Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo Courtesy of National Eucharistic Pilgrimage
Perpetual Pilgrims for the Serra Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage recently met Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota. The pilgrims selected for the route are, from left, Jaella Mac Au of the University of Georgia, with Bishop Cozzens, Madison Michel and Jack Krebs, and back row from left, Patrick Fayad and Chima Adiole. Bishop Cozzens chairs the board of directors of the National Eucharistic Congress.


UGA student to be Perpetual Pilgrim in National Eucharistic Pilgrimage

By NATALIA DURON, Staff Writer | Published April 18, 2024

ATHENS—University of Georgia student Jaella Mac Au will join the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage as a Perpetual Pilgrim. She is among 24 young adults who will journey across the country and meet at the 10th National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, Indiana, on July 16.  

Mac Au is a junior studying human development and family sciences at UGA. She is active at the UGA Catholic Center, where she is currently a prayer team lead for Seeking Water and small-group leader for Ablaze, which are student-led ministries at the center.  

Outside of the university, Mac Au is a team member of Mercy Missions Atlanta and lay member of Regnum Christi.  

Up until December of 2023, Mac Au planned to move to Augusta after graduation for an internship opportunity. But when one of the consecrated women at Regnum Christi asked Mac Au last year to apply to be a Perpetual Pilgrim, she said she felt called for something more than graduation.  

After submitting her application, Mac Au feared being denied and left unsure about her future. Regardless, she had also applied for the internship. As she progressed through the process, Mac Au said she was torn between which path to pursue.  

Jaella Mac Au

“The Lord and I had been in conversation, and he said, ‘What desires are in your heart and what do you want, because I want to partner with that.’” Mac Au said. “He told me and helped me realize that I wanted to stay at UGA. So, I got a rejection from the internship, and an offer for the pilgrimage.” 

Mac Au felt security from the Lord after realizing she wanted to pursue her passion for ministry and join the pilgrimage, she said.  

The Perpetual Pilgrims will start their journeys on May 17 and will walk across several states for two months until they meet on July 16, one day before the congress begins. They will visit major cities, landmarks, dioceses and parishes on the way.  

There are four routes that the pilgrims will travel on, from the north, south, east and west of Indianapolis. The young adults were asked to give preferences to routes that stood out to them, and Mac Au felt called to trek the western route, or the St. Junipero Serra route instead of the route that includes Atlanta. Mac Au has never been out west and is eager to visit new states, she said.  

Though she is still preparing for the pilgrimage, she is clear about how her experience will go. 

“The only expectation I’ve placed on the pilgrimage is finding security in insecurity,” Mac Au said. “The whole point of the Eucharistic Revival is to bring people together, so I hope that the pilgrimage and our testimony shows others that Jesus is worthy of giving our lives.” 

The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and the National Eucharistic Revival are the two events that lead to the National Eucharistic Congress. The pilgrimage involves the journey to Indianapolis, and the revival entails the spiritual rebirth of the faith. The congress will take place from July 17-21 in Lucas Oil Stadium.  

Mac Au said that if anyone feels led to visit the congress to answer that call. She extends the invitation to attend physically or spiritually.  

“I would encourage those who have never seen the eucharistic procession or those who have never been to adoration to come and see what the Lord has to say,” said Mac Au. “He only has love for his people.”  

St. Juan Diego Route includes Atlanta stops 

Within the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will stop at seven sites, beginning on June 21. The St. Juan Diego Route begins in the Diocese of Brownsville and is one of the four routes with the National Congress the ultimate destination. 

St. Juan Diego Pilgrims will stop at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Newnan; St. Mary’s Academy, Fayetteville; Our Lady of Vietnam Church, Riverdale; Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Atlanta; the Lyke House, Atlanta, the Cathedral of Christ the King Atlanta, and St. Joseph Church, Dalton, between June 21 and 24.  

Pilgrims will also spend time in service with the Missionaries of Charity while in Atlanta. Parishes from across the archdiocese are invited to participate in an Archdiocesan Day of Eucharistic Service to be in solidarity with the pilgrims.

For an interactive map of the route and its stops, visit