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Greece and the Islands: In the Footsteps of St. Paul

May 21-June 1, 2019

A 12-day Pilgrimage to Greece and the Islands
With Paulist Fathers Thomas A. Kane and Rich Andre

apostle-73715_1920We are delighted to invite you to join this pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Paul. We look forward to meeting and praying with you along the way!

St. Paul was born in 4 BC in Tarsus and died about 64 CE in Rome. He was one of the leaders of the first generation of Christians, often considered to be the most influential person after Jesus in the history of Christianity. His surviving letters have had enormous influence on Christian development and secure his place as one of the greatest religious preachers and teachers of all time. As we visit Philippi, Corinth and Ephesus, the letters of St. Paul will come alive to us in new and surprising ways.

Who better to explore Pauline sites than two members of the Paulist Fathers? St. Paul, our patron saint, is a key inspiration in our lives and ministry! Fr. Thomas has traveled extensively throughout the world, leading many pilgrimages in Greece and Turkey. His knowledge of art and culture will enhance the spiritual depth of our time together with special prayer services and liturgies. Fr. Rich has journeyed to the Holy Land, bringing scriptural insights and a liturgical enthusiasm to the group.

While we want you to have as meaningful and spiritual journey of faith as possible, we also plan to have fun along the way. We strongly encourage you to register as soon as possible for this special pilgrimage! Space is limited and we usually sell out.

A complete itinerary will be posted when registration opens in late August 2018. Travel Arrangements through Catholic Travel Centre.

Thomas A. Kane, CSP Director, Paulist Pilgrimages
Rich Andre, CSP St. Austin Parish, Austin, TX


Registration

To register: Download the registration and information packet (PDF) by clicking here.

Complete the registration form in the registration packet and mail it to our partner, Catholic Travel Centre, at the address provided at the bottom of the form. A deposit is required at the time of registration.

These pilgrimages typically sell out quickly, so we encourage you to register as early as possible. Full details about the pilgrimage are provided in the registration and information packet.


Itinerary

 

TUESDAY, MAY 21, DAY 1
DEPART THE USA
We depart for Thessaloniki via Vienna, with complimentary meals & beverages served aloft.


pilg-thessalonikiWEDNESDAY, MAY 22, DAY 2
ARRIVE THESSALONIKI
We arrive in Thessaloniki in the mid-afternoon and meet a Catholic Travel Centre representative outside luggage claim. Boarding our waiting motor coach, we transfer to our hotel for check-in. We gather for a pilgrimage orientation meeting before dinner. (D)


THURSDAY, MAY 23, DAY 3
THESSALONIKI: EXCURSION TO PHILIPPI & KAVALA
After breakfast we stop along the way for photos at the Lion statue of Amphipolis before continuing to Philippi, the site where the Apostle Paul came and established a strong church. Later he sent his letter to the community at Philippi. Of all the churches Paul founded, probably none was so near and dear to him as the church at Philippi (Acts 16:9-33). Here we celebrate an outdoor liturgy with the theme of Paul the Letter Writer. Philippi was built by Philip II of Macedonia on the Via Egnatia, the Roman road which ran from Rome to Byzantium. First we see the river where Lydia is thought to have been baptized; following the baptism of Lydia, the first Christian church in Europe was established here. We visit the ruins of the area, including the site commemorating Lydia’s baptism and theruins of a prison where Paul and Silas had been kept. We also seethe Agora, the 5th century Basilica and the Theater. Lunch is on our own. We next visit Kavala, the ancient port of Neapolis (Acts 16:11) before returning to our hotel for dinner. (B, D)


FRIDAY, MAY 24, DAY 4
THESSALONIKI / BEREA / KALAMBAKA / METEORA
After breakfast we check out and travel to Berea. During his second missionary journey, the Apostle Paul visited this city, where he was welcomed. The situation changed when people from Thessalonica arrived in Berea and forced himto leave. Paul returned through the area of Berea during histhird missionary journey, and despite the earlier opposition, many of the Bereans were converted. Sopater, one of Paul’s traveling companions, was from Berea. We stop at the site, where tradition holds the Apostle Paul stood and delivered his sermons. We celebrate an outdoor Liturgy and remember Paul the Preacher. After lunch on our own, we continue on to Kalambaka, situated at the foot of the Meteora Peaks. We visit the Byzantine monasteries of Meteora, perched on a mountain of strangely shaped pinnacles, far removed from the world and its distractions. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the number monasteries grew to twenty-four. The buildings were decorated with frescoes and icons by the great artists of the day. Originally the only access was with very long ladders which could be withdrawn, when not in use, or in a basket or net suspended on ropes wound by a winch. Steps have now been cut in the rock face. We reach the monasteries by climbing the stairs – no ropes for this group! The monasteries are veritable Byzantine museums, exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts, and unique mosaics and frescoes. Afterward we check-in to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (B, D)


athens-acropolis-12044_640SATURDAY, MAY 25, DAY 5
KALAMBAKA / ATHENS
After breakfast and check-out, we board our motor coach to Athens with morning prayer on the coach, stopping en route for lunch. We then tour the sites of Athens, including the Agora, Acropolis, Parthenon, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus. The balance of the day is at leisure with dinner on our own. (B, L)


SUNDAY, MAY 26, DAY 6
ATHENS: EXCURSION TO CORINTH & EPIDAURUS
This morning, we travel to Corinth, once the largest city in the land now known as Greece. Here Paul spent eighteen months, preaching to the Jews and Gentiles. The site overlooks the Acropolis, housing the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite, goddess of love. In Corinth, Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla, and his trial by Gallio took place in the Agora. The community he founded here caused Paul much grief and prompted him to write at least four letters. Here we celebrate an outdoor Liturgy. As we travel to Nauplion, we have lunch on own own and complete our day in Epidaurus, one of world’s best-preserved amphitheaters with remarkable acoustics. After our visit, we return to our hotel for dinner. (B, D)


MONDAY, MAY 27, DAY 7
ATHENS / EMBARK ON CRUISE
After breakfast and check-out, we depart for the port of Piraeus, where we board our waiting ship. Lunch is served on board. Our cruise this afternoon will take us to the island of Mykonos. We celebrate our liturgy today on the ship, remembering the Journeys of Paul. Upon arrival in Mykonos, we are free to explore this picturesque island. Our dinner and overnight are aboard our ship. (B, L, D)


theatreTUESDAY, MAY 28, DAY 8
CRUISE: KUSADASI: VISIT OF EPHESUS / PATMOS
This morning, we dock at Kusadasi, where we board our motor coach for Ephesus. In ancient times, it was the largest city and major harbor on the western coast. Silt in the harbor has today placed the shoreline more than four miles west of the harbor in Roman times. St. Paul founded the Church in Ephesus 53-56 AD. From here, he wrote letters to Galatia, Philippi, and Corinth. On our shore excursion, we visit the great theatre where St. Paul addressed the crowds (Acts 19:29) and the site of the riot from which Paul escaped. We visit the ruins of an early 4th century Christian church with a baptistery and bishop’s residence. This church was named Church of the Virgin Mary and in 431 A.D. the Third Ecumenical Council met here and affirmed Mary as Theotokos, ‘Mother of God.’ Early Christian tradition has identified John the Apostle with Ephesus and affirmed that he wrote his Gospel here. We visit the Basilica of St. John, built by Justinian in the 6th century, which houses the tomb of St. John. Christian tradition has also associated Mary, mother of Jesus, with Ephesus, when at the cross Jesus committed her to the care of ‘the disciple whom He loved (John 19:26). Before returning to the ship, we celebrate our liturgy at the House of Virgin Mary, believed to be the last residence of Mary. The peaceful site is sacred to both Christians and Muslims, and was visited by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. We return to our ship for lunch and continue our journey to Patmos, often called the Jerusalem of the Aegean. It was here that John the Evangelist received the inspiration to write the Apocalypse. On our shore excursion we visit the island of Patmos, including the Monastery of St. John, a huge fortress-like building dating from the 11th century, and the grotto where tradition says that John wrote the Book of Revelation. Back on board our ship, dinner is served. (B, L, D)


WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, DAY 9
CRUISE: RHODES
We arrive in Rhodes this morning, with time to explore the island and its charm. The island is sometimes referred to as the Island of the Knights of St. John, who built the medieval town, now a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site. Today we visit the Old Town and the town of Lindos, with its Acropolis. We have a short prayer service overlooking the Bay of St. Paul and remember his missionary journeys. (B, L, D)


crete-1676057_640THURSDAY, MAY 30, DAY 10
CRUISE: CRETE / SANTORINI
Early this morning we arrive in Crete and ancient Heraklion, where we explore the area on our own. Later we continue to the port of Santorini, one of the most dramatic and magical of the Greek Isles. We have time to explore this scenic town as well on our own. Dinner is served on board. (B, L, D)


FRIDAY, MAY 31, DAY 11
DISEMBARK IN ATHENS, NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM & LEISURE
We arrive in port and disembark early this morning. After breakfast, we travel to Athens. We visit the National Archaeological Museum, followed by our closing Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Denis Cathedral and a farewell festive lunch. After we check-in at our hotel, the balance of the day is at leisure to explore on our own and prepare for our journey home. (B, L)


SATURDAY, JUNE 1, DAY 12
RETURN TO THE USA
This morning we transfer to the Athens airport for our return flight to the USA. (B)

Pricing

Cash discount price:

FULL PACKAGE: $4,699 From Newark (EWR) plus cruise taxes of $176 plus tips of $175.
LAND ONLY PACKAGE: $3,699 plus cruise taxes of $176 plus tips of $175.

Credit card price:

FULL PACKAGE: $4,988 From Newark (EWR) plus cruise taxes of $176 plus tips of $175.
LAND ONLY PACKAGE: $3,988 plus cruise taxes of $176 plus tips of $175.

Single supplement: $995

Complete details, including a description of everything included in the price, is provided in the registration and information packet.

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact Fr. Thomas Kane, CSP at pilgrimages@paulist.org.