A Conversation of Pilgrims

Last week I had the great joy of talking with writer, speaker, and broadcaster—and my neighbor at the Patheos Catholic ChannelPat Gohn about my recent pilgrimage experience, and about pilgrimage as a spiritual discipline and a metaphor for the journey of faith. Pat is a devoted pilgrim herself, and has a particular love for Fatima, the place that most moved and surprised me last month.

Pat recorded our conversation for her Among Women podcast (#148: Coming Home on Pilgrimage), and it’s up live today here or from iTunes. Pat has also linked to some of my blog posts from the pilgrimage, and to earlier Among Women podcasts dealing with Fatima and Lourdes. If you aren’t already following the Among Women podcasts, Pat’s blog, The Back Porch, and her Patheos column, A Word in Season, you’re missing out on a great source of wisdom and wit. I particularly recommend her compendium of resources for the Year of Faith. (UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the first portion of this podcast references my newest Patheos Catholic Channel neighbor, Lisa Hendey; Pat reads about St Catherine of Bologna from Lisa’s A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. It’s a trifecta!)

I’ll have a summary post on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s 2012 pilgrimage, including the terrific reunion we had on Sunday at the Spiritual Center of Maria Stein and its neighbor Shrine of the Holy Relics (a pilgrimage site all on its own) later today. In the meantime, if Pat’s and my conversation about pilgrimages sparks any memories and reflections of your own, please share. To think about:

  • What was the most memorable thing that ever happened to you on a pilgrimage?
  • If you could make a pilgrimage anywhere, where would you go?
  • What’s the most difficult part of making a pilgrimage?
  • Does pilgrimage speak to you as a spiritual discipline or a metaphor for your faith journey? If so, how?

  • Jo Ann

    Most memorable: Beauty, beauty, everywhere — outside (especially at Lourdes and Rome) and inside (St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, Our Lady of Loretto, the Rosary Chapel at Lourdes, the church of the Miraculous Medal on Rue de Bac in Paris).
    Where would I go? I want to take my younger children to Italy and Lourdes. Now you have made me curious about going to Fatima. I think it’s weird that I never had (and still don’t have) an inclination to go to the Holy Land.
    The most difficult part: Money, money, money. And being rushed through tours of churches to the point that they become museums because you are not given time to spend in prayer there. That was the big difference I experienced between my tour through Italy with our parish and going to Paris and Lourdes with just my son and daughter. We were able to take the time to go to Mass and pray in the Catholic Churches, often without premeditated plans (God is good!). Finally, enduring unmet expectations from the stories of other peoples’ pilgrimages.
    Pilgrimage as faith journey: What really struck me was that God was still here when I came back home to my plain, little, post-Vatican II church. I didn’t even realize I was worried about that, until I walked in and felt his loving presence. What a relief!

    • joannemcportland

      Wonderful insights! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  • http://jscafenette.com Manny

    I enjoyed the discussion from Pat Gohn’s download. Now I know what you two sound like. ;) Your voice is about how I would have imagined it but Pat’s voice surprised me. It was deepeer than I would have guessed. She’s got a real broadcaster’s voice.