” When I go to Confession and hear a priest encouraging me to empty my heart of troubles, as I say, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”, I know that the holy and celibate priest, who deserves all my respect for all his sacrifices, knows how to help me make peace with God and he will absolve me of my transgressions. There is no room for convicted pedophiles in the priesthood of Holy Mother Church. He has stolen the innocence of a trusting and helpless child. He has murdered Innocense itself, as surely as those Roman soldiers tried to murder Baby Jesus while killing the Holy Innocents.
“Obviously when a priest breaks his vow of celibacy”
If I’m understanding correctly, “celibacy” means not marrying. So the problem with most of those priests is that they are not being chaste, as we are all called to be according to our states in life.
“he needs to speak with not only his bishop, to find out if he would be better suited as a married man;”
That should have been done before he was ordained. Added to which, something like 80% of the “pedophilia” cases were actually cases of homosexual assault on post-pubescent boys, which isn’t actually pedophilia.
“he also needs to speak with a licensed trained psychiatrist”
I wouldn’t trust a psychiatrist. Listening to psychiatrists’ advice was part of what led to moving abusers around; and the psychiatrists’ association also decided that homosexuality is not a mental disorder anymore, and that “transgenderism” is just fine.
“I’ve seen priests who were almost forced into the priesthood by parents who simply had to have one son who would be the priest of the family.”
Somehting which, again, should have been discovered during the discernment process, during their time in seminary – in short, *before* they were ordained. Why wasn’t it? How many priests was this that you’ve seen? When? How did you know that was why they became priests?
“poor career choices.” The priesthood isn’t a career, it’s a calling. Any man who thinks of it as a career shouldn’t be one.
The only absolute Dogma Cardinal Marx believes in is the Church Tax he and his cohorts extort from the Catholic Faithful in Germany.
More probing than spearhead. Prominent Catholic Black Ops Led by Fr Wucherpfennig openly homosexual rector mission to test enemy assets Cardinal Marx their Quisling [since it’s so ludicrously obvious I’m compelled to resort to humor however true]. As prev acknowledged the true enemy are advocates of normalizing the abomination of homosexuality posturing heroic aware as devious cowards they have Vatican and majority societal support. Quislings abound among German Hierarchy very few comparable to 1941 Hierarchy led by Augustus Cardinal von Galen. Although there are a few good men among them. With faith and God’s arm they can win the day. Even if vanquished by the morally disabled their strong resistance is in itself victory.
Open Letter to a group of Nine prominent German Catholics who want a new morality, women priests, etc. Your demands are not exactly a news bombshell. The Catholic faithful worldwide have been hearing this rubbish on and off for over 50 years. Your heretical gripes are getting old and boring. And there exists a fast solution to your unjust gripes: Leave the Roman Catholic Church and start your own church. It’s that simple. No sense sticking with the Church with over 2,000 years of constant teachings about morality and doctrinal beliefs when you Nine prominent German Catholics can start your own new-wave type of church. Frankly, I have more respect for the 16th century Protestant Reformers who left the Church instituted by Christ rather than sticking with it when they no longer believed in its core teachings. You have the full freedom to leave because no one is pointing a gun to your prominent heads, demanding your life or your consent. Parting advice: It is not psychologically sound to with an institution which you find abhorrent.