Priory Preserve Pilgrimage

Priory Preserve Pilgrimage/Prayer Walk

This event is complete but you can now access the

Pilgrimage booklet PDF


Staff Contact: Jason Wittak, Events & Volunteer Coordinator jwittak@stpaulsmonastery.org, 651-777-8181, ext 409.

event sponsor

What is Pilgrimage?

What sets a pilgrimage apart from an ordinary trip? Sometimes it’s intention—people set out on a journey that they hope will draw them closer to spirit. Sometimes it happens without a traveler even being aware of it, and it is only with the benefit of hindsight that it becomes apparent that the journey was in fact a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage, in short, is a spiritual journey that touches the heart and soul.[i]

Learn more about Pilgrimage from our friends at Modern Catholic Pilgrim.

What can I expect from this Pilgrimage experience?

The Priory Preserve was property under the stewardship of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery for many years and now owned and managed by the City of Maplewood. These beautiful 46 acres have an ecological walk covering 1.5 miles of mowed trail.

Pilgrims will gather at St. Paul’s Monastery and walk the two blocks to the Priory Preserve. Much like Stations of the Cross, Pilgrims will intentionally pause at the 12 stations established in the park and pray and reflect through Benedictine Values and the Psalms. The walk will conclude across from Hill-Murray School for a special blessing of an outdoor education space. Provided questions will guide time for conversation between stations.

Pilgrims should wear layered clothing, wear sunscreen and insect deterrent, and of course, comfortable and safe footwear. Participants will be provided with a prayer guide printed by the Monastery and the nature guide printed by the City of Maplewood.


About Priory Preserve and City of Maplewood Parks & Natural Resources

When the bells of St. Paul's Monastery ring out over the Priory Preserve, it's hard to believe that you are in the middle of the city. Maplewood's largest and most diverse preserve, the Priory has wonderful examples of our historic landscape.

Venture out into the open rolling hills dotted with gnarled apple trees and patches of remnant prairie. A small oak savanna sports tall prairie grasses and small bur oaks stretching their craggy limbs. Wander the oak woodlands with its high canopy, calming ferns, and lovely spring wildflowers.

The adventurous will want to seek out the wetlands: wooded wetlands, grassy wetlands, the fern bog, a rich fen, all teeming with unusual insects and chorusing frogs. Volunteers have created an Interpretive Trail Guide for the preserve and Friends of Maplewood Nature have generously paid for publication of the brochure. Stop by Maplewood Nature Center to pick up a copy, or download a printable version of the Interpretive Trail Guide (PDF).


[i] https://www.spiritualtravels.info/spiritual-travels-ordinary-trips/what-is-a-pilgrimage/ quoted on 5/16/2023.