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The Catholic Feminist is going to France!

Oui—we’re going on pilgrimage. Care to join?

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event: Join us in France for the Catholic Feminist Pilgrimage, taking place in October 2020.

The Catholic Feminist Pilgrimage is a destination event for Catholic feminists. Throughout the trip, attendees will learn to serve the world through their own gifts, discover a deeper mission for their feminism, and bond with other Catholic women who are passionate about social issues. We’ll see sights such as Lisieux, where St. Therese was raised, and Rouen, where St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The trip will wrap up with an optional extension to Lourdes.

We’re going to laugh. We’re going to cry. We’re going to celebrate the sacraments. We’re going to drink some reaaaaally good wine. We’re going to talk about Jesus + justice. We’re going to learn from Catholic thought leaders. We’re going to walk in the foosteps of powerful female saints. We’re going to blend our faith and feminism in order to go home, be the hands and feet of Jesus, and feel more at home within the Catholic church.

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“I am not afraid - I was born to do this.”

- St. Joan of Arc

We’re all busy people with full plates. We’re hustling from the boardroom to the carpool line; from playdates to graduate school classes to that small business workshop to the soup kitchen we volunteer at. I get it: I’m a mama of 2 toddlers with limited childcare, I run a small business, and I’m a children’s book author, all in addition to hosting the Catholic Feminist podcast. It was hard for me to say “yes” to this trip because I know that time in France is time away from my important vocation + career.

But I need my every day faith life to get a boost just as much as you do. Because here’s the thing: those distractions? They will literally prevent us from sainthood if we let them. They may be good things, but if they’re standing in the way of us and Jesus, the fruit we produce will be much less powerful. It’s important to take time out of our good, holy work to refill our cups so that we’re able to effectively serve others.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Unless we remain in Christ, we will not bear our best possible fruit. It may taste good, it may look all right at Trader Joe’s—but it won’t be anointed by Him and His plans. 

If you’re looking for an opportunity to remain in the vine, listen up.

Don’t leave the Church—lead it.

Honesty moment: I used to think women’s retreats were kinda…blech. Leggings and manners and how to be a Proverbs 31 wife? Not for me.

Not to get all Gandhi on you, but you can be the change you wish to see in the Catholic Church. If you think the Church needs to talk more about feminism + gender equality, then maybe YOU need to do the learning, the praying, the talking. Maybe God is calling YOU to step into this tricky space. Amen?

We don’t want to look back on our lives and realize we never took that trip we were dreaming of, never went on that pilgrimage that would have changed us, or never formed that community that would have inspired us towards growth.

Don’t let fear hold you back. A fear of investing in yourself. A fear of traveling internationally (hi, me too.) A fear of taking time away from the business of life to pray + pour into your own faith life. You cannot serve others in a holy, fruitful way without a bedrock of knowledge + a relationship with God.  

If you feel in prayer that this opportunity is a good fit for you, we’d love to have you join us.

Whether you’re a meek + mild Therese, a badass + boisterous Joan, or a holy mixture of both, this trip will light your heart on fire for Catholic feminism.

Sneak a peek at our itinerary!

Day 1: Depart USA for France

Day 2: Drive through the French countryside + visit Lisieux, home of St. Therese

Day 3: Visit the crypt of St. Therese and board our cruise ship in the beautiful harbor town of Honfleur

Day 4: Drive through the beaches of Normandy + visit the American cemetery and stop at a local farm for CHEESE!

Day 5: Visit the island of Mont-Saint-Michel + check out the historic Abbey

Day 6: Go to the historic medieval village of Rouen and visit the Church of St. Joan of Arc

Day 7: Explore the gardens of Versailles + attend a wine tasting class

Day 8: Wake up in Paris! See the Eiffel Tower + spend the day adventuring through the beautiful City of Lights

Day 9-11: Optional trip to Lourdes, where we will see the spot of the Marian apparition + learn about St. Bernadette

More than the beautiful accommodations, all-inclusive experience, and thought-leader speakers, this pilgrimage is designed to be a catalyst. We want to help you dive deeper into your faith, propel you forward in your feminist work, + leave you with a bonded community long after our time together ends. Registration is limited in order to preserve the intimacy of this experience.

Shannon Ochoa is currently the co-founder of Eden Invitation, a movement celebrating personal integration and promoting solidarity beyond the LGBT+ paradigm.

Chika Anyanwu is an international Catholic evangelist and author currently based in Anaheim, California. Her missionary zeal is inspired by a love of Christ and the Church, the lives of the saints, and a desire to see Christ known and loved all over the world.

Leah Jacobson has been working with young people and mothers since 2000. Leah founded The Guiding Star Project in 2011 after feeling called to help women and families by providing resources that honor Natural Law and promote wholistic feminism.

Claire Swinarski is the author of multiple books, including What Happens Next (coming in 2020 from HarperCollins) and Girl, Arise: A Catholic Feminist’s Invitation to Live Boldly, Love Your Faith, and Change the World. She’s also the founder of the Catholic Feminist Podcast, a top-ranked spirituality podcast with half a million downloads that discusses the intersection between faith and women’s issues.

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what else do i need to know?

All of the pricing, what’s included, and other deets + nitty grittys can be found here. This is not a vacation or a conference: it’s truly a spiritual pilgrimage, but one where we get to talk about things that truly matter, walk in the steps of the saints, and receive the sacraments on the daily from the amazing chaplains traveling with us. Like, let’s please talk about things like systematic injustice while drinking delicious wine and making real action plans about how to improve our local communities and the global world around us. Sound good? I thought so. You will walk away from this trip with a Catholic Feminist community—new lifelong friends who have the same passions you do, who you can text when you’re frustrated with the presidential election or your boss asking you to pump in the bathroom. Friends who will pray for you, walk with you, and provide you with resources and spiritual sisterhood.

To make this experience extra worth it, I wanted to throw in a few early bird registrant goodies. If you sign up by December 1st, you’ll also receive:

  • A free copy of 40 Days to a Feminist Faith, our signature DIY e-retreat

  • An exclusive digital print created just for the early bird registrants of this pilgrimage by talented Catholic artist Emily Runyan

  • An entry to win a copy of the audio version of Girl, Arise: A Catholic Feminist’s Invitation to Live Boldly, Love Your Faith and Change the World

  • A 15-minute “digital coffee date” over Skype with me so that I can get to know you better before we head to France together!