Join us this fall for a 12-day pilgrimage

In the Footsteps of St. Paul the Mystic

September 29 — Oct. 10, 2023

Led by CSW Director Rob Field

For our 12-day pilgrimage along the Aegean coast, we will follow in the footsteps of St. Paul at a contemplative pace. We will journey to holy sites in Greece and Turkey such as Corinth, Athens, Philippi, and Ephesus to trace the travels of St. Paul. On the way, we will discover “Paul the Mystic,” a side of the apostle unknown to many, and see some of the most beautiful and sacred places on earth. It promises to be the journey of a lifetime. (The word mystic refers to someone who experiences the divine presence, as distinct from someone who simply talks and thinks about the divine.) 

Q: What’s the difference between a group tour and a pilgrimage? 

A: While a tour might emphasize the quantity of sights seen in a short amount of time, our pilgrimages follow a rhythm of spiritually-informed travel created by scholars, experienced guides, and pastors. The elements of a CSW pilgrimage include:

  • A Spiritual Focus: We will explore the mystical experiences of St. Paul, travel at a contemplative pace, and leave time for reflection individually and in a small group. The writings of Fr. Richard Rohr will be our guide to the mystical dimension of Paul.
  • An Educational Focus: We will learn about the “original Paul” from Biblical scholars Marcus Borg and John Crossan through their book The First Paul.
  • Discovery: We will learn new things about St. Paul the Mystic, his world, and ourselves.

People have been going on pilgrimages for centuries. These journeys are taken to show devotion, ask for forgiveness, or give thanks for blessings or miracles. Pilgrimages are practiced by people of all different religions and beliefs. For example, Muslims are required to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca if they are able, Hindus believe it is important to bathe in the Ganges river, and Christians travel far to visit holy places where Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Apostles were present.

People often go on pilgrimages to bring about change in their lives, and these journeys often do lead to change. Often when someone goes on a pilgrimage, they focus on a specific intention, desire, or situation they want to resolve. They may feel called to deepen their connection to God and their faith. Pilgrims may also seek peace with loved ones or in the world, understanding that finding peace within themselves is important to achieving that goal. By taking a break from their daily routine and going on a pilgrimage, many people are able to find peace and God in their hearts, and return home with renewed faith and a transformed outlook on life. 

It is for these reasons CSW is committed to offering pilgrimages.

For our pilgrimage In the Footsteps of St. Paul, currently, we have 10 out of 24 spots filled. We expect to reach our maximum number of participants by the April 30 deadline. Reserve your spot now and experience the benefits of a pilgrimage this fall.

Ephesus Aphitheater photo by Deniz Demirci via Unsplash