My Daughter, My Temple: A Pilgrimage with Clare of Assisi and Angela of Foligno

A Pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy

October 29 – November 8, 2024

Join Pilgrimage Leaders Margaret Benefiel and Chuck McCorkle in Assisi for a time of quiet prayer to explore the themes of love, suffering, spiritual kinship, and social transformation in the writings of these two important early Franciscan women.

Reach inward through contemplative practices while experiencing the beauty and inspiration of the sacred land of Umbria.


Free “My Daughter, My Temple” information call

Join pilgrimage co-leaders Margaret Benefiel and Chuck McCorkle on Zoom for a free information session to discern about the rightness of this pilgrimage for you. Register in advance by choosing a date below.



Ambrogio Lorenzetti, A Group of Four Poor Clares, (1336-40), fresco fragment (c) The National Gallery, London

As the days grow shorter and the crowds begin to thin, join us in Assisi for a time of quiet prayer while we explore the themes of love, suffering, spiritual kinship, and social transformation in the writings of these two important early Franciscan women. These extraordinary women broke barriers and offered a new vision of hope to a society mired in the breakdown of social institutions, disillusionment, and despair. In spite of the many obstacles women of thirteenth-century Italy faced, these two strong spirits rose to prominence as spiritual leaders. They were sought out by Popes and theologians and left us with compelling writing about the spiritual life. Clare was the first woman to write a Rule for a religious community, and Angela’s words appear in the writing of Teresa of Avila, Evelyn Underhill, and Simone de Beauvoir. Both women’s lives and writings, though very different from one another, resonate with us today.

Through the pilgrimage, we will allow the stories of their lives to unfold as we spend time together in prayerful meditation and spacious moments of solitude and contemplative silence. We will visit the small, unadorned stone chapels where they sought protection, lived their lives, and heard God’s call. In each setting we will spend time together in prayerful meditation. We will reflect on their words as we consider our own spiritual paths. In community we will share how these two powerful women challenge and inspire us.

The pilgrimage pace will be relaxed, allowing for spacious moments of solitude and contemplative silence, as we draw from a deep well of spiritual nourishment. Each day we will ground ourselves in prayer and reflection. Contemplative practices will help us reach inward, so that we might be more deeply touched by the beauty and inspiration of the sacred land of Umbria and its culture, as well as by Clare and Angela.

Pilgrims will stay in a convent of Franciscan sisters in the historic center of Assisi.


PILGRIMAGE ITINERARY

Day One

Our journey will begin with a walk through Assisi, located in Umbria, the green heart of Italy. Assisi instills a sense of peace and meaning in the many pilgrims who travel through its wonderfully preserved history. Flowering balconies and frescoes can be seen at nearly every turn. As we orient ourselves to the historic town, we will become immersed in the beauty of Assisi’s cobblestone lanes, immense gates, and medieval architecture. Our evening will end with a group dinner at the retreat center.

Day Two

On our second day, we will continue our exploration of the town as we visit sites important to the early life of St. Clare. At the Cathedral of San Rufino, we will see the site of St. Clare’s childhood home and the font where St. Clare was baptized. We then will stroll down to the site of San Giorgio where St. Clare attended school. In the evening, we will walk down to the city gate and beyond the medieval city walls, following the path St. Clare took when she ran away from home at night to join the early Franciscans.

Ambrogio LorenzettiAmbrogio Lorenzetti, A Group of Four Poor Clares, (1336-40), fresco fragment (c) The National Gallery, London

Day Three

Our third day will be a quiet day at the retreat center, focusing on St. Clare and her contemplative life, with spacious time for prayer, reading, walking and/or art. In the evening, we will gather for an evening prayer service with the Poor Clares, the contemplative order of nuns founded by St. Clare.

Day Four

Day four will take us to the small, unadorned stone chapels where St. Clare sought refuge after she left home to embrace the Franciscan way of life, San Paolo delle Abbadesse and Sant Angelo in Ponzo. Situated in the midst of olive groves in the Umbrian countryside, the chapels invite pilgrims to experience the land that nurtured St. Clare’s spirituality. We will take the opportunity to pray and reflect in each of these places.

Day Five

On our fifth day we will walk beyond the medieval city walls of Assisi and down to San Damiano, the church where St. Clare established her religious community. In the evening, we will begin to explore St. Angela of Foligno’s life.

Day Six

Day six is a free day for exploring and following Spirit-led adventures on your own.

Day Seven

On our seventh day, we will visit Foligno, seeing St. Angela’s house, the Cathedral (where she was led to find her confessor), and the Church of San Francesco (where she is laid to rest), including the chapel of San Matteo (where she prayed and had early visions).

Day Eight

Our eighth day will be a quiet day at the retreat center, focusing on St. Angela and her contemplative life, with spacious time for prayer, reading, walking and/or art. In the evening, we will gather for a prayer service for the U.S. election.

Day Nine

On day nine, we will visit Santissima Trinità, a small chapel where St. Angela heard God’s voice as she stopped while on pilgrimage from Foligno to Assisi. We will then visit the Basilica di San Francesco to view the stained glass window through which God spoke to Angela with the promise of forever holding her. We will end our day by again gathering for an evening prayer service with the Poor Clares.

Day Ten

Our tenth day will focus on St. Clare’s and St. Angela’s impact through the centuries. We will hear how the nearby Monastero di San Quirico, which was established by followers of St. Angela, became a refuge to Jewish families during WWII.

Day Eleven

We will end our pilgrimage together with a final morning of contemplative practice, closing reflections, and midday meal, as we begin to integrate the wisdom we have gained into our everyday lives.

PILGRIMAGE LEADERS

Margaret Benefiel

Link to Bio

Chuck McCorkle

Link to Bio

COST

$3,200 per person, double occupancy
Single room: $300 additional and subject to availability

  • Cost includes all breakfasts and 6 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Cost includes transfer between Rome FCO airport and Assisi (if you ride in our scheduled bus/vans on the first and last day of the pilgrimage).
  • Cost does not include airfare to and from Rome.

Payment Schedule:

Due upon application: $500 non-refundable deposit
Due now: First installment of $1350
Due on July 1, 2024: Second installment of $1350
Due on July 1, 2024: $300 single room supplement for pilgrims who will be staying in a single room

Cancellation Policy:

If you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made as follows: cancellations received on or before July 25, 2024: 100% of monies received minus $500 non-refundable deposit; cancellations received between July 26 and August 30, 2024: 50% of monies received minus $500 non-refundable deposit; no refunds will be made for cancellations received after August 30, 2024. Shalem reserves the right to cancel the pilgrimage for any reason, in which case you will receive a full refund of all monies paid.

COVID-19 NOTICE
Shalem does not require, but strongly encourages pilgrims to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We will also be following Italy’s requirements related to travel.

APPLY NOW

October 29 – November 8, 2024
Application deadline: June 30, 2024

HAVE QUESTIONS?

Christine (Chris) Jeffrey is the Registrar for the Assisi Pilgrimage and can be contacted at chris@shalem.org.

Mission

Our mission is to nurture contemplative living and leadership.

Vision

In 2025, Shalem will be a dynamic and inclusive community, empowered by the Spirit, where seekers engage in transformation of themselves, their communities, and the world through spiritual growth, deep connection, and courageous action.

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