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Do It

Visit an Unfamiliar House of Worship

Joshua Neuman


The end of Benedict XVI's papacy also marked the somewhat conspicuous beginning of his journey as a "simple pilgrim." Benedict, the first pope to resign in 600 years, ended his tearful farewell by pledging, "I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this Earth." Benedict's farewell address and his passage from pontiff to pilgrim, points to the enduring value of the religious sojourn. It's unlikely that Benedict has too many Zen chapels, Muslim shrines or Hasidic shtebels on his itinerary, but that doesn't mean that you can't! Sojourning to an unfamiliar religious site can be inspiring, confusing, and educational. Gaining a perspective on what someone else calls "holy" can also make you a better global citizen. So visit one otherwise unfamiliar religious site this week.



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  • landers

    My city has a Mosque that is well and often visited by many local people, very welcoming and friendly place, so I will try to find somewhere I've not been before.

  • Maria Carkagis

    Understanding another person's value and belief systems helps to bring out the similarities that we all share - rather than highlighting the small differences. At the basest, we are one people sharing one home!

  • Charles Martin

    My first wife was Buddhist, my current wife is Russian Orthodox. Everyone should attend other religious locations. Seek out others in your community. Read other religious texts: The Bhagavad-Gitas, the Holy Qu'Ran, the Book of Mormon, The Dhammapdas, etc.

    "We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will surely perish as fools".

  • CarolynW

    I have learned so much from visiting the religious institutions of my neighbors. I had the chance to visit a Sikh Gurudwara, a Buddhist Vihara, a Quaker Meeting, a Hindu temple, several mosques, churches, synagogues, and more. I can't even begin to explain the powerful and positive impact this had on my understanding of human compassion and spirituality!

  • Annie Wadhams

    I was at the Vatican 2 weeks ago. I'm not a Catholic, I'm not particularly religious, but I'd call myself spiritual (one of those types) ... it was fascinating to visit the Vatican and take in the cultural relics - especially now, especially as conversations with Europeans floated in my head and especially with the idea of this pope's 'pilgrimage' in mind.
    It's a great to-do that I'm pleased to mark as "done".

    • Liz Dwyer

      What a fascinating time to get to visit the Vatican. It's definitely on my bucket list, too.

      • Annie Wadhams

        Yes, it was a trip (no pun intended ;)
        I recommend it ... fascinating to stroll through and sort of let your mind wander - amazing what comes into your head in that environment, there's so much history and emotion attached!