Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
“Happy are the people whose strength is in You!
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.” Psalm 84:4
Since 1989 Shalem has offered pilgrimages to sacred sites, in the United States and overseas, that have the potential of showing us something more of God’s hope and prayer for ourselves and for the world. In each location we seek to draw from the spiritual resources of the landscape, pray with the local worshipping communities and learn from the spiritual legacy of holiness that God’s friends have revealed in that place.
Shalem pilgrimages are similar to a spiritual retreat, offering an opportunity to let go of one’s normal routine, to be with other sacred-seeking companions and to draw closer to God. Daily activities include guided meditations and prayer, visits to designated sites, free time for individual exploration and rest, opportunities to build our own spiritual community through small group sharing, and days of silent reflection for opening deeply to the spiritual treasures of the journey.
Starting in 1989, Shalem Pilgrimages have included:
Assisi, Italy: In the footsteps of Francis and Clare;
Jerusalem, the Sinai Desert and the Egyptian Desert: Drawing closer to Jesus and the Desert Fathers and Mothers;
Ireland, Lindisfarne and Iona: Learning from Celtic Spirituality;
Spain: Following Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, including Santiago de Compostella, USA: The high desert of New Mexico and the Navajo desert of Arizona, seeking the wisdom of Native spirituality.
Pilgrimages historically have been undertaken for many reasons: to obtain divine assistance for oneself or others; as acts of penance; or as acts of thanksgiving for some life-enhancing gift. Sometimes the reason for pilgrimage may be more open-ended; there is just a desire to touch the place where Jesus or some great friend of God revealed the intimacy of heaven and earth, with the hope of deepening our own intimacy and conversion or finding a fresh vision of the future and an empowered sense of our part in it.
Last year Shalem made a pilgrimage to BeautyWay.
We are currently exploring new pilgrimage destinations for 2006 and 2007.
For more information please visit the website.