What is a pilgrimage?
A pilgrimage is a kind of quest – a journey to a place where one can stand on holy ground, and touch the tradition of faith, and connect with the “cloud of witnesses” – the ancestors of our faith who came before us, some of whom gave their lives to pass the faith on to us. A pilgrimage is a procession of commitment and rededication, which gives a person time away from the ordinary routine of life to do some soul-searching, and focus on prayer and connecting with the Creator, by experiencing firsthand the places where God has broken through into human history. It’s a retreat for refreshment of the soul, encouragement of faith, and engagement with the ancient tradition of “faith seeking understanding.” It’s a quest to find the connection between this world and the next, between the material and the spiritual, against the gnostic tendencies of our modern society that unnaturally try to separate the sacred from the secular. Finally, it’s a way to bring back into the ordinary rhythm of life some new enhancements, and perhaps even new habits.
“Two Weeks in the Life of Rome” Ecumenical Pilgrimage
When I lead a pilgrimage to Rome, it is all this and more – it’s also a way to meet fellow Christians of various traditions, and learn from each other – not to convert or to convince, but to gain understanding and friendship in the Body of Christ. We spend much of our time exploring the places and evidence of Christianity in Rome from a time when the Church was mostly still one, so it’s about holy ground, but also common ground, as you get to explore and get in touch with the roots of our common faith. And it’s also a tour of gratitude for God’s providence, by appreciating the best food and wine in the world!
The motto of the Benedictines is: Ora et Labora et Lege (Pray, Work, and Read)
Our motto is: Ora et Ambula et Lege (Pray, WALK, and Read)
For us, the walking IS the working. If you can walk up to 10 miles a day, often over uneven ground, cobblestones, and stairs, and if you are ready to go on a spiritual quest that will be a life-changing experience, then you are ready for “Two Weeks in the Life of Rome” (a reference to my book, A Week in the Life of Rome).
2020 UPDATE: Going forward, I will be focusing on a new format for my pilgrimages – one in which I lead a group of people who already know each other, or come from some common place or background. This does not mean that the whole group has to be from the same church or denomination – we are still embracing ecumenism and Christian unity across boundaries. If you have a willing group of 8 to 12 people from your church, parish, diocese, or community of friends, contact me by email and we can talk about organizing a customized pilgrimage just for your group. We can also add a side trip to Assisi, if you like. We need at least 8 to make a tour viable, and we keep it small, so usually no more than 12. Email me by clicking on the link to the right.