Up for walking a Twin Cities ‘pilgrimage’?

March 26, 2012


What if you could make a pilgrimage right in the middle of the Twin Cities?

Pilgrimages to Fatima, Lourdes, the Holy Land and Rome are great if one can make those kinds of trips. The Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain — The Way of St. James — is gaining such popularity it’s been the focus of a Martin Sheen/Emilio Estevez movie. That last one is 500 miles of walking through the French/Spanish countryside.

But for three years now, folks have been going on a much shorter walking trip through New York City. Meghan Clark chronicles the 13.5-mile journey well in photos and story.

So here’s the question for you?

Think we could do something similar in the Twin Cities?

Where would you start? What stops would you make along the way, and why?

What should be “can’t-miss” opportunities? What might be prayerful events to include, people to speak to the group (maybe about the history of the place, the architecture, etc.)?

What would make a good, interesting route?

Remember, this would be a walking activity, a trip that would be completed in one day. Lots of daylight hours from mid-May through July would make for the best time of year. Figure it’s 10 miles between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul.

Comment to this post or email your suggestions to zyskowskir@archspm.org.

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About Bob Zyskowski

Bob is the Client Products Manager for the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A 42-year veteran of the Catholic Press, he is the former Associate Publisher of The Catholic Spirit. You can follow him on twitter or email him at zyskowskir@archspm.org.

View all posts by Bob Zyskowski
  • Beth Duffy

    If you decide to do this, I’ll volunteer to help with the planning! It’s an idea that a colleague and I tossed around during grad school a few years ago. I’d make it a 2 or 3 day event, with a different focus each day. Maybe architecture, art, and nature. Or focus each day on a different person of the Holy Trinity. Or 3 forms of prayer. Include a labyrinth walk.Brainstorming this with a group of people would sure be fun!

    • Bob

      A theme or themes is something NY had, Beth. Hope we get some additional folks commenting who’d like to be part of that brainstorming group. Thanks for the ideas.

  • TheHammer

    The Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Agnes, and The Basilica of St. Mary would have to be part of this pilgrimage.

    • Bob


  • T Schulzetenberg

    I think that the Gateway trail provides a nice path for such a pilgrimage. Twice now me and some friends of mine walked on this trail from 694/hwy36 to St. Michael’s church in Stillwater

    • Bob

      Thanks, Thomas. What might be pilgrimage related stops along the way? Demontreville Retreat House maybe? Stillwater Catholic Worker House?

  • Mary Kalk

    I remember a Eucharistic procession in NE Minneapolis where we visited about 7 churches. There is a rich history there within blocks of each other. That area is also blessed with St. Maron’s and St. Constantine as an opportunity to explore the beauty of those Eastern rites.

    • Ruth Porter

      I really like this idea because I am fascinated by old historic churches and would like to learn more about them. It would also be a great opportunity to learn about the Eastern rites.

    • Bob

      Thanks for the idea, Mary.

    • Patrice Finstad

      The Eucharist Procession is still going strong in NE Minneapolis. Join us on Sunday, June 10. We start at 3:00 at Holy Cross, then on to St. Cyril, St. Anthony of Padua, St Boniface, St. Constantine, St. Maron, and All Saints church. The procession returns to St. Maron’s Cedars Hall for refreshments, an opportunity to socialize with fellow Catholics.

      A priest will lead the procession by carrying the Eucharistic Host in a traditional sunburst monstrance. Hymns will be sung along the way. A short Benediction and prayer will take place at each church. You can join the group for the entire Procession or just part of it.

      • Porterr

        Patrice, can you confirm the details or tell us where we can learn more, i.e., how many miles, how long will it last, etc. I have friends who are interested in doing this but they want more details.

  • Sharon

    Theme it Diversity:
    Basilica, St. Stevens in So. Mpls – Hispanic Parish, St. Peter Claver – St. Paul – Black Catholics, St Agnes – Traditional Latin Liturgy, St. Peter in No. St. Paul – New Architecture, and end at the Cathedral St. Paul.
    Might be a long walk…

    • Bob

      You may have enough for 3 walks here, Sharon!

  • Dlynettef

    The obvious core would be the Cathedral to the Basilica. Are there parishes or historical sights that have a Catholic or other faith connection? St Anthony’s Falls for example?

  • Stella Lundquist

    I think a prime walking tour would be the Northeast Mpls. churches all within easy walking distance. There stand some of the most beautiful churches in the archdiocese including some Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. This could be an fascinating educational tour explaining that the Eastern Rite Churches are all under the pope. You could relate the various histories of when, how and why they came under our pope proving that they are legitimately Roman Catholic Churches.
    e.g. Eastern Rite Catholic Churches: St. Maron Maronite Rite, St.Constantine Ukranian, and Byzantine Church of St. John.
    While in that area the most beautiful of all—the Polish Church of Holy Cross (It has the outstanding beauty of a cathedral)

  • joellyn soler

    Bob-Walking sounds great, but also a bus tour,like our Council of Catholic Women did in Washington DC of famous churches is fun for those who are not as physically capable as others to make the 10mile trip, walking. Maybe 2 options?Those who want to walk and those who want to ride? Just brainstorming-joellyn soler,Mpls Council of catholic Women,President

  • It’s a great idea. But walking 10 or 15 miles with not much preparation time would be intimidating for most. But if you set it up in sections so that people could select a section that they think they could handle, they could arrange to have a car parked at a distance most convenient.

    But that would increase the need for volunteers to manage the walk.

    Traffic would be a major problem. It would be great that if we stick to parkways if at all possible. Start Northeast Mpls, and their churches, for example, then over to the River Road, then cross the Mississippi at Lake/Marshall, then figure out a way to get up to Como Park, the crown jewel of St. Paul’s parks, and then on to the Cathedral/Capitol.