Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meanwhile, On the Road to Montreal, Week 1

“Man proposes, God disposes.” That’s what Gulliver used to say, though he said it in his native language. He said it “suffered in translation,” too, but I got the idea.

With my pilgrimage to Montreal, I proposed and everyone else has disposed, God included, I presume. I had such a great plan: get letters of reference from my present and former pastors, send letters out to parishes along the route, receive generous offers of hospitality from one and all, and talk to or with anyone who cared to listen in exchange for said hospitality.

None of that is happening. Not yet anyway.

Instead, friends are appearing “out of nowhere”—those close to home with whom I have talked directly and others whom I seldom see, who saw posts on this blog. Hospitality is pouring in on me, just not from the places I expected it.

I am structuring my trip one week at a time. The map above shows the first week—or ten days actually. I will leave St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, on May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and I hope to stop in the following parishes at the mass times shown in the ten-day period through May 10.

* Ipswich MA—Our Lady of Hope — Friday 9 a.m.
* Salisbury MA — Star of the Sea — Saturday 4 p.m.
* Amesbury MA—Holy Family — Sunday 10:30 a.m.
* Haverhill MA—St. James Parish — Monday 5:30 p.m.
Lawrence MA—Corpus Christi Parish — Tuesday 12:00 p.m.
Lowell MA—Shrine of St. Joseph the Worker — Wednesday 12:00 p.m.
Nashua NH—St. Joseph the Worker Parish — Thursday 8:00 a.m.
Merrimack NH—Our Lady of Mercy — Friday 8:30 a.m.
* Manchester NH—St. Anselm’s College & Abbey — Saturday and Sunday

The route is anything but straight-line, as you can see from the map. I will be making a beeline for Newburyport MA at the mouth of the Merrimack River, then following history upstream.

The parishes along my route may change. But for now they are chosen for (1) their names, i.e. anything including St. Joseph or Holy Family gets first look and (2) their mass times. I am hoping to attend mass each day of my pilgrimage—something that is virtually impossible on the Camino de Santiago. It is shocking how many churches are closed in today’s Spain. C-L-O-S-E-D.

Anyway, I am posting this map and list (and will do so for subsequent weeks soon) so that readers can reach out to me if they wish. If you know folks in any of these towns or parishes and can connect me with them for a bed, a couch, a meal, or a cup of coffee during the first ten days of May, I would be much obliged.

The first four stops and the last (*) are already covered by generous offers of hospitality. But I will take all the help I can get from Lawrence thru Merrimack.

NOTE: My post for week 2 is here.

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