Pilgrim Narratives

After 12 years of being a mendicant pilgrim Ann, with support from her community, paused her steps for a few weeks in 2017 and compiled the first series of narratives from ‘Pilgrim Land’. The series was called Glimpses of Pilgrim Life. All 8 (plus a 9th bonus) are linked below. We anticipate a new series of narratives once a year which we will send to those of you subscribed to the SSP Stories email list first and then update, upon completion of email series, here. The next series from Pilgrim Land will resume in late fall of 2018, look for it in your inbox. If you were forwarded this page and are not on the email list you can subscribe here.



If you feel inclined to share or forward these stories we simply ask that you attribute them to Ann Sieben, Winter Pilgrim. If you would like to include them in a formal publication please reach out to societyofservantpilgrims@gmail.com

Glimpses of Pilgrim Life

Birthdays for the Rich

Many times in my three months in eastern Ukraine, the most impoverished place I’ve walked as a pilgrim, I had the opportunity to be present during a special event, such as a birthday or anniversary.  In the homes of these simple people – not simple-minded, but hard workers with few aspirations aside from…

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Fear Not the Narcotraficantes

Some events in life define what you really think, even if you never consciously had the thought. Increasingly in my walk south through New Mexico, many people, particularly priests, cautioned, even scolded me about continuing my pilgrimage on foot through the…

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Sleeping in the Hen House

Climbing a rather low pass over some mountains on the approach to San Salvador, I don’t recall exactly and have to check my notes, but it was raining and rather cold and a Sunday night.  The best way over the pass, all things considered, was…

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Bulgarian Monk

Freshly crossing into Bulgaria in early February, the winter was at its depths. The snow on the ground was refreshed every night. The evergreens were a picturesque winter wonderland. Out of Romania just one day, I was making…

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Welcoming St. Francis – Part I

As much as I like the host from one night phoning the prospective host for the next night alerting them that a pilgrim would be arriving and looking for hospitality, it happens rather infrequently. Despite early words in many conversations being ‘…if only I had known you were coming, I’d have some arrangements made…’, few priests are…

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Welcoming St. Francis – Part II

Continuing northward, a few days in Honduras, then in El Salvador, remarkably hotter and more humid, I was walking toward the Shrine of Esquipulas just over the border in Guatemala. The last day’s walk in the thick hills of El Salvador was a particularly long hot and grueling day, having…

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Libyan Battle

Battles during the civil war I tried to ignore as I walked across Libya were noticeable only at night. I would be safely inside a family home as a welcomed guest. It seemed to me from my observations of aftermath, that the targets were logical ones, a fuel depot, communications center, vehicle compound. In a sense, it seemed to be…

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Camelmen of Egypt

The story of my ‘Flight to Egypt’ led me into the western Sahara of Egypt. Exhausted as the 48 hours of apprehension left me, there was a definite spring in my step, happy I was to be free again, walking toward my pilgrim destination again. With a carefree spirit, I was alone in the desert with the…

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Two Serbian Nuns

The monasteries in Serbia are remarkable.  Purpose built to dissuade invasion by medieval Turks, they are generally in hard-to-reach places, and specifically unconnected by direct paths.  I found the effort worthy. The Serbian Orthodox faith began in the 12th century when Sava, the crown prince, renounced his birthright and became a…

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