Church of St. Anne – Birthplace of the Virgin Mary

Are you ready to explore the Christian pilgrimage experience in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and the Saints?

This week’s Journey of Hope takes us to the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem in the Holy Land. Your tour guides are Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox, both with over 25 years of experience in leading groups of pilgrims.

Travel within the ancient walls of Jerusalem, near the Temple Mount, between the Lions Gate the Antonian Fortress where Jesus was judged by Pontius Pilate. Find out about the history of the current Church. Learn more about Mary’s life and meet her parents Joachim and Anne.

Also discussed will be the architecture of the Church and what makes it so unique….explore the two levels of the Church as well as the area surrounding the Church, which includes the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus cured the paralytic.

Jewel for the Journey:

“Happy is he who lives and dies under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.”  St. John Vianney

 

WHERE to TUNE IN:

Live – Weds., September 19 @ 8:00 PM

  • Guadalupe Radio Network (South/Central Texas Stations)

… Listen to the archived audio recording on our website, ASAP!

Visit PilgrimCenter0fHope.org for more information.

Local Prisoners Touch Calvary

Left: Looking up from inside the cell, seeing the hole from which Jesus would have been lowered by a rope around his waist. Right: Pilgrims gather inside the cell to pray.

Jesus was held captive within the ancient cistern pictured above, which is located beneath the former house of Caiaphas in Jerusalem. Today, a church called St. Peter Gallicantu surrounds the cistern and the house, to preserve the sites where Christ began his Passion.

Two pilgrims who journeyed with us to the Holy Land last year, Gene and Terri Espinoza, were so touched by their pilgrimage experience that they decided to enter bereavement ministry and prison ministry. Recently, Terri shared with us about how going on pilgrimage with Pilgrim Center of Hope (PCH) impacted and transformed her and her husband.

At Calvary, where Christ was crucified, Terri had a moving experience; she recounted her realization, “I felt so grateful to have a merciful Jesus, who through his suffering gives us everlasting Life. […] That became very real….life is going to go on because of his death.” The faith of Terri and Gene came alive on pilgrimage, in a way it never had before.

Now, the Espinozas share their hope and sense of being loved by God with the prison inmates to whom they minister. When they pray together, Gene and Terri share with inmates from their personal experiences of being where Jesus, too, was a prisoner and suffered out of love for them. Each inmate has a chance to hold an olive wood crucifix from the Holy Land that contains a stone from Calvary (a gift especially for this purpose, from PCH Directors Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox).

Terri became emotional as she told us how inmates bathe this crucifix in their tears, while she and Gene remind them that, “Jesus is waiting…if we just open our lives to him and make him part of our everyday lives.”

Join us on a life-changing journey of faith! Learn more about our Ministry of Pilgrimages here.

A Tour of Pilgrim Center of Hope – San Antonio, Texas

Welcome to Journeys of Hope, a new radio program on GRN – your spiritual passport to pilgrim destinations around the world!

Come on an intimate tour of Pilgrim Center of Hope (PCH), led by your hosts Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox, Co-Founders and Co-Directors of this evangelization ministry. You’ll hear all about this special place located in northwest San Antonio on consecrated land, formerly a convent for Teresian nuns.

Now in its 25th anniversary year, PCH offers peace and hope to all who visit. The 7 acre site features Stations of the Cross nestled under large cypress and oak trees. The inside is adorned with sacred art, much of it from the Holy Land; carvings, mosaics, statuary, paintings and photos. Hear about the reliquary which contains First and Second Class relics of the saints. Experience Gethsemane Chapel; the Tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross with stones from the sites of the Passion of Christ, and the life-size bronze sculpture based on a study of the Shroud of Turin.

The Foxes will also share some stories about how visitors to PCH have experienced peace, healing, and conversion, be it through moments of sacred silence in the chapel or as the result of spiritual refreshment received at a Day & Evening of Hope, Socials with the Saints, or at an Evening with Mary.

Jewel for the Journey

Ask Jesus what He wants from you and be brave! – Pope Francis

 

WHERE to TUNE IN:

Live – Wed., September 5 @ 8:30 PM

Guadalupe Radio Network (South/Central Texas Stations)
… Listen to the archived audio recording on our website, ASAP!

Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org for more information.

Facebook Live! Q&A

So many people feel drawn to a pilgrimage, but they aren’t sure how to make the best decision. With pilgrimages being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and our Ministry of Pilgrimages being an area of our expertise, we offered the first Pilgrim Center of Hope Pilgrimage Q&A Facebook Live! on Saturday, May 12.

Watch below. If you have any questions about pilgrimages, be sure to explore the Pilgrimages section of our website!

We welcome your calls & emails:
210-521-3377 or ministry@pilgrimcenterofhope.org

We Made the Cover: Catholic Digest!

Friends, we’re excited to share news that Pilgrim Center of Hope is featured in the cover story of Catholic Digest – June/July/August 2017 issue!

The piece highlights the Pilgrim Center of Hope’s focus on ministry and the true meaning of pilgrimage, while providing general tips on various Catholic pilgrimage destinations.

We are grateful to all who have contributed their gifts and talents to spread the ‘good news’ about Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Ministry of Pilgrimages.

A favorite quote:

To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place or admire its treasures of nature, art, or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.

Our Faith Alive! – Priest from Fatima

Father Jonathan Felux, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, served as Spiritual Director for our 2017 Pilgrimage to Fatima, Santiago de Compostela, and Shrines of Portugal. While in Fatima, he recorded the following testimony:

You can see the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary over my shoulder and, in a few moments over here, on the other side, you’ll see in that chapel behind me the international Rosary of people from throughout the world will begin just a few minutes from now.

I’m here as part of a pilgrimage from Pilgrim Center of Hope, a beautiful, wonderful organization that understands the importance of pilgrimage – the importance of going and seeing and touching the places that are important to our Faith – and to do it prayerfully, to do it with a great deal of devotion. It’s been a wonderful pilgrimage for us. We’re a little over halfway through, and looking forward to what is to come still.

I’m making this video to offer my support for Pilgrim Center of Hope, to thank them for this opportunity, and to encourage all of you to think about supporting Pilgrim Center of Hope – or coming on a pilgrimage yourself, asking Our Lord where he wants to take you, where he is leading you in this world. There are so many beautiful sights and so many beautiful ways to encounter our Faith alive. I thank Pilgrim Center of Hope for making that possible for so many people in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

God bless you.

Father Jonathan Checks In from Fatima!

Father Jonathan Felux – Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of San Antonio – is serving as Spiritual Director for our Pilgrimage to Fatima, Shrines in Portugal, and Santiago de Compostela. While the group was in Fatima, he decided to send a video update!

You can see the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary over my shoulder and, in a few moments over here, on the other side, you’ll see in that chapel behind me the international Rosary of people from throughout the world will begin just a few minutes from now.

I’m here as part of a pilgrimage from Pilgrim Center of Hope, a beautiful, wonderful organization that understands the importance of pilgrimage – the importance of going and seeing and touching the places that are important to our Faith – and to do it prayerfully, to do it with a great deal of devotion. It’s been a wonderful pilgrimage for us. We’re a little over halfway through, and looking forward to what is to come still.

I’m making this video to offer my support for Pilgrim Center of Hope, to thank them for this opportunity, and to encourage all of you to think about supporting Pilgrim Center of Hope – or coming on a pilgrimage yourself, asking Our Lord where he wants to take you, where he is leading you in this world. There are so many beautiful sights and so many beautiful ways to encounter our Faith alive. I thank Pilgrim Center of Hope for making that possible for so many people in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

God bless you.

The group is returning on Friday, March 31 from their 10-day journey of faith. Our new local representative (pilgrimage manager) in Portugal is named Rui, a professional and Catholic. His grandparents witnessed the miracle of the sun that occurred during the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima on October 13, 1917. Being from Fatima, he has met Sr. Lucia, one of the three visionaries. You can imagine how he has assisted the pilgrim group with so many beautiful opportunities!

Our Ministry of Pilgrimages has been recognized for the past two years by the Office of Tourism of Portugal and of Fatima (OTPF) for organizing unique pilgrimages including history, culture, and local guides. As part of that recognition, the OTPF invited one of our Pilgrimage Group Leaders to attend their Regional Conference for Religious Pilgrimage Leaders in Fatima.  This experience has helped us meet more excellent ‘ground partners’ who will assist our future pilgrimages. Please inform others to contact us for their future pilgrimage; they are certainly in good, experienced hands!

Founders on EWTN Radio

How did pilgrimage change our lives? EWTN Radio & TV Host Johnnette Benkovic hosted Pilgrim Center of Hope founders Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox on Women of Grace Live, and discussed the power of pilgrimages, special graces received, and what distinguishes a pilgrimage from a religious tour. Enjoy this enlightening and unique, spiritual discussion among friends!

Permission granted by Jane from Women of Grace.

Photo of Jeannie and Chris in Portugal

International recognition for Ministry of Pilgrimages

We are thrilled to announce that Turismo de Portugal, the national tourism authority of Portugal, has recognized Pilgrim Center of Hope with a sponsored invitation to the upcoming International Workshop for leaders in religious travel.

Chris Remmert is able to accept this invitation; she will give a presentation about how Pilgrim Center of Hope’s unique ministry allows pilgrims to deeply experience the holy sites. She and another of our group leaders were 2 of only 8 U.S. participants in the 2016 IV International Workshop! If you’ve ever wanted to go to Fatima, you’ll definitely want to journey with our expert Group Leaders.

In fact, a few seats are now available on our Pilgrimage to Fatima, Shrines of Portugal, and Santiago de Compostela (March 20-31) with Spiritual Director Fr. Jonathan Felux! Come celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima with this unique pilgrimage. Want to claim those seats? Let us know! Call (210) 521-3377.

Chris & Jeannie will be offering your prayer intentions at Fatima and the other holy sites. Please email us or stop by the Center with your petitions before March 17. We’ll provide you with a pamphlet about days to venerate Our Lady of Fatima’s statue at Pilgrim Center of Hope this summer and fall.

“Come and See” about the Holy Land!

Are you curious about visiting the Holy Land? “Come and See!”

On Sunday, January 29, hear about the Place where our Faith began…

  • What is the “Holy Land”? Learn about the people, languages, and history of the region.
    • Learn why it is called the 5th Gospel.
  • How is a pilgrimage different from a tour? What is involved? Discover the benefits of pilgrimage.
  • What distinguishes Pilgrim Center of Hope from other pilgrimages?

You will also hear about an exciting and unique pilgrimage from San Antonio to the Holy Land, May 1-11, 2017, with Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox as Group Leaders and Fr. Michel Bineen Mukad of St. Matthew as Spiritual Director.

Presented by Mary Jane Fox, Pilgrimage Coordinator & Group Leader

St. Matthew Catholic Church – Parish Hall…