In The Footsteps of Pope Francis
The Catholic Pilgrim Office celebrates Pope Francis' 80th birthday with a presentation of a Pilgrimage In The Footsteps of Pope Francis. Among many other sites, visit the Church where Pope Francis was baptized, the college where he taught Literature, and the Cathedral where he celebrated Mass from where he described his outreach; "Instead of being a Church that welcomes and receives, we try to be a Church that comes out of itself and goes to the men and women".
Join us today on a Pilgrimage of a Lifetime In The Footsteps of Pope Francis.
Sample Itinerary: (All itineraries are fully customizable)
Day 1: Depart for Argentina
Departure for your overnight flights to Argentina.
Day 2: Arrive in Buenos Aires (City Tour)
Upon arrival at Buenos Aires airport, you will be met by your professional tour escort and transferred by a deluxe motor coach to our hotel. We begin a city tour of Buenos Aires, starting with the symbol of the city, the Obelisk. This monument was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the city. Enjoy the views of the spanish-inspired squares such as: Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martin, and Plaza Congreso. Along with the numerous soccer stadiums throughout the city, you will also get to discover the historic neighborhoods like San Telmo and La Boca, as well as getting to see the nature in Lezama Park and Tres de Febrero Park. Return to hotel in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Buenos Aires - Flores
Theme: The Early Life of Pope Francis
After breakfast, we will begin our Pilgrimage by following the life of Pope Francis, starting with the early years when he was known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Our first stop is Flores, a working class town located in the center of Buenos Aires, and birthplace to Pope Francis. Continue on to Our Lady of Mercy Church where he was baptized, and the adjoining school, St. Joseph’s, where he took his first communion and attended primary school. It was here as a teenager that he received his vocational calling. We will celebrate Mass at St. Joseph’s and then make our way back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Buenos Aires – Sante Fe
Theme: The Theologian Years
After breakfast, we board our luxury coach and travel to the city of Sante Fe. We will see the Colegio de la Immaculada Concepcion where Pope Francis taught literature and psychology. We will visit the Catedral Metropolitana Todos los Santos (Cathedral of All Saints ) to celebrate Mass. We will have the afternoon at leisure to explore Santa Fe which was founded by Captain Juan de Garay in the nearby site of Cayastá in 1573. The site is today a historical park containing the grave of Hernandarias, the first American-born governor in South America. Santa Fe is the commercial and transportation center for a rich agricultural area that produces grain, vegetable oils, and meats. The city is the site of the National Technological University – Santa Fe Regional Faculty, Catholic University of Santa Fe (inaugurated in 1959), and the National University of the Littoral (first founded as the Provincial University in 1889, and which changed to its current name in 1919). Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Sante Fe -San Nicolas of Rosario- Buenos Aires
We board a luxury coach and travel to the city of Rosario to visit San Nicolas, famous Marian site. Here an ordinary housewife who had no formal education and no knowledge of the Bible or theology was visited by the Blessed Mother daily for a period of over 6 years. She also received 68 messages from Jesus Christ. Numerous healings, including the cure of a boy with a brain tumour, have been documented at this site. We will be given a guided tour of the site and take part in the celebration of Mass. Afterward, we will make our way to Maximo of San Miguel College where Pope Francis studied and later taught philosophy and theology. As a rector, he sheltered those who were “on the run” from the military dictatorship. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to take in a lecture on Argentina’s political history from a local historian. Following the lecture, you will make your way to the Seminary Chapel, also the former living quarters of Pope Francis. During your time there, you will have the opportunity to speak with Mario, a Jesuit Brother and a close personal friend of Pope Francis (If Available). You will have the opportunity to gain personal insight into the new Holy Father, and his life while he was in Argentina. Return to Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Buenos Aires - Tigre
Theme: Parana Delta by Water
Today, following breakfast, we will take a boat ride up north to Tigre, and visit the Parana Delta and Waterway. As you make your way through the web of inter-connecting rivers and streams, you will get to view the many English Style rowing clubs, marinas, and elegant mansions. Make a stop at San Isidro Cathedral, built in 1706 by French architects, and opened by the city founder: Captain Domingo de Acassuso. Return to your hotel in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Buenos Aires
Theme: The Early Life of a Cardinal
After you finish breakfast, we will board the bus and make our way to the Church of the Immigrant. Along the way, we will visit the slums where Pope Francis worked and sought social justice for the poor. Retrace his journey on the city’s public transport system, where at the behest of devotees, he regularly held Mass and Blessings. We will attend Mass for the poor at Consitutentes Train Station. Return for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Buenos Aires – Lujan
Theme: The Following of Cardinal Bergoglio
Today we will visit Lujan Cathedral, built in honor of the Virgin of Lujan, the patron saint of Argentina. It is here that more than six million pilgrims would travel each year, some over 40 miles, to be blessed by Pope Francis. We will also visit and dine with the Benedictine monks of the Cono-Sur Congregation who reside at Abadia de San Benito on the outer skirts of Lujan. In addition to providing retreat facilities for the residents of the city, the monks also support themselves by means of agriculture and publishing. Return to your hotel in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Buenos Aires
Theme: Life Before a Holy Father
Today is an exciting day, as we will visit the life of Cardinal Bergoglio before he embarked on his trip to the Conclave, where he would later be elevated to Pope Francis. We will visit the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity where he celebrated Mass and lived nearby in a modest 1 bedroom flat. It is here that Pope Francis described his outreach: “Instead of being a Church that welcomes and receives, we try to be a Church that comes out of itself and goes to the men and women.” From there, we will visit the Casa Rosada (The Pink House), which is the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina. It is here where you will begin your tour into the political history of Argentina. We will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant then depart for the airport for our return flight home.
Day 10: Arrive in USA. The end of a most enjoyable pilgrimage.