For Immediate Release
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Georgian Court University Marks Advent with Virtual Pilgrimage

Campus Community Makes Second “Journey” to Bethlehem

Lakewood, N.J., Dec. 4, 2012—Georgian Court University is hosting an online pilgrimage for GCU students, faculty, staff, and alumni throughout the season of Advent. The virtual journey continues through Tuesday, December 25, when the participants “arrive” at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The online journey is a way to slow down and enjoy the spiritual gifts of the holiday season.

The opportunity to reflect and journey together after the challenges of the last few weeks is important,” says GCU President Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D. ”Our virtual pilgrimage is open to those on campus and beyond, and we welcome everyone. It truly is a unique way to remain focused on what it is important, even as we continue to recover from the recent storms and prepare for Christmas.”

Last year, dozens of people logged on to document their “mileage,” including time spent walking, running, praying, and meditating.

The experience is considered a wellness, meditational, and educational journey. At, participants post their daily “progress.”

At another page,, participants can see how far the group has traveled and view photos of the places visited.

The virtual “pilgrims” are encouraged to bookmark the site and return daily for guided scriptures and meditations, and to read the group’s travelogue as they encounter historic sites—from parts of Italy to Istanbul and plenty of places in between—during the journey. The pilgrimage is also linked to, which provides additional space for pilgrims to reflect and share their thoughts during the journey.

This holiday season marks the second time that GCU has offered the virtual pilgrimage as a way for the campus and extended community to explore the history of places like Santiago de Compostella in Spain, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Italy, Presentation House in Ireland, and the House of St. Peter Capernaum in Israel.

The content was created by faculty members in disciplines from psychology and biology to theology and multimedia/graphic design. Additional volunteers among the Sisters of Mercy, GCU’s Mercy Collegiate Society, and staff also are participating.

For more information about the pilgrimage, contact Susan E. O. Field, Ph.D., GCU professor of psychology, at or at 732.987.2643.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court announced in May 2012 its transition to become a fully coeducational university in 2013. Today, the university serves more than 2,500 students of all faiths and backgrounds in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge and at the New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall.

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