Walking the Ramparts: Virtual Pilgrimage with Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross

June 25, 2021 - July 1, 2021
June 25-July 1, 2021

Attend the informational Walking the Ramparts Virtual Pilgrimage Taste & See with pilgrimage co-leaders, Jackson Droney and Tony Mazurkiewicz, to learn more about this brand new virtual Shalem pilgrimage. This free event will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:00am ET on Zoom.  Click here to register in advance.


The past year has challenged and shaken each of us. In our personal lives, we’ve been confronted daily with the Coronavirus pandemic, racial reckoning, and intractable political divisions. It has been said that now more than ever is a time for contemplatives.

The teachings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross on spiritual deepening and the dark night of the soul have stood as contemplative guideposts for nearly five centuries. They invite us to detach and delve deeper. They challenge us to let go of old assumptions and temptations, of what is comfortable and familiar. Walking through the interior castle of our lives or moving through a dark night of the soul doesn’t always feel good, but it promises greater wholeness.

On this virtual pilgrimage we invite you to walk the ramparts of your interior castle, showing up as you really are. Look inside: what do you see? What invitations of detachment beckon you? As you look outside, how are you noticing and experiencing the communal dark night of the present moment? What might you release? Spiritual practice and maturity help us see that life and our journeys are not binary—either/or, good/bad. And so, as we journey through the communal dark night of 2020-2021, may we hear Teresa and John’s invitation to embrace the nighttime, personally and communally.

The practice of pilgrimage is not centered on physical travel, but rather on the transformation that takes place inside of us. On this pilgrimage there will be space to discern individually and in small groups how the Holy is nudging you in this time. There will be time for shared learning, prayer, and silence. We pray the Holy will move through and with us, revealing deeper truths to us in this most precious time.

Let us walk the ramparts of our lives together as we are, as we really are, trusting that God is at work in each of us, and all of us, through every uncomfortable and difficult step.

This pilgrimage will be offered on Zoom with experienced staff present. The pilgrimage will open with a weekend retreat that includes seminars as well as individual and group prayer time. The second part will include days of silence and exercises to consider the rooms of our personal interior castles as well as our communal dark night. Pilgrims will participate in small listening groups throughout the week to notice the Holy’s stirring, and Gerald May’s book Dark Night of the Soul will frame much of the teaching and reflection for this time together.


Jackson Droney is Shalem’s Director of Operations and Online Learning, overseeing Shalem’s finances, HR, online courses, and all the nuts and bolts that make Shalem hum. He loves discerning with others how organizations can identify and live more deeply into their purpose, and is excited to be part of organization development work at Shalem. Jackson previously served on the Shalem Board of Directors and is a graduate of Shalem’s Personal Spiritual Deepening Program and the Young Adult Life and Leadership Initiative. Prior to working at Shalem, Jackson spent several years working in federal politics, as a staffer on Capitol Hill and as a lobbyist for not-for-profit electric utilities. He holds a B.A. from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Georgetown University.

Tony Mazurkiewicz serves as the Georgetown University Chaplain for Athletics and the Senior Advisor of the Georgetown John Main Center for Meditation and Interreligious Dialogue. Prior to his current positions, Tony served as a member of the Carmelite Order as a brother and priest for 15 years, including five years as President of Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, IL. Tony has over 20 years of ministerial and leadership experience in K-12 public and private schools, parishes, retreat centers and prisons. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and received his Masters in Divinity degree from the Washington Theological Union. He is a trained Spiritual Director, Mediator, and Enneagram Facilitator who also holds certificates in Carmelite Studies, the Spiritual Exercises and Non-Profit Management.