A Pilgrimage to The Holy Land

 You are invited on a journey to sacred places this Fall…

Crossing the Sea of Galilee


Jerusalem    Nazareth   Bethlehem   Galilee   Jordan

October 2 – October 14, 2018

12 Days

Led by The Rev. Dr. Paul St. Germain

Rector, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Columbus, Ohio


The desire to be a pilgrim is deeply rooted in human nature. Since the earliest times, pilgrimages to holy places have been made as acts of devotion, penance or thanksgiving, or to seek blessings or miracles. A pilgrimage is a sacred journey in which God is encountered through the places, people and situations a pilgrim meets.

This physical journey coincides with an inner spiritual journey that reflects the concept of life itself as a pilgrimage. We will have daily devotions on our journey and attend a worship service at St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in Jerusalem.


The Hidden City of Petra, Jordan

“We go on pilgrimage to learn to become pilgrims in our own lives. Too many people are merely tourists” (Sister Therese Ellias).

Overview Itinerary Register

Old Jerusalem – Dome of the Rock

The following PDF files include an overview, detailed itinerary-in-progress, and registration information. The trip to Jordan is an optional 2 day extension plans of which are in progress…

Click HERE for the overview sheet

Click HERE for the working itinerary, noting that it is always subject to change

Click HERE for the registration form

Click HERE for payment schedule and trip policies

Ascending Massada

What is a "Pil-grim-age" ?

The Illuminated Journey...

Jesus enters Jerusalem

“Pilgrimage is one of those pious words that scare many people off because they’re afraid they’re going to have to walk over rocks in their bare feet and eat gruel for six months.

It’s actually far less esoteric than that. You’ve probably already been on a pilgrimage once or twice in your life—perhaps when you visited the town where you grew up and you walked its streets with a full heart, seeing everything through the lens of memory. Or when you took a trip with a friend facing something big and scary, like a serious cancer diagnosis, and along with the fun was the knowledge of a powerful undertow just beneath the surface, making every stop for ice cream and view of a sunset bittersweet.

Such trips are pilgrimages because they touch the heart and soul. There’s nothing wrong with an ordinary vacation, for sometimes what we most need to do is chill out on a beach with a mystery novel and a gin and tonic. But there are other times—which tend to come after losses and at decade birthdays and transition points like graduations and retirements—when the road calls to us in a different way.

The Garden Tomb

Most religions recognize the value of pilgrimage, with Muslims journeying to Mecca, Jews to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and Christians to the sites connected to the lives of Jesus and the saints. The point isn’t to have a good time, but rather to grow spiritually.

Through much of human history, in fact, pilgrimages were dangerous, requiring people to leave the safety of their homes not knowing if they would ever return. Such trips were sometimes undertaken as a form of penance or to fulfill a promise made to God after the fulfillment of a prayer.

And one of the truths of pilgrimage is that often its most important part is not the destination, but what happens on the way.”

(“Holy Rover: Journeys in search of Mystery, Miracles and God”, Lori Erickson)

Stages of Pilgrimage

“One thing I ask of the Lord, one thing I seek: to dwell in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, to enjoy the sweetness of the Lord, to seek out his temple.”   (Psalms 27:4)


Six stages characterize every pilgrimage:

  1. The Dead Sea

    The Call: The opening clarion of any spiritual journey. Often in the form of a feeling or some vague yearning, that summons expresses a fundamental human desire: finding meaning in an overscheduled world somehow requires leaving behind our daily obligations. Sameness is the enemy of spirituality.

  2. The Separation: Pilgrimage, by its very nature, undoes certainty. It rejects the safe and familiar. It asserts that one is freer when one frees oneself from daily obligations of family, work, and community, but also the obligations of science, reason, and technology.
  3. The Journey: The backbone of a sacred journey is the pain of the journey itself. In India, pilgrims approach the holy sites barefoot. In Iraq, they flagellate themselves. In Tibet, the more difficult the trip the most merit the pilgrim acquires. (even the challenges of travel deepens) the sense of community one develops along the way.
  4. St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem

    The Contemplation: Some pilgrimages go the direct route, right to the center of the holy of holies, directly to the heart of the matter. Others take a more indirect route, circling around the outside of the sacred place, transforming the physical journey into a spiritual path of contemplation.

  5. The Encounter: After all the toil and trouble, after all the sunburn and swelling, after all the anticipation and expectation comes the approach, the sighting. The encounter is the climax of the journey, the moment when the traveler attempts to slide through a thin membrane in the universe and return to the Garden of Origin, where humans lived in concert with the Creator.
  6. The Completion and Return: At the culmination of the journey, the pilgrim returns home only to discover that meaning they sought lies in the familiar of one’s own world.

     (from: “Sacred Journey’s with Bruce Feiler”, PBS)

Pilgrims at Church of the Holy Sepulcher

For More Information

Mt. Sinai

To learn more about the trip, contact Paul St. Germain  HERE or  Tour Coordinator Joyce Acton through the parish office at 614 486 9452.

Visit The American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem HERE.

For a list of suggested reading material click HERE.

Click HERE for a beautiful rendition of The Holy City sung by Charlotte Church in  “Live from Jerusalem” from 2001.