Walking with Hope

  • Visit Franciscan.org
    Visit Franciscan.org

    Friar Photos
    Friar Photos

    Friar Sightings in Virginia
    Friar Sightings Map

  • Joshua Van Cleef
    Joshua Van Cleef
    “This pilgrimage is about the abundance of life offered in simplicity, in relationships, and in trusting in God.”

  • Richard Goodin
    Richard Goodin
    "Pilgrimage as a lifestyle is resurfacing within the Order; it is a penitential and radical way of completely relying upon the grace of God."

  • Clifford Hennings
    Clifford Hennings
    "I desire to hold nothing within my breast other than the love which I have been blessed by the Lord to receive, so that I have nothing to give but Christ’s perfect charity."

  • Roger Lopez
    Roger Lopez
    “When all the basic necessities of life are stripped away, one begins to see oneself, others and God in a different perspective, either positive or negative.”

  • Ed Shea, OFM
    Ed Shea, OFM
    "As a friar for over 25 years, I have always dreamed about doing something like this. I thank God for these young friars and their passion – it’s contagious!"

  • Mark Soehner, OFM
    Mark Soehner, OFM
    “It seemed important [for me] as a formation director to accompany the deep desire of our younger friars to live out our charism in this way. For me personally, it will be a way to walk with Christ.”

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Dear Fr. Mark,

Our Willig Family was pleased to read about your journey, (Walking with Hope), you look great! It would be a pleasure to hear and see you in the near future. If you are in Dayton, OH, possibly we could get together!
God Bless you,
Love and Prayers,
Edgar Willig

Gentlemen, the story of your journey touched my heart today. I was raised in a Franciscan parish (Holy Cross Church, Bronx, NY) and I have always loved the gentle but radical philosophy of the Order. Just the photo in this morning's Post, (Page One, above the fold!) brought tears to my eyes. Your pilgrimmage was also a message to me today that trust in God is all one needs to give and to receive all that is intended in this life. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Hey guys! I'm so glad you're chronicling this experience so we can all keep up with you. I've shared the articles and photos with most of my friends and family.

I hope the journey is opening you guys up, as experiencing the basics of life always does. You are all fantastic and inspiring and I know you're making a lasting impression on everyone you encounter. I hope the remainder of the trip goes well. And I hope you can all keep up with Brother Richard on the Appalachian Trail portion! Believe me...it's tough.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon. Thanks for letting us live vicariously.

Sammy Joe

My group from Concord, N.C., met with the friars in Lynchburg, Va., where they were doing some work at the Tabor Retreat. It was a pleasure talking with these young men. We were visiting the retreat as a group from the Cabarrus Quilters Guild, and meeting them and hearing what they are doing was the highlight of my trip!

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