Now You Can Enjoy an Assisi Pilgrimage Without Jet Lag

by Sister Julie Ann on May 14, 2009

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Realizing even Pope Benedict’s recent flight to the Holy Land had its own discomforts, is it possible to live a spiritually enriching ‘Assisi pilgrimage’ without a long plane ride and jet lag?  Fr. Russell Governale, OFM Conv, Franciscan Pilgrimage Program trained guide, led twenty-five Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity on a three day cyber-spiritual journey on May 12-14, 2009 at their Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI.

Planned during this 800th anniversary year of the friars’ rule of life, this “At Home Pilgrimage’ included solid historical information with virtual visits to the sacred places of St. Francis and St. Clare, spiritual conferences, time for quiet, personal prayer, common rituals,  and Eucharist. Wholesome Italian meals and good conversation also encouraged light-hearted community sharing among the Sister pilgrims.

Here are some of the Sisters’ own comments:

Very interesting, informative, so well-prepared and presented. Father Russel helped us feel that each holy place was right here and we were there–esp. Mt. La Verna. Father has a way of sharing his own spiritual experiences that give depth to the journey.

I found the presentations very interesting and inspiring. All the rituals in-between, baptismal renewing, anointing with oil, etc. made it so meaningful.

Many events surrounding Francis’ life, not usually mentioned in Franciscan literature, were brought out. I learned more about Clare and her importance to the Franciscan way of life. The historic and geographic references about Assisi were new to me.

Very helpful in reliving my previous Franciscan Pilgrimage. It helped renew my Franciscan way of living my religious life.

It strengthened my desire to learn more about Francis and Clare, to try to imitate them.

I feel the urgency now to live the rest of my life with more love and faithfulness.

Father Russell’s in-depth knowledge was most interesting. One can tell he truly enjoys his tours and inspires others to want to learn more.

Broke open the ignorance I honestly had about both of our Franciscan Founders.

Any further comments?

4 thoughts on “Now You Can Enjoy an Assisi Pilgrimage Without Jet Lag”

  1. I am so happy for the sisters who made the “at home pilgrimage”. I made the “at home” one before the Study Pilgrimage and both were rich in spirituality, knowledge and inspiration. Experiencing the life and spirituality of Francis and Clare adds depth to knowlege and reading “about” them.

  2. It was evident that a community spirit developed among the participants. A true pilgrimage of the heart! May your memories/knowledge of the sacred places of St. Francis and St. Clare grow with each new sunrise!

  3. Sister Rosangela says:

    I had wanted to make this “at home Pilgrimage” but was in Retreat. After talking to some of the Sisters and reading these comments, I hope it will be offered again sometime and I can take part in it. Everyone seemed to gain much from the experience.

  4. Today Sisters Louise and Adrianna return from an International Franciscan conference in Assisi. I’m sure these pilgrims will also share their inspiration and God’s goodness will again transform all of us.

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