Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) is blessed to be working with parishes in the Diocese of Tulsa to help bring them into the future. One such parish is St. Catherine of Siena in Talihina, Oklahoma, a very small town about two hours south of Tulsa best known for the hospital there run by the Choctaw Nation and the Choctaw nation government. There is one Sunday Mass offered at St. Catherine's every week.

A Young Woman’s Dangerous Journey to Mass

While CLI's Leadership Consultant was on site working closely alongside this parish, parishioners shared with us a story about a young woman in her twenties who was one of the people present in the group. This woman was the only Catholic in her family. One particular Sunday, she could not get a ride to Mass from anyone in her house, and she herself does not drive.

After Mass that day, at coffee and doughnuts, people noticed that she had wounds and cuts on her feet. When asked how her injuries occurred, she answered that she had walked to Mass that day since she could not get a ride.

That walk was 17 miles from her home to St. Catherine Parish. That morning, she rose at 3:00am to begin her journey to arrive on time for the 11:30am Mass. Not only was this an extremely long walk, but it was through rural areas known for wild animals. She also braved roads without sidewalks, where the speed limit is often 65mph.

How Far Are We Willing to Walk for Jesus?

WOW. What devotion! What a dedication to the Eucharist! What love of our Lord!

Sometimes we grumble about driving far to attend Mass. What if we had to walk a long distance? How far might we be willing to go? What are we willing to endure to receive Jesus at Mass?

Can you imagine your own feet cut, bleeding, and in pain going the distance for our Lord?

My wish for the Easter season is that you may have the strength, endurance, and love of this young Catholic woman in Talihina, OK, as you continue to walk closer and closer to our Lord. May the Lord bless you in this glorious season, and may He accompany you on all the walks you go on to get closer to Him!

With many blessings this Easter Season,

by Tim Flanagan

April 02, 2024

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