Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Archbishop Gregory To Lead Pilgrimage To Italy

Published March 24, 2005

A pilgrimage is planned with Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory to Rome, Italy, June 22-July 2, when he will receive the pallium from Pope John Paul II.

On June 29, at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father will celebrate a special Mass during which he will present the pallium to Archbishop Gregory as well as other new archbishops from around the world. A circular band of white wool which the pope places on the shoulders of each archbishop of a metropolitan see appointed during the past year, the pallium symbolizes an archbishop’s twin responsibilities of shepherding the flock entrusted to him and fostering communion with the pope. The event takes place on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

In addition to the pallium Mass, pilgrims will have an opportunity to tour some of the major Catholic and tourist landmarks in Italy. They will depart on June 22 from Atlanta on an overnight flight to Rome. Upon arrival, the group will be met by an English-speaking tour escort and will travel by luxury motor coach to the Italian seaside village of Gaeta where they will have a welcome dinner and spend the night.

On Friday, June 24, pilgrims will travel to San Giovanni Rotondo, where Mass will be celebrated at the tomb of St. Padre Pio. There will be a tour of the sanctuary, old church and crucifix from which Padre Pio received the stigmata in 1918 and later of the Grotto of Michael the Archangel, one of the most celebrated shrines of Christianity.

After spending the night in San Giovanni Rotondo, the pilgrims will depart June 25, visiting Lanciano to see the eucharistic miracle in the little church of St. Legonziano and the Marian Shrine of Loreto.

The group will then travel to Assisi where they will stay for several nights.

On Sunday, June 26, morning Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of St. Clare, where the pilgrims can also view her incorrupt body. They will visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica where St. Francis spent much of his life and tour the chapel within it known as the Porziuncola, the rose garden and the cave where the saint retired for prayer.

Later the group will make an excursion to Cascia to view the incorrupt remains of St. Rita who had a great devotion to Christ’s Passion. After a group dinner, the pilgrims will spend the night in Assisi. On Monday, June 27, Archbishop Gregory will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis. The pilgrims will have the rest of the day free to explore the city on their own.

On Tuesday, June 28, the group will travel to Orvieto where Mass will be celebrated at the Orvieto Cathedral and they will tour the Chapel of the Corporal to see the eucharistic miracle related to Corpus Christi. They will travel on to Rome where they will stay for the rest of the pilgrimage.

Pilgrims will spend most of Wednesday, June 29, on a Christian Rome tour, including the Basilicas of St. Mary Major and St. John in Lateran, the Holy Steps climbed by Christ in Jerusalem, the Basilica of the Holy Cross and the catacombs. The Holy Father will celebrate the pallium Mass at 6 p.m., the highlight of the pilgrimage. The Mass will be followed by a reception at the North American College.

On Thursday, June 30, Archbishop Gregory will celebrate Mass in the historical Chapel of the Casa, providing the space is sufficient for the group. Mass will be followed by a celebration luncheon. The rest of the day will be available for pilgrims to explore Rome.

Mass at Santa Susanna, the American church in Rome, will start the day on Friday, July 1, and will be followed by stops at the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. In the evening, a gala farewell dinner will be held. The return flight to Atlanta will be on the morning of July 2.

An early booking special of $3,489 per person based on double occupancy rooms is offered to those who make a $350 deposit by April 1. After April 1, an additional $100 will be added to tour prices. Additional air tax is estimated to be $135. The balance will be due 75 days prior to departure.

The total cost includes scheduled air service, nine nights of hotel accommodations, Mass celebrated daily, 15 meals including breakfast daily and six dinners, guided sightseeing tours in San Giovanni Rotondo, Assisi and Rome, entrance fees, services of a professional English-speaking tour manager in Italy, hotel porterage for one piece of luggage and local taxes. Rates are based on local tariffs, exchange rates and taxes in effect in February 2005 and are subject to increase before tour departure.

A registration form is available at or contact Corporate Travel Service, Inc., at (313) 565-8888, ext. 121.