Pilgrims Have Arrived in Istanbul!

Dear Friends and Families of the Greece/Turkey Pilgrims:

Jeff and the tour group has arrived safely in Istanbul. After a short bus ride through the city they have arrived at their hotel for mass, dinner and a good night's rest. The tour has two buses each with three priests on board! As they travel to the sites of Paul, let us continue to pray for their spiritual enrichment.

Here are some inspiring words from Jeff's friend, Keith Moore, the musician accompanying the tour.

"St. Paul is why I am here in Turkey today. Pope Benedict has declared this the year of St. Paul, and I am traveling with a pilgrimage, leading the music for the Mass. What a world of wonders we live in! This is a strange and exotic place. It brings out the superlatives in one's thinking. When he was ministering here, St. Paul used words like, "always", "everywhere", "all things", "ceaselessly", etc. He was about telling the people of this land about the Beloved. And he didn't just tell his readers to pray without ceasing, but he did it himself. I can only imagine what it was like for him to travel to this frantic place of milling humans. I am sure though the cities themselves have changed, but I bet the atmosphere hasn't. I bet there were people walking around in Paul's day that could walk by me today in Istanbul and I wouldn't know the difference. As I walk through old town's cobble streets, I can almost hear St. Paul speaking. His words and life are still a guide and inspiration. He said to follow him as he followed Jesus. Were he with me today, he would still be about the one thing, bringing Jesus to anyone who would listen. St. Paul, pray for us that we will use your words more often in our lives following Jesus. "Always", "Everywhere", "Giving thanks", "Run with endurance", "Pressing on.", and that these words will become our way too."

Emily Cavins