The Nicene Creed tells us that God is the Creator of all things “Seen and Unseen” or “Visible and Invisible.” Sick Pilgrim owes its existence to the blurry lines between the two, places that are not quite “night” and not quite the “day,” places of the the uncanny where Mystery, not certainty, rules.
A few years ago, we (Jonathan and Jess) met for a beer at a faux-pub near Notre Dame. Jonathan, who was working as an editor at a Catholic publisher, wanted a book out of Jess and she wasn’t sure she wanted to write anything for the Catholic world anymore. We talked about the book idea briefly and that didn’t really go anywhere. And then, somehow, we started talking about ghost stories, the paranormal, the spooky worlds of the Midwest and the Louisiana Bayous. Jess talked about Oujia boards and Jonathan told of his fear of the Mothman. That night, we talked about a lot more, but the paranormal stuff went deep, childhood deep. And we also discovered something else: those mutual interests led us back into the Catholic Church and a friendship was born that would spawn Sick Pilgrim. And the rest is history. Well, history as Catholic blogs go anyway.
We have a book coming out on November 2nd (All Souls Day, naturally) called Strange Journey. And, it is basically an expanded version of what we talked about that night. To celebrate this event, we are focusing this year’s Spooky Pilgrim on places and journeys of the uncanny and the strange. Jonathan will be taking a pilgrimage to the Shrines of St. Kateri and detouring the weird and bizarre state of Vermont. And he will chronicle all of the weird and spiritual that he discovers along the way. We will have essays on the shrines of folk saints, haunted churches and houses, and the “thin” places in nature.
So, pull up a chair, sit by the fire in the gloaming, and journey with us. And, if you have a place of the uncanny and want to write about it for us, email Jessica or Jonathan, post haste.