Taking a pilgrimage is an ancient Christian tradition. Great! But what is a pilgrimage?

“Sometimes we take few steps to the left, sometimes a few steps to the right, other times we take a few steps back, but when we go on a pilgrimage we are walking toward God. We go to God, not perfect, but as we are, with all of our doubts, crisis, sickness, curiosity, adventure, faith, and thanksgiving to ask for favors and to offer ourselves completely.” Read more here for the history of the faithful participating in a pilgrimage: http://www.206tours.com/. (This is NOT an endorsement of any specific tour company)

Popular Worldwide Pilgrimages:

The Holy Land

The Vatican



The Way of St. James – El Camino Pilgrimage in Spain


If you, your family, or parish is unable to swing a pilgrimage to the Vatican or the Holy Land this year, perhaps you could make a pilgrimage a little closer to home. Take a Sunday afternoon to walk around the local cemetery and discuss those loved ones who have gone before you and what they taught you about the faith. Or spend a Saturday afternoon visiting local churches with interesting stained-glass windows (take time to pray in each church and to discuss the Biblical story or saint highlighted in each window). Create a pilgrimage in your own backyard using statues, crosses, or family symbols of faith—end in prayer and, of course, a snack to celebrate your family’s faith!

Listed are pilgrimage sites within driving distance (please let us know of any other):

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, LaCrosse, WI

Cathedral of St. Raphael, Dubuque, IA

Grotto in West Bend, IA “Considered the eighth wonder of the world.”

Basilica of St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville, IA

Dickeyville Grotto in Dickeyville, WI

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington D.C.