Pilgrims Share Their Stories

Read these stories – click a pilgrim’s name.

Don’t miss more insightful stories from bishops, clergy, families, and individuals like you…

Holy Land Pilgrims

European Pilgrims

What Past Pilgrims Say

Scroll through statements below, and don’t miss the longer testimonials linked above.

I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to go to the Holy Land with the Pilgrim Center of Hope. As I reflect on walking in the footsteps of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, my daily pilgrim walk is an extension of my walk in the Holy Land; it is not a smooth, easy task, and it takes some effort. I know as long as I am walking with Our Lord, the steps in my life journey won’t hurt so much.

Joan PavoneHoly Land Pilgrim

To go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land that [Christ] lived in, suffered death on a Cross and rose from the dead certainly presents a pilgrim with the Christ who is Truth and helps that same pilgrim to recognize the loss [of] truth in civil society and manifests the Glory of God through the light of the Holy Spirit.

Most Rev. Patrick J. ZurekBishop, Amarillo

How can I begin to thank you for leading me on a pilgrimage of profound hope? Not only was I able to see firsthand where Jesus lived, died and rose, but I also experienced a deepening of my relationship with Him and His Blessed Mother. You were such kind, patient, and wise guides! I am so grateful and hope that our new found friendship will continue to grow. May God bless you for all you do for the Church!

Arturo Chavez, Ph.D.President & CEO, Mexican American Catholic College

If you are looking to deepen your faith; your knowledge of the Bible & your love for Jesus, you must go on this pilgrimage!

This was our very first pilgrimage and the PCH ensured that this was a spiritual journey and not a vacation. They set the bar very high and we look forward to make our next pilgrimage with PCH!

Anna & Trent HeisserHoly Land Pilgrims

A prayer I pray very often is a prayer of petition to the Holy Spirit; I pray especially to be granted the gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge.  Traveling on a Holy Land pilgrimage with Pilgrim Center of Hope truly made the outpouring of these special gifts present in my life.  Guided by the spiritual understanding and knowledge of the Holy Land by Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox, as well as their team, allowed me as a member of the ministerial priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ to truly gain a new found wisdom of the life, ministry, passion, death, and resurrection of our Savior.  To walk, meditate, pray, and celebrate the Sacred Liturgies where I Lord lived and breathed, loved and forgave, have allowed me to gain an insight into my faith that I could have never imagined.  May the Lord continue to bless the ministries of Pilgrim Center of Hope, and may they continue to minister to the ministers of Holy Mother Church.

Very Rev. Steven A. Gamez, V.U.Holy Land Spiritual Director

We could spend hours just telling one person all the graces and blessings we all received as Pilgrims on this trip.  Our Lord and the Holy Spirit were definitely with us every step of the way.  We will be telling everyone we know that they need to go on one of your Pilgrimages and God willing we will be traveling with you again.

Mark & Kathy SiebertItaly Pilgrims

We went on the Marian pilgrimage two years ago and we asked for Our Lady’s assistance with our fertility woes. Obviously, she interceded for us and on top of that Elizabeth was born on Feb. 11th, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. God’s love is limitless! He has woven all of our lives together with such tender details that only He can do.

Matt & JennyMarian Pilgrims

After 45 years as a priest, the scriptures came more alive. I want to learn more. The Sea of Galilee, Mt. of Beatitudes – all so beautiful. Spending two hours in the Garden of Gethsemani, eating the simple diet there – the foods Jesus would have eaten – helped me to connect with Jesus. It touched me deeply. It is going to help me dwell more in the Scriptures.

Fr. DonaldHoly Land Pilgrim

All aspects of this pilgrimage were top-rate: hotels, food, motorcoach and guide, pace of the journey and spiritual dimension.

Donna WilkeyHoly Land Pilgrim

How can we thank you enough for all the planning, organization, spiritual & awesome effort […]? My Catholic faith needed a boost and this was the catapult needed to renew it. Thank you for your continued work encouraging Catholics to follow the Gospel.

Joey & Deborah WeiblenFootsteps of St. Paul Pilgrims

We have been blessed immeasurably over the years because of the pilgrimages we have been on with you, the miracles we have witnessed, and the people who have touched our lives.  We look forward to the reunion and hope for (another) one in the near future. Thank you again for being a part of our ongoing spiritual awakening. Our Catholic faith is amazing and through our pilgrimages with you, we have been witness to more than we could have ever dreamed.

Tony & Cindy HernandezItaly, Holy Land & Marian Pilgrims

This pilgrimage enlightened my meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary. Now I can clearly understand them better.

Betty PitstickHoly Land Pilgrim

…truly been a trip of a lifetime. One that we will always treasure and reflect upon. A blessing from our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for treating us all like your family!

Dave & Mardi McCarthyHoly Land Pilgrims

As we were preparing for our pilgrimage, our family members & friends were concerned for our safety… At no time during our pilgrimage did we feel any concern for our well-being. In all of Israel and all of the holy sites we visited, we were made to feel welcomed by both Christians and Muslims. Pilgrim Center of HOPE has a very well-planned pilgrimage… and all of their contacts (hotels, restaurants, guide, bus driver, vendors, local Catholic groups) made the pilgrimage very enjoyable and inspirational. Thank you Pilgrim Center of Hope for making our pilgrimage to the Holy Land a once-in-a-lifetime experience we will never forget.

David & Rosa OjedaHoly Land Pilgrims

I went 15 years ago (before my recent pilgrimage), so even if you’ve been before, you’ll see things afresh and learn more with PCH’s guides.

Bobbie YountsHoly Land Pilgrim

If you are considering a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, go with Pilgrim Center of Hope. We highly recommend them. Deacon Tom & Mary Jane’s years of experience leading pilgrims in the footsteps of our Lord brings our Catholic faith alive!

Ron & Barbara RacinowskiHoly Land Pilgrims

Pilgrim Center of Hope provides a once in a lifetime experience. The pilgrimage will awaken your faith. What you accepted by faith before the pilgrimage will become real! You will walk where Jesus and his apostles walked & lived.

Merlin & Pat MillerHoly Land Pilgrims

Spiritual Directors

We praise God for the following clergy, who have served as spiritual directors for Pilgrim Center of Hope pilgrimages, many of whom sought out Pilgrim Center of Hope to coordinate a pilgrimage for their parish or diocese.

Holy Land Pilgrimage:

Bishop Oscar Cantu
Archbishop Paul D. Etienne
Bishop Joseph Galante
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek
Fr. Dennis Arechiga
Msgr. Patrick Cronin
Fr. Virgil Elizondo
Fr. Dominique Faure, CSJ
Msgr. John Flynn
Fr. Valentine Gallegos
Fr. Steven Gamez
Fr. David Garcia
Fr. Jonathan Gibson
Fr. Jim Heinsch, OFM
Fr. Mary David Holt
Fr. Henry “Clay” Hunt
Fr. Thomas Joachim, CSJ
Fr. David Kalert, OMI
Fr. Alex Kratz, OFM
Msgr. Patrick Marron
Fr. Patrick A. Martin
Fr. Juan Molina, OSST
Fr. Gustavo Montanez
Fr. Frank Montalbano, OMI
Fr. Michel Bineen Mukad, CICM
Fr. Bruce Nieli, CSP
Fr. Aidan O’Donovan, MSC
Msgr. Xavier Pappu
Fr. Jeffrey Pehl
Msgr. Patrick Ragsdale
Fr. Abel Ruiz
Msgr. Kevin Ryan
Fr. Victor Shoemaker, CSJ
Fr. Gilberto Vallejo
Fr. Dennis Zerr

Italy Pilgrimage:

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS
Bishop Oscar Cantu
Msgr. Patrick Cronin
Fr. Anthony Cummins
Fr. Edward Hauf, OMI
Msgr. Patrick Marron
Fr. Joseph Mary Marshall, SM
Msgr. Patrick Ragsdale
Fr. Gilberto Vallejo
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers (provided reflections throughout pilgrimage alongside the priest spiritual director)

Marian Pilgrimage:

Fr. Dennis Arechiga
Fr. Didier-Marie Dugas, CSJ
Fr. Virgil Elizondo
Fr. James Kotara
Fr. Carl Maurer
Fr. Francisco Nolasco
Fr. Einer Ochoa
Fr. Leopoldo Perez, OMI
Fr. Adolfo Valdivia
Fr. Gilberto Vallejo

Footsteps of St. Paul Pilgrimage:

Bishop Oscar Cantu
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek
Fr. Anthony Cummins
Fr. Carl Maurer