A Personal Invitation from Dr. Robert Moynihan
I am writing to invite you to join me in Rome for a special “Family Pilgrimage” at the end of April 2017, during Divine Mercy Sunday. Rome is lovely in April, and this pilgrimage could be an extraordinary time of grace for you and your entire family.
In order to make this possible financially, we have priced this pilgrimage to enable you to bring your children with you. So, though you may never have imagined making such a trip, you may now wish to consider joining me in Rome on a very safe, well-organized, life-changing Family Pilgrimage.
Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages began in 2008. Over the past nine years, we have organized and led more than 30 pilgrimages to “the heart of the Church.” We have found that keeping the pilgrimages small allows for a more intimate, personal experience. So I will not be leading 95 people through the streets and traffic of Rome holding high a yellow umbrella. Rather, we will walk at a normal pace, with time to pause, talk, discuss, take photographs, stop for a snack for the kids in a Roman cafe. At the end of our journey together, we hope our pilgrims will discover that they have not only visited some of the most important shrines in the Christian world, but have made deep friendships, with one another and with those they have met along the way, that will last a lifetime.
During these pilgrimages, we eat real Italian food, talk to real Swiss Guards, stroll across real Italian piazzas, taste real Italian gelato. It should be an experience you and your children will never forget, and it should give you something to talk about at family gatherings for decades to come. It will also have a spiritual focus: we will not concentrate just on the marble stones of St. Peter’s Basilica and the other basilicas we will visit, but also on those “living stones” which are the souls of the people we encounter along the way.
We have had many requests for more affordable pilgrimages and we ourselves have wished to find a way to make it possible for more people to travel with us to Rome. To meet these requests, we have designed a more economical pilgrimage package, yet one which still maintains the integrity and special “inside the Vatican” quality of our signature pilgrimages.
Though I will not be able to be with you throughout the entire pilgrimage, I will be able to join you for several meals to share stories from my 30 years of working in and around Vatican City. I will also be inviting friends of mine who work and live in Rome who will also share stories with you. And, I expect to be able to lead you on a walking tour of St. Peter’s Square and Baroque Rome. During our time together, I will be happy to try to answer any questions you and your family may have about the Pope, the Vatican, and the Church. We would like your journey with us to be “an oasis of mercy” in your life, a pilgrimage that enriches your life and deepens your faith. Our journey is a pilgrimage, not a tour. The spiritual dimension — the search for a deeper encounter with God — is central. This is why the pace of our pilgrimages will be slow and peaceful, not rushed. There will be time for prayer and contemplation.
So, please consider joining me on this extraordinary journey on the occasion of Divine Mercy Sunday. We expect it to be a wonderful, joyful, and memorable time for you and your family.
— Robert Moynihan
Founder and Editor of Inside the Vatican magazine
Inside the Vatican Magazine
Divine Mercy Family Pilgrimage
April 20-29, 2017
Rome, Assisi, Manoppello, Lanciano and Vatican City
Spend 8 nights at the Villa Serenella, the Maronite monastery in Rome
Attend a Papal Mass with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica
Attend a Sunday Angelus with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square
Attend a Papal Audience as a guest of Inside the Vatican magazine
Meet Dr. Robert Moynihan, leading Vatican Analyst and founder and editor of Inside the Vatican magazine, Deborah Tomlinson, and friends of Inside the Vatican magazine
Dine with Dr. Robert Moynihan and special guests and friends of Inside the Vatican magazine
Gain insight into the workings of the Vatican from Dr. Moynihan
Walking tour of Baroque Rome – Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona – led by Dr. Robert Moynihan
Private tour of St. Peter’s Square led by Dr. Robert Moynihan
Visit the Basilica of Santo Spirito – the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Rome
Guided Tour of the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museum
Visit the 4 major Basilicas of Rome – St. Peter’s, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran and St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls
Climb the Holy Stairs near the Basilica of St. John Lateran
Visit Santa Croce, the church containing Christ’s relics from Jerusalem, if time allows
Driving tour of Ancient Rome– the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, Palatine Hill, Circus Maximus, and the Arch of Titus
Travel along the Appian Way
- Explore the Catacombs of Callixtus
Visit the famous Domino Quo Vadis Church and St. Sebastian-Outside-the-Walls
Assisi: Tour the Basilica of St. Francis and visit his tomb; Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels,
St. Francis’ Portiuncula; Basilica of St. Clare and pray at her tomb; walking tour of Assisi
Lanciano and Manoppello: Venerate the famous Eucharistic miracle and the Holy Face of Christ
- $2,699.00 — 1st adult
- $2,199.00 — additional adult*
*The additional adult rate is applicable only if the additional adult is from the same household as the 1st adult and is sharing the same room.
Children Rates – 2 paying adults from the same household must accompany the children in order to be eligible for the reduced children rates:
- $600.00 — 1 – 10 years old**
- $850.00 — 11 – 17 years old**
Children under 1 year of age from the same household with 2 paying adults are free. Please note – bed and meals will not be provided for children less than 1 year of age. If meals and a bed are needed, then provisions can be made for a fee.
** Limited number of places available
$700 additional fee for a single room
Land Package Only
All meals are included, with the exception (1) meal on one of our two travel days
A deposit of $500.00 per person is due at the time of booking by check made payable to Inside the Vatican.
The minimum number of pilgrims is 15 paying adults.
For the group transfers from FCO (Rome airport) to the Villa Serenella, you must arrive by 12:00 noon on Friday, April 21, 2017. There will be 2 transfers from the airport to the Villa Serenella.
- For the group’s transfer from the Villa Serenella to FCO (Rome airport), your departure time must be 10:00 a.m. or later on Saturday, April 29, 2017. There is only 1 transfer to the airport from the Villa Serenella.
Not mentioned in this sketch of our itinerary are two important points…
1) We prefer to schedule Mass in the morning, but there is a possibility that Mass times can fluctuate due to circumstances and Vatican events. Each day we will have the opportunity to attend Mass. The Mass schedule will be finalized closer to the time of our departure.
2) Plenty of free time has been built into our schedule to allow families to rest or explore Rome at their leisure.