Pilgrim Testimonials

“If you have an opportunity to travel with Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages, don’t pass up the chance.  The pilgrimage journey is the top priority. It was the trip of a lifetime and I would do it again!” — Diane  Culbertson, Oklahoma  City, Oklahoma, 2015

“These pilgrimages are unlike any other journey I’ve ever been on. We went places I could only have dreamed of going, and at a leisurely  and prayerful pace. I have been on two and will go again.” — Richard Corr, Cleveland, Ohio, 2008

“I have been on many pilgrimages –large and small groups. This was a small group and it was fantastic! You could not ask for sweeter and more intelligent pilgrimage leaders. Their spirituality was phenomenal. We will return!” — Trudy Bumb, Naples, Florida, 2012

“I would highly recommend this trip because you have the rare privilege to visit inside the Vatican. Robert Moynihan’s knowledge of our faith and the places we visit is extraordinary. The small group makes for an intimate experience. The places we visited were amazing and exclusive!” — Michael Waitkus, Detroit, Michigan, 2012

“We had the most wonderful time on our pilgrimage.  We were very blessed to have Robert Moynihan and Deborah Tomlinson as our Tour Guides as we traveled around Ireland.  Father O’Neill made our trip all the more special.  Every day was a new adventure, and as we lay our head on the pillow each night, we thought what we had experienced that day was possibly the highlight of our trip, only to discover each and every day continued to surprise us with many special moments.  Robert, Deborah, Fr. O’Neill, and our fellow travelers became our family as we developed close relationships with each of them.  We enjoyed listening to Robert’s talks and were amazed as he enlightened us with  interesting history lessons throughout the tour.  Deborah was wonderful, always in control, very organized, directing us from one place to another, determined to make each day more special than the last, and she did.  Many thanks to Fr. O’Neill who celebrated Mass for us throughout the tour, and for sharing his memories of previous visits to Ireland.  Praying the Rosary as we traveled through the beautiful, lush, green countryside was comforting.  Knowing that God was in control, and having our Blessed Mother accompany us on this pilgrimage, how could it not be wonderful?  We know Deborah, Robert, and the staff worked hard to plan and coordinate this great trip; however, we could feel God’s hand in most every encounter.  The people we met, the stories we heard, the encounters we witnessed, were very inspiring.  What a blessing to spend time with Brendan Rodgers and to be blessed with a First Class Relic of St. Pio.  Vespers at the Benedictine Silverstream Priory, meeting the monks, listening to Fr. Prior and Dom Hildebrand was inspirational.  We enjoyed Brian Sloan, Archeologist from the University of Queens, who went out of his way to show us ancient items his team uncovered from the site at the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Downpatrick.  Meeting Mariam in Dublin and spending time with her as she explained the messages she received instructing her to begin a Global Rosary for Priests.  Her efforts have been successful in spreading the Global Rosary throughout the world.  These are only a few of the incredible experiences we had on our journey through Ireland.  Thank you, Robert, Deborah, Fr. O’Neill, and the Staff of Inside the Vatican, for making our pilgrimage so special and helping us to create the most wonderful memories.  God bless you all.”—Jan & Bill Eaves, Ireland 2019

To sum up the pilgrimage in a few words:  It went way beyond my expectations.  It was one exciting day after another and it never stopped.  There were so many highlights, but the most outstanding one for me has to be Sunday mass at St. Peter’s presided by the Pope, with the cardinals who were in Rome for the Amazon Synod in attendance.  What a coincidence to be there at that time.  It all felt like a dream!  Climbing the Holy Stairs on my knees was another highlight.  Assisi was amazing!  I wish we could have spent more time.  I was happy to finally meet and spend time with Fr. Cassian, who I had read and heard about for the past few years.  I found him so interesting, inspiring, and it was so great to be in the presence of such a holy man.

Without elaborating, I just need to say that I enjoyed everything else the pilgrimage had to offer.  I can’t find any criticism and I don’t know how anybody could find any.  The meals were great, and I liked eating at the monastery and at the well-chosen restaurants, which was a nice balance.  I so enjoyed our thought provoking discussions led by Robert Moynihan, while sitting in our common area after dinner with our group.  I loved staying at the monastery, and even though this was expected, to actually experience this really added to the whole dimension of the pilgrimage.  The experience would not have been the same for me staying at a hotel.  I really liked the intimacy of the monastery, as well as praying with the monks.

It goes without mention that the pilgrimage would not have been the same without the leadership of Dr. Moynihan and Debbie Tomlinson.  Robert’s knowledge of Rome, the Catholic faith and its history is so vast.  He just kept us captivated the whole time.  Debbie’s dedication and her attentiveness to all of our needs, down to the smallest details, was beyond compare.  One does not need to be in Robert’s and Debbie’s presence very long to feel their dedication and passion for what they do, and this is what I believe makes the whole difference in making Inside the Vatican pilgrimages what they are.

I have become the spokesperson for Inside the Vatican pilgrimages because I need to let everyone know how spectacular this pilgrimage was, and I am sure any others offered.  There was so much to absorb in our short time together that I mentioned to Debbie that I wouldn’t mind repeating the same pilgrimage or making a different one in 2021.

To Robert and Debbie, mission accomplished, because by learning more about the history of our faith and those who helped to shape it, by actually seeing the places of miracles we have heard about, by seeing the beautiful churches, being among cardinals, hearing the words of deeply religious men, has certainly helped to deepen my faith and to keep on wanting to learn more.  Yes, it was certainly a very moving experience, and I thank you both for that.

I will end it here by saying, God bless you all!

Louise Vizien, (Bermuda), 25th Anniversary of Inside the Vatican Magazine Pilgrimage, October 2019

“I wanted to send a quick email to thank you both for the wonderful Easter pilgrimage that  Cassy and I were blessed to share with you. The breathtaking sights, sounds, smells and tastes made the trip worth every penny that we spent. However, they only touch the physical surface of how this pilgrimage has affected us. The Spiritual uncovering … archeology, if you will … of the Catholic Faith, with its wonders and flaws, has drawn me further into the body of Christ. The places we visited, the wonderful people we met and the conversations that took place all served to remove the sediment and stones that were covering my soul and thus leave me vulnerable to our Lord. You witnessed some of that uncovering … the emotional scraping and cleaning that allowed me to reveal of myself after a washing with tears. 

Cassy and I talk often of how you both provided a friendship and comfort that made us feel like we were lifelong friends. Whether driving us for the best overlooks of Rome, sharing a meal and conversation or making it possible to get to see that last Bernini sculpture (Ecstasy of Saint Teresa) that Cassy had so wanted to see. You are both wonderful people devoted to our faith and it radiates from you.  May God bless you both.  Pace e bene!” —Harry and Cassy Revels, Portsmouth, NH, 2018

“Thank you” for all the hard work that went into this great pilgrimage to Ireland! But for you, I never would have got to return to the land of my ancestors. The enthusiasm of both Robert and Deborah was so uplifting. It was an excellent and non-flagging effort to keep us all together, lose no one (especially me!), and keep us all safe, happy, well fed and housed! They were also very responsive to our requests to do things outside the group.  Thank you again and I will not easily forget the beautiful fellow pilgrims with whom we travelled. The highlight for me was Mass (a glorious Missa Cantata) in the extraordinary form at St Kevin’s Church, Dublin, with three others (Americans) of the group on Sunday 12th August, before we joined the others in the Guinness tour… I’m off to Mass, 25km away, where I’ll pray for you all!” — Yours in +JMJA, Anne B.  Buchan

Dear Robert —I hope you are well, rest and busy in writing. Reading this recall of yours of our Irish pilgrimage with its messages that are most important to you, and Deborah’s Picture Diary of our path together I can not but being deeply grateful –  to our Lord, to you, to Debbie, to Katie, to nice fellow pilgrims, to really unique good Irish and American people we have encountered. When thinking in advance with thrill about coming journey I could even had not imagined how it would be in many senses.  I cant completely explain how in February I simply and resolutely decided to join your pilgrimage (haha, Lucy from the group and some of my friends told me I was an adventurer).  It became an honour and happiness  to be in a certain way a testimony and a little partition of fulness in our common belief and hope in prayer and care.  With time spent in Ireland perpetually in mind and heart, I am at the moment looking forward to a trip to Rome…How I love Rome and this path, love,…  Marija – Ireland 2019

I have been wanting to thank you for the most wonderful trip to the Vatican and Germany.  It surpassed all other Pilgrimages I have ever traveled on, in my quest to find God.

I feel so blessed to have chanced upon your website, to learn of you and your Pilgrimage “In the Footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI” and to have actually participated in that wonderful Pilgrimage.  It is through this Pilgrimage that my love for Pope Benedict XVI and his Jesus has grown… and I loved him very much even before the trip.  Benedict, through you, opened Christ’s words, as a flower, and laid them out like the full bloom they are intended to be. I am so filled with a deeper love for Jesus and for Pope Benedict XVI.  Thank you for this great, great gift you have given to me.

Jeannette Thomas, (California), In the Footsteps of Pope Benedict XVI, August 2016

Note in Top Left: Thank you so much for all the experiences and opportunities you gave us on this trip!  I learned so many new things about St. Francis of Assisi and loved the town and its people so much.  Norcia was sad but beautiful and seeing the sheep crowding our bus was so fun.  I’m so grateful to have seen the Adriatic Sea and our late night trip around Rome was a highlight of the trip for me.  

All the little cafes and restaurants that we got to eat at were a great way to try the local foods.  The pizza place in Assisi was one of my favorites.  Meeting Tony and his family made the trip even more special!  Thank you again for all the things you did for us!  Seeing the Pope that close up was incredible!

Note in Top Right: The time in Italy was wonderful.  I am so glad that I was able to go.  Thank you for making the trip so enjoyable, and thank you for all the great opportunities and advice.

Note in Bottom Left: Thank you for showing me the sights of Bella Italia and making special memories.

Note in Bottom Right: I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated all that you’ve done for us on the trip.  Thank you for Assisi, Norcia, Rome, the Adriatic Sea, the Vatican, the Pope, and you.

Mary, Monica, Stephen, Thomas McGovern, Easter 2018