Fifth Annual Pilgrimage of Peace

Join in a daily rhythm of sung prayer, silence, and common work
August 9-25, 2013
Dinner on Friday, August 9 - Lunch on Sunday, August 25
Still Point Mountain Retreat at Rolling Ridge

A Friends of Silence Retreat with Br. Stefan Waligur (Macushla)
Register by Email:
Can't come? Join us for Peace Pilgrimage Online!
Stay Connected: Pilgrimage of Peace Blog

For the past four years, people from across the nation and the world have come together each summer to experience the peace of daily song, chant, silence, reflection, rest and work on a forested hilltop overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. This gathering is called a Pilgrimage of Peace. You will be embraced by the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge foothills with access to Rolling Ridge, a 1400-acre wilderness preserve between the Shenandoah River and the Appalachian Trail.

The retreat is led by Br. Stefan (aka Macushla), a musician/composer, retreat leader and peace activist connected for many years with the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He travels widely sharing his original music, poetic questions and an inspiring Celtic spirituality. As an Oblate of the Shantivanam Ashram in India he brings together east and west in both music and spirituality. His music blends Celtic melodies, Indian Kirtan and simple Taize-like harmonies.

Come and experience the tender sprouting of a spontaneous, ecumenical, monastic community of both men and women that is self-supportive, devoted to simplicity, creating a beautiful sung prayer, with a heart for the poor, and offering a deep welcome to all in a breathtaking wilderness setting.

In keeping with the Spirit of Jesus who welcomes all to the table, there is no set fee for this retreat. People with little share little and those with more share from what they have. Minimum suggested donations are: $25 per person for day-only-participants and $50 per person per day for those who will need overnight lodging and all meals. For those for whom even a small donation is an obstacle, we have set up a Pilgrimage Fund. Friends of Silence is now accepting tax-deductible donations to this fund. To contribute to the Pilgrimage of Peace fund, send check written to Friends of Silence with Pilgrimage of Peace fund in the memo line to:

FOS Retreat Ministry
c/o Lindsay McLaughlin
120 Jubilee Ln.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

So come to the Pilgrimage of Peace 2013. Stay for as little or as long as you wish. Come for a day or an evening, a weekend, a week or the entire three weeks. This is your time to make your personal Pilgrimage of Peace.

You are most welcome. But, to attend you must register ahead of time and let us know when you plan to arrive and how long you plan to stay.

FAQs, information, registration

When exactly is it, from when to when?

We start with dinner on Friday, August 9 and end with lunch on Sunday, August 25. You can come for as little or as long as fits your availability?part of a day, a few days, or a week or more. However, you must register ahead of time and let us know when you plan to arrive and how long you plan to stay.

How do I register?

Email Include: when you plan to arrive, any special needs, what food items you will contribute and how long you will stay. If you absolutely do not have access to email, you may call Rolling Ridge Study Retreat at (304) 724-1069 or mail note to FOS Retreat Ministry, 120 Jubilee Lane, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.

How much does it cost?

There is no set fee. Suggested minimum donation is $25 per person for day-only and $50 per person per day for those needing overnight accommodations and all meals. People with little share little and those with more share what they have. There is a modest solidarity fund for those for whom even the minimum is an obstacle. As always, Pilgrimage of Peace welcomes in kind donations of provisions, casseroles, soups. Please let us know by email what you hope to bring so that we can coordinate with others.

Who can come?

Anyone, including children, though we do not have planned youth activities or childcare. Whatever programs we have for the week will grow out of our collective capacity to meet whatever need arises. We have some double beds for couples, as well as tipi accommodations and camping space for those who would prefer this option.

Will there be music? What kind?

Each day, morning, noon and night we gather in our common worship to raise our voices together in songs, chants, Kirtan, and improvisation. Songs are in harmony, in unison, in rounds, and call and response. This original music is influenced by Celtic melodies, Indian Call and response style and the songs of Taize. All comes from Stefan?s own original music.

What is a typical day's schedule?

A suggested schedule is below, though each day will flow with its particular needs:

Dawn - 8:30 am

Morning free/quiet time and breakfast in silence in your lodging

8:45 am - 9:45 am

Gathering and sung prayer

10:00 am - 10:45 am


11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Work/free time

12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Mid-day sung prayer

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Free time or work

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Small groups

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


7:30 pm - 8:45 pm

Free time

8:45 pm - 9:45 pm

Evening sung prayer

10:00 pm

Quiet time, silence

11:00 pm

Lights out

Work, what work?

There will be optional times to participate in community work if so desired, ranging from helping to prepare common meals, working on trails or other wilderness restoration and keeping projects, splitting and stacking wood for others who follow in the colder months, etc. We do not have paid kitchen staff or cleaning service. Everyone will be expected to participate in rotation of kitchen and household duties.

What about vegetarians and those with special needs?

Yes, meals serve both vegetarians and omnivores. Let us know if you have special food requirements.

Where will I sleep? Should I bring bedding?

Mostly we will be staying the cabin of the Still Point Mountain Retreat, the River House, and the Good House along Christ Church Road. Bring your own bedding and linens (sheets or sleeping bag, pillow and pillow case, wash cloth and towel). There is a camping area, for those who prefer. Bring your own tent and camping gear. There are two tipis equipped with camping cots for those who would like a camping experience without needing to bring a tent.

What else?

Be sure to bring bug spray, sun screen and hiking boots or sturdy, closed toe shoes.

How do I get there? Directions?

Still Point Mountain Retreat is remote. The nearest town is Charles Town, WV, almost 30 minutes away. The nearest airport is Dulles International, more than one hour away. The nearest train depot is Harpers Ferry, 45 minutes away. Trains (other than commuter trains to DC) are not frequent. Plan on driving/carpooling. The last several miles are steep, gravel mountain roads. Follow directions to Still Point on the Rolling Ridge website. Map Quest. Google Maps, and GPS devices do not get you to Still Point.

I'm not able to come this year.  How else can I keep connected?

For the first time this year, we are experimenting with Pilgrimage of Peace Online.  Join us online for a daily lesson, including music, daily practice, and discussion!  Click here to register for Pilgrimage of Peace Online.

You can explore these links for more information:

Watch You-Tube:
Interview Sojourners Magazine:
Listen to Blessed are the Peacemakers:
Listen to CELTIC: Mass, Songs and Chants:
Friends of Silence: