ABOUT US “To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history…. We must step out of ourselves to encounter God. ”
ABOUT INSIDE THE VATICAN PILGRIMAGES
We bring people into the “Heart of the Church” and on into the Universal Church
Since we began Inside the Vatican pilgrimages in 2008, we have hosted more than 40 unique spiritual journeys to Rome, “the Heart of the Church,” and to some of the most important shrines and religious sites in the Christian world.
We organized our first pilgrimage to Rome because we realized there was a real need for people to experience a true pilgrimage — a journey of the mind, heart and spirit — not just a tourist trip to interesting places.
And a true pilgrimage is one of encounter, a journey in which one comes into contact not only with the stones of the churches and basilicas and shrines that we visit, but also the “living stones” which are the souls of the people we encounter, on the road, at our destinations, and among ourselves, the pilgrims.
After our first pilgrimage in 2008, some of our pilgrims were so moved by the experience that they asked us to do another, and from that, another…each of our first 25 pilgrimages, in fact, came about at the request of pilgrims from previous pilgrimages.
Since then, we have brought hundreds of people to Rome, the home of the Vatican and the incomparable St. Peter’s Basilica, and to other beautiful and holy places in Italy. England, Germany, Russia and Turkey are just a few of the other countries to which which we have traveled on pilgrimage.
Expanding to Meet the Needs of Different Kinds of Pilgrims
In 2012, we began lodging our pilgrims in the Domus Santa Marta, the residence of Pope Francis, for the Rome portion of some of our exclusive Signature Pilgrimages, and we have been invited to continue this practice — the only pilgrim group that is so privileged.
Now, in answer to many requests, we are again expanding our pilgrimage schedule. We will also offer Custom Pilgrimages for private groups, as well as a yearly Foundation Pilgrimage which benefits our nonprofit Urbi et Orbi Foundation, dedicated to the reunification of Eastern and Western Christianity, and includes destinations in the East such as Moscow, Istanbul and Kiev, as well as Rome.
And finally, we have instituted our new Classic Pilgrimages, with family-friendly pricing, in order to make these one-of-a-kind experiences available to as many people as possible.
Our Core Principles
Our continuing priority, however, is that we always maintain the integrity of our pilgrimages — we work with people we have trusted for years in the places we visit, and we do NOT contract with tour operators for tours or for any ground bookings such as hotels, meals, etc. A presence at the Vatican spanning more than 30 years, Inside the Vatican magazine has woven a fabric of friends and colleagues in Rome and abroad that is knowledgeable, reliable, and as dedicated as we are to making every pilgrimage an enriching spiritual journey that brings us all closer to God.
And no matter how many pilgrimages we lead, no matter where our destinations or who travels with us, we always stay true to our core principles: that our groups of pilgrims remain small and intimate; that personal encounter is the most important aspect of each trip; and that we treat each pilgrim as we would a family member.
This begins with the registration process that we try to keep simple, and continues as we assist pilgrims where needed: we will advise and even help make travel arrangements, answer questions, provide recommendations and even packing lists!
It’s a formula for success that many of our pilgrims have chosen to experience again and again. You can view photos of previous pilgrimages at our new website, insidethevaticanphotos.com.
“Holy Spirit, Guide Us!”
An Inside the Vatican pilgrimage is a total immersion experience into the “heart of the Church.” which we hope evokes a “metanoia” experience for each of our pilgrims. Our motto on each pilgrimage is “Holy Spirit, guide us!” which begins in the planning and is carried forth during the entire pilgrimage so that we may make it an authentically spiritual journey. We invite you to join us!