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Coming Home Network International

“Deep in History”

Pilgrimage to Venice, Florence, Assisi and Rome

September 2-13, 2024

Join us as we travel through Italy, experiencing the beauty and exploring the history of the Catholic Church.

In the fall of 2024, Ken Hensley, Kenny Burchard, and Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson will be leading a group on pilgrimage through Italy.

This is a “Deep in History” pilgrimage. Yes, we will experience the beauty of Italy, its landscape, art, and architecture. We will explore some of the great cities of Italy, including Venice, Florence, Assisi, and Rome. But behind all of this will be a focus on the truth, history, and beauty of the Catholic Church. We will pray and celebrate Mass in some of the most beautiful churches in the world. We will learn about some of the great saints of our faith. All three leaders of this pilgrimage, being converts to the Catholic Church with decades of experience behind them as ordained Protestant clergy, bring to their teaching the excitement of those who have found a great treasure hidden in a field and sold everything to buy that field. Please consider joining us! It will be a wonderful time for us to share our stories and forge life-long friendships as we experience the power of walking where Jesus walked and learning about his life up close.

Ken Hensley

Director of Pastoral Care, CHNetwork

Kenny Burchard

Director of Development, CHNetwork

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson

Professor of Church History and CHNetwork Board Member

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Pilgrimage Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart USA

We depart USA on overnight flight to Venice, Italy, enjoying dinner and breakfast served aboard flight.

Day 2 – Arrive in Venice 

Arrive at Venice Airport where we are met by our tour escort and awaiting motor coach for transfer to our hotel in Venice. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel (D)

Day 3 – Venice 

After breakfast, board your private motor launch to the main island of Venice for a walking tour beginning at Piazza San Marco, the most famous landmark of the island. Sites visited will include the Doges Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, San Marco Basilica (where we will celebrate Mass), and the Rialto. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the many shops or streets on your own. You may wish to experience a gondola ride along the famous canals of Venice this afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Venice. (B,D)

Day 4 – Venice | Padua | Florence

Drive to Padua to visit the Basilica of St. Anthony and the Scrovegni Chapel, (if reservations can be confirmed). Pray at the Tomb of St. Anthony followed by Mass in a side chapel of this Basilica. Continue to Florence, the jewel of renaissance Art and former stronghold of the infamous Medici family. Overnight in Florence. (B,D)

Day 5 – Florence

On your city tour, see Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry of St. John with Ghiberti’s bronze “Gates of Paradise” doors, and visit the Academy, where Michelangelo’s famous statue of David stands. No visit is complete without a visit to the massive Duomo which dominates the skyline and is an architectural marvel. Dinner and overnight in Florence. (B,D)

Day 6 – Florence | Sienna | Assisi 

Today we head south to visit the home of St. Catherine of Sienna, a Doctor of the Church. We will have a city tour on foot to visit the famous Piazza del Campo and then transfer to the Sanctuary, Birthplace of St. Catherine. A visit to the spectacular Cathedral is included before we head for Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. Check in at Hotel and enjoy dinner and overnight in Assisi. (B,D)

Day 7 – Assisi

After breakfast, we will participate in a guided tour of Assisi, including the stunning Basilica of St Francis, the Church of Santa Chiara (which houses her incorrupt body), and the towering Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, built over St. Francis’ special chapel, the Porziuncola. After lunch, we will celebrate Holy Mass at the Church of San Damiano, where Christ miraculously spoke from the Crucifix to St. Francis instructing him to “rebuild my Church.” Late afternoon and evening are free to explore the many winding streets filled with shops and cafes. Dinner and overnight in Assisi. (B,D).

Day 8 – Assisi | Rome

After breakfast and Mass, depart for the Eternal City. After checking into our hotel we will enjoy an afternoon city tour of Rome with dinner and the evening free to explore on our own. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (B.D)

Day 9 – Rome

This morning we will celebrate Mass at Santa Cecelia in Trastevere and spend the day touring ancient Rome to learn about the Roman context within which the Catholic Church was born and saw its early expansion. This will include visits to Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus, Colosseum, and the Arches of Titus and Constantine. Last of all we will explore the Church of San Clemente, with excavations dating back to the earliest history of the Church. (B, D).

Day 10 – Rome

Morning visit and tours of St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs), and the Catacombs, where our group may celebrate Mass. In the afternoon, we visit the catacombs and the Church of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (B,D)

Day 11 – Rome

After breakfast, we will enjoy a tour of St Peter’s Basilica, exploring the main Church and also the crypt below. Mass will be celebrated at the Central Altar in the crypt which faces the confession. In the afternoon, free time for strolling and shopping. After dinner, an optional night walking tour of Rome will be offered, including the Piazza Navona, Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain (B, D).

Day 12 – Depart for USA

After breakfast, we depart for the Rome Airport for our return flight home. (B)

NOTE:  While no changes to this itinerary are anticipated, alterations may become necessary due to pending schedule confirmations, and/or, due to changes beyond our control.

Cost including airfare from EWR:

To be announced soon!