Joan Broussard
St. Anne Parish
Youngsville, Louisiana

Carl and I embarked on this pilgrimage with heavy hearts. In fact, Carl almost didn’t come. Family issues were weighing on us, but as we all know, no problem is too big for our good and merciful God.

He got busy with both of us as soon as we began our journey. We shared our struggle with fellow pilgrims, in confession and in private conversations that resulted in our being willing to open our hearts to God’s abundant mercy and guidance.

The Holy Doors were another blessing we did not anticipate God using to minister to us. As we went through them, we could sense the Father saying “Come on in—you are home.”

Walking through these beautiful and inspiring basilicas reminds us of the long history of our faith. We realize that we are part of something wonderful and awe-inspiring, our Church.

As is our tradition, we lit candles in each place we visited. I believe we are already seeing God answering our prayers.

It took us several days to finally allow God to minister to our broken hearts and show us that He has our family situation in hand and will make everything work out for His glory. We are confident in His providence and have left all things in His hands with our promise to cooperate with His grace in whatever way He calls. Our faith has deepened and our spirituality has grown for having come on this pilgrimage.

The guidance of the Magnificat Travel staff made it so easy to concentrate on God and prayer and not on the trip itinerary and details.

This is what makes Magnificat Travel the top of our list for travel.

As a spiritual director, visiting Montserrat was of particular significance. This was the site where St. Ignatius of Loyola laid down his military sword before the Black Madonna and pledged his life to her and to God. St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, is also the first spiritual director and the model for all directors. I was humbled and inspired to walk in the same place as he.

Joan Broussard, Msgr. Curtis Mallet and Carl Broussard

Joan Broussard, Msgr. Curtis Mallet and Carl Broussard enjoy the sites while on pilgrimage.

We traveled with the most amazing pilgrims—so generous, so kind and so much fun! We met new friends and got re-acquainted with pilgrims with whom we had traveled on previous Magnificat pilgrimages. This was a great blessing to all.

The Harmony of the Seas cruise was magnificent—a bit too big for us—but great nonetheless. We both went down that giant slide; Carl did the zip line solo with me cheering him on.

One of the sweetest highlights for Carl and me was in Marseilles, France. We took a city tour, then sat at a sidewalk café. We drank French coffee, ate French pastries, relaxed and soaked in the atmosphere.

I think that is when God lifted the weight from our hearts. We stopped trying to do it ourselves.

We ended our pilgrimage with a wonderful gondola ride and a fantastic Italian lunch in Venice. This will surely be a pilgrimage we will long remember and will be long processing with God’s abundant love and guidance.