Father Ilya has a wealth of spiritual knowledge and insight which will help ensure that this journey will be a thoughtful, peaceful journey. Father Ilya was born in Russia and lived there many years before coming to America when he was in his 20s. So he is a native Russian who studied at the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, then in St. Valmiri’s Seminary in New York. He is currently a parish priest in an Orthodox parish in Binghamton, New York. So he speaks perfect Russian and perfect English and is a brilliant, perceptive, spirit-filled guide who believes a pilgrimage “is always a travel of the heart toward the heavenly, not the earthly, Jerusalem.”
So you will be in good hands, you will receive spiritual nourishment, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty you see, you will broaden your horizons and stand in very special places, and you will have time for contemplation and prayer.
We feel this pilgrimage will be an extraordinary experience. If you would like to experience Russia, this pilgrimage is the pilgrimage for you.
Deborah Tomlinson, the Director of Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages, will be with you for several days. Her work in Russia goes beyond pilgrimage work. She has worked for more than ten years to build bridges between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches, including the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate. Deborah continues to work with the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church on current projects in an effort to help heal the “Great Schism” of 1054.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write or call, and we will gladly answer any and all questions.
In the hope that we will see you in Russia,
Sincerely, in Christ,
Founder and Editor of Inside the Vatican magazine