England Sample itineraries 

What You Can Experience on a Catholic Tour of Ireland

 

The "Emerald Isle" offers spectacular beauty and a rich cultural history. Explore this spectacular island and follow in the footsteps of St. Patrick, the Patron saint of Ireland and among the first missionaries to spread the Christian faith here during the 5th Century. This inspirational journey also includes visits to experience some of Ireland's most dramatic scenery, perfect settings for peaceful prayer and reflection.

9-Days: In the Footsteps of St. Thomas Moore

 

DAY 1: DEPART USA

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

 

DAY 2: ARRIVE LONDON

Upon arrival in London we will be met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative who will escort us throughout our tour. We will enjoy a panoramic city tour en route to our hotel. Dinner is at our accommodations this evening. (D)

 

DAY 3: LONDON: VISIT OF ST. THOMAS MORE SITES & ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL

This morning we will visit Milk Street, a prosperous residential area, where Thomas More was born on February 7, 1478. We will see the plaque commemorating his birthplace (exact location unknown). St. Lawrence Jewry was the family parish church and where Thomas More lectured as a young lawyer on Augustine’s City of God. We will enjoy a tour of the Guildhall (a beautiful structure, where the crypt has a fine stained glass window of More). More served as under sheriff at the Guildhall, advising the sheriff and the mayor on legal issues arising from their dealings with Londoners from all trades and walks of life. He was also a member of the Mercer’s Guild which met regularly at the Guildhall.
While studying law at Charterhouse, More attached himself to the strict Carthusian Monastery to receive spiritual guidance. We visit Lincoln’s Inn, one of the oldest and best law schools in England, and where Thomas More actively participated as a student, lecturer and then governing officer. A statue of Thomas More is situated over the More Gate entrance to Lincoln’s Inn and he is honored in the Old Hall’s stained glass windows.

We visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, where Thomas More’s good friend and spiritual advisor, Fr. John Colet, was rector. We see Blackfriars, where, in 1523, Thomas More served as speaker of the House of Commons. In his opening address he argued for “Freedom of Speech”, the first such argument ever recorded.

This evening we have dinner at a local London restaurant and we attend a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre tonight. Thomas More was a major influence on Shakespeare. (B, D)

 

DAY 4: LONDON: FULL DAY EXCURSION TO WINDSOR CASTLE, RUNNYMEDE & HAMPTON COURT

This morning we visit Windsor Castle, built by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. It was here that Thomas More served at Henry VIII’s court. Henry VIII completed St. George’s Chapel in 1528 and was later buried there. King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 at the large meadow (“mede”) close to Windsor Castle, and Thomas More referred at his trial to the first clause of the Magna Carta, which states, “The English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired”.
Hampton Court was built by the Archbishop of York, Thomas Wolsey, and then confiscated by King Henry VIII. Thomas More often visited Hampton Court to do business with both Wolsey and Henry VIII. The movie “A Man for All Seasons” opens here. We return to London for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

 

DAY 5: LAMBETH PALACE, CHELSEA, CROSBY HALL & TOWER OF LONDON

This morning we visit Lambeth Palace where Thomas More served as a page to the Archbishop and Lord Chancellor Morton. It was here he learned of the dealings of England’s greatest leaders, and probably where he delivered a comic poem he wrote in honor of his father becoming a sergeant at law and his grandfather becoming Sheriff of London. It is also where he was interrogated by Bishop Thomas Cranmer, Thomas Cromwell, Sir Thomas Audley and Abbot William Benson, prior to his imprisonment at the Tower of London.
When Thomas More lived in Chelsea, he attended Chelsea Old Church and rebuilt the side chapel in 1528. An engraved copy of Thomas More’s epitaph is on the wall of the church sanctuary. The Great Crosby Hall was built in 1466 in the heart of Bishop’s Gate, London by Sir. John Crosby. Thomas More bought the lease to his grand home in 1523. In 1910, the Hall was moved to Chelsea and restored. The Chelsea Old Library on King’s Road owns two important works of art, “A Portrait of Sir Thomas More with his Family and Household”, attributed to Rowland Lockey, and an 1895 bronze statuette of Thomas More by Ludwig Cauer.

We continue to the Tower of London where Thomas More was imprisoned in the Bell Tower for more than a year for refusing to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. He was found guilty of treason and beheaded on Tower Hill. His final words were, “The King’s good servant, but God’s First”. Thomas More is buried in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula. We will visit Tower Hill and see the site of Thomas More’s execution, which is marked by a plaque. Our last stop today is All Hallows Church where Thomas More made many pilgrimages on foot to visit the famous Marian Shrine. (B, D)

 

DAY 6: LONDON: EXCURSION TO OXFORD

We board our motor coach and travel to Oxford where Thomas More studied for two years. He was sent to Oxford by Archbishop and Lord Chancellor Morton and he attended Canterbury College, now known as Christ College. We will see the stained glass window of More to the left of the High Table when approaching from the entrance of the magnificent dining hall of Christ Church. Thomas More also served as high Steward of Oxford in 1518 and he wrote a letter defending Greek studies at Oxford. After our visit at Oxford and some free time to explore on our own or shop, we return to London for dinner and the evening. (B, D)

 

DAY 7: LONDON: EXCURSION TO CANTERBURY

This morning we drive out of London and through the Kentish countryside to Canterbury, the most important ancient city in England and traditional home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1170 Thomas Beckett was murdered in his own Canterbury Cathedral by the Knights of Henry II. He was canonized shortly after and for centuries pilgrims have flocked to his shrine. Thomas More considered it significant that he would die on the eve of that saint’s feast. It is believed that More was named after Thomas Becket. The shrine of Thomas Becket was destroyed by Henry VIII, three years after More’s execution.

We will see where Thomas More’s eldest daughter Meg and her husband William Roper lived, opposite St. Dunstan’s Church. The Roper family vault is where Thomas More’s head is buried. His daughter retrieved it after it was displayed on Tower Bridge. We will also see the fine medieval walls of the city before returning to London for the evening. Tonight, dinner is on our own. (B)

 

DAY 8: LONDON: HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, WESTMINSTER & NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

This morning we will see the Houses of Parliament and see More’s coat of arms in the House of Commons. We will visit the impressive Westminster Abbey. Thomas More served in parliament in 1504, which met in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey. We will also visit Westminster Hall where both More and his father practiced law. We will see the plaque which marks the spot where Thomas More was tried for treason on July 1, 1535. We will also visit Westminster Cathedral, the Catholic Cathedral of London.
At the National Portrait Gallery we will see magnificent portraits of the More family, Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and more.

We have some time this afternoon at leisure to explore England’s exciting capital on our own. Tonight we gather for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

 

DAY 9: 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.

12-Days: A Benedictine Journey to England

 

DAY 1: DEPART USA

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

 

DAY 2: ARRIVE LONDON

We arrive in London and are met by our Catholic Travel Centre tour manager, who will accompany us throughout our stay in the United Kingdom. We will take some time viewing the city while our rooms are prepared at our hotel. After check-in, the balance of the evening is at leisure.

 

DAY 3: LONDON: EXCURSION TO CANTERBURY

This morning after breakfast, we drive out of London and through the Kentish countryside to Canterbury, the most important ancient city in England and traditional home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1170, Thomas a Beckett was murdered in his own cathedral by the Knights of Henry II; he was canonized shortly after and for centuries pilgrims have flocked to his shrine. As well as a detailed visit to the Cathedral, we will also see the fine medieval walls of the city before returning to London for the evening. (B)

 

DAY 4: LONDON / NORWICH / PETERBOROUGH

After breakfast we depart for Norwich. Our visit begins at the Cathedral with its magnificent cloisters and the cell of Dame Julian, the great 14th century mystic. We also see some of the wonderful old and interesting buildings and gabled houses with their crooked timbers and color-washed plasterwork. Next we visit Peterborough, an ancient city of Saxon origin. We visit the Norman Cathedral of St. Peter, destroyed in 870 and rebuilt as a Benedictine foundation in 972. The present Cathedral was built by the Normans between 1118 and 1238. Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, is buried in the north isle of the presbytery. Overnight is in Peterborough. (B)

 

DAY 5: PETERBOROUGH / OXFORD: VISIT OF TOWN

After breakfast this morning we travel to Oxford, “city of dreaming spires”, centre of scholarship for over 1000 years. We visit the ancient university and hear about its history and traditions. Although there is no clear date

of foundation, Oxford is the oldest English speaking university in the world, with teaching known to exist in 1096, and today Oxford has achieved eminence above every other seat of learning. Overnight is in Oxford. (B)

 

DAY 6: OXFORD / WORCESTER / GLOUCESTER / STRATFORD

After breakfast we board our motor coach for Worcester and Stanbrook Abbey. The Abbey, founded in 1625 by nine young English women and led by the great great granddaughter of St. Thomas More, is dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation. The Abbey nuns survived imprisoment during the French Revolution and a permanent home was found at Stanbrook in 1838.

Next we travel to Gloucester and Prinknash Abbey situated on the edge of the Cotswolds. For nearly nine hundred years the land known as Prinknash Park has been associated with Benedictine monks. In 1096 the Giffard family, who had come to England with William the Conqueror, made a gift of the land to Serlo, Abbot of St. Peter’s, Gloucester. A large part of the present building was constructed around the year 1520.
This afternoon we travel to Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. Upon arrival, your guide will take you on an informative tour of the main sights, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Your tour will include visits to Shakespeare’s birthplace, where Shakespeare was born in 1564. The home allows you to re-enter the Tudor world. This evening there is an optional theatre performance. Overnight is in Stratford. (B)

 

DAY 7: STRATFORD / BATH / LEISURE

This morning, after breakfast, we visit Downside Monastery in the beautiful Georgian town of Bath. Monks from the monastery of St. Gregory’s, Douai came to Downside in 1814. The Monastery was completed in 1876 and the Abbey Church in 1925. Some of the community are employed outside the Monastery with parish work, as well as the school for boys connected with the Monastery. We continue with a city tour of Bath, including the ancient Roman baths. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure to shop and explore this historic town. Overnight is in Bath (B)

 

DAY 8: BATH / GLASTONBURY / SALISBURY

After breakfast we travel to Glastonbury Abbey, traditionally the oldest above-ground Christian church in the world. Beginning in the 7th Century and surviving invasions, fire and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the Abbey today continues as a living church. Next we visit Salisbury Cathedral, one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Britain. Built “For the Glory of God and as a sign of His Kingdom in the World”, the Cathedral has been a majestic and awe-inspiring church for over 775 years. Our evening is in Salisbury. (B)

DAY 9: SALISBURY: EXCURSION TO WINCHESTER / STONEHENGE

Today, after breakfast, we board our motor coach for an excursion to Winchester Cathedral. One of the largest cathedrals in England, Winchester is part of a former monastic settlement originally founded by the Benedictines in 642. Elements of the monastic buildings may still be traced throughout the Cathedral Close.

This afternoon we cross the Salisbury Plain to Stonehenge to visit the ancient monoliths placed in position nearly 2000 years before the birth of Christ and which were once used to calculate the eclipses and equinoxes. We return to Salisbury for the evening. (B)

 

DAY 10: SALISBURY / LONDON

Today we return to London, stopping first at St. Alban’s Cathedral. St. Alban was Britain’s first Christian martyr and worship has continued at the site of his execution for over 1700 years. A Benedictine monastery was founded here in 793. The present Abbey Church was begun in 1077, using bricks from the nearby ruined Roman city of Verulamium. The balance of the afternoon is at leisure in London. Overnight in London (B)

 

DAY 11: LONDON: LEISURE DAY

After breakfast, today is at leisure in England’s exciting capital, for exploring on our own or last minute shopping. Tonight we gather for a farewell 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.

 

13-Days: A Journey to England & Scotland

 

DAY 1: DEPART USA

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

 

DAY 2: ARRIVE GLASGOW / EDINBURGH

Upon our arrival in Glasgow we are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative and enjoy an orientation tour of Glasgow, a city rich in history, steeped in culture and alive with its own unique character. We will see many points of interest including the University, Victoria Park and the Botanic Gardens, Mungo’s Cathedral and Provand’s Lordship, which is the oldest house in the city and reputedly built in 1471. We then drive the short distance to Edinburgh, Scotland’s exciting capital city, for a Welcome Dinner and overnight. (D)

DAY 3: EDINBURGH: VISIT OF THE CITY

Our morning sightseeing tour of this charming city will include a visit to Edinburgh Castle which commands a strategic position on Castlerock, overlooking the city, and dominates the skyline. We also visit the Palace of Holyrood House, the Queen’s home while in Edinburgh, and St. Giles Cathedral with its famous Thistle Chapel. See the Scott Monument, prestigious Edinburgh University, Greyfriars and the Mound. The afternoon is at leisure for independent activities. Tonight we enjoy a Scottish evening, with dinner and entertainment. (B, D)

 

DAY 4: EDINBURGH / PETERBOROUGH / WALSINGHAM AREA

This morning we transfer to Edinburgh station where we board our train for a 9:30 am departure to Peterborough, arriving at 1:00 pm. We board our motor coach and drive to Walsingham, known as England’s Nazareth. We visit the remnants of the former priory and its church; today there is once more a place of pilgrimage with an Anglican shrine Church built in 1931. A few miles away Roman Catholics consecrated the Slipper Chapel in a 14th century building, taking it’s name from the age old custom of removing one’s shoes a mile or so before reaching the Shrine. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in the area. (B, D)

 

DAY 5: WALSINGHAM AREA / ELY / CAMBRIDGE / LONDON

We depart the Walsingham area and drive through rural Norfolk intothe county of Cambridgeshire. In Ely we stop to visit the magnificent Cathedral. In 673 St. Etheldreda, Queen of Northumbria, founded a monastery in the center of the Fens on the Isle of Ely where she was Abbess until her death in 679. Some 400 years later, in 1081, work on the present building was begun under the guidance of Abbott Simeon. It was completed in 1189 and the Cathedral now stands as a remarkable example of Romanesque architecture. We then drive to the world famous university town of Cambridge with its stately colleges and the River Cam. Our walking tour will introduce us to the University and we will be able to watch as the lazy punts glide down the river, visit Kings College (if open) and view some of the other colleges and their gorgeous gardens as well as “The Backs”. We then drive swiftly to England’s exciting capital city of London for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

 

DAY 6: LONDON: VISIT OF THE CITY

We start our morning with Mass at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart & Tyburn Martyrs in Hyde Park Place. We then continue with our morning city sightseeing tour which will include Mayfair, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard ceremony (if held), the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. A highlight will be a visit to the impressive Westminster Abbey and then Westminster Cathedral, the Catholic Cathedral of London. This afternoon is at leisure for independent activities – you may care to visit an art gallery or museum, shop or stroll in one of London’s many beautiful parks. Dinner is on our own. (B)

 

DAY 7: LONDON: EXCURSION TO CANTERBURY & CHARTWELL

This morning we drive out of London and through the Kentish countryside to Canterbury, the most important ancient city in England and traditional home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1170, Thomas a Beckett was murdered in his own cathedral by the Knights of Henry II; he was canonized shortly after and for centuries pilgrims have flocked to his shrine. As well as a detailed visit to the Cathedral, we will also see the fine medieval walls of the city before driving to Chartwell, the family home of Sir Winston Churchill. He bought the estate in 1922 and, except for the war years, spent as much time as he could here. Rooms in the house reflect the heyday of the family’s life at Chartwell in the 1920’s and 30′ s, while fresh flowers, daily newspapers and the occasional cigar add their special atmosphere. We visit the house, gardens and studio before returning to our hotel for dinner on our own. (B)

 

DAY 8: LONDON: DAY AT LEISURE

Today is at leisure in this exciting city. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel. (B, D)

DAY 9: LONDON: EXCURSION TO STONEHENGE & BATH

Today we drive out of London and head westwards to Stonehenge to visit the ancient monoliths placed in position nearly 2000 years before the birth of Christ and which were once used to calculate the eclipses and equinoxes. We then cross Salisbury Plain on our way to Bath, one of the most beautiful Georgian cities in England. It is named after the hot springs first used by the Romans and in the 18th century was a fashionable spa where almost everyone who enjoyed prominence visited “to take the waters”. We visit the Roman Baths, view the Abbey and see the charming squares and crescents as well as the River Avon and delightful Pulteney Bridge. We return to London for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

 

DAY 10: LONDON / OXFORD / COTSWOLDS / STRATFORD UPON AVON

This morning we travel to Oxford, “city of dreaming spires”, centre of scholarship for over 1000 years. We visit the ancient university and hear about its history and traditions. Then we head into the beautiful and enchanting area of the Cotswolds, passing through the villages of Mickleton, Chipping Camden and Moreton in Marsh. We continue to Stratford upon Avon, where we visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the birthplace of his wife. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel. (B, D)

 

DAY 11: STRATFORD / LONDON

Today is at leisure in Stratford with time to walk, shop and explore on our own. At 4.00 pm we start our journey back to London. (B)


DAY 12: LONDON: EXCURSION TO YORK

An early start as we make our way to King’s Cross Station for 6.30 am to board our train to York. York is a medieval walled town, with its magnificent Minster with majestic towers and priceless stained glass windows. Our sightseeing tour takes us through the medieval streets where the upper stories of houses lean precariously across the roadway towards each other. The names are fascinating – Stonegate, Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate and Shambles, the old butchers quarter and York Minster, the largest medieval church north of the Alps and famous for its stained glass windows. There will be some time to explore on our own before returning to the railways station for our train back to London. (B)

 

DAY 13: 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.

14-Days: England & Ireland Sacred Sites

 

DAY 1: DEPART USA / LONDON

This afternoon we depart for London, with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.

 

DAY 2: ARRIVE LONDON

Upon arrival in London, England’s exciting capital, our Catholic Travel Centre representative will meet us and board our waiting motor coach. Our guide will accompany us throughout our time in the U.K. We proceed to our hotel for dinner and the evening. (D)

 

DAY 3: LONDON: CITY SIGHTSEEING

We will enjoy a city tour including the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace (if held), Marble Arch, Mayfair, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. We visit as well the Shrine of the Tyburn Martyrs. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure for shopping. (B, D)

 

DAY 4: LONDON: EXCURSION TO CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL

This morning we head south of London to Canterbury, England’s ecclesiastical capital, where St. Thomas Beckett, then Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered in 11 70. Beckett’s shrine can be found in the Cathedral. We return to London. Time this afternoon at leisure to explore on our own. (B, D)

 

DAY 5: LONDON / DUBLIN

We transfer to London Airport for our flight to Dublin. We arrive in Dublin and are greeted by our Catholic Travel Centre representative who will accompany us throughout our journey in Ireland. Dublin, the name derives from “Dubh linn”, the Black Pool which was in the heart of historic Dublin. This ancient city was known to Ptolemy the Great. It saw the High King Brian Boru killed nearby fighting the Vikings. Both the Normans and the English invaded it. Henry VIII established Trinity College here to nurture the New Faith (Protestantism) while Catholicism was outlawed for over three hundred years. The famous Book of Kells is kept at the College. James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Molly Malone are among the city’s notables. We enjoy an orientation tour of the city while our rooms are prepared at the hotel. Dinner this evening is at the hotel. (B,D)

 

DAY 6: DUBLIN – BOOK OF KELLS, ST. PATRICK’S, ST. VALENTINE’S

Our half-day sightseeing tour includes: viewing Georgian Dublin, Leinster House (Parliament), St. Patrick Cathedral (Church of Ireland) dating from 450A.D. and visiting Christ Church (founded by King Sitric of the Dublin Norsemen in 1038 and rebuilt in 1169 by the Normans). Our last stop of the day is the Shrine of St. Valentine, after whom the February 14 holiday is named. After Mass our day is at leisure. Tonight we have dinner at the hotel. (B, D)

 

DAY 7: DUBLIN / KNOCK / BALLINTUBBER / GALWAY

Today we depart Dublin en route to Knock, visited each year by more than 1.5 million pilgrims. We begin with Mass at the Shrine, followed by a brief tour of the grounds. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available in a special chapel. After lunch on our own, we make our way to Galway, stopping at Ballintubber Abbey, where Mass has been celebrated daily for over 800 years! This was the traditional starting point for the annual pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Croagh Patrick. We arrive in Galway for dinner. (B, D)

 

DAY 8: GALWAY: EXCURSION TO CONG, KYLEMORE, & WESTPORT

Today we make our way to Kylemore Abbey. En route we pass through the charming village of Cong (deriving its name from cunga, a neck — owing to its position on an isthmus between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask). In Kylemore, we visit the convent of the Benedictine Nuns of Ypres, beautifully set on Lake Kylemore. After Mass we travel via Louisburgh with its fine sandy beaches. We stop in the town of Westport. The town was designed to the plan of James Wyatt, a well-known architect of the Georgian Period. Tonight our dinner is at the 16th century Dunguaire Castle nestled on a promontory over Galway Bay, near the fishing village of Kinvara. (B, D)

 

DAY 9: GALWAY / ENNIS / CLIFFS OF MOHER / KILLARNEY

Today we leave Galway and head south, with our first stop at the Friary at Ennis, a charming town of narrow streets. We celebrate our Mass here at the Church of Ss. Peter & Paul. We come to the Cliffs of Moher, sheer cliffs dropping 600 feet to the water below, one of the most impressive stretches of shoreline on the West Coast of Ireland. We arrive this at our hotel outside of Killarney. (B, D)

DAY 10: KILLARNEY: EXCURSION TO RING OF KERRY

We are off today to Killarney, beginning with Mass at St. Mary’s Church. We then we set out for a thrilling scenic ride around the Ring of Kerry (112 miles) – a continuously changing landscape of dramatic cliffside views and breathtaking seascapes. Afterwards we have some time in bustling Killarney for browsing and shopping (B, D)

 

DAY 11: KILLARNEY / BLARNEY / HOLY CROSS / CASHEL / WATERFORD

Today we are off to Blarney Castle, where you acquire the ‘gift of gab’ by kissing the Blarney Stone. Woollen Mills offers some great shopping. Our next stop is Holy Cross Abbey, home to one of the first relics of the True Cross to have reached Ireland. It was at one time one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in Ireland during the later Middle Ages. Through a special Act of Parliament, in 1975 reconstruction of the old monastic cloister began. Here we celebrate Mass. Our next stop is the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland’s most visited monuments. Here in 450 AD St. Patrick baptized King Aengus. We tour the ruins here, including the Cashel Cathedral, still in very good condition given its age. We arrive in Waterford for the evening. (B, D)

 

DAY 12: WATERFORD / GLENDALOUGH / DUBLIN

Our first visit today is Waterford itself, lying on the banks of the River Suir. The factory here is world renowned for its crystal. Our next stop is Glendalough. — The Glen Between the Two Lakes. According to legend, St. Kevin retired to this spot to be alone because his good looks made him a source of temptation. He had to drown one persistent lady who followed him; another became a nun. These Sixth Century ruins are from the monastic community he founded. In time, this community became a great center of learning known as “Rome of the West”. We will visit the Interpretative Center for Celtic Spirituality and celebrate Mass. Our accommodations are near the airport in preparation for our return flight the following morning. (B, D)

 

DAY 13: DUBLIN – EXCURSION TO FAUGHART, DROGHEDA & TARA

Our first stop today is the town of Faughart and the Shrine of St. Brigid who along with St. Patrick and St. Columba serves as one of Ireland’s patron saints. The Shrine marks the reputed birthplace of St. Brigid. From Faughart, we make our way to Drogheda to the shrine of another much-loved Irish saint — St. Oliver Plunkett. We head west now to Slane Hill where St. Patrick proclaimed Christianity in 433 AD by lighting the paschal fire. On the Hill is a 16th century church built on the site of the ancient church founded by Saint Patrick. Our journey south takes us to the Hill of Tara where the High King received St. Patrick and where St. Patrick first used the shamrock as a symbol. Tonight a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant, including entertainment. (B, D)

 

DAY 14: DUBLIN / USA

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for 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.

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