July 19, 2013


Seeing all of God’s glories on a cross-country journey of faith

Luke has been in the national news a lot lately.

And if we’re talking golf, we must be referring to professionals Luke Donald or Lucas Glover.

Wrong on both counts.

The Luke who is earning headlines—and datelines —for his driving, putting and chipping across the United States is Indiana resident Luke Bielawski.

Yes, that Luke.

Criterion subscribers first read about Bielawski in our April 19 issue where we profiled the 24-year-old member of Holy Spirit Parish in Fishers, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese. Now CBS News and several other media outlets have decided to share his unique story.

How is the Indiana University law student and 2007 graduate of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis spending his summer? By hitting a golf ball across the country in hopes of raising $100,000 in scholarship money to help at-risk youths receive a Catholic education at Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis.

The pilgrimage started in California in May, and God willing, will end on the South Carolina coast in August.

Luke is another example of someone stepping outside their comfort zone to reach a goal many would consider mind-boggling.

Or better yet, consider him as an example of evangelization that is sorely needed when a growing secularism seems to be gaining momentum in our society by the day.

We only need to look and read about Bielawski, featured in a follow-up story in this week’s issue of The Criterion, to know there are still people in this world looking—and taking the time—to make a difference in the lives of others.

And what makes it even more refreshing is how faith is playing such a pivotal role in this unique cross-country journey.

There is the story of the Kniepkemp family opening their home to Luke and his traveling companions after their truck broke down in a part of New Mexico where civilization seemed non-existent. Providence led Luke to approach the strangers and seek assistance. They are now his friends for life.

And the encounter with “Christ Cowboys,” who ran into Luke while he was golfing along the back roads in Louisiana, “in God’s country—rolling hills and beautiful pastures,” as Luke describes. The cowboys, who were preparing for a cross-country trip on horseback, inspired Luke and were inspired by Luke and shared multiple prayers with him.

Asked what impact the journey has had on him so far, Bielawski said, “It’s tough to say. This trip has offered me a lot of time to be on my own and think. You think a lot about friends and family and other people you care about—and helping the community. When I get to the end of it, I’ll think about how it’s changed my life.”

We believe Luke’s unique outreach has changed and will continue to change the lives of others. We think of not only the Cristo Rey students who will benefit from the endeavor, but all the people Luke has touched—and those who have touched him—through the thousands of miles on this pilgrimage of faith.

We also hope and pray that some time in August, Luke will be able to recite this Scripture verse in South Carolina after completing his cross-country journey:

“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7).

—Mike Krokos

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