Sick Pilgrim debuts on

square SPJonathan Ryan and I have set up a soapbox  over at in the hopes that some interesting people will show up.

We’re calling the new blog Sick Pilgrim, because we’re all pilgrims drifting toward God whether we realize it or not, sick as dogs, wounded and fallen, in need of healing and rest and companionship. Sometimes we sing on our way, and sometimes we kick and scream. We long for fellow travelers who can help bear our burdens and illuminate the good and beautiful when the way turns dark

We’re not going to try to make Catholicism relevant, though we may sometimes reveal how relevant it stubbornly remains.

We want to talk about the ways in which many of us are searching for something that’s been there all along. Like how I spent all morning searching for the glasses that were on top of my head.

I hope Sick Pilgrim will be a space of attraction, not proselytizing, that it will remain blessedly free from snark and sentimentality, ideological thought policing and toxic outrage. I hope we’ll be unafraid to speak truth but insatiably curious and unfailingly compassionate. That might be an impossible dream, but it’s worth dreaming.

I want to invite people into the church, encourage them to look around, raid the place for treasures, and claim what’s theirs.

Because I’m convinced the Church is our sanctuary in this world, a place to be fed, nurtured, forgiven, a place to grow up together. A family, a mystical body, a hospital for sinners—not the hidebound rulebook of patriarchal oppression so many of my friends seem to imagine. And I believe the best way to show it is by telling stories.

4 responses to “Sick Pilgrim debuts on”

  1. Tammy Perlmutter Avatar

    I’m so psyched for this!!


  2. terrinorthwind Avatar

    Looking forward to reading more!


  3. Tiffani Schell Avatar
    Tiffani Schell


    I read your article on Patheos. I can really relate to you. I am a convert who experiences a lot of doubt. I’m a born skeptic and I have a hard time simply believing. I pray all the time that God will remove this doubt. Anyway, I’m wondering if you could give advice. A friend of mine who is quite anti-religious asked me why I thought Catholicism is true. I’ve been sitting on his question for a while. Since I’ve been dealing with my own doubt, I am unsure whether I should attempt an answer to my friend. What do you think?


    1. Jessica Mesman Griffith Avatar
      Jessica Mesman Griffith

      Thank you for your comment, Tiffani. I hope you’ll keep reading. You’re exactly the person we are writing for and inviting to travel with us toward an answer. Jonathan will have his own response to this question, and it will be different from mine. And Tammy will have her own response too, as she’s not Catholic but admires the Catholic Church from the outside. I could give different answers on different days, and one of those answers would be, maybe it’s NOT true, and we’ve all been part of an incredibly successful long con. 2,000 plus years long. Us and countless people much, much smarter than us. Then that seems so incredibly unlikely that I start to believe again. Also–and this is not the cool intellectual answer–I really and truly love the Jesus of the gospels and can’t resist the offer to take him into my own body and being in the Mass. What troubles you most when you have a hard time believing?


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