The Year of Faith Pilgrimage organized by the Pilgrim Center of Hope consisted of 45 pilgrims from San Antonio, Brooklyn NY, Midland TX, Newburg OR, Trophy Club TX, Edinburg TX, New Braunfels TX and Pleasanton TX. Fr. Ed Hauf, O.M.I. was the Spiritual Director.
Pilgrimage began in Assisi. Three nights within the ancient city walls of Assisi and within a few steps from the Basilica of St. Francis where the Tomb of St. Francis is located. Other sites visited here were: Basilica of St. Clare (we saw her incorrupt body and relics), the Hermitage of St. Francis on Mt Subasio where Francis would spend days in prayer and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels built over the little Portuincola (where Francis received Clare into the community and the first community rules were established).
Then to San Giovanni Rotondo for three nights – the home and of St. Padre Pio, a Capuchin Friar who died in 1968. We prayed at his tomb – viewed his incorrupt body and visited his monastery. One day was spent nearby at Monte San Angelo where St. Michael the Archangel appeared in the 4th century. Today, a Basilica is built over that apparition site.
Then on to Rome for five nights. On the way to Rome, we stopped at Montecassino, an ancient Benedictine Monastery where the tombs of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica are located.
Rome – One of our spiritual home towns as Christians; Jerusalem is the other, where the Church was born. The Pilgrims encountered Pope Francis at a General Audience with thousands of other Pilgrims! A great joy to see the faith alive with the thousands gathered to join our Holy Father in prayer. Sites visited: Four Major Basilicas – St. Peter, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls; the Colosseum, the Catacombs and the Vatican Museum.
Daily Mass was the highlight of the pilgrimage. Mass at the Altar used by St. Padre Pio, Mass at the Altar of John Paul II in St. Peter’s , Mass in St. Mary Major in the Chapel where the Tomb of Pope Pius X (who instituted the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary) is located and Mass in the Catacombs!
This Pilgrimage was a blessed and grace-filled journey of faith. The Pilgrims commented on they grew in their faith
and hope in Christ, in their knowledge of Church teaching and the history of the Church. A Healing service was held during the pilgrimage; the pilgrims experienced healing.
The Ministry of Pilgrimages is an important component of the Pilgrim Center of Hope. If you are interested in joining us on a future pilgrimage, contact us. Or if you would be interested in contacting us to organize a pilgrimage for you, for your parish or organization, let us know.
“Building up the Body of Christ through the Ministry of Pilgrimage”