|What is a Pilgrimage?
A Jubilee Year?
Our 1999 - Jubilee Year Pilgrimage took us from the grotto in Bethlehem where our Lord was born to St. Peter's Basilica in The Eternal City of Rome. The entire trip was a blessing from God that none of us will ever forget.
On Christmas eve of the preceding year, Pope John Paul II sealed the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica. At the same moment, the Holy Doors of San Giovanni in Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore, and San Paolo Fuori Le Mura were also sealed. In Tulsa, many of us had been present for the sealing of the main doors of our own cathedral.
The Holy Year of Jubilee for 2000 was the 26th Jubilee Year in the history of our church going back to the 1st Jubilee in 1300.
In the Pope's letter which called for this Jubilee Year, he set out the conditions for gaining the Jubilee Indulgence. In Rome, by making a pious pilgrimage to any of the following Patriarchal Basilicas: St. Peters, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls. He went on to include other special places including; the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, or the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.
God granted us a very special privilege - we made them all!
I really can't describe how much this trip has meant in our daily lives. It has now been two and one-half years later, and it seems like it was yesterday. Every mass has been more meaningful. Every scripture reading has come to life. God's Love for each of us has taken on new meaning, a personal meaning!
In a few days, Claudia and I will be returning to Rome with Bishop Slattery and Father Patrick Brankin. Our fervent prayer is that our Lord will further reveal His plans for our lives by showing us how He would have us walk. Claudia and I are very firmly convinced that a pilgrimage provides a quiet time when we can and should listen to Him speak to our souls.
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