06 June 2007

A brazen advertisement

Would you like to join us for eight inspiring days in beautiful Rome, Pompeii and Assisi? Our pilgrimage leaves on September 24th, and we have a wonderful itinerary planned, including daily Mass, an opportunity to attend the Papal Audience, and visits to some of the holiest shrines of our Catholic faith. In Rome we will be meeting other pilgrims from the various Anglican Use communities, and we will be celebrating Solemn Evensong and the Mass in some of the most magnificent basilicas in the world.

If you have any questions or would like to make your reservation, please contact Deacon Orr by e-mail at DnJames@atonementonline.com, or call him at the parish office, (210) 695-2944.

Here is the proposed itinerary:

Mon. Sept. 24 – Depart San Antonio for Rome, via Atlanta on Delta Airlines. The flight departure will be at approximately noon.

Tuesday, Sept. 25 – ROME. Arrive Leonardo da Vinci Airport and transfer to hotel in morning (Approx. 9:00 a.m. local time). After lunch, visit the 4th Century Basilica of San Clemente, with underground tour of 2nd Century A.D. old San Clemente church & crypt, and then down 60 feet to the 2nd Century B.C. Roman street and intact buildings. Then, on to Cathedral of Rome: St. John Lateran. The old section of the Lateran Basilica was originally a palace and was given to the Church by the Emperor Constantine (early 4th C.). Then, we’ll see the Scala Santa, wooden covered stairs over the original stone stairs brought from the Holy Land –said to be the very steps our Lord walked upon. We will have Mass at one of the Basilicas, then walk to the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Our English word “palace” comes from “Palatine,” because the homes of the emperors here set the standard for large dwelling places! Here, we will have inside access to view the arena as the ancient Romans. Visit the near-by Arch of Constantine, built to commemorate his victories. Next, we will walk to the Roman Forum and see the remaining structures of Imperial Rome and the massive archaeological site there. We will also visit the Mamertine Prison on the Capitoline Hill, where St. Paul and St. Peter were imprisoned while awaiting execution. Then, on to visit the historic Town Hall Piazza, and the famous Piazza Venetia, where Mussolini gave all his speeches. The largest monument in Europe is in this plaza -- Victor Emmanuel Monument, dedicated to the first king of Italy and the unknown soldier. Dinner at the hotel.

Wednesday, Sept. 26 -- VATICAN CITY. (Morning) Papal Audience with Pope Benedict XVI. We will board a bus very early for this trip to the Vatican. Here we will see the many faces of the world-wide Catholic Church. We hope to meet up with the clergy and pilgrims from the other Anglican Use group. After lunch, we’ll visit the largest church in the world dedicated to St. Paul, outside the city walls, built on the site of Paul’s martyrdom. We will celebrate Mass at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls with the other members of the Anglican Use tour and Archbishop Myers. This church is “new” (19th century), and was built with lavish donations from all over the world after the old St. Paul’s burned down. Among the many treasures here are two matching altars made of precious malachite – a gift from a Russian Czar. Then, we will visit the Catacombs – the ancient Christian burial place – before returning to our hotel for dinner. After dinner, we will walk to the Piazza Navona for some tasty gelato (the Italian version of ice cream) and a view of the Bernini fountain of the Four Rivers of the World. Here, Roman nightlife comes alive.

Thursday, Sept. 27 – VATICAN CITY/ROME. Early bus trip to visit the world-famous Vatican Museum and Art Gallery, where we will view priceless works from the Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman cultures. We will tour the Raphael Rooms, where the works of the magnificent Florentine masters are on display, as well as the tapestry gallery and map gallery; ending with a view of the Sistine Chapel, now brilliantly restored as Michelangelo painted it. Next, we will tour the largest church in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica & extensive underground, where we will visit the new tomb of John Paul II. We’ll also see Michelangelo’s Pietá, and the fabulous mosaics and great treasure of Bernini and others. We can also visit the Vatican gift shop and Post Office to send postcards back home. In the late afternoon, we join Archbishop Myers and other clergy for Solemn Choral Evensong at the Basilica of St. Mary Major where the Academy Choir will sing. St. Mary Major Basilica, whose gold ceiling came from the Americas, is one of the largest churches in the world dedicated to our Lady. We will conclude the day with Mass. Bring your coins, because after dinner, we will walk to the Trevi Fountain (of Three Coins in a Fountain fame), and the Spanish Steps, beautifully illuminated at night and alive with Italian society.

Friday, Sept. 28 – VATICAN CITY/ROME. Early bus trip to St. Peter’s Basilica where Cardinal Levada will offer the Anglican Use Mass at the Altar of the Chair, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Vatican’s approval of our liturgy. Many other dignitaries will be in attendance and the Academy Choir will sing for the Mass – a distinctive honor to sing at St. Peter’s! The afternoon is free for shopping in the area along Borgo Pio near St. Peter’s, or for a climb to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica for a view of the city. We will meet at some point to walk over the Tiber River and see Hadrian’s Castle in the distance. If time will allow, we will walk to the Pantheon, an architectural Roman masterpiece, now dedicated to St. Mary of the Holy Martyrs. We’ll also stop at the Chiesa del Gesú, the Mother Church of the Jesuit Order – a gold & baroque wonder. We may visit the mother church of the Oratorians of St. Philip Neri: Chiesa Nuevo (New St. Mary’s) and St. Andre de Valle (St. Andrew) along the Victor Emmanuel. Dinner at hotel concludes our day.

Saturday, Sept. 29 – POMPEII/SORRENTO. Early departure 144 km south of Rome to the ancient city Pompeii, a ruined Roman city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania. It was destroyed during a catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius on 24 August 79 AD. The volcano buried the city under many meters of ash and it was lost for 1,600 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, it is one of Italy’s leading tourist attractions and is a World Heritage Site. We’ll visit the Bay of Naples, Our Lady of Pompeii and the area near Sorrento along the world-famous Amalfi coast, where dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery complete our exciting day. (Approximate drive time is 2.5 hours). Dinner back at the hotel in Rome.

Sunday, Sept. 30 - ASSISI. We depart by motor coach to the town of Assisi in the Umbrian countryside. (Approximate drive time is 3.5 hours). In Assisi, we’ll visit the three Patriarchal Basilicas of St. Mary of the Angels and Portiuncula, (in the valley), and in the upper walled town, St. Clare, and St. Francis. Assisi was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order here in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Clares. The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi (St Francis) is a World Heritage Site. The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, and the lower and upper church (Basilica inferiore e superiore) of St Francis were begun immediately after his canonization in 1228, and completed 1253. The lower church has frescos by renowned late-medieval artists Cimabue and Giotto; in the Upper church are frescos of scenes in the life of St Francis by Giotto and his circle.

Monday, Oct. 1 – ASSISI/ROME. Mass in Assisi. We will enjoy the cobblestone streets of Assisi and the many shops which line the narrow avenues. Many of the buildings have been beautifully restored following the devastating earthquake of 1997. Mass at one of the churches. Arrive back in Rome in the evening. Dinner and overnight in Rome and preparation for our return flight home.

Tuesday, Oct. 2 – Depart for San Antonio via Atlanta. We will arrival in San Antonio this evening concluding our pilgrimage of faith to Italy.

COST IS $2,595.00 PER PERSON FROM SAN ANTONIO * PRICE WILL INCLUDE: ROUNDTRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM SAN ANTONIO TO ROME * FIRST CLASS HOTELS IN ROME AND ASSISI, DOUBLE OCCUPANCY. * [SINGLE SUPPLEMENT WILL BE $40.00 PER PERSON PER DAY]. * TWO MEALS PER DAY, BREAKFAST AND DINNER. * ALL TOURS, MUSEUM FEES, AND TRANSFER FEES. * PAPAL AUDIENCE. * TOUR ESCORT. * AIRPORT TAXES. (THESE TAXES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE). * TIPPING NOT INCLUDED. (Everyone will contribute $120 each for the tips which will be handled through the tour group leader).