Spiritual Highlights of France Tour 2020
Experience the Traditional Monasteries of France
PLEASE NOTE: SAMPLE ONLY FOR A PROPOSED TOUR — ALL INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE UNTIL FINALIZED
Registration is NOT OPEN.
Join traditional Catholics on this budget-friendly tour through France after the annual 3-day Chartres Pilgrimage to see some of France’s most treasured shrines and places of pilgrimage. Journey with us through visually stunning regions to see and experience sites such as the famous Benedictine Abbey of Fontgombault, the tomb of St. Martin of Tours, the convent where St. Bernadette lived, the church where the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary, and Ars to see where St. John Vianney lived, prayed, and worked many wonders. You will be accompanied by fellow believers on a traditional Catholic tour designed to offer you the experience of a lifetime, a vacation that will stay with you forever. Daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE COST OF A SINGLE ROOM?
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- accommodations 9-nights in religious guesthouses, monasteries and convents,
- private bus for ground transportation,
- some meals included (TBA),
- guiding fees included,
- professional tour escort,
- daily Mass with chaplain,
- and much more.
DOES THE COST INCLUDE AIR?
No, airfare is additional cost. The tour begins in Chartres and ends in Paris. We recommend you purchase your flights in and out of Paris.
MAY I EXTEND MY STAY?
Yes, you may arrive early and visit Paris. You may also choose to depart late, spending more time in Paris.
DO I HAVE TO KNOW THE LATIN MASS WELL?
No, many are learning at their own pace this ancient way of Catholic spirituality.
DO I HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 3-DAY CHARTRES PILGRIMAGE (MAY 30 – JUNE 1)?
No, but you may wish to consider looking into this grace-filled once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a medieval pilgrimage by foot, hiking 100 km in 3 days with close to 20,000 other Catholic youth. For more details please see HERE.
ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?
No. You purchase your flights and insurance separately. Meals are extra — we try to picnic to keep the cost down while taking full advantage of the fine meats & cheeses and summertime weather in the beautiful parks. A few meals will be included, TBA. A free-will offering will be taken up at the Masses for the local church. See below for info on hotels outside of tour.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS?
Yes. The tour begins at 8:30 am in front of Chartres Cathedral on the morning of Tuesday, June 2 when we meet for 9:00 am Mass. The tour will end at 4:00 pm at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on Friday, June 11. Please note: you are responsible for booking your own hotels outside of the tour and these are extra cost to you. The nights are June 1 (in Chartres, we recommend the Hôtellerie Saint Yves) and June 11, if you choose not to fly out that night (we recommend the Holiday Inn Express Paris – CDG Airport). Please contact OC-Travel for details.
Day 1 – Tuesday, June 2: Chartres, Orléans, Tours, Fontgombault
After 9:00 am morning Mass in the crypt of Chartres Cathedral we depart Chartres for Orléans to make a brief visit to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the city where Joan of Arc was hailed “the Maid of Orléans.” Next we make our way to Tours for a visit to the Basilica of St. Martin, a unique shrine rebuilt after it was destroyed during the French Revolution. In the crypt is the tomb of St. Martin, a place of pilgrimage. Short walk to the nearby Oratory of the Holy Face in Tours, where devotions to to the holy face of Jesus were centered in the home of Venerable Leo Dupont, now a chapel. Arrival at the traditional Benedictine Abbey of Notre-Dame of Fontgombault, located in the Regional Park of Le Brenne. Here we rest after the pilgrimage. Men check into the monastery guesthouse while the women check into charming cottages on the property for female visitors. Dinner and overnight in Fontbombault.
Day 2 – Wednesday, June 3: Fontgombault
Today we bask in the peaceful monastic setting, taking full advantage to rest and relax. We will have the opportunity to pray the Divine Office with the monks in their chapel as well as to participate in their Conventual Mass. Experience life in a monastery. Male guests will stay within the monastic enclosure, eating lunch in the cloister and praying with the monks. Female guests will stay in neighboring cottages on the property (each equipped with a kitchen), visiting the monastic chapel for Mass and the public hours of the Divine Office. Lunch. Both male and female guests will participate in the joy of “manual labor” activities in the afternoon, sometimes followed by a light snack. Time to pray with the monks and explore the outside monastery gardens and three gifts shops. Overnight in Fontgombault.
Day 3 – Thursday, June 4: Fontgombault
Continue the experience of the life of a monk from the inside. Opportunity to participate in Mass after dawn in the monastery chapel. Hear the Gregorian chants of the Roman Church. Catch a glimpse of how and where the monks live and pray. Lunch. Afternoon is open for free time, prayer and rest. Participation in “manual labor.” Take advantage of the opportunity to walk to the nearby caves across the river where the first monks lived 1,000 years ago. Overnight in Fontgombault.
Day 4 – Friday, June 5: Fontgombault, Nevers, Paray-le-Monial
We continue our journey through the beautiful French countryside to Nevers, the location of the convent and burial place of St. Bernadette, visionary of Lourdes. Here we experience a glimpse of life in a French convent. See the incorrupt body of St. Bernadette and pray in this holy place of devotion and miracles. Free time for prayer and shopping. Picnic lunch in the park across the street from the convent where St. Bernadette lived. Next we continue our journey to Paray-le-Monial, where each year countless pilgrims visit. Pray inside the chapel of the Visitation where most of the apparitions of Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque took place. Visit the nearby tomb of her Jesuit spiritual director, St. Claude la Colombiere, one of the masters of the spiritual life. See the stunning Romanesque Basilica and rose gardens on the tranquil river. Check-into one of two guesthouses. Overnight at Paray-le-Monial.
Day 5 – Saturday, June 6: Paray-le-Monial, Ars
After morning Mass in the chapel where the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary, we continue our journey to the enchanting village of Ars, home of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests. See the parish where he lived and worked. Visit his home next door and see his living quarters. Pray before his mortal remains in the church, now incorrupt. Explore this fascinating village. Lunch. Quiet time for rest and souvenir shopping. Be sure to visit the adoration chapel behind and down from the church. Overnight in Ars.
Day 6 – Sunday, June 7: Ars, Lyon
This morning we continue our journey to Lyon for 10:00 am Sunday Mass in the renowned flagship parish of the FSSP, Saint-Just. This magnificent church is located in the “heights of Lyon,” a jewel of Lyon and in fact the city’s oldest parish. Art historians revere it as one of the finest examples of Roman Baroque in all of France. After Mass we will walk up the hill to the Basilica of St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon and Primate of Gaul. In the 9th century crypt we will see where the martyrs of France were buried, until their relics were despoiled during the French Revolution. The church was last re-built in 1830. Next we will visit one of the most beautifully decorated mosaic churches in the world, the glorious Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, overlooking the city from the highest point. Adding to the prestige of this place is that St. John Vianney came here on pilgrimage to to the original chapel, still standing. Walk down the hill for free time to explore Lyon, the capital of French gastronomy. Taste the local cuisine. Be sure to visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the Primatial See of France. Overnight in Ars.
Day 7 – Monday, June 8: Ars, La Salette
Today we enjoy the beauty of the Alps as we journey to the picturesque village of Grenoble for a picnic lunch. Continue through the alpine countryside to the shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, a renowned place of international pilgrimage, located on the top of a mountain. Explore the basilica and shrine where Our Lady appeared to two children in 1846. Evening candlelight procession to the apparition site – dress warm! Dinner and overnight at La Salette.
Day 8 – Tuesday, June 9: La Salette
After morning Mass in the main chapel, optional hike up the hill overlooking the shrine to enjoy the majestic mountain top views. The day is open for a personal retreat. Enjoy the trails. Time to visit the gift shop. Explore the apparition site and see where some pilgrims drink from a mountain stream at a “healing” well. Evening candlelight procession. Overnight at La Salette.
Day 9 – Thursday, June 10: La Salette, Triors
Today we descend the Alps and make our way to the beautiful Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Triors, located in an old 18th-century chateau. This “new” monastery was founded in 1984 as a priory of Fontgombault Abbey, and is today flourishing with over 40 monks. The monastery has released a dozen CD’s highlighting their life of Gregorian Chant. Overnight in Triors.
Day 10 – Friday, June 11: Triors, Paris
This morning we attend the Conventual Mass of the Abbey. Time to visit the gift shop. After lunch we depart for Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), with an estimated arrival time of 4:00 pm.
*Itinerary is tentative and subject to change.
Your deposit of $1,000 USD is due at time of registration.
DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION AND FINAL PAYMENT
March 1, 2020.
A few meals are included (TBA).
You will be given adequate time for shopping and the purchasing of religious items and souvenirs.
90 Euro per person (Approx. 10 Euro per day, to be collected in cash by your tour director on the first full day of the tour and distributed by him).
We require you purchase international travel insurance that includes medical – this can be done at time of deposit/registration.
IS THIS TOUR FOR YOU?
Please note: we will be staying at monasteries and religious guesthouses (1-star accommodations). You must be flexible. You must be able to carry your own luggage on wheels. You must be in good physical shape. You must bring your own sleeping bag, pillow case, bed sheet, and small bath towel. Daily Mass will be in Latin.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Please take a look at our link and read the information carefully. When you apply for the tour, you agree to the terms and conditions.