Pilgrimage is an outward journey that leads to inner change. For thousands of years, people have undertaken pilgrimages as a spiritual practice to gain clarity in their lives, to discern a future direction, to encounter God’s presence, and to find refreshment and restoration for body, soul and mind. Pilgrimage – whether referred to by this name or another – is a practice that can be found in many faiths, and among all denominations within Christianity.

As a part of my ministry, I plan and accompany pilgrimages to Ireland (North and South). I work with church groups, college-aged students, high schoolers, adult groups; those interested in Celtic Spirituality, Peace and Reconciliation, spiritual direction or contemplative spirituality; people from all walks of life and of many faith backgrounds seeking to enrich their spiritual lives. Having lived in Northern Ireland for over six years, I enjoy sharing the land that I fell in love with – in its richness and its struggles – with fellow pilgrims.

In preparing for pilgrimages, I work alongside the travel agency Celtic Footstep to book itineraries that are tailor-made to suit each group’s interests, pace, comfort, and hopes for the journey. Typically, I collaborate with one or two leaders associated with the pilgrimage group in planning the trip beforehand. During the pilgrimages that I accompany, I provide a pastoral presence, liaison with the local culture, share insights into the history of spirituality in Ireland, and offer opportunities for informal or formal spiritual direction. In every pilgrimage I also include music in our daily reflection or worship times, particularly bringing in the psalms that I have arranged to Irish and Scottish traditional melodies (Celtic Psalms).

If you would like to discuss the possibility of planning a pilgrimage together, please contact me at pilgrimagedirector at gmail dot com.

View the blessmyfeet blog for reflections, prayers, and further information on pilgrimages.

A Celtic Pilgrimage Prayerdsc_0276

God, be with us in every valley,

Jesus, be with us on every hill,

Holy Spirit, be with us

on every stream,

every cliff’s edge,

every green pasture;

every moor and meadow,

in the crest of the waves

on the sea.

Each time we rest,

and each time we wake up;

God be with us

every step we take.

(Adapted from a Celtic prayer from the Carmina Gadelica)