Founded in 2015 by Jessica Mesman with Jonathan Ryan, Sick Pilgrim aimed to provide both those within the Catholic Church and those struggling with their Catholicism a space to exercise their Catholic Imagination. It strove to provide a channel for them to write their stories, ask their questions, and grapple with their faith.
It did. An eclectic gathering of writers and artists became a community. A beautiful community. A faith community.
As an unorthodox gathering of people who questioned EVERYTHING and stood up to injustice and abuse whenever they experienced it, there were challenges, big challenges, faced.
Sick Pilgrim, and its members, sustained wounds and suffered losses. And still, like the Church, it remains.
Today, Sick Pilgrim, winner of the 2017 Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Award for best faith-based blog is a table set in the wilderness, a safe space for struggling Catholics, former Catholics, converts and cradle Catholics alike to be fed and encouraged along their faith journey.
There’s no formal invitation. There’s no dress code. If you are hungry, or you need a place to rest before you continue on your way, you are welcome to join us.
About our logo:
Our mascot is the religious traveler to America, the truth and freedom-seeking Pilgrim–but drawn…well, badly. We recognize that not only our own individual Christianity, but American Christianity is sick. We see the myriad ways that we have allowed “patriotism” and “rugged individualism” and “capitalism” to infiltrate our churches and our beliefs. And we certainly can no longer ignore the ways that colonialism, including those first European pilgrims, whose landing in Plymouth we celebrate, displaced and sickened the indigenous peoples of this land, like so many other lands.
This is our Sick Pilgrim confession—we know that we stand on a brutal foundation. We hope to do better every day, and there’s comfort in companionship, knowing we’re all part of the Body of Christ. We know we’re doing it wrong, but we keep rambling on the pilgrim path. We are always searching for fellow travelers.
“The farthest star and the mud at our feet are a family; and there is no decency or sense in and ourselves — we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together. We are each other’s destiny.” — Mary Oliver