2018 Pilgrimages Accepting Participants

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

The Hungarian Parliament Building, a notable landmark of Hungary.

A variety of trips to areas of the world significant to the Franciscan heritage and to religious history, in general, are planned for 2018. Organizers welcome all to participate in these educational journeys to cities in Europe as well as to the Holy Land – and they recommend registering soon.

Three of the trips are organized by HNP parishes and others are being offered by the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land.

This spring, St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., is offering a cruise hosted by Gonzalo Torres, OFM, to Scandinavia and Russia from May 9 to 21. The trip includes stops in Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholm, Sweden. According to the parish bulletin, the tour cost includes round-trip air from Newark Airport, taxes, a first-class hotel in Copenhagen with breakfast plus a city tour, and transfers between the airport, hotel, and pier. Information is available through St. Mary’s Parish at 973-835-0374.

In the fall, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Brant Beach, N.J., is offering a trip to Egypt. According to the Jan. 21 bulletin, the Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 trip will include visits to the pyramids of Giza. During the trip, participants will “stand in awe before the power and ambition of an inspiring civilization. In this legendary place, explore thousands of years of history while experiencing a thriving culture. Look to the past and keep an eye on the future – the great monuments reveal something different to each traveler. Discover the world of the ancient Egyptians as you visit one incomparable site after another.”  Those interested are encouraged to contact HomeTown Travel and register by Feb. 28. The parish is also preparing for a 2019 trip to Germany to see the next Passion Play in the tiny Bavarian hamlet of Oberammergau, a performance that is given every 10 years. Information about the trips is available through HomeTown Travel at 609- 597-5100.

In November, Andrew Reitz, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City, will lead a 12-day pilgrimage to several cities in Poland as well as to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. “All are beautiful cities with much to see and experience,” said Andrew. “The cost is $2,899, which includes airfare, hotels, most meals, a tour director, transportation and more.” Information about the Nov. 5 to 16 trip is available from Andrew at areitz@stfancisnyc.org. He encourages people interested in the trip to sign up by May 1.

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, located in Washington, D.C., is offering travel opportunities through more than a dozen pilgrimages, to Italy, the Holy Land and other historic places. Information is available at MyFranciscan.org and at 443-832-0350. The mission of the pilgrimages is to support Christians in the Holy Land, according to Fr. David Wathen, OFM, director of the Franciscan Monastery Pilgrimage Office. An essay describing a Holy Land trip taken last Easter is available on the Monastery’s blog.

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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