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Guide, Travel, Shrines

101 Places to Pray Before You Die; a Roamin' Catholic's Guide

101 Places to Pray Before You Die; a Roamin' Catholic's Guide

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Five million visitors crowd into St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York each year. Hundreds of thousands annually pay homage to the Blessed Virgin at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. But Catholic travelers don't always realize that every state in the Union contains unique shrines, retreat houses, missions and other significant holy places. In 101 Places to Pray Before You Die, you'll discover the unexpected, the somber, the whimsical and the inspiring spots that, at times, are hidden in plain sight.
  • Every American has heard of the Battle of the Alamo, the heroic-but-hopeless defense put up by a few dozen Texans against an army from Mexico that numbered in the thousands. But most visitors overlook the fact that the Alamo was actually founded by a Franciscan priest as a mission, to bring the local Native American tribe into the Catholic faith.
  • A drive through Cullman, Alabama, will lead you to four acres of quirky miniature reproductions depicting some of the world's most famous religious structures.
  • Nuns who nursed the wounded on both sides of the Civil War are honored at Washington, D.C.'s Nuns of the Battlefield monument.
  • Dorothy Day, the social activist and champion of the poor, left her mark across New York City--and you can follow in her footsteps.
  • The book also bears witness to the legacy of European, Latin, African and Asian immigrants and Native Americans, tracing their distinctive influence on the history and practice of Catholicism in America.
  • Conveniently organized by state, 101 Places to Pray Before You Die will enhance your travel experiences--whether it's a day trip to explore a spot you've breezed past a hundred times, a quick detour on a business trip or a family vacation dedicated to more intensive spiritual searching. Each entry contains details about the location's significance to American Catholics, along with the address, contact information and hours of operation (if applicable).

    A 2018 Catholic Press Association Book Award winner.

    Catholic Pilgrimage through American History

    Catholic Pilgrimage through American History

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    Awarded third place in pilgrimages/Catholic travel by the Catholic Media Association.

    Historian Kevin Schmiesing takes you to more than two-dozen sites and events that symbolize and embody America's rich and sometimes tumultuous Catholic past, including the Santa Fe Trail, Gettysburg, and the Bourbon Trail. You'll also meet both famous and infamous Catholics--including Augustus Tolton, Dr. Samuel Mudd, and Frances Cabrini--who impacted our nation's history.

    The idea for A Catholic Pilgrimage through American History came from Schmiesing's mother, he says. She turned every childhood vacation into a pilgrimage, purposely inserting religious sites into the family's journey to places such as Niagara Falls, Washington, DC, or Myrtle Beach.

    Catholics have been part of the American experiment since the beginning--in founding the colonies and expanding the west, building education and health care systems, abolishing slavery, fighting on the front lines, and advancing science, technology, and space exploration. Each of the twenty-seven sites on Schmiesing's virtual itinerary--including, the Washington Monument, Wounded Knee Creek, the University of Notre Dame, and Mission San Diego de Alcalá--transports you to a significant time in US history and connects the dots to our Catholic heritage. You will meet notable Catholics such as John F. Kennedy, Black Elk, and Katharine Drexel, and learn more about their contributions to history.

    You will explore the various and sometimes conflicting roles Catholics have played in key periods and events through the stories of shrines, memorials, and other historic places including:

  • the Catholic Plymouth Rock--St. Mary's City, Maryland;
  • the Bourbon Trail--Church of St. Thomas, Bardstown, Kentucky;
  • the Pope's Stone--the Washington Monument in the District of Columbia;
  • a Catholic mission and a Native American tragedy: Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota; and
  • the home of the first Black priest--the churches of Quincy, Illinois.
  • Discovering the Camino de Santiago - A Priest's Journey to the Tomb of St. James

    Discovering the Camino de Santiago - A Priest's Journey to the Tomb of St. James

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    After the Holy Land and Rome, Santiago de Compostela draws more pilgrims than any other place in the world. For the first time for English-speaking readers, a priest-pastor chronicles the month-long life and times of a pilgrim on this storied walk. In an account both profound and delightful, Fr. Greg Markey relates the challenges he endured and the consolations he enjoyed along the much-celebrated Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James).

    Fr. Markey's peaceful journey along the five-hundred-mile trail -- Web-free, phone-free, and television-free -- generated an astonishing array of brief but potent spiritual reflections. Then forty-one years old, Father did not conceal his priesthood, choosing on the contrary to wear the traditional Roman collar. And, unsurprisingly, the fruitful conversations that resulted with pilgrims were reflective, sometimes serious, comforting, and practical.

    Throughout his arduous trek, as recounted in this book, Fr. Markey displayed both a keen mind and a pastoral heart. His mission was successful but not without incident, as he encountered a wide variety of Christians and unbelievers struggling or lost in personal crises, some reflecting upon great loss or rediscovering Christ as the focus of their lives.

    There was plenty of private time along the trail as well. Fr. Markey gleaned spiritual lessons for himself and his flock, to whom he wrote, and he chronicled them in a journal. Through his life-changing witness, you will discover:

  • Stories of searching souls who were touched by a word of faith or a small gift
  • Life lessons from the physical difficulties and temptations he endured on the Way
  • How God unexpectedly speaks to us in our need through His Word and through others
  • Why the Camino is a metaphor for life and the ways in which it attunes the soul to Divine Providence
  • The encouraging bond that exists between Catholics from all places, ages, and walks of life
  • You will also learn about the fascinating life of St. James the Greater and miracles of his intercession -- including more than twenty interventions on the battlefield -- as well as the discovery and authentication of his relics. Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 homily at Santiago Cathedral is also featured.

    "If there is a powerful lesson on the Camino, it is that I am no longer in control; and just when I have no more strength and no more options, He catches me, reminding me He is ultimately in control." -- Fr. Greg Markey

    Magnificat - Holy Land Companion

    Magnificat - Holy Land Companion

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    A practical, spiritual guide designed to accompany you in personal and liturgical prayer on a pilgrimage through the most visited places in the land of the Bible.

    Whether you are experiencing the Holy Land in person or simply making a spiritual pilgrimage at home, this pocket-size guide will forever change your walk on our journey toward the heavenly Jerusalem. For more than 30 holy sites you will find:

    • A text detailing the significance of each site
    • A prayer for the day, modeled after the Liturgy of the Hours
    • Mass with prayers and readings specific to the site, drawn from the missal of the Custody of the Holy Land
    • A meditation selected from among the writings of the Fathers of the Church, spiritual masters, and great modern Christian thinkers

    Includes the Ordinary of the Mass, well-known hymns, favorite psalms, and beautiful prayers.

    Monuments, Marvels and Miracles

    Monuments, Marvels and Miracles

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    America's got faith! You'll find it in every state -- in grand cathedrals and tiny chapels, in miracle shrines and underwater statues, and even in blessed dirt. Finding these sacred places hasn't been easy, until now!

    Monuments, Marvels, and Miracles: A Traveler's Guide to Catholic America takes you to more than 500 of the country's most intriguing holy sites, each with a riveting story to tell. Stories about:

  • architecture (the interior of Guardian Angels Cathedral in Las Vegas resembles angel wings)

  • religious history (at Maryland's Old Bohemia, Jesuit priests lived and worked incognito during anti-Catholic persecution)

  • artifacts (the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia holds an original cast by Saint Catherine Labouré)

  • answered prayer (from the Grasshopper Chapel in Minnesota to the Coral Miracle Church in Hawaii)

  • healing places, beautiful places, hidden places, places where saints walked, and much more.

  • Organized by state and region, Monuments, Marvels, and Miracles can help you easily plan your vacation or pilgrimage, and find sites close to you that you've never heard of. Chapters also include Catholic trivia and color photos. Websites, phone numbers, addresses, and other pertinent information are included.


    Marion Amberg is an award-winning book author and freelance journalist. Her articles -- mainly religion travel pieces and human-interest features -- have appeared in more than 100 markets. She is known for her "nose for the unique and unusual" and for her engaging writing style.

    Spiritual and Walking Guide The Wisconsin Way

    Spiritual and Walking Guide The Wisconsin Way

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    Today’s most complete guide for walking the Wisconsin Way from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help near Green Bay to Holy Hill Basilica outside Milwaukee. 

    The Wisconsin Way is a pilgrimage route loosely based on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The American Camino, which highlights shrines, monasteries and European-style churches situated in dramatic glacial landscapes of farmland, forests and lakes, is an unforgettable alternative to walking European pilgrimage routes.

    This handy three-in-one book incorporates daily devotions for spiritual direction, the historical context of the spiritual hotspots encountered along the route and way guides for the physical journey. This guide, designed to fit in your pocket, is suitable for any walker or cyclist.

    Included in this book:

    • Color maps and photos
    • Elevation profiles
    • Turn-by-turn directions
    • Meditations for the inner journey
    • List of spiritual hotspots
    • Terminology of glacial topography
    • Essential information needed to plan your outer journey
    World of Marian Apparitions

    World of Marian Apparitions

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    The world-changing appearance of Our Lady at Fatima ushered in a continuing series of remarkable apparitions worldwide that the Church has either officially approved or marked as likely-authentic. Author and Mariologist Wincenty Laszewski summarizes the powerful and urgent messages of these apparitions in this unparalleled, encyclopedic work-instantly the new standard on the subject. Most of these riveting chapters include portentous warnings - some are ominous, others more hopeful. This stunning book serves as a wake-up call to the faithful and is a worldwide clarion call to deeper prayer and conversion. It includes:

  • Over 400 pages describing the fully documented miracles and visions
  • Fascinating accounts by eyewitnesses, including non-believers
  • 50+ maps of locations and pilgrimage sites
  • Photos and illustrations: documents, events, and faces of the visionari