Jubilee Pilgrimage: The Ritual of Sacred Travel

By Charlotte A. Tomaino, Ph.D.
December 2016

April 2015 marked the 50th Reunion of the ’65 Maryknoll Entrance Group. The Jubilee Journey is a type of transformative pilgrimage in which you journey back to your roots to observe and share from the new perspective you have gained.

“You shall return, every one of you,
to your property
and every one of you to your family
Lev 25:10

The final phase of the Jubilee year is the pilgrimage back to your roots. Returning to your place of origin and your people that participated in planting those roots with you. A time of revisiting your beginnings with others who shared your original vision and honoring your ancestors from which you came. Within each of us lies a pilgrim – that part of us that desires direct contact with the Sacred as we live out our lives. “A pilgrimage is a belief in action,” an inner process of looking for a landscape that is new and resonates with the inner calling and the imagining that enables us to receive the response.

“Imagination is more important
than knowledge”

True pilgrimage is inner travel to the land of your own imagination from which your life is created. Pilgrimage is a way to bring you to this Sacred Center of yourself where your richest, most meaningful life awaits. A pilgrimage is a spirit renewing ritual which makes travel into a sacred journey by your choice to find something personally sacred on the road. It is the art of seeing what is Sacred.

“A journey without challenge has no meaning,
one without purpose has no soul”

Our Jubilee Pilgrimage is soul travel, also intended for reconciling the loss of the past youth with entering the age of wisdom. The loss of the powers of youth leaves the opening to attune to the powers of the inner elder who brings heart and soul instead of speed and energy. All it takes is self observation with intention. When we can observe our self, we can consciously choose who we want to be.  When we deliberately form an intention that is attractive and life giving, we are aware of the desire that energizes and calls us forward. Sacred travel is a time when we step out of our lives and can step out of our ‘automatic self’ developed over all these years. The ritual of Sacred travel happens just by setting the intention to observe our thoughts, actions, words, sensations and consciously choose the path within you that accesses the Sacred and expresses from the heart and soul.

We, as a group, not only know how to do this, we spent 3 years together ‘in formation’ – morning, noon and night practicing an awareness, practicing a reverent attitude, choosing to come each day from the heart and soul to become missioners who could live from the ‘good news.’ Did we really know what we were doing? As much as we could at the time. But not even close to what we know now.

The end of our explorations
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

Has T.S.Eliot captured the essence of the gift of the Jubilee year? What happens within us when we travel back and see for ourselves how far we have come? What can we grasp, own and become in the inner world that is the treasure we will take home with us? What stories will we have to tell and wisdom to impart because we have taken the time to reap this harvest? Jubilee Pilgrimage is a transformative journey, the culmination of the preparations in the Jubilee year. Stepping out of the habitual routines and stepping into who you want to become as an elder is the outcome.

When you allow your land to lie fallow, hallow and bless the land of your youth with its joys and sorrows, proclaim liberty to the past so it no longer binds you to what was and then set off on a Jubilee pilgrimage, there is space to discover what awaits you. Jubilee Pilgrimage is the opportunity to cross the threshold of your door, travel back to the beginning to know the place for the first time and open yourself to the future.

What latent part of you
has been waiting all these years
to have the chance to emerge
and see the light of day?

Pilgrimage as a Sacred, transformative process has four parts. Click on each link to see each part:

In following pages I’ve linked above are four reflections on Jubilee Pilgrimage to sanctify, together, these 50 years. No two of us will have had the same journey, nor will have the same pilgrimage. Celebrating our unique paths and offering strength and inspiration for the journey forward is the gift awaiting us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *