About Us

We are a group of artists working in diverse fields who share a recognition that being made in the image of the Creator, we are compelled to create. We see many different faces of God, which is reflected in our art.

In these turbulent times, we believe there is a tremendous need for artists to come together to bring illumination, healing, and justice.

Though we consider our art to be a spiritual calling, we also believe that as a matter of justice, artists should be compensated for their work. We are working to create a membership option for artists. We envision that by joining together as members of the Sick Pilgrim Artists’ Collective, we can meet some practical needs that are often cost prohibitive for individual artists:

  • Shared access to software that can accept online payment for our merchandise and services
  • Shared access to software that manages registrations to our courses and events
  • Shared access to the Sick Pilgrim Press for publishing our work
  • Shared opportunities to market our merchandise, services, courses, and events
  • Shared web-based archives

The Sick Pilgrim Artists’ Collective also serves as a place to nurture creative gifts in others through discussion, education, mentoring, and collaboration. This can be done through online and in-person classes, our blogs and podcasts, our upcoming quarterly journal and other publications, the annual conference, performances, and other events. Less formally, this can be done through ongoing conversations through our social media sites.

Our History

Founded in 2015 by Jessica Mesman with Jonathan Ryan, Sick Pilgrim provided both those within the Catholic Church and those struggling with their Catholicism a space to exercise their Catholic imagination. It strove to provide a channel for them to write their stories, ask their questions, and grapple with their faith.

An eclectic gathering of writers and artists became a community. A beautiful community. A faith community.

As an unorthodox gathering of people who questioned EVERYTHING and stood up to injustice and abuse whenever they experienced it, there were challenges. Big challenges.

Sick Pilgrim, and its members, sustained wounds and suffered losses. And still it remained.

In 2022, Sick Pilgrim moved out from under the Patheos Catholic umbrella and onto its own website, expanding its reach to people of all faiths who strive to create in the image of their creator.

Today, Sick Pilgrim, winner of the 2017 Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Award for best faith-based blog is a table set in the wilderness, a safe space to be fed and encouraged along your faith journey.

There’s no formal invitation. There’s no dress code. If you are hungry, or you need a place to rest before you continue on your way, you are welcome to join us.

“We’re all pilgrims drifting toward God whether we realize it or not, sick as dogs, broken 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.”

Jessica Messman