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Crossroads4Christ Pays Us a Visit

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By Melanie Williams (Jul 7, 2016)
Each year tens of thousands of pilgrims visit the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Who are they, and what draws them here? The following is the latest in our "Pilgrims Progress" series. Meet the young adult group, Crossroads4Christ:

Coming from Columbia, Connecticut, Crossroads4Christ, is a newly formed young adult group taking to heart the words of Pope Francis, forming a "culture of encounter" rooted in love. Making a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy was on the top of their list of things to do, to encounter the Merciful Love of the Father in this Year of Mercy.

Samantha Pandolfi, one of the group leaders, went to Washington D.C. last September with some friends when Pope Francis visited the United States. After being deeply moved by the messages of the Holy Father and seeing his incredible joy and "fullness of life," Samantha and her friends wanted to live out the joy of the Gospel with great courage in their own community.

"Especially as young adults we crave meaningful fellowship, authentic friendship, and intentional community," Samantha said. Many of these young adults were blessed to have that in college, but since graduating and being out in the work force they have found it very hard to find.

So, a week after their pilgrimage to the Pope, they started a young adult group, Crossroads4Christ. They meet once every week, and each week the group focuses on one of four aspects of the flourishing human person: physical (by working out together and learning about fitness and nutrition), intellectual (by studying the Faith and Church teachings in order to form their minds to the Truth together), social (by doing recreational activities such as bowling, dancing, and fellowship) and spiritual (by praying together and growing in their relationships with Jesus together).

After having a retreat together on the Merciful Love of the Father, and hearing of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, they knew they wanted to make a pilgrimage together.

Samantha said, "It is necessary for us to receive and encounter God's mercy, and we desire to grow closer to God and to each other by encountering His mercy and then living and loving mercifully ourselves."

The group came on a Saturday in summer, and so they were able to adore the Blessed Sacrament, pray the Rosary, go to Mass, and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine.

Jessie, one of the group members, said that having Mass outside was incredible. "I believe one of the places God reveals Himself is in nature, and us being outside made the experience that much more powerful."

Reflecting on their day spent at the Shrine, Samantha said, "The Shrine is a place where the merciful love of God is present in a very tangible way through those who work, volunteer, and visit the Shrine. I have experienced encounters of mercy with those I have met here."

We are made for communion — with God and others — so take to heart the example of these young people and reach out to others and form a group! Encounter God's mercy together, and share it with others!

Come make a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy. Visit our website for more information.

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