Magazine article Momentum

NCEA Announces St. Paul Pilgrimage for June

Magazine article Momentum

NCEA Announces St. Paul Pilgrimage for June

Article excerpt

NCEA will sponsor a pilgrimage to Greece, the Aegean Islands and Rome on June 18-29 in conjunction with the Jubilee Year of the Apostle Paul. Pope Benedict XVI opened the year June 28, 2008, to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth. The year officially concludes in Rome on June 29, 2009.

"As Catholic educators, it is fitting that we encourage members and odier supporters of the association and Cadiolic education to take time to reflect on the tremendous impact the Apostle Paul has had on our faith," said Karen Ristau, NCEA president. "While we recognize that a pilgrimage is not possible for all to take, we did want to make this opportunity available during this momentous jubilee year."

Diana Dudoit Raiche, executive director of the Religious Education Department at NCEA, which is coordinating the trip widi die help of Espiritour, a faith-centered travel division of Explorica, said that the idea for the pilgrimage stemmed from Pope Benedict XVI's encouragement to Christians to make the most of the Apostle Paul's Jubilee Year.

"Pope Benedict observed that St. Paul 'lived and worked for Christhe suffered and died for him. How current is his example for us today!' As teachers and catechists we are called to live and work for Christ. Walking in the footsteps of St. Paul in Corinth, Ephesus and Rome is a way to strengthen and deepen our understanding of this amazing apostle," she said.

The Itinerary

The journey departs from New York June 18 and the pilgrimage begins the next day in Greece as pilgrims board die cruise ship Steps 2 departing from Port Pireus to visit Turkey and die island of Parmos during a seven-day Aegean cruise before returning to Athens and Corinth. Throughout the journey, the group will be hosted by a tour director plus local tour guides at locations important to Paul's ministry.

The pilgrimage first will visit Thessaloniki to see the house where Paul lived, die Agora where he preached and the memorial in Veria (ancient Berea) that commemorates Paul's ministry to the Jews in 54 A.D. The ship then will travel to Kavala, an important site for Paul, Timothy and Silas on die coast of Thrace. The group next journeys on to Philippi, where the first baptism on European soil took place at the Baptistery of Lydia. …

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