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Spiritual trips are one of the best ways to explore Miami. They are relaxing and recharging, and they provide a chance to connect with your larger faith traditions and an opportunity to build community among those who participate in the spiritual trip.
Some churches prefer a pilgrimage that focuses on the retreat aspect, other times, an educational spiritual trip is the best selection. If you plan spiritual trips, you know that they take a lot of organization and effort. A charter bus rental allows you to focus on the parts of the trip that matter: community building, spiritual activities, and participants. Miami has a plethora of spiritual locations that might interest your group and wouldn’t it be nice to lead icebreakers or prayer from a charter bus rather than splinter your group into a caravan and carpool? Spiritual trips are a fulfilling way to explore a city while deepening your faith life.
Miami has many spiritual landmarks that are worth considering as you make decisions about your spiritual trip. There are many traditions represented within the diverse city. Here are some of the most well-known, for your perusal.
Gesù Church was founded in 1896; its full name is The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, however it became Italianized to Gesù which means Jesus in Italian. It is the oldest Catholic Church in Miami— it was built before the city was incorporated! The parish is staffed by the Jesuits of Antilles province, however for most of its history it was run by the Jesuits of New Orleans province. Its current sanctuary was built in 1922 to meet increasing demand: the polychromed crystal leaded windows were made in Germany, and the altars are made from Italian marble. The parish has a robust presence in the community: it provides daily lunch to seniors during the week, offers reconciliation four times per day, and has a ministry to visit its sick parishioners.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral was founded in June 1896, prior to the incorporation of the city of Miami. It is the oldest Episcopalian Church in the city. Its original building was a mission— a one-room, one-story building. The building was rebuilt twice— once in 1912 and then again, from 1923-1925. The church’s design brings together elements of Byzantine, Romanesque, and Italianate architecture. In 1970 it was voted the seat of the Episcopalian diocese, at which time, it became a cathedral. It was added to the National Historic Places register in 1980. Today, the parish continues to serve its congregants with a wide variety of ministries and services.
First United Methodist Church of Miami is composed of two different downtown congregations: Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church and White Temple Methodist Episcopal Church merged in 1966. Both had been around since the 1890s, on property donated to them by Henry Flagler (who also donated land for Gesù church). The church has been very active it its community: they have a homeless ministry and a yoga chapel, among other things. During the week, they have programming and small faith groups for adults and youth. They share space with Greater Bethel Church on 8th street.
Sai Baba Temple is located in the Doral, Miami area, about 15 miles outside of the downtown hub. The temple is open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and then again from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The building is fairly nondescript, however, upon entry, there is a sign that asks you to remove your shoes and wash your hands. Inside, there are several statues: one of Shirdi Sai Baba (a Hindu saint), one of the goddess Kali, and one of Guru Hiral Shah. If you’re looking for a quiet place for prayer and meditation, this will serve you well.
Shiva Vishnu Temple of South Florida has two main buildings. One is a traditional temple and the other is a community hall that seats up to 300 people. Construction on the temple began in 1996 and was completed by January 1998. The final phase of construction occurred in 2002, when Padma Shri Muthiah Sthapati was hired to design updated architecture that would include elements from all of the major regions in India. Inside the temple, photography is not allowed. Visitors are asked to leave their shoes outside the temple, and people often bring fruit to leave at the various shrines inside.