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Pilgrimage: New Mexico

Sacred Center, Sacred Quest

Fri., October 13 - Tues., October 17, 2018

The Program
Journey to the ancient pilgrimage site of the Pueblo people to explore perennial wisdom questions in the light of the sacred architecture and mysteries of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. 

  • “Who am I?”
  • “Where do I come from?”
  • “Why am I here?”
  •  “How shall I live?” 

Pilgrimage: New Mexico involves a 6-week small group study that includes a pilgrimage to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico during Fall Break. The course and pilgrimage will help students explore perennial wisdom questions and create or deepen their own spiritual practices through the lens of the sacred architecture and archaeoastronomy of the Chacoan culture. Our quest will take us through a region whose architectural constructions blend the aesthetic, the scientific, the pragmatic, and the mystical in the planning of space. We will explore why this ancient civilization constructed their buildings in perfect alignment with solstices and equinoxes, and the implications such intentionality may have for modern spiritual seekers.

In our small group study and during our time in this stark and challenging place, we will learn from this ancient civilization ways to search for the “sacred center,” look to the stars to better discern our role on Earth (at the observatory and as we camp underneath the stars in this International Dark Sky Park), and explore ways to build our lives in harmony with the Heavens and Earth. Our quest will be guided by readings from the philosophia perennis (Wisdom Tradition), including Native American spiritual teachings and practices, as well as other meditation and mindfulness practices.

Spiritual seekers and students of all faith or no faith backgrounds are welcome to apply for this spiritual journey. The course and pilgrimage will seek to help participants harmonize multiple dimensions of their lives – specifically the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Applicants should be aware that the pilgrimage involves hiking. Students selected to be in the pilgrimage will be required to attend all of the group meetings (schedule TBD). Post-trip activities will integrate the experience and apply it to life at the University of Richmond and beyond. Participants are required to write a culminating reflection paper or create a multimedia presentation on how their being has developed through their experiences in the course and pilgrimage. The Chaplaincy will cover the majority of the costs for each pilgrim, but a modest financial contribution will be expected. 

The pilgrimage will be co-led by Michael Sciretti Jr., Program Specialist for Spiritual Formation, and Craig Kocher, University Chaplain.



Important Dates and Deadlines

Applications available
Wednesday, Aug. 23

Application deadline
Sunday, Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m.

Application interviews
Mon., Sept. 11 - Thurs., Sept. 14

Application notification
Fri., Sept. 15

First group meeting
Week of Sept. 18

Questions? Contact:

Rev. Michael Sciretti Jr., Ph.D.
Program Specialist for Spiritual Formation
Office of the Chaplaincy