Georgetown Pilgrimages to Ignatian Spain Help Bring Georgetown’s Ignatian Year to an End 

A screenshot of the Instagram account of Georgetown’s Campus Ministry. You can follow along a series of Magis Immersion pilgrimages to Ignatian Spain, involving students, faculty, staff, and alumni. 

The time has come to set out for sacred ground … that will stir our sense of wonder. It is down the path to the deeply real where time stops and we are seized by the mysteries. This is the journey that we cannot Not take. The old hermit along the side of the road whispers, Stranger, Pass by that which you do not love.” ― Phil Cousineau, The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred

The Ignatian Year officially ends on July 31, 2022, on the Feast Day of St. Ignatius. Georgetown has celebrated this 500-year anniversary in many ways throughout the last 12 months, including a Storytelling event in the fall semester and a Sacred Lecture in the spring. A University committee came together and, among other things, created a universally appealing bookmark intended to spur discussion, reflection, and action about the Ignatian Year across the campuses. 

And as the Ignatian Year officially comes to a close, Georgetown has embarked on a series of pilgrimage trips to the Ignatian holy sites in Spain during the months of June and July. Separate experiences for students, faculty and staff, and alumni are offering participants a direct opportunity to explore together the sacred sites of the Jesuits’ founder. 

Pilgrimage is an appropriate way to bring this year to an end. For St. Ignatius, all of the spiritual life is essentially a pilgrimage. Ignatius’ own autobiography is described as a “pilgrim’s journey” and details how he literally traveled much of the world and figuratively traveled in his own soul in order to discover the ultimate, authentic purpose of his life. Andria Wisler, Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, is fond of sharing Cousineau’s quote above at the beginning of Magis Immersion Trips (like this one to the U.S.-Mexico Border). There is a strong link between Cousineau’s images of the pilgrimage as an of real holy ground that stirs wonder and the Ignatian notion of Finding God in All Things. 

For St. Ignatius, no experience is too mundane to potentially become an encounter with the Divine. By paying attention to the details of our outward and inward journeys, whether they be the magnificent Spanish sites of Ignatius’ life or our own daily commutes, we can enter into deeper communion with the transcendent mystery of our lives. It is through this daily pilgrimage, and the discernment that it entails, that we travel closer and closer to our ultimate destination and purpose. 

In the coming weeks, Mission in Motion will share more about Georgetown SCS’s participation in the Ignatian pilgrimages to Spain.