Registration – Pilgrimage for Healing and Liberation

Join us on Friday, January 27, from 12:00 to 1:00 PM ET, as we launch a new ThinkND series, The Pilgrimage for Healing and Liberation. Organized by the Medieval Institute, this series will take us from the deep past to the present day to discover what the practice of pilgrimage offered our ancestors and why it remains attractive to so many today. 

Every year millions of people visit the holy sites of Jerusalem, Mecca, and Mount Wutai. More than tourists, these travelers are pilgrims making intentional journeys to the sacred places of their religious tradition. Pilgrimage is a practice both ancient and trendy. In recent years, we’ve seen members of the faithful and the religiously unaffiliated alike walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain and travel to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Amazingly, pilgrims have traversed these routes for centuries. That they keep coming attests to a deeply human desire for encounter with the divine. 

Pilgrimage is a truly global, cross-cultural and transhistorical phenomenon. It shaped the development of each of the major world religions. The embodied act of making a pilgrimage was meant to catalyze spiritual movement and growth. Pilgrims seek to be changed by their experience. That may be why pilgrimage is currently being used in work for racial justice and healing. The journey both symbolizes and realizes the transformation necessary for us to become the beloved community.

Four webinars will explore the following topics:

  • January 27, 2023: Pilgrimage in the Global Middles Ages: Hospitality and Encounter
  • February 10, 2023: Becoming a Pilgrim People
  • March 3, 2023: Sacred Art and the Journey Toward Justice
  • March 24, 2023: The Black Madonna for Racial Liberation

These conversations will prepare a group of students and community members to make an actual pilgrimage to Chicago to pray for the canonization of Venerable Augustus Tolton (1854-97), the first Black Catholic priest to be ordained for the United States. Fr. Tolton is one of the six African-American candidates for sainthood. We look forward sharing this special experience with you virtually  on ThinkND.

Week 1 begins with Pilgrimage in the Global Middle Ages: Hospitality and Encounter by exploring the ancient and medieval roots of pilgrimage in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Chinese Buddhism. We’ll be guided by three experts on the Notre Dame faculty: Professors Robin Jensen and Mun’im Sirry from the Department of Theology, and Alexander Hsu from the Keough School of Global Affairs. We are so grateful that you are joining us on the way.

Register to join this series and to stay informed about future offerings in our Religion & Spirituality learning community.



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