Father Tony Hollowell is joining the Oberammergau Pilgrimage as Co-Chaplain! Fr. Tony currently serves the communities of St. Paul in Tell City and St. Mark in Perry county as their administrator, and was recently appointed an Associate Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Fr. Tony has been interested in Oberammergau since hearing about it in his first year of seminary.
“A group from Saint Meinrad’s went to see the Passion Play during my first year of seminary. They came back and told us about it, and the Passion Play sounded like a wonderful experience. It captivated my imagination, especially the fact that it only happens once every ten years. Every time it happens, you have to wait another ten years to see it again.”
This previous interest and hearing about the experience from his peers greatly influenced his “yes” to join and serve as chaplain for the pilgrimage.
“When John Paul asked me if I wanted to be a chaplain, it felt like a fulfillment of the desire I had to see the Passion Play ten years ago. I love being able to travel so much of the world. There’s not a whole lot of places left that I really want to go and see, but Oberammergau was at the top of my list.”
Fr. Tony is no stranger to pilgrimage and travel. During seminary he studied in Rome for five years, where he traveled to 35 countries and 5 continents, and has gone on pilgrimages to Krakow, the holy land, and the Camino.
He feels especially called to this pilgrimage because of his connection to St. Paul, and how the cross of Christ was so integral to Paul’s message.
“Our parish is dedicated to St. Paul. There is a verse we have hanging in our parish that says ‘It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me’ and ‘I desire to proclaim Christ and him crucified.’ These are the key phrases that I have been compelled to preach about to my own congregation from the first day that I was there. It reminds us about the cross itself, and the particular message that was unique to Saint Paul that I am continually drawn back to.”
In particular, Fr. Tony says that he is excited to meditate more on the cross and the passion of Christ through attending the Passion Play.
“You hear people talking about ‘following your passion’ and ‘what is your passion.’ There are a thousand ways to talk about the cross and carrying your cross, but the word “passion” is a particularly aspect of the cross that you hear frequently in secular talk. This is a particular aspect of the Passion Play that I am personally interested in.”
Why is this a pilgrimage one that everyone should say “yes” to? In the words of Fr. Tony, “Because you will have to wait another ten years to say ‘yes’ again!”
To experience the Passion Play and journey to Oberammergau with Fr. Tony and co-chaplain, Fr. Eric Augenstein, sign up for the Verso Ministries Oberammergau Pilgrimage!