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Have you always wanted to see a city by exploring its spiritual landmarks? Visiting spiritual locations can help you to refresh and recharge; your group can reconnect with each other and the beliefs that ground you as a community. It’s a great opportunity for either educational purposes or retreat purposes.
There are many varieties of spiritual trips. A spiritual trip may be educational, where your group learns about a location. You might want to tour different houses of worship: synagogues, churches, temples, and mosques. Your group might need a retreat or desire to go on pilgrimage. They might want spiritual nourishment and opportunities for prayer and meditation.
If you’re a pastor or minister, you know that mission trips, retreats, and day trips all require multiple layers of planning. There are endless tasks to accomplish: gather permission slips, create itineraries, find chaperones. A charter bus rental allows you to focus on the experience, not the transportation. While your group travels, you can build community with icebreakers or communal prayer. Spiritual trips allow you to reconnect with what matters: the divine and those in your community. Chicago’s diversity of spiritual locations makes it a place ripe for a visit.
Bus.com offers a variety of options, regardless of the size of your spiritual group. We have coach buses, mini coach buses, minibuses, and school buses. Coach buses, with their plush seats and wifi, are perfect for large groups who need to be onboard for a longer period of time. School buses are great for large Sunday school groups who are traveling to a nearby spiritual location. If your group is smaller, a minibus might be the right size for what you need.
Chicago has a rich and diverse history and is home to many religions and faiths. Here are highlights about a few of them that might be of interest to you as you consider your plans for your spiritual trip.
There are not one, but TWO Zen Buddhist Temples that are well-known in Chicago. The first, located in the city of Chicago is off of W. Cornelia Avenue. The building was originally built as a Freemason temple in 1915. When the building was purchased in 1992, it had been functioning as a Pentacostal church. This temple is in the tradition of Korean Zen Buddhism and is affiliated with locations throughout North America. They offer Sunday morning services with a suggested donation of $5. The temple also has many activities and services that are only available its members.
The second Zen Buddhist Temple was originally located on Halsted Street, although now it is Evanston. It was founded in 1949 by Soyu Matsuoka Roshi and is in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition. Soto Zen is the largest of three sects within Japanese Zen Buddhism. They hold services three times per week, twice on Sundays, and once on Wednesdays. The temple shares a space with The Chinese Cultural Academy.
ISKCON Chicago is home to the Hare Krishna sect of Hinduism. The community relocated to their current location in Rogers Park in 1979 (from Evanston). The temple features Sri Sri Kishore Kishori. Every Sunday evening they host a feast festival which includes a keynote, mantra meditation, kirtan (call and response chanting), and a vegetarian feast. There is no charge, however donations are welcome. The facility also has a gift store that is open during this time. During the week, the temple also offers Krishna Lunch, karma-free food that supports some of their non-profit efforts to work with the homeless and elderly.
Holy Name Cathedral was founded in 1843 as a parish in the Roman Catholic tradition. It replaced the cathedral in Chicago (Cathedral of Saint Mary) and the Church of the Holy Name, when they were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. The cornerstone was dedicated in 1875. Patrick Charles Keely designed it, and much of the building is in the Gothic revival architectural style. Over the years, the cathedral underwent multiple expansions and restorations, most recently in 2008 and 2009 due to damage and a fire. Today, the cathedral functions as home to the diocese of Chicago and to Oblate sisters. Thousands of visitors come through its doors weekly, Christians and non-Christians, alike. There are multiple opportunities to attend Mass throughout the week. They also have confession available on Sundays.
Saint John Cantius Church is perhaps best known for its liturgical celebrations and its rich music. Designed in the baroque style, the church was dedicated in 1898, after five years of construction. Adolphus Druiding designed the church in its entirety, however there have been restorations and additions over the years, such as an inlaid hardwood floor that was installed in 1997. Many of its original parishioners were Polish immigrants, however as the demographics of Chicago shifted, so too did the makeup of the congregation. They have many services today: daily liturgical prayer, multiple Mass rights, and so forth. An interesting fact about the church is that it’s been featured in several movies, both of which were shot in 1990.