Pilgrimage to Italy!

07-16-2023Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

So, here’s my story….or part of my story…I have been blessed over the years to be able to travel, first through the U.S. Army, later through my business and then as a priest. I have travelled to about 35 countries around the world. I have been blessed to be in Rome and other parts of Italy four times in my life, twice as a Protestant and twice as a Catholic, but never as a priest. And since Italy is one of my favorite countries, I really want to go back to Italy again, but this time as a priest.

Accordingly, I wish to invite you on a spiritually inspiring pilgrimage to Italy! Italy’s timeless art and architecture, history and symbols representing two thousand years of Christian faith have fascinated travelers for centuries.

Our pilgrimage takes us to Venice, the city of waterways, gondolas, and picturesque bridges where we will visit the Basilica of St. Mark with its magnificent mosaics expressing the story of faith, see the Doges Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.

On to Florence, home to Michelangelo’s David and the finest collection of Renaissance art in the world. Next stop is the small hilltop city of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis. Here we will visit the Basilica of St. Francis, the Church of St. Clare and Santa Maria degli Angeli with its ‘thornless rose bush.’

We’ll end our pilgrimage in Rome, the Eternal City, an artistic and historical gift to the world. We’ll visit Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums. See Michelangelo’s original frescoes in the Sistine Chapel including the famous Last Judgment and the Creation of Man. The highlight of our visit will be an Audience with Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, if available.

Come share in this time of prayerful celebration. I will celebrate Mass every day except on the travel days. I am sure you will be pleased with this tour for it is both high in value and low in cost. Our pilgrimage will be a joyful journey designed to highlight our Catholic faith, help us appreciate its historical past and view the art which was inspired by our Church.

If you are interested, please fll out a flyer and take it to the office. They will give you a detailed brochure. I really believe that this eleven-day pilgrimage will be a lifelong dream come true. Please read through the brochure, complete the reservation form, and bring your deposit and a copy of your passport to the parish office. That will secure your place on the pilgrimage.

We have only 48 spots on this pilgrimage. I hope that you will prayerfully consider being one of them!

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson