Upon checking into their hotel, the group will enjoy a welcome dinner. They will depart the next morning for Paray-le-Monial, site of the apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673. The next stop will be to the town of Ars to see the incorrupt body of St. John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. The visit includes a stop at the Basilica of Ars and the St. John Vianney Wax Museum. Pilgrims will have the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation in the confessional where St. John Vianney spent 17 hours a day for more than 30 years hearing confessions.
On Sept. 19, the group will return to Ars and spend the day visiting optional sites. On Sept. 20, following breakfast, the group will board a train to Toulouse. Upon arrival, they will take a motor coach to Lourdes, where the Blessed Mother appeared 18 times to 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Pilgrims will visit the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the Grotto of Massabielle. That evening, they will check into their hotel for dinner and overnight. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a Lourdes candlelight procession.
The pilgrims will spend Sept. 21 in Lourdes, beginning with Mass at the Grotto of Massabielle. They will visit the Boly Mill, where St. Bernadette was born, and the Cachot, an abandoned prison where Bernadette’s family lived. There will be an opportunity to bathe in the miraculous waters at the grotto, attend the blessing of the sick and spend time in personal prayer. The remainder of the day will be free to explore other holy sites. Dinner will be on your own.
On Sunday, Sept. 22, the group will depart Lourdes and proceed to the airport for a flight to Paris. Upon arrival, they will board their motor coach and catch glimpses of the city while continuing to Lisieux, home of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The group will stop at Les Buissonnets, the home where Thérèse spent the early years of her life, then visit the Basilica of Lisieux and the Carmelite convent which houses the sacred relics of St. Thérèse. The day ends with check-in at a hotel and dinner.
On Sept. 23, the group heads to the medieval towns of Bayeux and Normandy. Bayeux is home to a magnificent cathedral. Following a tour of the cathedral and its crypt, which has been unaltered since the 11th century, the group continues on to Normandy to visit the Military Cemetery at Omaha Beach and the Museum of the D-Day Invasion. They return to Lisieux for dinner and overnight.
The group will spend time in prayer on Sept. 24 at the Carmelite convent before departing for Paris, where they will visit the world-famous Cathedral of Notre Dame. The day’s journey concludes with hotel check-in, dinner and overnight.
Sept. 25 will be spent in Paris, beginning with a visit to the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal on Rue de Bac, where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830. The shrine is also home of the incorrupt body of St. Catherine and the waxed body of St. Louise de Marillac, who, with the help of St. Vincent de Paul, established the Daughters of Charity religious order.
The group will then proceed to the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Mission, which houses the incorrupt body of St. Vincent de Paul. Next they will ascend the Montmartre hill to the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur. Here, the practice of perpetual adoration has been uninterrupted since 1885. Dinner this evening is on your own.
The pilgrims will begin their journey back home on Sept. 26.
Cost of the 11-day pilgrimage to France through Pentecost Tours, Inc., is $2,999 if deposit is paid by June 8, $3,099 per person afterwards. The amount will include all air transportation, accommodations, nine breakfasts and seven dinners. A deposit of $500 per person is required to secure reservations, with the balance to be paid in full no later than June 28, 2013. An optional $60 roundtrip bus will be available from Green Bay to Chicago. For a complete brochure or to register, contact Amy Kawula, (920) 272-8212; email: [email protected].