In 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.