Come Discover What God Wants to Communicate
Customizing each mini-pilgrimage or spiritual accompaniment session is a hallmark of my work at Chartres. Before meeting visitors or groups at the cathedral, I always pray for the pilgrim(s), asking God to lead us in the ways that are most needed. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of and enthusiasm for both the inside and the outside of the cathedral.
Based on your goals, interests, and hopes, I will guide you to those images, places, and experiences that will make your time in Chartres meaningful and memorable.
Below are a number of mini-pilgrimages I have led. They may help you imagine what would be most meaningful. I’m eager to find inspiration by hearing about what interests you! Plan for at least two hours.
Labyrinth Prayer in the Chartres Cathedral: Mini-pilgrimages
What Difference Does Context Make? Situating the Chartres Labyrinth (History, Placement, Theological Considerations)
What Now? Discerning the Next Step: Labyrinth Walking, Reflection, and Prayer Responses
Light on the Labyrinth: Praying Near the Labyrinth Using imagery from the Stained Glass That Surrounds It
Labyrinth Prayer: General Evening Private Group Walks (After-hours, need to be arranged with the Office of the Rector of the Cathedral)
Mary at Chartres: Mini-pilgrimages
Annunciation Images of the Cathedral (La version française)
This visit can also include a time of Lectio Divina using the Annunciation Text
Mary Through The Centuries: Images From the last Nine Centuries To Inspire Our Prayer (This is available in the cathedral and/or as a visual contemplative presentation)
Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière: Encountering Mary With Eyes of Faith
The Veil of Mary: Wrapping Ourselves in God’s Love
Mary Windows: Twelfth-century Images (West windows & Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière) and The Life of Mary Window (Thirteenth-century)
The Visitation Images at Chartres: Praying with the Magnificat
The Cardinal Points of the Cathedral: Mary and Jesus At Every Turn
Mary as Jesus’ Follower and Disciple
The Life of Mary: A Thirteenth-century Stained Glass Window Pane by Pane, Story by Story (South Ambulatory)
Thirteenth-century Devotion to Mary: Two Windows. The Miracles of Mary Window and the Assumption of Mary Window (South Aisle)
Marian Imagery around The Chartres Labyrinth
Pilgrimages: Mini-pilgrimages While Walking In Prayer
Circumambulation Outside Chartres Cathedral: Grounding Ourselves and Taking the Next Step On Our Pilgrimage
Circumambulation of the Inside of the Cathedral: Orienting Ourselves in the Center of God’s Love
Praying For Healing As We Journey Through The Crypt (can include a Mass if a priest accompanies the group)
Walking Pilgrimage from the ancient quarry in Berchères-Les-Pierres to the Cathedral (6-8 kilometers: Following the route that the stones of the cathedral took).
Images of St. James and walking the Camino de Santiago
Spiritual Accompaniment: Minipilgrimges in the Cathedral punctuated by prayer pauses
Application of the Senses: Ignatian Exercises using the images from the Chartres Cathedral
Balancing Activity and Contemplation (North Porch)
Dreaming: God’s Use of Our Imagination
Grieving: Praying with Loss
Images of the Soul: comfort in the face of death and dying
Holy Week in Chartres: Death and Resurrection
New Horizons: Birthing the Future
Prayer (Extended) Focusing on Specific Needs Using Different Cathedral Locations
Woundedness and Healing
Contemplating Your Name by visiting images of related saints and biblical characters
Ecumenical prayer in the cathedral
Theological Themes and Biblical Stories: Mini-pilgrimages
Apostles’ Window: What Does It Mean to Love and Serve Christ?
Creation and Garden of Eden Sculptures of the North Porch
Good Samaritan Window: God’s Love as Creator and Redeemer
Mary Magdalene Window: Loving God Extravagantly
South Porch and Rose: The End of Time and The New Jerusalem
Typological Passion Window: What Difference Does Jesus’ Death Make?
Walking as Pilgrims: Following Jesus. The window of Jesus’s Death and Resurrection
Read one pilgrim’s experience of being in Chartres on a retreat led by Jill. An excerpt from The Day Was Made For Walking. Searching for Meaning on the Camino de Santiago, by Noel Braun. (Australia: Sid Harta Publishers Pty Ltd.) 2014.
Be in touch with Jill for more information about guided visits with a Christian focus, doing on-site spiritual direction, or leadership availability for your pilgrimage group.