Constantinople / Istanbul - Ancient and Modern - Crossroads of the World

Constantinople / Istanbul - Ancient and Modern - Crossroads of the World
Istanbul/constantinople - Ancient/Modern - View of the Old City from across the Golden Horn, atop the Galata Tower.

Sadly . . no 2014 Pilgrimage

For the second time* since 2006 I will not be leading an Early Christian World to Turkey in the spring of 2014.  This has nothing to do with the current, or future, "situations" in the Middle East, and everything to do with a realistic assessment of what I can and cannot squeeze into my life at my age. As retirement approaches (no timetable yet), in a few years it may be possible to resume these Pilgrimages.  Maybe even "with a vengeance"! But for now, I need to focus more attentively to parish ministry.

I want to thank all the wonderful Pilgrims of the past eight years - nearly 120 of you, and all the supporters and others who made this fabulous spiritual experience possible. Inş'allah, there will be a rebirth and renewal, perhaps in unforeseen directions.

Meanwhile, I am currently preparing for a second trip to Turkey with my brother priests of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which is sponsored by the Pacifica Institute.

Keep in touch, though:

* The first year I missed was 2009, when I had major surgery in January and made the transition from Claremont, where I had been pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption for fifteen years, to Good Shepherd.

Early Christian World Pilgrimage to Eastern Turkey, 2014

Next year's Early Christian World Pilgrimage will be to Eastern Turkey, and will not duplicate any places we've already visited.  We will leave the Sunday after Easter (not Easter Sunday evening as in the past), April 27, and return Saturday, May 10 (with an optional four-day extension in Istanbul) - a week shorter than the last few years. Itinerary will include Gaziantep, Urfa, Mardin, Van, Mount Ararat, and Trabzon.  More information soon.  Please contact me if your are interested.

Join us in spirit and in prayer!

We invite you to join us in spirit and in prayer on the Early Christian World Pilgrimage-Retreat, March 31 to April 18, 2013. 

We will remember you in our daily Masses and prayers, especially at significant holy places, such as the House of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ephesus, the tomb of Philip the Apostle, the Basilica of St. Nicholas in Myra, and the ancient Cave Churches and Monasteries in Cappadocia.

You can follow us on our up-to-date day-by-day itinerary (click here), with lots of links to informative websites about the places we will visit.

Please also subscribe to our Newsletter in which our Pilgrims will post their own reflections on this wonderful experience of our faith and heritage. Thank you and may God bless you always.  Fr. Tom Welbers