I have some exciting news. When I began this blog almost five years ago, I intended for it to be an archive of things that I found to be inspiring on my faith journey through life. The result is a wonderful chronicle of my soul’s exploration and discovery — and history of my own seeking journey and growing through life. It has become become a treasured library of inspirational things that I am glad to be able to share, and certainly one that I often return to again and again. My original intent was to eventually include some of my own personal writing, but I have never really had the courage to do so … until now.
Last year, I signed up to join Paula D’Arcy on her annual pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres in May 2015 (read about it here). This blog post represents my first tentative steps towards sharing in a more personal way — using my own words and experiences as inspiration for what I post here. My goal is to reflect on my journey both leading up to Paris-Chartres, and upon my return. I expect this journey to unfold in ways that will be surprising (as it already has), and I’m looking forward to sharing these insights with you in future posts. As always, I continue to be immensely grateful and ever humbled by your generous loyalty, kind support, and encouragement.
If you like, please join me on this pilgrimage journey by signing up to receive posts by email by “following” this blog (see sidebar on right hand side), or follow along using twitter, facebook or tumblr.
Anne (@ missawn)
Sometimes it seems as if the whole universe has been waiting for this step to be taken, and I’m amazed that I’ve never noticed it waiting there before.
— Gernot Candolini from Walking Toward the Center
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In each of us dwells a wanderer, a gypsy, a pilgrim. The purpose here is to call forth that spirit. What matters most on your journey is how deeply you see, how attentively you hear, how richly the encounters are felt in your heart and soul.
—Phil Cousineau from The Art of Pilgrimage
Books I’m Reading:
This is what I currently have on my reading list. I may update/modify this list in future posts, but for now these are the books I’m hoping to read before my trip.
- Waking Up to This Day: Seeing the Beauty Right Before Us
- Labyrinths: Walking Toward the Center
- Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice
- Wanderlust: A History of Walking
- The Expected One (A Novel – Magdalene Line Book #1)
- The Book of Love (A Novel – Magdalene Line Book #2)
- Rick Steves Paris 2015
- Rick Steves’ French Phrase Book & Dictionary
Chartres is located 96 km (60 mi) southwest of Paris and is known for its cathedral. The Cathedral of Chartres (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres) is widely considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France. Its historical and cultural importance is recognized by its inclusion on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Its construction started in 1205, following the destruction of the old cathedral of Chartres and took 66 years. The beautifully preserved pavement labyrinth was constructed during the second decade of the 13th century. The labyrinth is 12.9 metres (42.3 ft.) in diameter and fills the width of the nave.
Chartres has been a site of Christian pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. The poet Charles Péguy (1873–1914) revived the pilgrimage route between Paris and Chartres before the First World War. After the war, some students carried on the pilgrimage in his memory. Since the 1980s, the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté, with offices in Versailles, has organized the annual 100 km (62 mi) pilgrimage on foot from the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris to the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres. About 15,000 pilgrims, mostly young families from all over France, participate every year.
About the Red Bird Foundation:
Red Bird Foundation was founded by Paula D’Arcy in 2001 as a non-profit foundation dedicated to assisting others in the transformation of pain and the restoration of hope. The Foundation’s work to date has included prison retreats and talks, evening gatherings at shelters and the creation of small groups of individuals from around the world to foster widening awareness of the world’s ongoing work toward freedom and peace (see upcoming events).