Join us as we travel through Germany next fall learning about the history of the Catholic Church and the 16th Century Reformation.
In the fall of 2020, Ken Hensley, Jim Anderson and Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson will be leading a group on pilgrimage to Germany.
We begin our pilgrimage in Trier, one of Germany’s oldest and most beautiful cities, a city boasting eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It also happens to be the city to which the great Athanasius was first exiled in the early 4th century. From there we travel northeast to Fulda at the heart of Catholic Germany, where St. Boniface the “Apostle of Germany” ministered in the 8th century and is buried. After learning about the early history of the Catholic Church in Germany, we will continue east and north to Eisenach, Wartburg Castle, Erfurt, Eisleben, Leipzig and Wittenberg, in former East Germany, studying the life and teaching of Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk and Catholic priest who launched the Protestant Reformation in Germany in the 16th century. We conclude with a stop in Postsdam to tour the summer residence of Frederick the Great and finally to Berlin, where we will spend a day our final day and a half exploring this historic city and preparing for the flight home. We hope to make this pilgrimage an inspirational and educational experience for lifelong Catholics as well as converts and those on the journey toward the Church. Along the way, we will celebrate Mass in some of the most beautiful churches in some of the most beautiful towns in one of the most beautiful countries on earth. 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 beauty and history of our Church up close.
Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, P.A.
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Day 1 – Depart USA
Depart New York (JFK) on overnight flight to Luxembourg.
Day 2 – Arrive in Luxembourg / Trier
Arriving in Luxembourg, we transfer to our hotel in Trier, a short drive from the airport. Check-in and enjoy lunch on your own and the afternoon free to unpack and relax or stroll the streets of this beautiful historic city before beginning our pilgrimage with the celebration of the Mass at the Church of Our Lady and meeting for a Welcome Dinner with the touring team. Overnight in Trier (D)
Day 3 – Trier
After breakfast, we celebrate Mass at the stunning 13th-century Church of Our Lady (Liebfrauenkirche), Germany’s oldest Gothic church and then enjoy a guided tour of one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, known at one point as the “Rome of the North.” Centered around a market square encircled by historic architecture, Trier boasts no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Porta Nigra gate, Constantine’s throne room, the imperial bathhouses, the Roman bridge and the amphitheater. Dinner and overnight in Trier. (B, D)
Day 4 – Trier / Fulda
This morning we depart for Fulda, at the heart of Catholic Germany. A lecture on the life of St. Boniface the great “Apostle of Germany” will be given during the bus ride. After checking into our hotel, enjoy lunch and the afternoon on your own before we celebrate Mass at the Baroque cathedral of Hesse, followed by dinner and overnight in Fulda. (B|D)
Day 5 – Fulda
Today we celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Michael and then enjoy a guided walking tour of this beautiful Catholic city: including the cathedral and the tomb of Boniface, the benedictine monastary founded by St. Sturmius, a disciple of St. Boniface, wherein the seminary and the diocesan museum are seated, the franciscan church Of Our Lady at Frauenberg, St. Blasius church, Holy Spirit church, the Castle Garden, and the Church of St. Lioba, which contains the tomb of St. Lioba and beautiful old frescos. Dinner and overnight in Fulda (B|D).
Day 6 – Eisenach / Wartburg Castle
Drive to Eisenach and celebrate Mass at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. Enjoy a walking tour of Eisenach, the town where Luther lived some years as a boy. Visit the Luther’s House, one of the oldest houses in the city, and also the house where J. S. Bach lived until he was ten. Following lunch on your own, continue the tour with a visit to Wartburg Castle, where Luther spent ten months after the famous Diet of Worms in 1521 where his fate was decided. Here Luther translated his New Testament into his German language. Return to Eisenach for dinner and overnight. (B|D)
Day 7 – Erfurt / Eisleben / Leipzig
Depart for Erfurt to visit the Augustinian monastery where Luther lived as a monk before traveling on to Eisleben, the town where Luther was born in 1483, baptized, preached his last sermon, and died. After lunch in the quaint town square we will celebrate Mass at St. Gerturd’s and visit the museum in the house of Luther’s birth and death. In the late afternoon we depart for the historic city of Leipzig, in the heart of Saxony, where we will check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight. (B|D)
Day 8 – Leipzig
After breakfast and Mass at Holy Trinity, we will enjoy a guided walking tour of Leipzig, including the place where Luther and John Eck conducted their famous debates on papal primacy and ecclesiastical authority, the St. Nicholas Church, and the Church of St. Thomas, where Johann Sebastian Bach spent the last 26 years of his life, serving as choir director and church organist, and where he wrote most of his most famous works. Enjoy the afternoon free to explore the old town of this beautiful historic city. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Leipzig. (B|D)
Day 9 – Wittenberg / Potsdam / Berlin
This morning we drive to Wittenberg, the Cradle of the Reformation, where we will celebrate Mass at Undefiled Conception Catholic Church and then stroll the old town, visiting the Castle Church, where Luther nailed his “95 Theses” on the door, the graves of Martin Luther and his theologian Philip Melanchthon, as well as the Luther House, where he lived with his wife, the former nun Katharina von Bora, and their six children. After lunch we depart for a tour of Potsdam where Churchill, Stalin, and Truman met in 1945 for Potsdam Conference. See the Sanssouci Palace, the summer residence of Frederick the Great. Then on to Berlin to check in to the hotel we will be in the rest of the pilgrimage (B|D).
Day 10 – Berlin
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass at St. Hedwig’s Cathedral followed by a guided city tour of Berlin’s highlights: the Berlin Wall, Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz, and the famous Brandenburg Gate. After lunch on your own, enjoy a free afternoon to stroll Berlin or visit the Pergamon Museum to see some of the world’s most famous treasures, including the Ishtaar Gates of Babylon, the Pergamon Altar of Zeus, the Market Gate of Miletus, and more. Tonight we will enjoy the sights of Berlin on a scenic dinner cruise on the river Spree. Overnight in Berlin. (B|D)
Day 11 – Depart for USA
Check out of the hotel and transfer to airport for return flights to the USA
NOTES: 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.