BEST OF THE CATHOLIC ALPS AND OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY
Vienna - Schonbrunn Palace - excursion to Melk – Mariazell - Mondsee Salzburg Berchtesgaden - Lake Königssee - Altötting and Marktl am Oberammergau - Munich
Price per person sharing room:
Land only price:
Fr. Sam Morehead
About this trip
"To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where He has revealed Himself, where His grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe." -Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI 2020 is the year to encounter God on a pilgrimage of faith, trusting that the Lord wishes as ever to reveal His love to each one of us. Savouring the profound words and responding to the stirring charge issued by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI a decade ago in that brilliant quotation, I wish to invite you to join me and Deacon Hal Goldwire on a pilgrimage to Ratzinger's own homeland: the best of the Catholic Alps. In June of next year, we will visit southern Germany and Austria to see how God has inspired and blessed the Germanic peoples with the riches of the Catholic faith. In addition to taking in the beauty of creation, we will enjoy the time-honoured, once-a-decade-only production of the world-famous Oberammergau Passion play. Running for 400 years, this whole village's stunning theatrical production is a living response to a people's pledge of faith in a good God, who blesses, defends, and sustains His people. In particular, having studied him extensively and wishing to share his legacy, I am happy that we will walk in the footsteps of Joseph Ratzinger, that shy, but brilliant, German boy who grew to become one of the world's greatest theologians and the 264th Successor of St Peter in our lifetime. While travel to Germany is never inexpensive and participation in the Passion play costs over $1,000 each, what is so brilliant about this pilgrimage is the good it also does for others. As it has been organized by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, pilgrims' costs also directly benefit the good of the suffering minority Christians in the Holy Land--a cause dear to both Deacon Hal and me. If you wish to see the beauty of the Alps but the still greater beauty of the Catholic faith come alive in the heart of a good people in this storied corner of the world, I invite you to join Deacon Hal and me in an adventure of faith.
Your trip includes
Air fare R/T Denver to Vienna & Munich Denver Economy.
Land transportation - Private de-luxe motor coach all days period
Tour Guide - Experienced Travel tour director, bilingual German and English speaking, the friendly host for the group
Accommodation - 9 nights in good, selected 4 star Hotels, in town centers in Vienna (2x), Salzburg (3x), Altötting vicinity (1x), Oberammergau (2x) Augsburg (1x
Meals - Breakfast every morning. • 8 Dinners in hotels or restaurants as indicated in itinerary
Oberammergau Passion Play
Entrances - All Entrances as per Program
Guiding - All local tours with selected, English speaking guides
Taxes - All local and federal taxes included
Porterage - Porterage service / Baggage handling
Your trip exclude
Tips - Tips for Guide and Driver 5 Euro per person per day to be added to final billing.
City Tax if needed
Your trip Itinerary
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE - DEPART USA
Today: Depart for Germany with complimentary meals and beverages served on-board your international flight.
DAY 2 THURSDAY 9 JUNE - VIENNA (D)
Arrival in Vienna where you are greeted by your English-speaking Tour Manager who will be with your group during the entire trip. We are transferred to the center of Vienna for a walking tour of the city. Celebrate Mass at St. Stephen Cathedral and settle into the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.
DAY 3 FRIDAY 10 JUNE - SCHÖNBRUNN PALACE, EXCURSION TO MELK (B,D)
This morning we enjoy a guided visit of the Schönbrunn Palace, a magnificent reminder of Imperial Vienna. Following a panoramic city tour we drive to Melk Abbey for a guided visit of the treasury and the library. Mass will be celebrated in the beautiful baroque church. We return to Vienna in the afternoon for some leisure time. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.
DAY 4 SATURDAY 11 JUNE - MARIAZELL, MONDSEE / LAKE DISTRICT, TO SALZBURG (B,D)
We depart Vienna and drive across the spectacular forested mountains to the pilgrimage center in Austria dedicated to the Blessed Mother. We celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Mariazell which dates to the 14th century. The Chapel of Grace is considered the national shrine of Austria. Miracles are attributed to its statue of the Virgin, giving rise to fame that has spread all over Europe. Following lunch we continue towards Salzburg. Our in-route stop will be in Austria’s Lake District at St. Michael’s Church in Mondsee, where the famous wedding scene in the movie “The Sound of Music” was filmed. Arrive Salzburg for dinner and overnight.
DAY 5 SUNDAY 12 JUNE - IN SALZBURG (B, D)
Celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Maria Plain. The 17th century hilltop shrine overlooking Salzburg has a painting of the Virgin Mary that miraculously survived a bakery fire. The shrine became a Minor Basil-ica in 1952 and was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1983. We have a walking tour of the charming city of music and Mozart. We see the Basilica and stroll along the Getreidegasse, to see the house where Mozart was born, and take in many familiar sights from the Sound of Music film. We explore the religious heritage of this town, including Nonnberg, believed to be the oldest nunnery in existence, founded by St. Rupert in the 8th century, plus the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter, also founded by St. Rupert. Tonight we enjoy a festive dinner concert in a baroque festival hall, with classical music from Mozart and his time performed by the Amadeus Consort Orchestra. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg.
DAY 6 MONDAY 13 JUNE - DAY EXCURSION EAGLES NEST, BERCHTESGADEN, LAKE KÖNIGSSEE(B,D)
This morning we make a visit to the hillside town of Berchtesgaden. East of Berchtesgaden is the little village of Obersalzberg, the site of Hitler’s Berghof (mountain retreat). This ‘Eagle’s Nest’ retreat was built as a teahouse and given to Hitler by the NSDAP party as a 50th birthday present. The Eagle’s Nest remained unscathed from the bombing of the Allied Forces during WWII. Since 1952 it has been open to the public as a mountain top restau-rant with a spectacular view. The three-part tour includes the construction and use of the Eagle’s Nest (a unique mountaintop conference center), a driving and educational tour of the Obersalzberg area, and a visit to a portion of the museum known as Dokumentation Obersalzberg, giving us access to the under-ground bunker system. After all that Nazi stuff we relax and enjoy our life on a 2 hour cruise on the Königssee. It’s Germany’s third deepest lake, formed by glaciers, and in midst the most wonderful nature of the Bavarian Alps, on a thin fjord-like lake that hooks itself around the Watzmann, Germany’s second highest mountain. Lake Königssee is known throughout the world for its emerald green water and unique mountain landscape. We’ll cruise silently across the lake on electric-powered boats and hear the famed Königssee echo. We continue on to the peninsula of St. Bartholomew with the unmistakable red onion domes atop its ancient pilgrimage church where we celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg.
DAY 7 TUESDAY 14 JUNE - PILGRIMAGE DAY ALTÖTTING AND MARKTL AM INN (B,D)
We continue our pilgrimage with the Passion Play in our hearts as we celebrate the Virgin Mary and the life and ministry of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting has been mentioned in Europe side-by-side with other great places of pilgrimage – such as Lourdes, Fatima and Czestochowa. We celebrate Mass at the Shrine. The ongoing miracles are manifested by countless con-versions and a return to renewed faith of the pilgrims. Over 2000 votive paintings, that cover the outside
walls of the chapel, speak of the trust in the intercessions of the Black Madonna of Altötting. In November 1980, Saint Pope John Paul II visited the Shrine. Starting at the pilgrimage center of Altötting in the morning, we will first visit the Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of Grace), an octagonal chapel which houses a highly venerated statue of the Virgin Mary. One of the most visited shrines in Germany, it welcomes more than 1 million pilgrims a year. The tradition of Bavaria calls for the heart of the deceased king to be placed in an urn and kept at the chapel at Altötting. The heart of King Ludwig II, the builder of Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee, lies in this chapel, along with those of his grandfathers and father. We continue our pilgrimage to the twin towered Stiftskirche (Abbey church) with its treasury; to the Jerusalem Panorama of Christ’s Crucifixion, the Pilgrimage and Local Heritage Museum as well as a diorama show. In the afternoon we drive to near-by Marktl am Inn (“Little Market on the Inn River”), the birthplace of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. We visit his birth house which now has a little museum and his baptis-tery. Dinner and overnight in Altötting / vicinity.
DAY 8 WEDNESDAY 15 JUNE - SCHWANGAU – ETTAL - OBERAMMERGAU (B,D)
Following breakfast we will depart to explore King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s majestic castle, Neus-chwanstein Castle. Neuschwanstein is more beautiful than the lower castle of Hohenschwangau, also located in Schwangau. Enjoy lunch on your own before we continue on to the Ettal. When approaching Ettal you will see the majestic dome of the Ettal Basilica. The huge dome is the symbol of the sanctuary of “Our Lady in Charity”. The monastery was built around the church. After Mass we will continue to Oberammergau. The beautiful village of Oberammergau is home of the famous Passion Play of the life of Christ. The play dates back to 1633 when the plague, the “Black Death”, took a severe toll of lives in the small village. In their distress, the inhabitants turned to God and vowed that if the pestilence was taken from them, they would perform a play every year, depicting the suffering and death of our Savior. Their plea was heard and there were no further plague victims in Oberammergau. The first performance of the Passion Play took place in 1634 in the village cemetery. As the Passion Play gained popularity, more performances were implemented. In 1680 the villagers began hosting the Passion Play every 10 years. Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau / vicinity.
DAY 9 THURSDAY 16 JUNE - OBERAMMERGAU – PASSION PLAY : PERFORMANCE DAY (B,D)
We celebrate Mass at a local church. Enjoy time to explore Oberammergau’s colorful frescos known as “Luftlmalereien” on house facades and visit wood carving shops with an amazing array of nativ-ity scenes and religious figures. Following lunch, we will make our way to the world famous theatre to attend the performance of a lifetime, the 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play. The sleepy village springs to life every ten years to put on a play that draws the world upon it. We too will become part of the Passion Play, the greatest story ever told. We all share His message of faith and love. The Oberammergau Passion Play tells the story of the Passion of Christ, beginning with His entry into Jerusalem, followed by His trial, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. The play is held in a beautiful open air theatre that is praised for its superb acoustics. There are 2,000 actors (and live animals) that include local wood carvers, hotel owners, students, teachers, children; all of them interrupt their schedules to become actors, singers, orchestra members and stagehands. Requirements are strict: all actors must be born in Oberammergau, or have lived there 20 years, or be married to a villager and a resident for 10 years. Villagers use natural makeup; men let their hair and beards grow a year before the play. Female roles are limited to single women under age 35. The play is approximately five and a half hours long and is performed in two acts. Act I : 2:30pm - 5:00pm Intermission: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm; enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Act II: 8:00pm - 10:30pm
Dinner and overnight in Oberammergau / vicinity.
DAY10 FRIDAY 17 JUNE - OBERAMMERGAU - MUNICH (B,D)
After breakfast, we will leave Oberammergau behind and drive north to Munich (city of the monks), the capital of Bavaria. Upon arrival, your local guide will take you on a guided tour which includes Nymphenburg Palace and the twin towered Frauenkirche where we will celebrate Mass today. The Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady, is the most familiar landmark of old Munich. Step foot on Marienplatz with its world famous “Glockenspiel”. Continue on to view the town hall, and the magnifi-cent boulevard Feldherrenhalle Ludwigsstrasse Siegestor, created by King Ludwig I in the middle of the 19th century. Pass by the Residenz, the palace of the kings of Bavaria, and the Hofgarten. Enjoy some free time for lunch, shopping or perhaps enjoy a stein of bier at the famous Munich Hoffbrau. Dinner and overnight in Munich.
DAY11 SATURDAY 18 JUNE - DEPART FOR USA(B)
We are transferred to nearby Munich airport for our homebound flights.
End of Service.