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