Ministries Offer Pilgrimage Opportunities

HNP Communications Around the Province

As in the past, a variety of trips and pilgrimages, leaving as early as this month, are being offered through Provincial ministries. Lay men and women are welcomed to participate in thesejourneys, which often include friars as guides.

St. Anthony Shrine in Boston is offering two pilgrimages next year. The first, from May 7 to 13, 2013, takes pilgrims to the Holy Land to walk “In the Footsteps of Jesus.” Gene Pistacchio, OFM, is leading the trip with staff member Jacqueline Stewart. Interested travelers are invited to “come, immerse themselves in beautiful Galilee and Judea. Explore the ancient stones and meet the people — the living stones.”

The trip includes visits to the Sea of Galilee, Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, Mt. Tabor, Bethlehem, Cana, and other stops. Brochures are available through Stewart at 617-542-6440.

The second trip, led by Raphael Bonanno, OFM, is to Russia from Sept. 2 to 12, 2013. Raphael said, “We land in Moscow, see the sights, and board a small ship to four cities and one rural village, and end in St Petersburg with a visit to the famous Hermitage Museum and the Catherine Palace.” Raphael says that those who book with him before Christmas will get a discount of $250. Information is available by email from Raphael at

Later this month, parishioners and friends of St. Francis of Assisi Parish on Long Beach Island, N.J., are traveling to the Danube River in central Europe on a “Christtime Cruise.”

The Nov. 26 to Dec. 6. trip includes a two-night stay in Prague and a trip down the Danube River in Nuremburg, Germany, where towns are known for their Christmas traditions. More information is available on the website of St. Francis Community Center.

This is just one of several pilgrimages being offered through St. Francis of Assisi Parish and Center. Other destinations  include:
 Paris and Normandy, April 4 to 12, 2013. The trip includes seven nights in Paris, Rouen, Caen, with visits to Mont-St.-Michel, St. Malo, Normandy and Omaha beaches.
•  Hawaiian Cruise, Sept. 5 to 19, 2013. The 12-day trip begins in Vancouver, Wa., and returns from Honolulu. Islands visited include Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.
• Poland. Sept. 19 to 28, 2013. The trip includes eight nights in Warsaw, Zakopane, and Krakow, with visits to the Warsaw Royal Castle, the Black Madonna, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps.

In previous years, HNP ministries have offered pilgrimages that included destinations such as Ireland and Italy.

For friars, a 10-day pilgrimage to Italy is being offered from May 16 to 27, 2013.

 Wendy Healy, a freelance writer in Connecticut, is a frequent contributor to HNP Today.