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Farewell Dinner, Final Comments and Tearful Good-byes

The final dinner together is always a bittersweet experience. We have had a good time together for eight days and it’s fun to recall all the highlights in the new friendships, but it’s also sad that everyone is now heading home. We all rejoiced in the blessed time in these marvelous sacred sites and we had a very nice evening together. Glad we can share it with you! Hope you can join us as we

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Lourdes Day 2 Footprints of St. Bernadette

Relaxed morning; we didn’t even set the alarms. After a nice French breakfast we went to the Crypt in the Basilica for Mass (homily here). Then our walking tour following the footprints of St. Bernadette. We visited her home at the mill, where they spent their last days in the abandoned jail, her parish Church and much more. Always a delightful walk through the old city of Lourdes. After that we gave everyone the afternoon

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LINK FIXED: Early Mass at the Lourdes Grotto; tour of the Shrines; Talk by Head Doctor at Lourdes

We have finally reached our final destination which is Lourdes. We started the morning with the sunrise with Mass in the Grotto of our Lady and St. Bernadette. Our chaplain Fr. James Conlon was the celebrant. Marvelous with less than 50 people whereas last time there were about a thousand crowding into the Grotto for Mass. You can hear Fr. James’ fine homily here. Everyone had their covid test today which is required for re-entry

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Burgos Spain to Loyola to Lourdes France

We left our beautiful Grand Teatro Hotel and headed northeast to Loyola where St. Ignatius lived and eventually had a spiritual conversion. His leg was wounded in a war and while he lay recuperating he read the Lives of the Saints and his heart was fully converted toward God. We had Mass in the room where he converted (homily here). Then we headed northeast to cross the border into France and arrive at Lourdes where

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Gorgeous Drive thru Spain to Burgos

On this day we always wish we could shrink these countries a little bit to make the driving distance shorter, but it is what it is. We have fun on the bus and make regular stops along the way for food and comfort and stretching and even napping. Today I gave my new talk entitled “The 11 Unknown Sorrows of Mary” because September is the month of the “Sorrows of Mary”. We also prayed the

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Largest Incensor ever; All Day Santiago de Compostela

This has to be the world’s largest incensor which is called the “ botafumerio” which takes eight men to operate. In front of the altar it swings high up to the ceiling and then it comes back down “swoosh” swinging back up to the ceiling on the other side. It is always quite a sight to see. After Mass in the cathedral, we toured the city of Santiago de Compostela and the cathedral and had

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