God is Inspiring

A Pilgrimage to World Youth Day with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

July 26 - August 7, 2023

About

Come with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and Verso Ministries to one of the most inspiring, epic weeks you’ll ever encounter in your faith. Join millions of Catholic young people in celebrating the life of faith God has called you to. You’ll never experience God, the Church, or your faith the same way ever again.

Registration is now OPEN!

Trip Details

Group Type & Size

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Minimum 40 Pilgrims

Length

13 days, 12 nights

Accommodations

Standard

Cost

As low as

$3,494

Deposit:

$300

What's Included

Dedicated pilgrimage director, supplemented by local guides
Daily Mass
Pre-WYD extension to Madrid including tour guide, audio headsets, and entrance fees
Day pilgrimage to Fátima, including tour guide, transportation, audio headsets, Mass, and meals as listed in itinerary
Private transportation on motor coach and airport/hotel transfers
All tickets and donations for activities listed on itinerary, including World Youth Day registration fees
Standard accommodations
Breakfast daily, WYD meal vouchers, and Welcome/Farewell Dinners
Post-Departure benefits of the Student Deluxe group plan from Travel Insured International have been purchased by Verso on behalf of each pilgrim (U.S. residents only)

Itinerary

July 26
Depart U.S.
  • Depart U.S. (flights not included in the package)
July 27
Madrid
  • Arrive in Madrid and transfer to the hotel for check in
  • Enjoy a panoramic city tour seeing the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de España, with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, the splendid Valley of the Fallen with its memorial to those who died in the Civil War, and the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales (“Monastery of the Barefoot Royals”), a Hapsburg foundation with a fascinating museum of religious art treasures (entrance included)
  • Additionally, from the bus you’ll enjoy views of the city’s historic sites including the famed Museo Nacional del Prado and the 2000-room Royal Palace
  • Welcome Mass and dinner
  • Overnight in Madrid
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Dinner
July 28
Ávila, Toledo
  • Full day pilgrimage to Ávila and Toledo
  • First, begin at the home of St. Teresa, with stops at the Incarnation Convent, where she became a Nun, the museum dedicated to her life, the Cathedral, San Vicente Church, and La Santa Monastery built on the site of her house
  • After lunch, continue to Toledo, once the home of the famous artist, El Greco, and the subject of some of his most famous paintings, as well as St. John of the Cross, where he was imprisoned
  • Visit of the city, including the Plaza de Zocodover, Igelsia de Santo Tome, the Cathedral, and Sinagoga de Santa Maria la Blanca
  • Celebrate Mass before returning to Madrid for dinner on your own
  • Overnight in Madrid
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
July 29
Madrid
  • Choose your own adventure while taking in the sights and sounds of Madrid
  • Contemplate the treasures at the Museo Nacional del Prado, stroll through Retiro Park, explore the Royal Palace, or simply enjoy some people watching on the Plaza Mayor – the choices are endless!
  • Gather with the group for evening Mass and dinner on your own
  • Overnight in Madrid
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast
July 30
Madrid, Lisbon
  • Morning Mass before departing for Lisbon
  • Arrive to Lisbon and enjoy a panoramic city tour, including Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, and a visit to St. Anthony of Padua Church
  • Visit the Lisbon Cathedral, Santa Maria Major (time permitting)
  • Time to explore Lisbon and evening dinner on your own
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast

*Basic Itinerary pilgrims arrive to Lisbon on this day

July 31
Fátima, Lisbon
  • Day trip to Fátima to discover the story of the three children to whom Our Lady of Fátima appeared, beginning at their homes in Aljustrel
  • Pray the Stations of the Cross as you continue to Valinhos, where Our Lady appeared to the children after their release from prison, then complete the day at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima
  • Explore the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, celebrate Mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions (pending availability), and visit the Basilica of the Holy Trinity
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
August 1
Lisbon, WYD Opening Mass
  • Spend the morning and afternoon on your own touring Lisbon complete with its unique spiritual and historical sites
  • In the late afternoon, head to the Opening Mass for World Youth Day, hosted by the Patriarch (Archbishop) of Lisbon
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
August 2
Morning Catechesis, Youth Festival
  • Morning catechesis with English-speaking bishop, priests, and youth at designated church or school in city to pray, celebrate, and learn together with music, testimonials, and Mass
  • Afternoon free time to explore Lisbon and attend the various events of the Youth Festival, including Reconciliation, music, and fellowship
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
August 3
Catechesis, Papal Welcome
  • Morning catechesis at designated location with fellow pilgrims
  • Join in welcoming the Pope at the welcome celebration and prayer service with the Holy Father
  • Free time to explore the sights and sounds of the Youth Festival with continued opportunities for prayer, music, and fellowship
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
August 4
Catechesis, Stations of the Cross
  • Final catechetical session in the morning with the bishops
  • Then, the Youth Festival continues, with the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation or check out the Vocation Fair
  • In the evening, rejoin the Pope as all the pilgrims pray together the Stations of the Cross, led by the Holy Father himself
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
August 5
Walking Pilgrimage, Overnight Vigil
  • Begin with a pilgrimage to the Vigil site, typically a 12-15 mile walk
  • After finding designated area, settle in and enjoy different entertainment, shows, music, and prayer opportunities
  • In the evening, join with the Pope and fellow pilgrims for a candlelit Vigil prayer service
  • That night, sleep under the stars and prepare for the final day
  • Overnight at Vigil site
  • Accommodations: Under the stars, Vigil site
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
August 6
Closing Papal Mass, Lisbon
  • The morning begins early with closing activities, including music, prayers, and the closing Papal Mass with the Pope
  • Walk back to the hotel to enjoy a hot shower and some last minute shopping or sight-seeing before enjoying a Farewell Dinner
  • Overnight in Lisbon
  • Accommodations: Centrally located 3-star hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
August 7
Departure
  • Depart Lisbon for U.S.
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Led by

Group LeaderGroup LeaderChaplainChaplain
Angie Pometto, Director for the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Angie Pometto currently serves as Director for the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Angie received her bachelor’s degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2003, and she has been involved in youth and young adult ministry for the past 17 years. She worked with Jr. High and Young Adult Ministry at Saint Mark Catholic Church in Vienna, Va., for five years before deciding to pursue her master’s degree in theology through the University of Notre Dame Echo Program. During her two years in Echo, she served in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Ind. Before coming to Texas, Angie spent three years working as an associate director in the Diocese of Richmond, Va. Angie has traveled to more than a dozen countries where she visited many grand churches, stood before the tombs of saints, and saw (from a distance) St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. She hopes to meet Pope Francis on future travels.

Thalía Romero, Associate Director for the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Thalía Romero currently serves as the Associate Director for the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Thalía is a cradle Catholic who has been involved in ministry since a very young age. She received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Houston-Downtown in 2016. In 2017, Thalía was hired as the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Hispanic Ministry where she served for four years. In Hispanic Ministry, Thalía participated in the V Encuentro process and helped develop a manual to Train the Trainers in the Archdiocese as they implement the Proceedings and Conclusions of the V Encuentro. In 2019, Thalía entered the Centro Semillero for Hispanic/Latino Theology, Masters of Pastoral Theology program at the University of St. Thomas where she graduated in May 2021. After graduation Thalía looked to grow professionally and was hired as the Associate Director for the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry in October 2021. Outside of work she dedicates a great amount of time to music ministry at her home parish, Holy Family Church in Missouri City, Texas. She released her first album, “Confiar, tener fe” in 2020. Thalía enjoys exploring new food, traveling with her family, and spending time with Boba, her chihuahua.

Rev. Miguel Perez, CC
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Soy el Padre Miguel Perez y pertenezco a la comunidad de los Compañeros de la Cruz. Soy vicario en la parroquia Reina de La Paz. Tengo 31 años y fui ordenado sacerdote el 3 de Julio 2021 en la fiesta de Santo Tomas Apostol. Naci en Conroe, TX y mi parroquia durante mi infancia y adolescencia fue la parroquia del Sagrado Corazon. A los 18 años ingrese a la Universidad de Texas A&M para estudiar Ingeniería. Fue en el centro catolico estudiantil donde empeze a discernir mi vocacion. A los 22 años senti en mi corazon las palabras “Ven y Sigueme” durante una noche de adoracion. Estoy muy contento de ser sacerdote! Me ha tocado vivir 3 Jornadas Mundiales de la Juventud: Madrid (2011), Rio de Janeiro (2013), y Krakow (2016). Me gusta jugar futbol/ correr, viajar, y ir por un cafecito.

My name is Father Miguel Perez and I belong to the community of Companions of the Cross. I am parochial vicar at Queen of Peace Parish. I am 31 years old and was ordained to the priesthood on July 3, 2021 on the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle. I was born in Conroe, TX and grew up going to Sacred Heart Catholic Church. I studied engineering at Texas A&M University and became involved at the St. Mary’s Catholic Student Center. It was there that i started discerning my vocation to the priesthood. When i was 22 years old, i sensed in my heart the words “Come, Follow Me” during a night of adoration. I’m really happy to be a priest! I’ve had the privilege of going to World Youth Day three times: Madrid (2011), Rio de Janeiro (2013), and Krakow (2016). During my spare time my hobbies include: playing soccer/ running, coffeeshops, and traveling.

Rev. Christopher Meyer
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Fr. Christopher, along with his twin brother Kevin, was born in Houston, TX to Dave and Eilís Meyer. Raised in Sugar Land with Kevin and his younger sister Kate, he attended St. Laurence Catholic School from preschool through eighth grade. He then attended Strake Jesuit, where he began to softly hear the call to priesthood. Fr. Christopher attended Texas A&M University, where his faith was deepened at St. Mary’s Catholic Center. During this time in college, inspired by many excellent priests, he began to seriously discern the priesthood. After a somewhat confusing discernment between marriage, religious life, and diocesan priesthood, he would eventually find real clarity in entering seminary for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. After completing his formation at St. Mary’s Seminary, Fr. Christopher was ordained a priest on June 4th, 2022. He began his first priestly assignment as the parochial vicar at St. Faustina Catholic Church in Fulshear on July 1st.

El Padre Christopher, junto con su hermano gemelo Kevin, nació en Houston, TX a Dave y Eilís Meyer. Criado en Sugar Land con Kevin y su hermana menor Kate, asistió a la escuela católica St. Laurence desde el preescolar hasta el octavo grado. Luego asistió a Strake Jesuit, donde comenzó a escuchar suavemente el llamado al sacerdocio. El Padre Christopher asistió a la Universidad Texas A&M, donde profundizó su fe en el Centro Católico St. Mary. Durante este tiempo en la universidad, inspirado por muchos excelentes sacerdotes, comenzó a discernir seriamente el sacerdocio. Después de un discernimiento algo confuso entre el matrimonio, la vida religiosa y el sacerdocio diocesano, eventualmente encontraría una verdadera claridad al ingresar al seminario de la Arquidiócesis de Galveston-Houston. Después de completar su formación en el Seminario de St. Mary, el Padre Christopher fue ordenado sacerdote el 4 de junio de 2022. Comenzó su primera asignación sacerdotal como vicario parroquial en la Iglesia Católica St. Faustina en Fulshear el 1 de julio.

Pricing

As low as

$3,494

Package Cost (without savings)

Optional

Single room supplement (upon request)
$1,025/person
Basic Itinerary savings (Days 5-13 only)
Save $919/person
Travel protection upgrades
Quotes provided upon request*

Pricing listed per person in double-occupancy rooms. Final pricing may adjust based on WYD registration fees and/or any significant changes in currency exchange rates.

The number of available single-occupancy rooms is limited.

*Travel protection upgrade prices are calculated based on the total trip cost.

Rates assume a minimum of 40 full-paying pilgrims.

  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees
  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Any personal purchases
  • Meals while traveling and any meals not mentioned on itinerary
  • Drinks at meals
  • Any required COVID tests or vaccinations
  • Gratuities for pilgrimage director, guide(s), driver(s), and meals
  • Upgraded travel protection
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

Group Flight information

There will be no Group Flight for this pilgrimage.

Arranging your own flights?
Designated arrival and departures times

Extended Itinerary Flight Information

  • Arrival information
    • Arrive by: July 27, 2023
    • Arrival time: before 4pm
    • Arrival airport: Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD)
    • Arrival transfer: Pilgrims will be transferred in groups according to arrival time from the airport to the Madrid hotel.
  • Departure information
    • Depart on: August 7, 2023
    • Departure time: After 7am
    • Departure airport: Lisbon (LIS)
    • Departure transfer: Pilgrims departing on August 7 will be transferred in one group to the airport.

Basic Itinerary Flight Information

  • Arrival information
    • Arrive by: July 30, 2023
    • Arrival time: before 4pm
    • Arrival airport: Lisbon (LIS)
    • Arrival transfer: Pilgrims arriving on July 30 will be transferred in one group from the airport to the hotel.
  • Departure information
    • Depart on: August 7, 2023
    • Departure time: after 7am
    • Departure airport: Lisbon (LIS)
    • Departure transfer: Pilgrims departing on August 7 will be transferred in one group to the airport.

Standard Accommodations

  • Madrid: Centrally located 3-Star hotel
  • Lisbon: Centrally located 3-Star hotel

 

Extension itinerary is listed above.

In order to secure your space, Verso Ministries requires a non-refundable deposit of $300 per person. All final balances are due by April 1, 2023. Here is your group’s payment plan:

  1. Deposit due upon registration – $300/person
  2. June 1, 2022 – 15% of package
  3. August 1, 2022 – 15% of package
  4. October 1, 2022 – 15% of package
  5. December 1, 2022 – 15% of package
  6. February 1, 2023 – 15% of package
  7. April 1, 2023 – Final balance

Final package price is estimated. Prices are based on the exchange rate as of December 2021. Any drastic fluctuations in currency exchange rates, airline taxes and fees (as applicable), or WYD registration fees could affect the final pilgrimage pricing. If you have any questions about pricing and when final pricing decisions will be communicated, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted to Verso Ministries in written form and received via email or mail. Any refunds, as applicable, will be processed based on the date stamp of email or mail received. Cancellation fees will be charged per person, per booking. Cancellation fees apply to individual pilgrims who cancel their booking or organizing groups if the original number of pilgrims is reduced and the group size is altered.

Cancellations are possible at any time, but refunds are subject to cancellation fees at the rates listed here.

  • After deposit: Deposit is retained ($300 per person)
  • May 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022: $1,000 per person
  • July 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022: $1,500 per person
  • October 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022: $2,500 per person
  • January 1, 2023 – March 31, 2023: $3,500 per person
  • April 1, 2023 or after: 100% of trip cost (no refund given)

Any cancellation charges incurred from other suppliers or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, tickets, WYD registration, etc.) may come in addition to the administrative fees listed here. All group flight airline tickets, optional excursions, trip options, pre/post extensions, private transfers, and additional hotel nights are non-refundable 180 days or less prior to departure unless otherwise noted.

FAQ

The sooner you register for the pilgrimage, the better! Not only does registering guarantee you a spot on the pilgrimage before the departure fills up, but if you are one of the first 20 pilgrims to register you will receive the early bird discount. Also, there is no risk for 14-days after you register should you then have to cancel (must register 180 days or more prior to departure). So let’s say you register for a pilgrimage, but then realize you can no longer attend, as long as you cancel your pilgrimage within 14-days of registering and registered more than 180 days prior to the departure, then we will fully refund your deposit no questions asked. Just send us a written confirmation of your cancellation and we will take care of the rest. Plus, the sooner you register the sooner your journey begins. Register today!

There is no risk! Your deposit will be fully refunded as long as you cancel within 14-days of registering and you have registered more than 180 days or more prior to departure. With no risk, why wait? Get registered today!

Registration closes when the pilgrimage reaches the maximum number of pilgrims. If the pilgrimage is filled when you register, you will be added to our waiting list, and contacted in the event that space on the pilgrimage becomes available. Don’t miss your chance, register now and begin your journey.

We highly recommend that all pilgrims buy travel protection. Travel protection is not only for peace of mind, but helps protect you and those you are traveling with from unforeseen emergencies, which always seem to happen at the worst possible time. In the event of emergencies, both before and during your travels, as well other circumstances, like travel delay, lost baggage, missed connection(s), and much more, travel protection can help. Upon registration you will receive a travel protection quotation. If you have any questions regarding your quotation, please call the issuing company. If you need an updated or new quotation, please contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at 574-383-9396. We are happy to help!

Including optional add-ons with your pilgrimage can really add to your experience whether it is one of the optional extension or arranging an extra night stay beforehand so you are rested when the pilgrimage begins. If you would to add on any optional arrangements, as listed above, please email us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at 574-383-9396.

A pilgrimage, at its simplest, is a trip of faith. Which means a pilgrimage can be anything from a walk around your city to an encounter of Jesus in the Holy Land. For Catholics, it’s a trip of faith that people have been taking for hundreds or even thousands of years, many times in the same exact places you can visit today. It’s an opportunity to experience the spots God has made his presence known most in time and space, whether that’s where Jesus walked, where Mary appeared, or where the saints have lived and worked.

At Verso, we believe in crafting pilgrimages that offer you a view of God’s world and his work in it that you can’t get anywhere else. We believe everything from the holy sites, to the meals, to daily Mass, to your fellow pilgrims are ways God can speak to you, which means we’re intentional about it all. We also believe a pilgrimage isn’t just the days you travel, it’s how you prepare from the moment you sign up, to the days and weeks after you arrive home. Which means it’s our intention to shepherd you through the entire process — before, during, and after — so you can have the best, most transformative experience possible. We’re not just travel experts, we’re experts in Catholic pilgrimage.

We know from experience that preparing for a journey is just as important as the journey itself. Our goal is to make sure you’re physically, logistically, and spiritually ready for your pilgrimage. You’ll receive essential emails that will walk you through the process and give you ways to prepare your mind and heart for what you’ll encounter. A pre-trip webinar will make sure you are in touch with the Verso leader of the trip, can get trip-specific info, and can ask questions. We’ll send you a pilgrim kit that contains a comprehensive booklet for your trip along with some Verso swag (such as a bag, pen, and sticker) that you can bring along with you on your pilgrimage. And of course, we’re always available by phone or email if you have any questions or special needs.

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Activity Level

Easy
This trip’s activity level is easy. It’s recommended that travelers be in good health to enjoy this itinerary and be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include half or full-day itineraries with 1-3 hours of leisurely walking per day on smooth or slightly inclined terrain. The pace is more relaxed, with opportunities to rest throughout the day.

Moderate
This trip’s activity level is moderate. Travelers must be in good health and be in good physical condition to enjoy this itinerary. Travelers must be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries of 3-5 hours of walking at a normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and hills. The pace is faster and more demanding, with some breaks throughout the day.

Difficult
This trip’s activity level is difficult. Travelers must be in good health and physically fit to enjoy this itinerary. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries with up to 5-7 hours of walking at normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and steep hills. The pace is vigorous and demanding, with little down time each day.

Accommodation Level

Simple
For the duration of your trip, enjoy a range of lodging accommodations — from quaint guesthouses to simple-styled hotels. Discover a newfound appreciation for each of these locations which often have a unique character of their own. With your private bathroom and sleeping quarters, these locations will provide you with a clean, comfortable, and cozy place to settle into during your journey.

Standard
Venues at this level will provide you with the best accommodations at a reasonable cost. Not only will you have access to modern amenities and services, but special care is taken to ensure hotels are located in close proximity to the area’s local attractions. Expect your stay at this level to provide you with an added feeling of comfortability and convenience as you experience your pilgrimage.

Premium
Your stay at the premium level will ensure that your travel involves the opportunity to experience some of the most unique and luxurious stays that a destination has to offer. You’ll find that traveling at this level will afford you the opportunity to optimize your experience at each spot. From fine dining to scenic views, anticipate that your pilgrimage will provide you with breathtaking experiences no other location could provide.

How will I know what my stay will be like?
Each of our pilgrimage locations come with their own unique accommodations. From simple to luxurious, you can know that the care and satisfaction of each pilgrim is our greatest priority. While specific amenities will vary, we are sure that each of these handpicked locations will leave you rested, rejuvenated, and ready for each day.