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Published by                                  The Catoctin Banner Newspaper                                  February 2018             Page 13

                                       “Par t of the Pilgrimage”

                                         Mike Hargadon

                                                                                                             Courtesy Photos
                                                  manner, as he often would break
                                                  forth in short prayerful interjections,
                                                  seemingly erupting from deep within.
                                                    Father Jack is also known for
                                                  his many pilgrimages, in which he
                                                  led groups internationally to India,
                                                  Africa, Peru, Ireland, Italy, Spain,
              Emmitsburg can be a beautiful,      and France. Now, his pilgrimage has
            peaceful little town, but like        presented him as an accomplished
            anywhere in the USA, it can also be   author, attempting to lead his readers
            that godless, stress-filled rat race.   into an essential part of each of our
            Life can become a never-ending        beings. His approach to pilgrimage,
            carousel that seems to take a hold    whether to a foreign country or
            and capture our peace. Much of our    life in general, is to deal with the
            time can then often be spent trying   successes and the adversities. He
            to regain our peace. This effort can   welcomes both as “Part of the
            often be misdirected into an escape   Pilgrimage.”
            through drugs, alcohol, or unhealthy    His book reclaims meditation as
            relationships. There is a better way!   an essential part of Christian life.   breathing, “Why not use it explicitly
            The solution is beautifully explained   “Jesus along with the Holy spirit   in our prayer.” In describing the
            in a new book by the former           gives instruction. When you pray, go   title, Father Jack stated, “Breathing
            Chaplain of the Grotto of Lourdes in   into your inner room, close the door,   thirty-three breaths in a rhythmic
            Emmitsburg, Father Jack Lombardi      and pray to your Father in secret.”   and measured manner is a way to
            (pictured right).                       Father Jack discusses techniques   both imitate Jesus’ number of years
              This little book on meditation      to help develop our meditation, to   of life on earth and also physically
            titled, Thirty-three Breaths: A       avoid possible failures, and to help   and spiritually pray in a simple and
            Little Book on Meditation, covers     still ourselves for this journey.  “We   relatively short way.”
            the topic of meditation from a        need to ‘ignite the spark’ daily in our   Thirty-three Breaths: A Little
            spiritual, historical, and a “how to”   own meditation and make this Godly   Book on Meditation can be
            perspective. Father Jack describes    merger real, sensual and ongoing.”   purchased at the Seton Shrine and
            meditation as an “ongoing and         Some things may be as simple as      Grotto gift shops.
            foreshadowing merger with God
            and soul in oneness.”  Those who
            became familiar with Father Jack
            during his eight years at the Grotto
            will recognize his contemplative

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