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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?