I am a pilgrim

By Matt Potter

Radical Joy

Catholic Stewardship and Abundance

The headline for this column includes the first words to a song of the same name most famously performed by the legendary Merle Travis. It’s about being a pilgrim in this life, traveling towards eternity with the Lord. 

Webster defines a pilgrim as “a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons.” Well, there’s no more sacred place than heaven, is there? And it would be hard to find a more religious reason than wanting to spend time eternal in the glory of God. 

However, while we are heading towards that place, we have some unique and wonderful opportunities to be pilgrims with a more immediate destination.

The Diocese of Evansville has put together a true pilgrimage to follow in the footsteps of St. Paul in Greece and Turkey. This trip is scheduled for October 2022. Planning for the trip began two years ago but was put on the shelf by COVID-19. Then, as things began to clear, we took up the planning once again. We are presently full-steam-ahead with the pilgrimage.

Pilgrimages to holy places are fairly common. Rome, the Holy Land, Ireland, Lourdes, Germany, Spain – the destinations are many. We are, after all a catholic – meaning “universal” – Church, and it follows that there are many places to visit that have such great spiritual and historic meaning.

What sets this apart from other pilgrimages is the fact that it is being led by our shepherd, Bishop Joseph M. Siegel. This is the first pilgrimage led by Bishop Siegel since he was installed nearly four years ago. Given his busy schedule, it is not likely another opportunity to join him on pilgrimage will come around in the near future, making this a very special occasion.

Our pilgrimage will take us to the homes of the Thessalonians, Philippians, Ephesians and Corinthians, communities addressed by St. Paul in his letters. We will visit Patmos, where St. John the Evangelist wrote the book of Revelation. Also on the trip is a stop at Ephesus, the location of the house our Blessed Mother lived in during the last days of her earthly life. 

This is far more than a vacation trip, however. Prior to departure, we will provide information about each of our stops, focusing on the Church; the people; and events that made the place a focus of our journey. In addition, we will celebrate Mass each day of the trip.

If you would like to learn more about this rare opportunity, you can visit http://www.evdio.org/events.html. There you will find a detailed itinerary and a link to sign up for the pilgrimage if you would like to join us. 

The first deadline is coming up soon, which is the enrollment deadline of November 30, 2021. There is a deposit of $500 due by that date.

This will be a small group; we have a limit of 50 participants. 

If you would like to talk about the trip, feel free to send an email to me at [email protected], or call me at the Catholic Center at 812-424-5536. 

We are all pilgrims in this life, as Merle Travis reminds us. Now is your chance to make a pilgrimage that could change your life.

As always, thanks for reading. I would love to hear from you. Write to me at [email protected]; Check out our blog radicaljoy.blog/.