Pilgrimages to International Historic Sites Offered Throughout 2015

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

A panorama of Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, with the Basilica of St. Francis rising above the city.

Looking to strengthen your faith and brush up on your history this year? Pilgrimages to a variety of locations are being offered by Franciscan organizations.

One, a tour of the Holy Land organized by Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, is being offered four times this year. Participants will visit sites such as Jerusalem and Mount Nebo. For the first trip, scheduled for March 8 to 19, registration must be completed by Jan. 31.

Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, based in Wisconsin, offers a variety of programs including journeys abroad and within the United States as well as for specialized groups such as military, young adults and Secular Franciscans. In July 2016, FPP is offering a pilgrimage specifically for deacons and their spouses. Destinations include Assisi, Greccio and Rome.

In June, Julian Jagudilla, OFM, of St. Francis Parish, New York City, will be leading a pilgrimage to Franciscan sites in Italy. Details about the trip, which includes visits to Assisi, Florence, Pisa, Rome, and Venice, can be found on an informational flyer.

Julian is one of several friars from various communities leading spring and summer tours to holy sites around the world through Franciscan Spirit Tours, based in New York City. An announcement on St. Francis Parish’s website provides information about the tour dates and locations, which include countries throughout Europe, Great Britain, and Central America. Proceeds benefit the work of the Franciscans.

In addition, St. Camillus Parish, Silver Spring, Md., has organized a service trip as part of its St. Francis Builds program.  This summer, the parish will send a mission team of 20 people to Ciudad Dario, Nicaragua. The group will work with Seeds of Learning, a local organization that promotes community development through building schools and learning centers in rural communities, according to its website. Each morning will consist of work, with cultural exchanges following in the afternoons. Those interested in participating, or who would like more information, should contact Marco Vonhof at manvonh22@gmail.com. The parish website includes a video of last year’s mission trip.

Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas