Why Go on a Pilgrimage? Why do Christians go on pilgrimages? Several reasons. First, to enrich our imagination. When I first went to Israel, I spent a day sitting along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. I looked across the lake to the same brown hills that Jesus would have seen. The sun was warm, and there were two fishing boats with gray sails out on the water. All at once I could imagine Jesus standing in a fishing boat, a little way out on the lake, teaching the crowds on the shore and giving them hope. Now years later, remembering that scene helps my imagination live into the Gospel Story.
Second, pilgrimages remind us that God works in specific times and places. Christianity is not an abstract philosophy. It is a story about God bursting into people’s lives in specific times and in definite places. And changing history! I remember visiting the medieval Celtic monastery at Clonmacnoise, where St. Kieran founded a school that helped the Irish save civilization. Clonmacnoise taught thousands of Celtic people how to read and write, and it put them in touch with the Gospel Story. Going on pilgrimage to Clonmacnoise (six or eight times now) reminds me that God changes history though heroes like Kieran, in specific times and places.
Finally, pilgrimages remind us that Christian life is a journey. Often our lives seem random and without purpose. Taking time off, setting time apart to make a pilgrimage, actually moving from one place towards another – all these help us to remember that God’s time is an arrow, not an endless weary circle. Jesus is leading us through life to a definite goal, namely celebration forever in His presence. I have a friend who made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Millions have made that same journey on foot, over the last thousand years. My friend wrote a book about his pilgrimage, called The Way is Made By Walking. That long trek reminds Christians that life itself has a goal and a purpose. Every step counts!
-Dr. Les Fairfield
Traveling Into the New Testament June 11 - 21, 2019 With The Reverend Jeffrey Miller
On this pilgrimage, you will travel through Greece to all of the major sites that Paul visited on his missionary journeys including Athens, Corinth, Meteora (the famous hilltop monasteries), Kavala, Philippi, and Thessaloniki. Together, we will sail through the Greek Isles and along the coast of Turkey to visit Ephesus, Patmos (where John received his revelations), Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini.
Saint Peter's Anglican Cathedral Pilgrimage to The Holy Land and Biblical Jordan January 26 - February 7, 2020
We start with Jesus’ boyhood as we begin in the Galilee, where our home is the historic Scot’s hotel and visit scenes of His teachings, and then we will cross over the border to Jordan, where we go back to the Old Testament and visit Mt. Nebo, where it is quite obvious where the imagery for the “crooked straight and the rough places plain” comes.
We then see the ancient Roman ruins – some of the most complete in the world – of Jerash. For me the best part of the Jordanian visit is the Baptismal Site- archaeologists are 95% sure this is the place, and the excavations which revealed a First Century church appear to support that claim. After our stay at a the lovely Marriott Dead Sea hotel and with time to float theron a in that same Sea, we travel down through the desert to Petra- one of the amazing wonders of the World. Our final destination is Jerusalem – which for many is the highlight of their trip. You will fly home with a mind full of the sights and sounds of the last ten days that will stay with you for the rest of your life – and wish you could do it all over again!
All Saints' Episcopal Church The Holy Land and Biblical Jordan Pilgrimage 2020 February 14 - 26, 2020
Pilgrimage is an ancient practice that we share with many of our brothers and sisters of other faith traditions. In the Christian tradition, pilgrimage has long been characterized not only by place but by the people we journey with. Before, during, and following the pilgrimage there will be opportunity for us to bring to life for one another the people and places of that region.
We invite you to listen to reflections on the 2019 Pilgrimage from Rev. Dr. Simon and the All Saints' Episcopal Church pilgrims in our Tour Journal.
Saint George's Episcopal Church Pilgrimage to The Holy Land and Biblical Jordan February 29 - March 12, 2020
Susalee and I are honored to be leading another St. George’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land next winter in Lent. We welcome your interest in this rare opportunity to visit the most holy sites for Christians in the entire world; the experience is truly unforgettable.
The Oberammergau Passion Play: A Journey on the Danube aboard the AmaCerto June 27 - July 6, 2020
Connoisseurs Tours invites you to discover a wealth of art, history and cultural treasures as you cruise to some of Europe’s most famous destinations. From Budapest, the journey to Bratislava, Vienna, Passau and the 2,000-year-old town of Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, visit magnificent cathedrals and Baroque abbeys, sample Vienna’s sinfully rich sachertorte cake, experience the breathtaking scenery of the Wachau Valley winemaking region and traverse Europe’s Continental Divide, culminating with a the 2020 Passion Play performance in Oberammergau.
A Two-night Budapest Pre-Cruise journey is available for those who wish to have more time to rest and explore Budapest before we embark on our Danube Cruise.