Abbey Travel Tours

A primary goal of Abbey Travel Tours is to give old and new friends of Saint John's Abbey an opportunity to journey around the world in order to explore faith, experience different cultures, appreciate art and architecture, and learn something of our history and that of the nations we are touring. And do this while strengthening a love of Saint John's and forming some wonderful friendships with fellow travelers. 

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Group photo from October’s India and Nepal tour, Khajuraho, Chandela Temples, India 


 

Holy Land & Jordan

Biblical Footsteps Pilgrimage

February 6 - 18, 2019
Hurry, this tour is nearly full.

Itinerary and Registration

holy_land_2.jpgSaint John's Abbey invites you to follow the footsteps of Christ on this awe-inspiring pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Come discover the sights and sounds of the inspirational land of prophets, kings, and saints. Seize this unique opportunity to bring new dimensions of understanding to your faith life.

We hope this tour will prove interesting to you!

The trip includes a full day to explore the Red Rose city of Petra. We will drive to Mount Nebo where Moses viewed the Promised Land, and then proceed to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the baptismal site where John the Baptist carried out his ministry. On the summit of beautiful Mount Tabor, site of Christ's transfiguration, pilgrims will have an awesome view of the fertile Jezreel Valley below and an opportunity to visit the lovely Church of the Transfiguration on the mount's summit. Following a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, we will visit Capernaum where Jesus spent much time. At the Mount of Beatitudes, we will reflect on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, then travel on to the Benedictine monastery at Tabgha to view the ancient mosaic of the Loaves and Fishes. Finally, a visit to the nearby Church of Peter's Primacy where Peter was told, "Feed My lambs, feed My sheep."

A visit to Cana will take us to the village of Jesus' first miracle. In Nazareth, the boyhood town of Jesus, we will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation. In Samaria, we stop at the actual site of Jacob's Well, hewn manually out of solid rock and oholy_land_1.jpgver 100 feet deep. The water at the bottom of the well is fed by flowing water which is why ancients gave it the name of "living water". It is at this well that Jesus met the Samaritan woman and said to her: "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (Jn 4:13-14).

In Bethlehem, we will have a chance to pray in the Church of the Nativity and visit Shepherd's Field. We will then travel on to the Old City of Jerusalem and make a stop at the Pool of Bethesda, scene of one of Jesus' healing miracles. Then we will be on to the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, followed by a chance to meditate at the Western Wall.

An early morning walk on the Via Dolorosa will give us time to meditate and pray the Stations of the Cross, concluding with the celebration of Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. From atop the Mount of Olives, we will have a wonderful view of Jerusalem. At the foot of the hill, we will see the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees. We will also visit Mount Zion, site of the Benedictine Abbey of Dormition, and the nearby Upper Room, scene of the Last Supper.


 

Safari: Tanzania and Rwanda

Lions, Elephants, Wildebeest, Gorillas and Much More

June 16 - 27, 2019
This Tour is Currently Full - If you would like to apply for the waiting list, please contact Fr. Geoffrey at gfecht@csbsju.edu

Itinerary and Registration

TT_1.jpgAbbey Travel Tours invites you to join us on an African Safari. This will be our third such venture. We will again be teaming up with Access 2 Tanzania in sponsoring this wonderful and exotic safari to Tanzania. A twist from the previous safaris, this time we will follow up our time in Tanzania with a mountain trek to neighboring Rwanda. There we will interact with the silverback gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.

From the foothills of Kilimanjaro and the herds of elephants in Tarangire National Park to the most impressive geological feature in Africa, the sunken caldera of Ngorongoro Crater, to the to the world's greatest wildlife spectacle—the wildebeest migration in the famous Serengeti—we will find ourselves amazed at God's wonderful creation. Along the way, we will celebrate Mass together on the foothills of Kilimanjaro, in the middle of the Serengeti, and on a mountainous volcano in Rwanda. We will also have the opportunity to meet with local Chaga villagers and members of the Massai tribe.

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Pilgrimage to Saint John's Abbey

Exploring the Treasures of Saint John's

August 27-30, 2019

Program 
Itinerary and Registration

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This summer, Abbey Travel Tours is hosting a special Pilgrimage to Saint John’s. You will explore the wonderful treasures that are found on the 3,000 acres that make up Saint John’s. Besides offering opportunities to join the monks for prayer, the tour will introduce you to the architectural wonder of the Breuer-designed Abbey and University Church, the fine workmanship of the Abbey Woodworking Shop and the Saint John’s Pottery Studio, the natural beauty of the Saint John’s Arboretum, its woodlands, wetlands, and lakes, and, of course, The Saint John’s Bible, now housed in its new home, in the Saint John’s Bible Gallery. During your time at Saint John’s, you will be housed at the Abbey Guesthouse where rooms offer unparalleled views of Lake Sagatagan or the Abbey Church. Space in the Abbey Guesthouse is limited so don’t wait too long to register if interested.

 
 


The Treasures of France, including Normandy

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

September 9-19, 2019

Itinerary and Brochure

 

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We will explore centuries of French heritage as we cross the valleys and vineyards of the north in search of beauty and to mourn the tragedy of war. Our tour will have us visit Saint Joan of Arc's Rouen; view the triumphant conquest by the Duke of Normandy over England as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry on display at the Bayeux Museum; commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach; visit Mont-San-Michel, one of Europe's most unforgettable sites; set on the mesmerizing bay where Normandy and Brittany merge; and marvel at the architecture and masterpieces of France's most famous fairy-tale Château de Chenonceau. All of this before visiting vibrant Paris and soaking up its joie de vivre. Along the way, we will have opportunities to sample French wine and cheese, enjoy French cuisine, and feel the warmth of the French people.

It will be another once-in-a-lifetime experience.


 

Italy: Culture. Religion. History. Art.

May 4-14, 2020

Itinerary and Online Registration

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Saint John's Abbey invites you to join us on a Journey to Italy, visiting such historic and spiritual sites as Orvieto, Assisi, Florence, and, of course, magnificent Rome.
Orvieto
The city of Orvieto is located in the Umbria region. It is a city with significant cultural heritage, fascinating traditions, and an exciting lifestyle. Discover this medieval Umbrian city, its world-famous Duomo, the Saint Patrick's Well, and the whole ancient town center filled with narrow streets, beautiful churches, and historic palaces.
Assissi
The trip includes Assisi, the magical town of Saint Francis. First, celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and see the little church of the "Porziuncola," where St. Francis lived with his friars and died. We will visit St. Francis' Basilica, where St. Francis is entombed, a magnificent building hosting admirable frescoes by Cimabue and Giotto.
Florence
We will have a full-day excursion to Florence. We will celebrate Mass at the Church of San Marco and visit its museum containing famous paintings and frescoes by Fra Angelico. We will visit the Accademia Gallery which houses the magnificent statue of David by Michelangelo. Then walk to the lovely Piazza del Duo-mo to admire Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, Giotto's Campanile and the Baptistery's incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti, known as the Gates of Paradise.
Sabina
We then travel to the Sabina region, a region still untouched by mass tourism. We celebrate Mass in the Benedictine Abbey of Farfa, once one of the most powerful abbeys in Europe. We then head to a nearby farm to learn the secrets of homemade pasta, joining the owners in a fun "hands-on" cooking class.
Rome
We will then head to Rome. While there we will visit the major basilicas and see the ancient Roman ruins. This visit includes the Colosseum, the stone amphitheater dating back to 80 AD, a masterpiece of ancient architecture where Christians were literally thrown to the lions; and we will find time to have lunch at the Benedictine monastery and seminary of Sant' Anselmo.
In the evening we will experience a special private tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel "after hours," a unique chance to visit—without the usual crowd—treasures like the Raphael rooms, the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, and the Sistine Chapel, a masterpiece of Renaissance art, and the place where the papal conclave meets, with the magnificent Last Judgment by Michelangelo.
Castel Gandolfo
Finally, we will have an excursion to Castel Gandolfo to visit the Apostolic Palace, the former summer residence of the Popes, recently opened to visitors by Pope Francis. We will admire the Papal Apartment, paintings, relics, liturgical vestments, uniforms, and other curiosities. And, of course, no stop in Rome would be complete without a papal audience with Pope Francis (subject to his schedule).



 

Melodies of the Danube

Including a private pre-cruise tour of Budapest and private post-cruise tour of Prague

August 5-18, 2020

Itinerary and Online Registration

Cost $5,000 and upward (depending upon your choice of cabin) plus international airfare

 

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Europe’s second largest waterway, the Danube River, connects Central and Eastern Europe, flowing over 1,700 miles through ten countries—that’s more nations than any other river in the world. The Danube has had a front-row seat to some of Europe’s most significant moments in history and is home to four glittering capitals: Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Belgrade—plus numerous fascinating and legendary cities like Regensburg, Linz, Mohács, Vukovar, Ilok and Novi Sad.

The Danube has inspired artists: Beethoven, Mozart, and Gustav Klimt were all either born here or drawn to the region famous for its culture and its mouthwatering Riesling wines and Sachertorte cakes. Architecture in the form of imposing castles and impressive cathedrals, such as Buda Castle and Melk Abbey, were built to take advantage of hills overlooking the Danube. And the enchanting Wachau Valley lies along the Danube as well, with locals and visitors alike charmed by its scenic beauty and world-class wines. A wide variety of diverse flora and fauna (over 5,000) live here, including 331 different types of birds, such as the White-tailed Eagle and Pygmy Cormorant. Along with the diverse ecosystem, the Danube is a source of drinking water and life for twenty million people. And of course, the river is a source of income for many residents, who make their living along the waterway.

 

 

For MORE information on the Abbey Travel Tours contact Fr. Geoffrey Fecht at gfecht@csbsju.edu or 320-363-3818.

 

Stay tuned as these plans are developed. 
Or if you have questions or interest, please contact:

Fr. Geoffrey
(320) 363-3818
gfecht@csbsju.edu