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Can’t go to Europe? Take a pilgrimage in the United States

Paolo Bernabei | CC BY-SA 3.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 07/14/20

Whether for a day trip or a weeklong journey, here's a list of Catholic sites which could be part of a memorable pilgrimage this summer.

With travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic still in place, many people have sadly had to cancel plans to travel to Europe.

Among the disappointed this summer are Catholic travelers. Summer is the most popular time to make a religious pilgrimage, whether to Rome, to Spain to walk the Camino de Santigo de Compostello, or perhaps to Ireland, to follow in the footsteps of St. Patrick. Those who have had to postpone what would have been a trip of a lifetime, might consider making a pilgrimage closer to home.

Without going abroad, a day trip to a shrine or church, or a longer vacation to visit a number of religious sites can be a pilgrimage if it is taken in the spirit of prayer, to enrich one’s spiritual life.

Here are some wonderful options for Catholic travel in the United States (check with the sites mentioned below for coronavirus restrictions):

The California Mission Trail:The Historic California Mission Trail, as it is called, consists of 21 missions, all of them located on or around what today is Highway 101.

The Painted Churches of Texas: Visit the colorful churches built by Czech and German immigrants from the 19th century.

The Historic Churches of Boston, Massachusetts: Visit these three beautiful Catholic churches.

Catholic Pilgrimage Sites of the American South: Most people don’t realize that the South is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful Catholic churches and sites in the United States.

The 10 Most Beautiful Churches in New York City: Plan your trip to Manhattan this summer.

New York City: A Catholic sightseers’s guide: New York’s rich Catholic history forms the foundation of a great summer pilgrimage.

Churches of the American Coastal South: Visit these gems for an unforgettable trip.

Cathedrals in the Largest U.S. Cities: Catholicism in the United States has its roots in the country’s great cities.

11 Unique Catholic Churches and Shrines: Some are unconventional, some are uncommonly beautiful.

The Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island where the Kennedy wedding took place: Visit St. Mary’s Church, a Gothic Revival church built in 1847 in Newport, Rhode Island while visiting the popular summer destination.

Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts: Set on 375 acres amid the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains, it’s a peaceful place to meditate on the mercy of God.


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