2016 Pilgrimages Accepting Participants

Jocelyn Thomas Franciscan World

Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo

The San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission, where St. Junípero Serra died in 1784.

Trips to areas of the world significant to the Franciscan heritage are being planned for 2016. Their organizers welcome all to participate in these journeys to Europe and to California to learn about people who contributed to the Franciscan charism.

Two pilgrimages about St. Junípero Serra, the Franciscan canonized in September, are being offered by Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, based in Wisconsin. The first, scheduled for April 16 to 24, 2016 takes participants to Mallorca, Spain, where the friar was born. Its churches will bring participants back to where he studied and preached in his youth, according to information on the website. Mallorca, which the website describes as “beautiful, dotted with spacious plains filled with farms and white rock mountains covered with greenery cascading into a turquoise sea,” is the island that gave birth to not only Junípero Serra but Luis Jayme, Juan Crespi and many of the early Franciscan missionaries of California.

The schedule for the pilgrimage to Mallorca includes stops in Petra, Bonany, Palma and Randa to learn about the varied aspects of the life of the saint, who lived from 1713 to 1784.  Information about costs for the trip — departing from either Chicago or New York — can be found online.

From July 2 to 19, a trip will take pilgrims to the nine missions in California that St. Junípero founded. This pilgrimage include stops at the missions of San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, San Gabriel, San Buenaventura, San Luis Obispo, San Antonio, Carmel, St. Junípero’s tomb, Santa Clara, and Mission Dolores in San Francisco. “The region extends roughly 400 miles and encompasses some of the most stunning regions in this very beautiful state,” says the website. A map as well as cost information can be found online.

In addition to providing information about its trips, the Franciscan Pilgrimages website provides links to news about its staff members as well as to apps for travel.

Another pilgrimage opportunity for next spring is a trip to Italy being sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. The community invites participants to a jubilee pilgrimage for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, leaving from New York on May 13. The nine-day adventure will include visits to Assisi, Florence, Padua, Venice and Rome, where participants will receive a papal blessing. An itinerary with cost information can be found on the Atonement friars’ website.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

Editor’s note: Ministries are welcomed to notify the HNP Communications Office of pilgrimages that are open to people outside of their geographical areas.

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