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The Pace e Bene Peace and Nonviolence Pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy
June 23-30, 2019,
Led by Rev. John Dear and Dr. Ken Butigan


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Celebrate Pace e Bene’s 30th anniversary by taking a powerful pilgrimage to Assisi in June 2019 led by Rev. John Dear and Dr. Ken Butigan!

Join us in a one-week pilgrimage of peace, prayer and nonviolence to Assisi, Italy June 23-30, 2019, to study the life of St. Francis, pray for peace, build community, celebrate Pace e Bene, and deepen our commitment to Gospel nonviolence for the journey ahead and peace work to come.  Pace e Bene’s Coordinator of International Programs, Veronica Pelicaric, and Executive Director Ryan Hall will join Rev. Dear and Dr. Butigan in this once-in-a-lifetime experience—and we hope you will, too!

For three decades Pace e Bene has promoted active nonviolence in the spirit of St. Francis.  Together, we will walk in the footsteps of this peacemaker whose compassion for others, love for the earth, and work for peace and reconciliation has inspired people everywhere.

The Pilgrimage of Peace and Nonviolence to Assisi seeks applications for 30 pilgrims. Participants would be invited to join this pilgrimage not just as a sight-seeing trip, but as a pilgrimage to learn about St. Francis the peacemaker and to deepen our own commitment to Gospel nonviolence and take another step on our own peacemaking journey. This trip then will be a retreat time of prayer and personal renewal, a holy pilgrimage in the long tradition of Christian spirituality.


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Each pilgrim will pay their own airfare to and from Rome, as well as ground travel from Rome to Assisi and back. Each pilgrim will arrive at Hotel Giotto in Assisi, Italy by 3 pm on Sunday, June 23 and depart the Hotel Giotto on Sunday morning, June 30. Breakfast and dinner will be provided each day at the hotel; lunch is on one’s own.

The Pilgrimage will begin on June 23 with a welcome, introductions and a Catholic Mass, then a social and dinner. Every morning, Fr. John will celebrate a daily Mass and reflect on the Gospel call and life of active nonviolence. Then we will visit a significant site of St. Francis and have a presentation on the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare and their lessons of nonviolence, presented by Ken and John.  There will also be time of quiet reflection and group discussion, as well as personal check-ins.

Afternoons will be free for lunch, rest, walking and further sight-seeing. Then we will gather for dinner and an evening check-in and prayer.


  • On Monday, June 24, morning Mass with Fr. John. We will then spend the morning at the basilica, and at the grave of St. Francis, and have reflections in the upper church with Ken and John on the life of St. Francis.

  • On Tuesday, June 25, morning Mass with Fr. John. We will then spend the morning at San Damiano, the church which St. Francis built and where he heard God speak to him through the crucifix, and where St. Clare eventually lived and died, and have reflections from Ken and John.

  • On Wednesday, June 26, morning Mass with Fr. John. We will then spend the morning at the church of St. Clare, and reflect on her life and lessons of nonviolence with John and Ken.

  • On Thursday, June 27, Fr. John will have a morning Mass, but the whole day will be free.

  • On Friday, June 28, morning Mass with Fr. John.  We will then spend the morning at Eremos della Carceri, St. Francis’s hermitage, and have reflections from John and Ken.

  • On Saturday, June 29, we will visit San Maria del Angeli, where St. Francis died, and have reflections from John and Ken.  We will then have a closing Mass that morning at San Maria del Angeli if possible.  That Saturday evening we will have dinner, reflections and party. 

  • Sunday morning, June 30, Pilgrims are on their own to return to Rome for their departing flight or any other personal travel arrangements they may have.


Cost for the pilgrimage is $2600 per person.  This fee covers the hotel stay for seven nights at Hotel Giotto in Assisi along with breakfast and dinner each night at the hotel.  Flight is not included and participants will be responsible to book their own flights and arrive on time.


A non-refundable deposit of $500 will be due within 30 days upon acceptance to the pilgrimage. Final payment will be due by December 1, 2018.

To apply: fill out this application and we will be in touch with you.  Keep in mind, we are limited to 30 participants.

To join this pilgrimage all attendees must be 18 years of age or older.  Those under 18 may also be accepted if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


Once you have been selected to attend the Pace e Bene Peace and Nonviolence Pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy we will ask each participant to prepare for the trip by taking extra time to pray and journal in the months ahead and study the life of St. Francis and the way of nonviolence.

To make the most out of your journey, we recommend that everyone attending read John Dear’s Pace e Bene book, “The Nonviolent Life,” as well as at least one biography of St. Francis. John recommends “Francis of Assisi: A Revolutionary Life, by Adrian House,” We also encourage all participants to join or organize at least one event during the Campaign Nonviolence National Week of Actions as active nonviolent public preparation for this private pilgrimage and retreat to Assisi.

We encourage everyone on the pilgrimage to enter the week in Assisi as a week of peace, prayer and pilgrimage. To maintain that atmosphere we request that each person attending be respectful of one another especially during prayer and Mass time and during sessions with Ken and John so that we can encourage one another to make this not just a great tourist trip, but a spiritual pilgrimage deeper into Gospel nonviolence and the life and lessons of St. Francis.


Since this is an international trip, all participants must have a passport in order to join us.  If you do not have one, we encourage interested pilgrims to apply for your passport as soon as we have accepted your application.

Please Note: visitors in shorts or sleeveless tops may not be admitted to various churches. Please be sure to dress appropriately.

More details will be provided regarding transportation options and directions from Rome to Assisi as the date approaches.


Rev. John Dear

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John Dear is Pace e Bene’s Nonviolence Outreach Coordinator. He is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. A peacemaker, organizer, lecturer, and retreat leader, he is the author/editor of 30 books, including his autobiography, “A Persistent Peace,” and his recent book, “The Nonviolent Life.” In 2008, John was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A former Jesuit, John is a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Monterey, California.

From 1998 until December 2000, he served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the United States.

After the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, John served as a Red Cross Chaplain, and became one of the coordinators of the chaplain program at the Family Assistance Center.

From 2002-2004, he served as pastor of several parishes in northeastern New Mexico. He co-founded Pax Christi New Mexico and works on a nonviolent campaign to disarm Los Alamos. These days, he lectures to tens of thousands of people each year in churches and schools across the country and the world.

John has been arrested over seventy-five times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience for peace, and has organized hundreds of demonstrations against war and nuclear weapons at military bases across the country, as well as worked with Mother Teresa and others to stop the death penalty.

John has two masters degrees in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in California.

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Dr. Ken Butigan

Ken Butigan is a strategist and consultant for Campaign Nonviolence. A peace and justice worker, workshop facilitator, and writer for two decades, Ken also teaches at DePaul University in Chicago.

Since the early 1980s, Ken has worked with numerous social movements, including movements for a nuclear-free future, an end to homelessness, and freedom for East Timor. He was the national coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance and a national organizer for the Declaration of Peace. Ken joined the Pace e Bene staff in 1990. He developed and for several years directed Pace e Bene’s From Violence To Wholeness program, and was actively involved in creating Pace e Bene’s Engage: Exploring Nonviolent Living program.

Ken earned his Ph.D. in the Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in 2000. He has been a lecturer in the spirituality and practice of nonviolence at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, and directed the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin’s College in Washington State for three years.

Ken has published six books, including Nonviolent Lives: People and Movements Changing the World Through the Power of Active Nonviolence and Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site.

Ken lives in Chicago with his spouse Cynthia Okayama Dopke and their daughter.


Joining the team on the pilgrimage will also be Pace e Bene staff members Veronica Pelicaric and Ryan Hall.  Veronica is Pace e Bene’s Nonviolence Education Outreach Consultant, international nonviolence trainer and co-author of Engage: Exploring Nonviolent Living, she also speaks Italian!   Ryan Hall is Pace e Bene’s Executive Director and a graduate of the Franciscan School of Theology.

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