The path of reconciliation

Walking, cycling – tractor and bus pilgrimage Jaworzno – Lisieux 1.08 – 3.10.2016r.


„That journey is going to be a great test for my pride” – that sentence of Alvin Straight – main character of „Straight story” movie was one of the greatest inspirations for this year pilgrimage – „The path of reconciliation” from Jaworzno to Lisieux. Alvin starts his journey on small tractor- mower, to reconcile with his brother with whom he had not seen from 10 years – since the moment of brother quarrel.

In the year of Jubilee of Mercy, year of reconciliation and forgiveness we had decided to go on the pilgrimage to Lisieux. We are going to travel on food, bicycles, tractors and bus. The main goal of the pilgrimage is town in Normandy in which Saint (St.) Teresa had lived St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus – our intercessor and friend. That journey is also some kind of re-visit. Teresa would visit us on 24 and 25 July  on the way to World Youth Day in Cracow. We would like to thank Her.

We will go on that Day, when youth from around the world will return to their homes after the meeting in Cracow. We will join them to deliver the Pope’s message of mercy.

Below we present to you a brief description, the principles and objectives of “The path of reconciliation”. We also ask you for your support of our journey – both  prayers and financial one. During the journey we will pray for peace and reconciliation, and we also encourage you to include in this prayer.

Financially, it’s a quite demanding project… we are trying to get money on it by our own labor, but we also need your support. We ask you about payment on our account with the title: “Path of Reconciliation” (bank account is given below). You can also send your intentions of the prayers which we will recommend to God during our pilgrimage prayer and mass – we strongly recommend to send your intentions. The intention of the prayers you can send on

The short description of the event:

A group of 10 homeless and two volunteers will go in August 2016 from home – “Bethlehem” Association  in Jaworzno to Lisieux, a town in Northern France, where St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus  lived – carmelite, patroness of missions, woman of peace and reconciliation. The route of 1600 km would be overcome on food – I group (daily approximately 30 km) on bikes and on mini – tractors
II group (daily approximately 70-100 km). The Pilgrims would pray and meditate for peace and harmony among people every day.

In given places (parishes, social welfare homes, jails, doss houses, centers for disabled people, etc.) “The straight story” –  David’s Lynch movie would be shown. The screenings would be associated with conversations about the movie and connected with  15 minutes meditation in silence.

The Pilgrimage would be recorded on camera by the operator of the Camerimage Festival. Every day, in given time, as many  people from Poland, Europe and all over the World would meditate for fifteen minutes in the intention of peace and reconciliation. (invitation for a common meditation would be on the beginning and at the end of each travel day).

The material from the Pilgrimage would be used for making a documentary movie, which would be a message of peace and reconciliation. The goal of the pilgrimage is  Lisieux town – the place where St. Teresa lived. This young girl, carmelite, who died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis, had suggested a so-called “little way” to God and to people. That way was the way of poverty and humility, of openness to others and to looking for reconciliation and forgiveness without judging and blaming. Teresa convinces that the source of peace and harmony is in every human heart, and the journey of the “little way” indeed,  allows this source to draw from, for yourself and for the others. Such a form of Pilgrimage is also the response to the invitation of Francis Pope in the year of Jubilee of Mercy which we are currently experiencing.

 Pilgrimage goals

  • Peace and Reconciliation among people of all races, languages and religions (to encourage more people to start the practice of prayer and meditation).
  • Promotion of daily meditation in silence, as the source of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation.
  • Promoting the idea of committed and inspiring cinema – movie which form our thinking and influence the change of destructive attitude. (Alvin’s journey)
  • Promoting religion as a mean of reconciliation: “If you remember that your brother has something against you, before you put your gift in front of the altar, firstly go and make peace with your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (The Gospel MT. 5,22-24)
  • Giving the opportunity to homeless people to overcome the path (external and internal) that would help them to get back the purpose and meaning of life.

David Lynch

Some of his movies (The Elephant Man, Eraserhead, The wildness of the heart, The straight story) take under consideration the theme, which is close to the poor people, excluded and “different”. In the history of our house “Bethlehem”, the picture of a „The straight story” plays an important role. The time of its creation coincides with the time of the establishment of our house. Almost every one of our homeless residents has someone who is divided against itself  , someone who broke the contact, broke up or had a fight. We regularly reach for the wisdom and the message of “The Straight story”. The movie also has became for us a source of inspiration to go: in 2005 on bikes to Rome, in 2006 on bikes to Israel,  in 2009 on bikes, to Greece, in 2011 on marathon to Malta and in 2014 to walking pilgrimage to Rome.

This year walking reconciliation Pilgrimage  is also our gratitude for David Lynch and his work. It it also our gift on his 70th birthday.

Therefore, we have asked David Lynch about the patronage of the project. We invited him to visit us in Jaworzno and watching “The Straight story” and a meeting. We asked about recording a video message to “Bethlehem” Association, the homeless pilgrims and for all who would participate in the film projection and meditation.

Our partners

„The path of Reconciliation” is project implemented under the Patronage of David Lynch, Bishop Gregory Kaszak, the President of Jaworzno Paul Silbert, in cooperation with the Foundation “Tumult”, the Foundation “World of Art”, company “Traktormix” from Kąkolewo and Promotion Department of the Town and the Municipality of Jaworzno.

Journey inspirations

  1. The statement of Pope Francis about Year of Mercy.
  2. The 20th anniversary of the “Bethlehem” Association.
  3. The 70th birthday of David Lynch.
  4. „Polska Światłoczuła” Project of Dorota Kędzierzawska and Artur Reinhard, in which participated our Association. 7 projections of Polish films and meetings with the creators.

Bank account:
PKO SA 05 1240 1356 1111 0010 4021 0367
Stowarzyszenie „Betlejem”
street: Długa 16
43-603 Jaworzno

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