Pilgrimage to France
Toulouse, Carcassonne, Avignon, Lyon, Ars, Paray le Monial, Nevers, Chartres,
Lisieux, Rouen & Paris
Under the spiritual
direction of Father Cary Bani
10, 2017 - Tuesday
FRANCISVILLE / NEW ORLEANS
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
PARIS / LOURDES
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
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.
13, 2017 - Friday
/ TOULOUSE / CARCASSONNE
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
CARCASSONNE / AVIGNON / LYON
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
LYON / ARS / PARAY le MONIAL / NEVERS
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
NEVERS / CHARTRES / LISIEUX
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.
17, 2017 - Tuesday
/ ROUEN / PARIS
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
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
October 20, 2017 - Friday
PARIS / NEW ORLEANS / ST. FRANCISVILLE
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.