2017 Catholic Pilgrimage to France

A Catholic Pilgrimage to France

Including Lourdes, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Avignon, Lyon, Ars, Paray le Monial, Nevers, Chartres, Lisieux, Rouen & Paris

Under the spiritual direction of Father Cary Bani


October 10, 2017 - Tuesday


This morning we gather in St. Francisville at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish to board our motor coach for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. In the afternoon we board our connecting flight to France. Meals are served on board our transatlantic flight.

October 11, 2017 - Wednesday


This morning we arrive in Paris and meet our Pilgrimage Tours' tour director, Ms. Laura Bollati. We board our plane for the short flight to Lourdes, where in 1858, Mary appeared to a young Bernadette Soubirous. Upon our arrival in Lourdes, we walk to the Grotto for an introduction to the Shrine, followed by a visit to the Rosary Basilica (Lower Basilica) and a visit and celebration of Mass in the Crypt of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Upper Basilica). Following Mass, we arrive at our hotel for dinner. Following dinner, we participate in this evening’s Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Lourdes.

October 12, 2017 - Thursday


Early this morning we celebrate Mass in the Grotto, followed by a walking tour of Lourdes where we visit the places important in the life of Bernadette, including the Spring and Grotto, where Mary appeared to Bernadette numerous times, as well as the nearby Healing Baths where many pilgrims submerge themselves for its healing properties. We also visit the Basilica of Pius X as well as Bernadette’s home. Our afternoon is free for personal exploration of the Sanctuary of Lourdes. Following dinner this evening, we have another opportunity to join the Candlelight Procession. Overnight in Lourdes.

October 13, 2017 - Friday


This morning we enjoy our day driving through the French countryside en route to Toulouse, where upon our arrival we will visit the Romanesque Basilica of St. Sernin as well as the Church of Les Jacobins where we will visit the tomb of St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church. Following Mass and free time for lunch, we drive to the ancient city of Carcassonne, the largest preserved walled city in Europe. Here we will enjoy a walking tour of the historic center followed by free time prior to arriving at our hotel for dinner and overnight in Carcassonne.

October 14, 2017 - Saturday


This morning we depart Carcassonne and arrive in Avignon for a visit to the grand Palace of the Popes, where in the 14th century, it served as home to the Papacy during Rome’s tumultuous political conditions of the time. Following free time for lunch in Avignon, we continue on to Lyon to visit the beautiful Cathedral of Lyon, where we celebrate Mass. Following Mass we arrive at our hotel for dinner and overnight in Lyon.

October 15, 2017 - Sunday


This morning we drive to Ars, village of the Holy Cure, St. John Vianney, the Patron Saint of Priests. Here we visit his home and the Basilica of St. John Vianney, where the saint's body is housed in a glass reliquary. We continue on to Paray le Monial, known as the City of the Eucharist, where Jesus appeared to a young Margaret Mary Alacoque and revealed devotions to His Sacred Heart. Here we will visit and celebrate Mass inside the Chapel of the Visitation, followed by an audio-visual presentation of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Next we continue on to Nevers to visit the Convent of St. Gildard, where Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes spent the final 13 years of her life. While here we will explore the convent's grounds and visit the Chapel of St. Bernadette where we will see the incorrupt body of Saint Bernadette kept in a glass reliquary. Dinner and overnight in Nevers.

October 16, 2017 - Monday


Following Mass this morning in the Chapel of St. Bernadette, we drive to the town of Chartres, situated on top of a hill overlooking the River Eure. In the center of the city stands the Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the finest and best preserved Gothic buildings in France. We will see its very impressive interior including its windows dating back to 1210 that form the most magnificent collection of medieval stained glass in existence. We also see the cathedral’s south spire, its statuary and its Late Gothic choir screens. Following free time for lunch in Chartres, we continue on to Lisieux, the home to St. Therese, the Carmelite nun known as "The Little Flower” and the Newest Doctor of the Church. Here we will visit the site of the Lisieux family home, Les Buissonnets, and the Carmelite Convent Chapel which contains the remains of St. Therese. Dinner and overnight in Lisieux.

October 17, 2017 - Tuesday


This morning we visit the Basilica of St. Therese and celebrate Mass in its Crypt, where St. Therese's parents are entombed. Following Mass, we drive to the town of Rouen, where in 1431 Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for her Christian beliefs. Though the city was badly damaged in World War II, most of its monuments have been restored. We enjoy a walking tour of Rouen where we will see the large flamboyant Church of Saint Maclou and visit Rouen's Gothic Cathedral and the Tour Jeanne d’Arc, where Joan of Arc was imprisoned in 1430. We also enjoy a visit to the Church of St. Joan of Arc, completed in 1979, built in the Old Market Square where St. Joan was martyred. In the afternoon we drive to Paris and arrive at our hotel for check-in and some time to relax prior to dinner. Following dinner, we enjoy this evening's motor coach tour of the "City of Lights", where we will see many of Paris' landmarks including the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, Luxembourg Palace and Palais Garnier, Paris' beautiful opera house. During our tour we will stop at the Trocadero terrace for a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower. We return to our hotel for overnight in Paris.

October 18, 2017 - Wednesday


This morning we drive to Rue de Bac to visit the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal, where St. Catherine Laboure received her apparitions of Mary. Here we see the incorrupt body of St. Catherine as well as the body of St. Louise de Marillac, who founded the Daughters of Charity with St. Vincent de Paul. Following Mass and a visit to the shrine's gift shop, we walk to the nearby Shrine of St. Vincent de Paul where you can view the saint’s once incorrupt body. Next we arrive at the world famous Louvre Museum to see some of its fine collection of art, including the Mona Lisa. Following dinner at our hotel, we enjoy this evening's cruise on the River Seine. Overnight in Paris.

October 19, 2017 - Thursday


This morning we visit and celebrate Mass at Saint Stephen's Church, one of Paris' "pilgrimage churches", once visited by Pope John Paul II. The church houses the remains of Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. Next we arrive at the Pantheon building for a short walk to the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. Late morning we will arrive for a visit to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, an architectural marvel, which stands on the banks of the Seine on the site of an early Christian basilica. During our visit to the Cathedral, we see the Gallery of the Kings, the beautiful Rose Window and visit the Cathedral's many chapels. While here we enjoy free time for lunch and shopping next to the basilica. We next enjoy some free time for shopping on the Champs-Elysees before driving to Montmartre Hill for a visit to the "Artists Quarter” of Paris. Here we visit the Romanesque and Byzantine Sacre Coeur Basilica situated on top of Montmartre Hill with its wonderful view of Paris. Next we enjoy free time for shopping on Montmartre Hill before this evening's farewell dinner at La Bonne Franquette restaurant. Overnight in Paris.

October 20, 2017 - Friday


This morning we transfer to the airport for our connecting flight home. Though our pilgrimage has come to an end, the blessings of our encounters with the Lord, Our Lady and the saints are certain to strengthen and encourage us throughout our lifelong pilgrimage.



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