Dear Parishioners and Friends,
In January of this year, Pete and I had a wonderful opportunity to join a group of clergy and spouses on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Each morning during our sojourn, one of the bishops would lead us in prayer, and another would provide a meditation on the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim. This was a helpful way to get into the right frame of mind as we began our journey for the day. One thing that I remember was that the bishop said, “a tourist comes to consume; a pilgrim comes to be consumed.” During the pilgrimage itself, it was sometimes difficult to know which mode I was in. Am I a tourist or a pilgrim? Sometimes, especially in the crowded streets teeming with souvenir shops, it was difficult to feel truly present. However, the Spirit was at work in and through us, and I can say that I returned with a changed outlook, and a deepened faith.
I hope that you will join us in March of next year as I lead a pilgrimage to that place of ancient sanctity and modern complexity. The scriptures will take on a new depth and vivid color; your sense of God’s yearning for us to love one another as he loves us will be heightened. A pilgrim returns home changed for the better—with heart, soul, and mind expanded. Your life and your faith will be changed as you encounter Christ and the story of salvation in the very streets and sites where it all happened. This pilgrimage is open to everyone eager to deepen their faith, not just St. Mary's parishioners, so bring a friend and make new friends.
About 20 people have expressed interest so far and now is the time to make the final decision (all deposits must be in by October 21). For more information, please visit our
, check out the pilgrimage table at coffee hour, or call my mobile at (917) 658-6314.
Blessings, Father Rick