12 Days: An Ecumenical Journey to Rome & Canterbury

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DAY 1: DEPART USA

We depart USA en route to London with complimentary beverages and meals served aloft.

DAY 2: ARRIVE LONDON / TRANSFER TO FLIGHT TO ROME

We arrive in London and we transfer to our connecting flight to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome, we are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative, who will accompany us throughout our journey in Rome. We enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of the city while our rooms are prepared at the hotel. After check-in, we gather later this evening for dinner. (D)

DAY 3: ROME: VISIT ANGLICAN CENTRE & SANTA SUSANNA

Today we visit the Anglican Center in Rome for lecture, reception, and lunch. The remainder of the day is at our leisure to stroll around the city and take in the sights. Later today, we enjoy an evening lecture at Santa Susanna in Rome, the Roman Catholic parish for English-speaking visitors. A special reception is planned in our honor. (B, D)

DAY 4: ROME: VATICAN MEETINGS & SAN EGIDIO COMMUNITY

This morning we will visit the Scavi Excavations beneath the Basilica of St. Peter, telling the early and little known history of this site (always subject to reconfirmation 48 hours prior to visit). Afterwards, we take some time to visit the Basilica of St. Peter with our local guide. We will visit the Ecumenical Offices, followed by lunch on our own. We may have the opportunity to visit with Cardinal Kasper (subject to his schedule). The balance of the afternoon is at our leisure.

This evening we join in prayer at the Community of San Egidio (ecumenical community that sponsors the World Day of Prayer for Peace). The Church is located in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome. Later, we will enjoy dinner as a group at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 5: ROME: SAN GREGORIO & PRIVATE VATICAN MUSEUM VISIT

Today we visit the Monastery of San Gregorio in Rome, presently the motherhouse of the Missionaries of Charity. This is the monastery where Gregory the Great lived, and as Pope, he sent St. Augustine to evangelize Britain (who became Augustine of Canterbury). Gregory’s stone throne remains to this day in a side chapel. We will celebrate a prayer service here. Following this visit, we will see St. Paul’s Inside the Walls (the American Episcopal Church in Rome) and St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, housing the tomb of St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles.

This afternoon is at our leisure. Later, we enjoy a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, featuring some of Michelangelo’s greatest works. Dinner is on our own this evening. (B)

DAY 6: ROME: DAY AT LEISURE

Today is entirely at leisure in Rome. Some of our group may wish to make a trip to Assisi on their own. Dinner is on our own. (B)

DAY 7: ROME / LONDON / CANTERBURY

This morning we depart Rome and fly to London. Upon arrival, we transfer by motor coach to Canterbury. The rest of our day is spent at leisure; either to rest or take in some sights on our own. (B, D)

DAY 8: CANTERBURY

Canterbury’s history began when Augustine arrived from Rome in 597, sent by Pope Gregory the Great. In 598, he established a Benedictine monastery that became the burial place of the Kings and Archbishops. St. Thomas a Beckett was martyred in the cathedral by the Knights of Henry II in 1170 and three years later was canonized. We enjoy a tour of the Cathedral, followed by some time at leisure. This evening we will participate in the Stations of St. Thomas Becket, ending at Canterbury Cathedral. Dinner is as a group this evening. (B, D)

DAY 9: CANTERBURY / EVENING TRANSFER TO LONDON

We take some leisure time in Canterbury, then this afternoon we make our way to London for a panoramic sightseeing tour of the city. Dinner is on our own. (B)

DAY 10: LONDON: VISIT OF CITY

Today we visit Westminster Abbey and Cathedral. The Abbey is half national church, half national museum. Its aisles are crammed with an extraordinary collection of tombs and monuments honoring some of Britain’s greatest politicians and poets. The thousand year-old coronation tradition began here with the crowning of William the Conqueror. We move on to Westminster Cathedral. It is known for its exquisitely carved walls and gold wrought iron screens.

We will try to meet with Cardinal Cormack-Murphy O’Connor (upon availability). After lunch, we will meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury (or representative) at Lambeth Palace (upon availability). The Palace, known as the official residence and headquarters of the Archbishop of Canterbury, houses the most complete collection of books and manuscripts relating to the Church of England. Historically significant are the Chapel, the Guard Room and the Picture Gallery.

Tonight we join in an evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Built by Sir Christopher Wren, it replaced the earlier Gothic structure that had stood there since the Middle Ages. Known as the greatest landmark on the London skyline, the Cathedral houses many large and elaborate memorials, including one for 28,000 Americans who perished during active duty in Britain. Watch what you say in the Whispering Gallery, for someone might hear you, 112 feet away! Dinner is on our own. (B)

DAY 11: LONDON: DAY AT LEISURE

Today is entirely at leisure in London. Tonight we gather for dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 12: RETURN USA

We transfer to the London airport for our return flight to the USA. (B)

NOTE: While no changes are anticipated, there might be occasions when certain alterations become necessary to this itinerary due to changes in airline schedules or for other reasons. All Masses are subject to final church schedules.