Behind the wheel of Feet for Francis, tools of evangelization

Pat Hamilton, Laura Hamilton and Paul Tiller

“This machine kills fascists,” was the message Woody Guthrie wrote on his guitar.
“This machine evangelizes,” needs to be added to the paint scheme on the 15-passenger van the Loaves and Fishes Ministry from St. Ignatius Parish in Baltimore donated to Feet for Francis/the Pilgrimage of Love and Mercy, which awoke this morning of Sept. 25 at Neumann University in Aston, Pa.
Paul Tiller picked up the van from Father James Casciotti’s parish last Sunday morning, and has been behind the wheel since. I’ve dubbed it the Baltimore Popemobile. It’s carried all of our clothing, sleeping bags, air mattresses, bottled water, fruit and snacks – and the gifts of cash, ice and Danish pastries donated by total strangers, moved by the Gospel message of Father Jack Lombardi.
We are remaining here tonight, so we do not have to repack it this morning. Instead it is prepared to ferry 22 pilgrims some 15 miles back to Kennett Square, to continue our walk to the papal Mass in Philadelphia Sunday.
Last night Pat Hamilton made multiple runs here from Kennett Square, arriving sometime after 7:30 p.m. after picking up five pilgrims who walked 16.1 miles so the rest of us didn’t have to (more on that later). He’s a parishioner of St. Agnes in Catonsville, and a 1970 grad of Cardinal Gibbons. His wife, Laura, drove van three yesterday.
Paul McNeil of St. Mary Parish in Hagerstown and Megan Kinsella Quaranta, the youth minister at St. Mark in Fallston and with child herself, proved invaluable in that role earlier in the week. I need to reimburse Paul for the FedEx charge he paid to ship my car phone charger back to CR Media, and delivered here last night by Maureen the Social Media Machine, AKA Maureen Cromer. Now we’ve got Catherine Milstead, mom of two young pilgrims from St. John in Westminster, adding another large van to the caravan.

As Father Jack and I schemed this journey – check out the lyrical OpEd he wrote for The Sun – I had some idea of the logistics required to move hungry men, women and youths, but did not appreciate the coordination and constant work he has undertaken. I had faith that people and parishes would pitch in. That was sufficient.

Pope Francis needs to visit Neumann University, a very green campus, where Stephen T. Bell of marketing and communications turned the president’s hospitality suite at the field house, where we are sleeping, into a media center. I began writing a half hour ago in the dark, because the lights aren’t timed to come on until 7 a.m.
They are now, and the sun has risen.
Hey! Hey!
Ho! Ho!
Buen Camino!
Let’s Go!

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.