Episcopal Commission for Pilgrimages

Episcopal Commission for Pilgrimages

The Episcopal Commission for Pilgrimages (ECP), established by the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL), has received the mandate to:

  • Promote the quality of Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
  • Ensure that the spiritual leader/animator has good theological and spiritual preparation, geographical and cultural knowledge of the region.
  • Recognize that the mission of the spiritual leader of the pilgrimage is directly received from the  Church's authority. 
  • Develop, promote and establish contacts with the tourism ministries of the region and tourist guide unions.
  • Collaborate with the Pilgrimage Commission of the Custody of the Holy Land.


The Supreme Court of Justice of Israel has ratified the right of Christian groups to have their own spiritual guide on pilgrimages to the Holy Places. According to the agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel, spiritual guides must be consecrated/religious person (דת  אנשי ) and must provide unpaid services. This service must be considered as a spiritual mission in accordance with the teaching of the Church.

Conditions for applying for a spiritual leader card

   August 2022

a) Age required: between 25 and 75 years old. We need a copy of a valid passport.

b) Letter of attestation from your bishop or religious superior confirming:

– your priest ordination or consecrated status

– you have the permission to be a spiritual leader for pilgrim groups. This letter must be renewed every two years.

c) Attesting your knowledge on the Holy Land and experience with groups of pilgrims. You should have participated in pilgrimages recently. This letter must be signed by your bishop, your superior or by yourself and accompanied by documents if necessary.

d) You should be able to communicate in English.

e) If you do not have the number of your expired card you must apply for a new card. Note, please, in the remarks, that you had a card.

f) A Digital card with a QR code valid for the limited period of each pilgrimage will be issued for everyone.

g) 15 USD will be required as collaboration for limited period cards. The online payment system is still not activated. Stop by the office whenever it’s convenient for you and leave your collaboration there.

These requirements were approved by His Beatitude Mgr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, President of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land and by the Custos of the Holy Land Rt. Rev. Francesco Patton OFM, President of the Episcopal Commission for Pilgrimages.

Contact us:  [email protected]    


Please apply no more than three months before your pilgrimage and at least ten days before it.

You must upload every time all the documents, also if they are the same files. The attestations letters must not be more than two years old at the time of the application.

Please, upload a recent photo in jpg format.

Please, do not send the same request by mail, that just complicate things. Be patient, we will try to deliver your card as soon as possible.

The pilgrimage office at Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem will be open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Now you can apply for the spiritual leader card

Apply Now