Mar 9 Depart from the U.S. --- arrive the next morning
Mar 10 Ancient, Pagan Rome: Colosseum, Forum, etc.
Mar 11 The Redemption in Rome: Relics of the Passion of Christ
Mar 12 Sunday --- day of rest + Vatican Museums
Mar 13 St. Paul and St. Peter
Mar 14 Martyr Madness
Mar 15 Papal audience + The Early Church in Rome
Mar 16 Day trip: St. Benedict and the Rise of Western Monasticism
Mar 17 Overnight in Assisi: Mendicant Mayhem: Sts. Dominic and Francis Mar 18 The Blessed Virgin Mary in Rome
Mar 19 Restful Sunday to wander around Rome. Final dinner for feast of St. Joseph Mar 20 Depart from Italy ---- arrive home the same day
*Actual itinerary may vary somewhat from this.
Q “When you say ‘No vacations here!’, how grueling exactly will this pilgrimage be?”
A The most grueling day of the pilgrimage features walking approximately 11 miles. Most of the other days average around 6-7 miles, but every day entails long hours on your feet, regardless of the distance. So if you can’t confidently walk (at a decent pace) 10-12 miles, start training!
Q “What will a typical day on the pilgrimage be like?”
A Every day will be centered around Mass, which will usually take place in the morning. Additionally, since pilgrimages are meant to be saturated with prayer, there will be thirty minutes at the beginning and end of each day allotted to personal prayer/meditation, and at some point we will pray the rosary together. Each day will then feature walking to various basilicas, churches, shrines, and other sites, where a guide (usually a priest, but occasionally perhaps a religious sister or someone else), will explain the history and significance of the place. There will be additional time at these places for personal prayer and exploration. Finally, the day will conclude with dinner, either prepared and cooked by us, the pilgrims, or at a restaurant. This affords an opportunity to hang out, unwind, get to know each other, and to discuss the sites/events/fruits of the day.
Q “What are the accommodations like?”
A The accommodations will most likely be several rented apartments within the same building or on the same street. There will be men’s apartments and women’s apartments. They will not be 5-star hotels by any stretch of the imagination, but you are at least guaranteed a bed!
Q “Will we ever visit any sites outside of Rome?”
A Yes! Two of the days will be spent outside of Rome. On the day dedicated to the Mendicant movements of the 13th century, we will travel to Assisi, the home of St. Francis and one of the most treasured medieval hilltop towns in all of Europe. Another day is dedicated to St. Benedict and western Monasticism, and we will visit the cave where he spent two years before starting the first Benedictine community (there is a monastery built around that cave now), and also Montecassino, the site of the first Benedictine monastery.
Q “Will I need a passport?”
A Yes! Once you register for the pilgrimage, you should immediately apply for a passport if you don't already have one. Or, if you have a passport but it will expire within 6 months of our return date, you MUST renew it. In other words, if your passport will expire anytime before 9/22/17, you need to renew it before going on the pilgrimage.
Q “How many days will I have to take off from work in order to come on the pilgrmage?”
A If you work a typical Mon-Fri job, then 8 days. We will depart on a Thursday about midday, and return on the following Monday evening. Thus, if you work a typical Monday-Friday job, you will need to ask off for Thurs-Fri of one week, Mon-Fri of the next week, and Mon of the third week.