January 30, 2015

Msgr. Stumpf to lead pilgrimage ‘in the Footsteps of St. Paul’

Criterion staff report

Msgr. William Stumpf, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, will lead a pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey from April 13-24.

The 11-day pilgrimage, titled “In the Footsteps of St. Paul,” will feature several places where the great Apostle first brought the Gospel to Europe. It is being organized by the Carmel, Ind.-based Tekton Ministries.

Msgr. Stumpf said he wanted to lead a pilgrimage to places connected to St. Paul after traveling to the Holy Land in 2010.

“It made the Scriptures come alive in a way that they’d never come alive for me before,” he said, “so I thought that it would be perfect to experience the footsteps of St. Paul.”

In addition to touring historic sites in Greece and Turkey, the pilgrimage will feature daily Mass at places of key importance to the early history of the Church.

The pilgrimage will begin in Athens and Corinth and will feature a tour of ancient ruins there, including the famous Parthenon, as well as places where St. Paul preached the Gospel.

Pilgrims will later visit Beroea and Thessaloniki, two cities where Paul spent time on his missionary journeys.

In Turkey, pilgrims will visit some of the sites of the seven Churches mentioned in Revelation and the island of Patmos, where St. John received the visions he described in the last book of the Bible.

Near the end of the pilgrimage, participants will tour the modern city of Izmir, which is the site of the ancient city of Ephesus. St. Paul ministered there. It is also considered by tradition as a home of Mary after Jesus’ Ascension.

The pilgrimage will end with a trip to Istanbul featuring a tour of the Hagia Sophia Museum, housed in the large basilica of the same name built in the sixth century.

Msgr. Stumpf hopes a pilgrimage to many places tied closely to several books of the New Testament will help pilgrims experience the richness of the Bible in a new way.

(The “In the Footsteps of St. Paul” pilgrimage is $3,280 per person for double occupancy and $3,792 for single occupancy. The pilgrimage includes round-trip, economy-class air transportation, deluxe motor coach, daily breakfast and dinner, entrance fees and comprehensive sightseeing guides. For more information, call Tekton Ministries at 866-905-3787, send an e-mail to pilgrimage@tektonministries.org or log on to www.tektonministries.org.)

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