An In-Person Retreat
with Dr. John Francis, Planetwalker
at St. Columba's Inverness
Friday, June 23 – Sunday, June 25
“The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out of an inner journey. The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings and signs of the outer pilgrimage. One can have one without the other. It is best to have both.”
Through talks, contemplation, and exercise, we explore the inner landscape of our daily pilgrimage, including walking and silence.
Dr. John Francis is an environmental educator, and former UN goodwill ambassador. In 1971, he witnessed an oil spill in San Francisco Bay, stopped using motorized vehicles and began to walk. To learn to listen better, John took a 17-year vow of silence. He walked across the US receiving a PhD. Speaking on Earth Day 1990, telling the crowd, “Environment is about how we treat each other.” He served as project manager and environmental analyst for the USCG Oil Pollution Act 1990 Staff, and authored Planetwalker: 17-Years of Silence, 22-Years of Walking, and The Ragged Edge of Silence, both published by the National Geographic Society. In 2022 he published his first children’s book, Human Kindness, True Stories of Compassion and Generosity that Changed the World. He is the founder and director of Planetwalk, an environmental education organization, and speaks on pilgrimage and environment around the world, and in 2023, has begun a Planetwalk from Cape Town, South Africa to Khartoum, Sudan.