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A FutureChurch Pilgrimage

This pilgrimage is now full. Registration Closed.

Walking the Way: Following in the Footsteps of Our Black Catholic Foremothers in Faith

Join FutureChurch on a pilgrimage following the footsteps of our Black Catholic Foremothers in Faith as they forged new paths for justice and freedom for all. Learn about our U.S. history as we visit iconic Civil Rights sites in five major cities. Each participant will have the opportunity to learn, pray, and engage in the rich heritage of our African American sisters that will deepen our awareness of the struggle for freedom and strengthen our resolve to work for racial and reparative justice in our parishes, dioceses, communities, and in our country.

Pilgrimage At A Glance

  • Dates

    May 2 – 7, 2024

  • Cities

    Atlanta, GA
    Birmingham, AL
    Montgomery, AL
    Selma, AL
    New Orleans, LA 

  • Cost

    Single Room: $2,800
    Double Room: $2,200

    *Pricing does not include the cost of airfare. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to arrive at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) no later than May 2 at 11:30am ET and departing from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) after the pilgrimage has concluded on May 7 at 2:00pm CT.

Black Catholic History & Spirituality

Dr. Kim Harris

Education and Spiritual Director

Dr. Kim R. Harris, PhD. is the Assistant Professor of African American Religious Thought and Practice in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  In addition to teaching courses on Black liberation and Womanist theologies, Harris leads music in a variety of liturgical and academic settings.

She is a liturgist, composer, and recording artist, presenting lectures on the music of the Black Catholic experience, the historic Negro Spirituals, and the freedom song of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Harris is a member of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium and the North American Academy of Liturgy. She is an academic member of the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as a liturgical consultant for the Archdiocese of New York Office of Black Ministry. 

A gifted cantor, leader of song, and a passionate cultural advocate, Harris earned a PhD. in worship and the arts from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. In fulfillment of her degree, she composed Welcome Table: A Mass of Spirituals, one of the complete Mass settings included in the Lead Me Guide Me Black Catholic hymnal second edition and the Gather IV hymnal (both GIA Publications Inc.).  Her latest publication, with M. Roger Holland II and Kate Williams of GIA Publications, is a Black Catholic Sourcebook entitled The Fire This Time.

Kayla August

Guest Preacher

Kayla August is a doctoral student at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology and Education with a focus on preaching. She desires to use preaching to impact religious education by inspiring Catholics to deepen their encounters with scripture, tradition, and how God plays an active role in our daily lives. As a lay woman in the Church, Kayla makes a point to preach whenever and wherever she can. She is not only a proud contributor to the voices found on, but she has also preached in a variety of places including McGrath’s Institute for Church Life Saturday with the Saints at Notre Dame, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York’s 7 Last Words of Christ prayer service on Good Friday, and a variety of churches, youth gatherings, and universities across the U.S.

Her hope as a laywoman is to use preaching to revolutionize the Catholic Church by bringing preaching into nontraditional arenas (social media, podcasts, television, etc.) as a way to reawaken faith and to re-engage an increasingly under-catechized church. Her interest in formation is rooted in her experiences of living and working in young adult faith formation as a University Ministry Intern at Loyola University of New Orleans as well as her professional work as the Assistant Director of Evangelization in the University of Notre Dame’s Campus Ministry department and as the Rector of Lyons Hall. She hopes that through preaching, she can help to enliven the youth and young adult Catholic communities and help to inspire marginalized voices—like her own—in the Catholic faith to play an active role in the Church. She plans to use her education to lift-up and empower these voices that are often overlooked in our church and in our world. She dreams of a Church truly alive with Christ, and she believes her vocation is working toward making that Church a daily reality!

Detailed Itinerary

Each day we will offer educational presentations, prayer services, opportunities for reflection and sharing, and Liturgies of the Word. Click on a date below for a full schedule of the day’s experiences. 

May 2, 2024 – Atlanta, GA

Participants make their own arrangements to arrive in Atlanta, GA.  There will be a designated meeting place at the Atlanta Airport and also the option to meet the group at the Center For Civil and Human Rights, our first stop.

  • By 11:30 AM  Group Arrives at Airport
    Group to arrive at Atlanta airport (ATL) by making own transportation arrangements. Be at designated meeting point at Atlanta airport by 11:30 am.
  • 12:00 PM  Motorcoach Departs for Atlanta, GA
  • 12:30 PM  Center for Civil and Human Rights
    The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. Exhibits at the center include “Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection”,  “Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil RIghts Movement”, and “Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement.” 
  • 3:00 PM  Guided Tour of Atlanta and MLK Neighborhood
  • The guided tour includes an Atlanta city tour and a tour of the MLK sites on Auburn Street.
  • 5:00 PM  Dinner (Included)
  • 7:00 PM  Motorcoach Departs for Birmingham, AL.
    This destination is on Central Time Zone.
  • Arrive at Hotel in Birmingham, AL
May 3, 2024 – Birmingham, AL
  • 7:30 AM  Continental Breakfast at the Hotel (included)
  • 9:00 AM   Kelly Ingram Park
    The park served as a central staging ground for large-scale demonstrations during the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The park is the setting for several pieces of sculpture related to the Civil Rights Movement, featuring a central fountain and commemorative statues of Dr. King, Rev. Shuttlesworth, and other heroes of the movement. Also located in the park is the circular “Freedom Walk” which features artwork to bring the visitor inside the portrayals of terror and sorrow of the 1963 confrontations. 
  • 10:30 AM   16th Street Baptist Church
    The Sixteenth Street Baptist holds a significant place not only in Alabama history, but also in United States history. In 1963, the church was the target of the racially motivated bombing that killed four young girls in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. 
  • 12:00 PM   Lunch (On Your Own)
  • 2:00 PM    The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) has focused on educating about the Civil Rights Movement (CRM) in Birmingham and the rest of the country.  Learn about topics like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Black Power, Women in the Movement, Black soldiers in the Civil War,  the march from Selma to Montgomery, and so much more.
  • 5:00 PM   Dinner (Included)
  • 7:00 PM   Motorcoach Departs for Montgomery, AL
  • Arrive at Hotel in Montgomery, AL 
May 4, 2024 – Montgomery, AL
  • 7:30 AM    Continental Breakfast at the Hotel
  • 9:00 AM     Rosa Parks Museum
    The Museum is located on the former site of the old Empire Theatre where Mrs. Parks made her courageous and historic stand in 1955. The interpretive museum occupies the first floor of the TROY-Montgomery Campus Library. It includes permanent and special exhibits as well as a 103-seat, 2,200 square foot multimedia auditorium. In a non-violent and non- threatening manner, six distinct and unique areas inside the museum tell the story of bravery and courage of early civil rights soldiers. 
  • 11:00 AM    Freedom Rides Museum
    In 1961, groups of volunteers made history by challenging the practice of segregated travel through the South. They called themselves Freedom Riders as they crossed racial barriers in depots and onboard buses. The 1961 Freedom Riders did not begin or end their journey in Montgomery, Alabama, but their arrival changed the city and our nation. Freedom Riders, black and white, male and female, none of them older than 22, stepped off a bus at the Montgomery Greyhound Station on May 20, 1961. They were prepared to meet mob violence with non-violence and courage. They prepared farewell letters and wills. Their goal was to help end racial segregation in public transportation. And they did.
  • 12:00 PM  Lunch (on your own) 
  • 1:00 PM     Dexter Avenue Baptist Church Tour
    The church was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1974.[2][3] In 1978 the official name was changed to the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who helped to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the church’s basement. The church is located steps away from the Alabama State Capitol. 
  • 2:30 PM  The Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice
    The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is built on the site of a former warehouse where enslaved black people were imprisoned, and is located midway between an historic slave market and the main river dock and train station where tens of thousands of enslaved people were trafficked during the height of the domestic slave trade. This museum explores the history of racial inequality and its relationship to a range of contemporary issues.
  • 6:00 PM Dinner (Included)
  • 8:00 PM  Return to the Hotel in Montgomery, AL
May 5, 2024 – Selma, AL
  • 8:00 AM    Continental Breakfast at the Hotel
  • 9:00 AM     Motorcoach Departs for Selma, AL
  • 10:00 AM  Journeys for the Soul Guided Tour & Tour of Selma
    Journeys for the Soul will take you on a fulfilling learning experience through the Movement that changed the landscape of America, the Civil Rights Movement. The tour includes a uniquely personal and intimate eyewitness account of the uncivil days of the Civil Rights Movement – from the foot soldiers who were there and who are still fighting to keep their history alive.
  • 12:00 PM Lunch (On Your Own) 
  • 1:00 PM  Motorcoach Departs for New Orleans, LA
  • 7:00 PM  Dinner (Included) in New Orleans
  • 8:30 PM  Depart for the Hotel
May 6, 2024 – New Orleans, LA
  • 8:00 AM  Continental Breakfast at the Hotel
  • 9:00 AM  Guided Civil Rights Tour of New Orleans
    McCrory’s Five and Dime, Woolworth’s Department Store, A.L. Davis Park, New Zion Baptist Church, William Frantz Elementary, McDonogh 19 Elementary, Dooky Chases Restaurant, US Court of Appeals, Treme Neighborhood, Canal Street
  • 11:00 AM  Lunch (On your own)
  • 12:00 Noon  Guided Tour of  Catholic New Orleans
    • Old Ursuline Convent
      The first building for the Ursuline nuns in New Orleans was designed by Ignace François Broutin in 1727 when the nuns arrived in New Orleans. Michael Zeringue (Johann Michael Zehringer), the King’s Master Carpenter from Franconia, Bavaria, and progenitor of all “Zeringue” families in Louisiana was the builder. Planning, collecting materials, and construction took years. Existing drawings show the building in 1733, although it was not officially finished until the following year.
    • St Louis Cathedral
      The baptistry is a shrine to Henriette Delille
    • Pontalba Buildings Jackson Square
      The first woman to own property in her own right in Louisiana.  Baroness Pontalba, a Catholic and an accomplished businesswoman, invested in real estate, purchasing the land on the upriver and downriver sides of the Place d’Armes. She constructed two Parisian-style row house buildings between 1849–1851, at a cost of over $300,000.
    • St. Augustine Church
      Henriette Delille knelt in Saint Augustine Church on November 21, 1842, and pledged to live in the community to work for orphan girls, the uneducated, poor, sick, and the elderly among the free people of color, thus founding the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, the second-oldest African American congregation of women.
    • The Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Holy Family 
      A once famous ballroom was converted into the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Holy Family.
    • Birth Home of Henriette Delille
    • Bishopric Chapel
      Now known as St. Mary’s Italian Church located in the old Ursuline Convent (the Catholic Cultural Heritage Center at 1100 Chartres Street) where Henriette attended church and made her vows.  
    •  St. Louis Cemetery
      Visit tombs of Venerable Henriette Delille, Juliette Gaudin and Josephine Charles.
  • Return to  hotel in New Orleans
  • 6:00 PM  Dinner (Included)
  • 8:00 PM  Return to the Hotel
May 7, 2024 – New Orleans, LA
  • 8:00 AM  Continental Breakfast at the Hotel
  • 9:30 AM  Guided Tour of Catholic New Orleans
    • Guided tour of the Jesuit History in NOLA
      The Jesuits were slave owners and sugar cane producers.  They were also the target of anti-Catholic sentiment.  They built a college and were the first Jesuit College to appoint a layperson and a woman as president.
    • Immaculate Conception Church Baronne Street
      The History of Sugar Cane–of the US sugar-producing areas, Louisiana is the oldest and most historic. In 1742 New Orleans became the point of reception and initial cultivation for the first canes introduced by Jesuits from St. Dominigue.  Sugarcane arrived in Louisiana with the Jesuit priest in 1751 who planted it where their church now stands on Baronne Street in New Orleans.
    • Xavier University of Louisiana 
      Xavier was founded in 1915 by Sister Katherine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a Catholic order established to serve African Americans and other racial minorities. The institution was first a high school, then became a two-year normal school in 1917.
    • Loyola University New Orleans
      6363 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 7011
  •  2:00 PM  End of Tour. Motorcoach Departs for New Orleans Airport 
    Participants make their own arrangements to return home from New Orleans, LA.

Pricing Details

Single Room:         $2,800
Double Room:        $2,200

Included in pilgrimage pricing above:
  • Deluxe motorcoach is equipped with air conditioning, reclining seats, lavatory and TVs for DVD player.
  • Lodging – Occupancy Types:
    Double = 2 people per room with 2 beds or
    Single = 1 person per room)
  • Meals (lunch is on your own)
    Continental Breakfast and Dinner are included.
  • Licensed Tour Director/Guide to meet and accompany group 24 hrs/day for the duration of the tour.
  • Licensed Professional Step On Guide to accompany group (hours based on itinerary).
  • All taxes and gratuities included.
  • All tour planning and coordination included
  • Comprehensive Accident/Illness Medical Coverage, Professional Tour Operator’s Liability Insurance and consumer protection policies for the duration of the tour.
  • Each participant will receive a luggage tag and a lanyard containing 24 hour emergency contact information

*Ground transportation and tour amenities provided
by Hemisphere Educational Travel

1375 E. Woodfield Road; Suite 530 , Schaumburg, IL 60173
Toll Free: 800-323-6439 Fax: 847-619-0240

Pricing does not include airfare. Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to arrive at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) no later than May 2 at 11:30am ET and departing from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) after the pilgrimage has concluded on May 7 at 2:00pm CT.