In Our Own Words

Pilgrim Place is a fountain of thoughts, experiences and ideas that are energetically exchanged among residents and often times published for the greater community and beyond. In Our Own Words is a collection of Pilgrim residents’ quotes, stories, anecdotes, published articles, and writings.

Maggie Hover

Spiritual Director and CPE Supervisor

As a new resident of Pilgrim Place, Maggie Hover was invited to lead a Thursday evening Vespers Service.  Her message incorporated the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church to describe her experience of entering this remarkable intentional community.  With good humor and thoughtfulness, Maggie's words provide delightful insights into life at Pilgrim Place.

I’m disobeying at least one cardinal rule tonight; instead of three points, I will tell you seven stories, hoping that we’ll all be on the same page at the end.    Without a doubt, one of the funniest and most poignant plays in New York City is “Late Night Catechism.”  It is always performed in an old off-Broadway church basement. An elderly but still formidable Catholic sister in full pre-Vatican II garb is on a low stage set like a 1940’s classroom; the audience sits on folding chairs. The story is that we, the audience, are attending evening classes so that we can prepare our children for the sacraments. Throughout the evening, Sister Mary engages the audience, as when she distributes holy cards and religious trinkets to all the parents with children in Catholic colleges. - Read More

Stan R. Moore
Stan MoorePastor and University Professor

Think about it. Is it likely that Christian leaders – pastors, missionaries, teachers, authors, prophets, etc. – who have been doers and shakers all their lives – would slack off just because they are “retired”? No way! It is no surprise, then, that Pilgrim Place, an ecumenical retirement community designed for and by them, is aquiver with their energy. And behind it all – our talking, singing, laughing, praying, and moments of quiet – is a passion rooted in our Christian faith for:

Caring for each other
Cultivating both the mind and inner spirit
Living modestly and walking lightly on God’s earth
Peace and justice in a broken world
Healing the threatened earth, sky and waters, and
Seeking in every way to be faithful to our Lord and beautiful for God.

Linda Vogel
Linda VogelTheologian and Seminary Professor

We retired from teaching at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in the spring of 2003. We thought we’d probably be content staying in our Chicago six-flat for a decade or so and we said, “When it’s time to do something else, we’ll know!”

So when we visited Barbara Troxell at Pilgrim Place in October 2003, we were stunned to discover that after twenty-four hours here, we both felt like this is where we needed and wanted to be.

Some of the things that drew us here were immediately clear. The sense of community fostered by the community meal every day, vespers, the prayer vigils around the flagpole every week where Pilgrims pray for peace, the many lectures, and the sharing and action groups provide the kind of nurturing and justice-doing environment that would both support and challenge us. And even though everyone here was in some form of ministry the places all around the globe where people lived and served and the areas of expertise folks bring into this community are awesome. There is diversity here! Being in a community that offers increasing levels of care was also important to us.

Gene Boutillier
Gene BoutillierPastor for the United Church of Christ
(Excerpt from an address given at the Andrion Club breakfast in May, 2007)

“Camp Pilgrim Place” is for me a thrilling overwhelming privilege and delight, in which the good things of life are intensified and offered in readily available forms in abundance, with fewer obstacles and distractions than in ordinary life.

The privileges, rare among humans on planet earth, of being relatively secure for now regarding the basics of food, comfortable, in fact luxurious shelter, health care access, personal safety, some money to use, and opportunity to worship. May it remain so, and may the privileges expand to many more of God’s precious children who are denied the basic rights and opportunities.

Ernest Newborn
Ernest NewbornPastor for the United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church and the Disciples of Christ

Pilgrim Place is surely the place for me! There are presently sixteen denominations represented in this community. My ordination as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament is recognized by three Christian denominations: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), United Church of Christ. I am truly committed to ecumenism! This, however, requires exceedingly more and more church committee meetings. Also, I have need for extra large waste paper baskets! Nevertheless, I am an unapologetic ecumenist. I am inspired, and imbued as part of the Pilgrim Place ecumenical community.

Marilyn Brunger

Marilyn BrungerYWCA Executive

The concept that appeals to me about Pilgrim Place is returning to family, an extended family because our professional backgrounds are similar. You immediately have connections and feel comfortable.  This is a place where people speak the same language.