Be a bright flame before me, O God a guiding star above me. Be a smooth path below me, a kindly shepherd behind me.

—The Prayer of St. Columba

Sponsored by

Washington National Cathedral
Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage

Led by

Dr. Terri Lynn Simpson


Pilgrimage is at the heart of the Celtic tradition, an outward physical journey that invites the traveler to a deeper inward journey. There is perhaps no more famous pilgrim than St. Columba, who left the green hills of Ireland for a rugged island off the Scottish coast.

In the centuries since he established his monastic community on Iona, the island has been a pilgrimage destination for countless seekers who travel to this thin place in the landscape where heaven and earth seem to meet.

Join us on a pilgrimage to Iona as we listen to the silence of the land, the wisdom of saints, and the stories of our fellow pilgrims. The rhythm of our days begins and ends with prayer with the ecumenical Iona Community in the historic abbey church. Morning presentations and conversations explore hallmarks of the Celtic spiritual tradition, while free time in the afternoon provides the opportunity for you to explore the island on your own or with others.

Follow in Columba’s footsteps and discover how the landscape of this holy island and the wisdom of Celtic spirituality through the ages may deepen your own spiritual path in whatever walk of life you come from and return to.

Cost, Payment, and Cancellation

  • Pilgrimage cost is $2850 and includes: travel from Glasgow Airport to Iona on the day of arrival, double occupancy hotel accommodations in the St. Columba Hotel for 9 nights, breakfast and dinner (not including beverages) while at Iona, pilgrimage content and leadership, and a donation to the Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage.
  • Cost does NOT include: flight arrangements to and from Glasgow Airport, travel insurance, some meals, and personal expenses.
  • Single rooms are available at an additional cost.
  • Deposit of $800 due upon registration. Includes non-refundable $500 deposit. Once deposit is received, pilgrims must complete the travel-medical form.
  • Full payment due April 1, 2019, including single supplement if applicable. Final payment includes $500 donation to the Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage to be recognized in calendar year 2019.

All notice of cancellation must be received in writing by Washington National Cathedral.

Refund schedule:

  • Before February 1 2019, $500.00 per person is nonrefundable.
  • Between February 1, 2019 and May 9, 2019, any refund amount will be determined by the final policies of the hotels and other travel suppliers
  • No refunds if cancellation is received on or after May 10, 2019.

Registration and Forms

Register Online

Downloadable forms:

Pilgrimage Details


Thursday, May 23–Sunday, June 2

Abbreviated Travel Itinerary

May 23: Depart from USA on overnight flight to Glasgow, Scotland

May 24: Travel to Oban, Scotland

May 25: Travel to St. Columba Hotel on Iona

May 26-31: Iona

June 1: Travel from Iona to Glasgow

June 2: Departure to USA

Registration & Downloads


Have questions or need additional information? Email Terri Lynn Simpson.