Faithful Traveler introduces you to Catholic shrines

Faithful Traveler introduces you to Catholic shrines

faithfultraveler.jpgIn the breezy, hip style of travel shows on PBS and the Travel Channel, a new Catholic DVD series, The Faithful Traveler, takes you on a visit to Catholic shrines and places of pilgrimage. Well, so far they take you to the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia, but they promise to introduce us to more. (They also have video about St. Katharine Drexel Shrine and the National Shrines of St. Rita of Cascia, also in the Philly area, in the works.)

The show is edited, written, and hosted by Diana von Glahn—an attractive and engaging young woman—and directed and shot by her husband David. (I’d compliment him too, but he never appears on-screen.) With Diana’s youth and energy complemented by a soundtrack of both contemporary Catholic music and classic chant, the DVD is an interesting and engaging introduction to a treasure of devotion and Catholic art in our own backyard. In fact, the United States is overflowing with such shrines and pilgrimage sites. Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, there’s at least a half-dozen, probably more, all beautiful locations where you can pray in peace and experience natural and man-made beauty.

I’ve seen guidebooks to America’s Catholic holy places, but a video is much more interesting, because it reveals a lot more than a couple of pages and tiny photos in a book. And it would only be good for more Catholics to discover shrines and visit them.

For the moment, if you’re in Philadelphia, plan to visit, or just want to learn more about some Catholic shrines and devotions (great for families!), check our their site and DVDs.You’ll find that they’re not just travelogues because they take the time to inform you of the saints and devotions behind the shrines themselves.

Incidentally, a nice feature of their site is the “Locations” page, an interactive map of the US that gives you links and information about Catholic shrines throughout the country. Nice.

  • Thanks for this. We love stumbling on Catholci sites on our many road trips as a family. This summer on a drive to Denver from St. Louis we discovered the Cathedral of the Prairie (Victoria, KS). Huge church in a tiny town. it got its name from William Jennings Bryan on a campaign stop.

  • It looks like they visited quite a few shrines in Massachusetts. I didn’t see the Madonna shrine in East Boston, which has a special place in my heart.

  • Questions at the website:

    *Who designed the Miraculous Medal?  The Blessed Mother did, if anyone did, but she showed it to St Catherine Labore

    How many missions the Franciscans built in California?  Not sure about that one. Bl Junipero Serra founded the most, I think.

    Who was called the Pope of the Eucharist? Pope St Pius X

    In what city can you find life-sized Stations of the Cross?  St Anthony’s shrine in Pittsburgh – HUGE number of holy relics there, too. Very awesome shrine.

  • I’m so glad you liked the show!
    As for our Locations map—I wish it listed all of the places we’ve been! It actually lists all of the shrines and places of pilgrimage of which I am aware. So if you or your viewers know of any places that we’re missing, let us know! We’re always looking for more places to add.
    I looked up the Cathedral of the Prairie and could find nothing online about it, sadly. And I have to check out the Madonna Shrine in East Boston and St. Anthony’s in Pittsburgh. The life-sized stations seem to be everywhere!

  • Diana,

    If you do make it to Pittsburgh, also check out the Holy Stairs in the South Side at a parish called Old St Patrick’s.  The 28 steps are a replica of the ones in Rome that pilgrims prayerfully ascend and descend on their knees.

    There are so many wonderful shrines and hidden holy places, you ought to have a very long, productive and interesting run!

  • If we don’t make it to Pittsburgh, I’ll definitely be bummed. It sounds like that city has some truly amazing sights. Thanks! (I told a radio interviewer the other day that there are so many places to go, I’ll be 85 by the time the show ends…!)

  • For those in the Boston area, there are a few Vatican items on display that you may want to go see at the Madonna shrine. There is a cassock of Pope John XXIII and a miter of Pope Paul VI (who visited the shrine when he was a Cardinal). There are also a few items owned by St. Luigi Orione (his breviary, his Rosary, his glasses).