Verso Ministries

Verso L'alto

Verso Ministries is a Catholic pilgrimage company helping people explore the world and discover what God has in store for them. We do so in the spirit of our patron saint, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. 

Nearly 100 years ago, Frassati wrote the words “Verso l’alto” on a now iconic picture of him as he scales the side of a cliff. Literally, the words mean “to the top” or “towards the heights.”

Metaphorically, the phrase means, “orient your entire life toward God.” In all that you do, in all that you are, seek the path that leads you to God. Blessed Pier Giorgio is a beautiful witness to living out this mantra. 

So, together, let’s seek the path, encounter the sacred, and share the story so that others may join us. 

Photo (c) Associazione Pier Giorgio Frassati, Rome.  Used with permission.

Our Team

John Paul Lichon

Founder and CEO

John Paul spent 10 years in parish and college ministry before taking the dive to start Verso Ministries. He’s always had an entrepreneurial inkling, as he’s always sought new and dynamic ways to spread the Gospel. He is passionate about the practice of pilgrimage and the ways in which a pilgrim’s heart and mind can be transformed by an encounter with God on a pilgrimage. He resides in South Bend, Indiana, with his wife and three children.

To read about the moment when Verso Ministries was born, visit our blog.

Jenna Streich

Pilgrimage Operations Manager

Ever since Jenna spent four months living and studying in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the Holy Land has held a special place in her heart. She is passionate about accompanying pilgrims through all stages of their journeys and experiencing God at work through the encounters and relationships that pilgrimages facilitate. Jenna studied theology, peace studies, and science at the University of Notre Dame and has a master’s degree in education from Saint Joseph’s University. Along with traveling, she enjoys making and listening to music, playing golf, and spending time outdoors. Jenna lives in South Bend, Indiana.

Joan Watson

Pilgrim Formation Manager

Joan fell in love with the Church while studying in Rome and has been committed to sharing those graces ever since. Witnessing the funeral of Pope St. John Paul and the election of Pope Benedict instilled in Joan the passion to evangelize, especially through pilgrimage. With degrees in history and theology from Christendom College and Franciscan University of Steubenville, Joan has worked for the Church and various religious apostolates for seventeen years. She is also a Catholic speaker, writer, and podcaster and loves introducing people to the things she loves. She and her husband live in South Bend, Indiana.

Kristin Nestler

Pilgrim Support Assistant

Kristin moved a lot growing up, but her Catholic faith has always been a constant. She graduated from University of California – Davis and continued her nomadic lifestyle. She married an Army officer 25 years ago, and has raised two daughters. Her faith strengthens as she celebrates and shares it with her family. Kristin spent 16 years working for Marriott International, honing her customer service skills in a variety of roles. She is excited to combine her love of travel, faith, and hospitality into a career with Verso Ministries.

Hunter Bratton

Director of Business Operations

After a short stint at PwC, Hunter quickly realized public accounting was not for him. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and doing meaningful work, and there is no better opportunity to feed these passions than by helping Verso grow and facilitate more encounters with Christ through pilgrimage. Hunter studied accounting and theology at Notre Dame. In his free time, he enjoys learning new languages and studying great companies. He resides in Denver, Colorado where he’s always searching for his next adventure in the mountains.

Kwame Gasu

Pilgrimage Sales Associate

Kwame is originally from Ghana, West Africa. Prior to his move to the United States, he co-founded a company where he played a pivotal role in business development and customer success. He is thrilled to combine his sales experience with his passion for travel and faith. Raised by his devout grandmother, his Catholic upbringing has always been a guiding force in his life. Kwame resides in South Bend, Indiana with his wife Katie.

Thinking about going on a pilgrimage?

Climbing Higher

Lord,

As we embark upon this pilgrimage together, guide my steps. While I cannot anticipate every twist and turn ahead, I trust that you will lead me and strengthen me, inviting me to discover beauty in ways I cannot imagine.

Give me the eyes to see your presence, the ears to hear your voice, and an open heart, ready to learn from each person, place, and story that I encounter.

Help me to look beyond myself and discover the world as you see it. Draw me closer to those around me. Encourage me to slow down, to let go of needless worry. Let my mind wander and my heart wonder at the unexpected, often ordinary ways you find me.

With this next step, no matter how small, meek, and humble, I show you my desire and my commitment, despite my imperfections, to answer your call to “Come, follow me,” to thirst after truth, justice, and love, and ultimately, to always find my path back to you, my eternal home.

Through the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, give me the strength, courage, and trust to discover everything that you have in store for me in this life and the next.

Amen.

©Verso Ministries / Iconographer: Kelly Latimore
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