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People take spiritual trips in Boston for all sorts of motivations and they can occur in many different formats. They could be educational, devotional, service-oriented, among other things. Spiritual trips allow you to explore holy buildings and landmarks: synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches. While there, you can learn about the building’s history, of the communities who use them, and you can also go into retreat mode if your group wants to be about more than just education.
Pilgrimages, which can have weeks or even months of preparation, tend to be spiritual trips that are focused more on the prayer and relationship aspects than the educational component. With so many components to organize, a charter bus rental allows you to eliminate the need for carpools and gas money negotiation, plus, a centralized group means you can tend to prayer, community-building, and icebreakers during the actual trip. Overall, spiritual trips can offer you a chance to reconnect with what matters the most, an opportunity to learn more about your spiritual roots, or time to serve others and build community.
We’ve developed several resources to help you decide which rental bus is best for your community. Don’t have lots of time? Here’s a quick guide with an infographic.
When taking a spiritual trip on a charter bus, there are many locations to consider, especially in a city as diverse and bustling as Boston. Here are some of them gathered in one place to help you with that.
The Cathedral Church of St. Paul was founded in 1819 and was the first American Episcopalian church founded in Boston. The building was designed by Alexander Parris and Solomon Willard in a Greek revival style. It was the first of its kind in Boston. St. Paul’s was named the cathedral of the Boston diocese in 1912 and underwent remodeling inside at the time. The cathedral is noteworthy for several significant occurrences: the Right Reverend Barbara Harris, elected there, was the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion; Alexander Crummell, the third African-American ordained in the Episcopal church was ordained at the cathedral in 1844. Today the church has multiple services and ministries to meet the needs of its parishioners and community.
Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the seat of the Roman Catholic bishop of Boston and is located in the South End neighborhood of the city. Groundbreaking for the cathedral began in 1866 and the building was dedicated in 1875. Patrick Keely designed it in the Gothic Revival style. Today the church functions both as a cathedral for the cardinal and as a parish. Masses are offered in English and Spanish and two other Catholic forms are also available. The cathedral has had many significant events throughout its history. In 1979, Pope John Paul II prayed at the cathedral, and in 2013, President Obama spoke to the nation during an interfaith service after the marathon bombing.
Madonna Queen National Shrine, located in East Boston, overlooks Logan Airport and was built by the Don Orione Fathers in 1954. The shrine has a gift shop and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the shrine, there is a 35 foot sculpture that was designed by Arrigo Minerbi, an Italian-Jewish sculptor. The Madonna sculpture is made of copper and bronze. Pope John Paul II visited the shrine during his papacy. The shrine stands opposite the Don Orione Home for the elderly; together the two present a work of charity (the home) and a work of faith (the shrine). Mass is held daily.
Temple Israel was founded in 1854 by 25 families from Germany, under the name Adath Israel. In 1885, their first synagogue was dedicated (on Columbus Ave). The congregation is the largest Reform congregation in Boston and New England. They moved to the current location, on the Riverway, in 1926 and only part of the building was completed prior to the stock market crash in 1929. In 1973, a new modernist sanctuary was added to the campus, as well as Sky Covenant, a sculpture commissioned by Louise Nevelson. The community continues to strive to balance tradition and innovation as it serves its congregants today.
Symphony Church held its first services in September 2010; their ministry focuses on college students, however all are welcome. The church has an office on Commonwealth Avenue, and its Sunday services are held at Paradise Rock Club, on Boston University’s campus. The church is a non-denominational protestant evangelical church, however it is affiliated with Acts Ministries International. AMI’s focus is on modeling communities after the book of Acts. Services are casual and music contemporary. The sermons are longer than some might expect, however they are meaty and engaging.