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Spiritual Direction 2018-03-05T11:54:18+00:00

A pilgrimage is not just a trip, but a spiritual journey meant to enrich and nurture your faith. A Franciscan Holy Land Pilgrimage guides pilgrims spiritually in many ways:

  • Daily Mass in the churches of the Holy Land
  • With a Franciscan priest as your guide, Reconciliation is available to pilgrims daily.
  • There are many opportunities for prayer, such as praying the rosary, with your group. There is also plenty of time for individual prayer and meditation.
  • At each holy site, your Franciscan guide will talk about the spiritual significance of each place, sharing knowledge of history, architecture, and theology.  In addition, he’ll guide you in reflection upon the scriptures relevant to each site as you stand in the very places mentioned in those pages.

Meet Your Spiritual Directors

My name is Father David Wathen, OFM, and I serve as the director of the Franciscan Monastery Pilgrimage Office in Washington, D.C.

As a member of the Holy Land province of Franciscans, I have had the blessing of serving in the lands of the Bible. For most of the nine years of ministry in the Holy Land, I served as a spiritual leader of pilgrimages. It was a valuable learning experience which has served me well in my current ministry as director of the pilgrimage office.

I spent three of my nine years serving in Bethlehem, which helped me to better understand the challenges the Palestinian Christians faced in living their faith in an environment which is predominantly Muslim. With another three years of service in Jerusalem, I saw how the challenges for the local Christians were different as they were a tiny minority in a city which was predominantly Jewish. The last three years of service were in the resort town of Tiberias in Galilee which gave me the opportunity to learn more about the concerns of the Jews of the land. These broad based experiences have served me well in trying to paint an intelligible and balanced picture for the pilgrims when I accompany them through this land we call holy.

In 2007 I was appointed by my provincial to serve as the director of our pilgrimage office here in Washington. I was genuinely grateful for this opportunity to both organize pilgrimages and to accompany the pilgrims through the lands of the Bible. Previously, I simply accompanied the pilgrims as their guide and sometimes as guide and chaplain. Now I have been given the opportunity to develop ways in which to become personally involved in encouraging potential pilgrims to join us for a pilgrimage. It was an appointment I welcomed with enthusiasm.

If you have ever considered making a pilgrimage to the lands of the Bible, I invite you now to “Come see where the Master lives.”

Peace! I am Greg Friedman, a Franciscan from Cincinnati, Ohio. I entered the Franciscans 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1976.

I am currently serving the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, DC, where I help promote the mission of the Holy Land Franciscans. I am editor of The Holy Land Review, a quarterly magazine which features information, history and inspiration about the places where Jesus and his apostles walked.

My Franciscan ministry has been primarily in communications. I have been a writer and media producer for many years, creating audio and video programs for broadcast, parish use and the Web. I’ve also served in the inner city as a pastor. You can find me doing Sunday reflections on the U.S. Bishops’ website, www.usccb.org, and on our Franciscan Monastery Facebook page.

From my experience as a pilgrim to the Holy Land, and one who’s spent a good deal of time there learning about the holy places and the work of the friars, I invite you to share my love of Scripture and of the places where Jesus walked—join me on a Franciscan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land!

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