Holy Spirits

Pilgrimage on the Bourbon Trail

October 27 - 30, 2022


Join Dr. Jared Bryson on a pilgrimage for men to the holy lands and Bourbon Trail of Kentucky. Journey alongside your brothers in Christ for four days of community, craft, and communion. You’ll have the chance to spend time in prayer and fellowship at some of Kentucky’s holiest sites including the Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Monte Cassino Shrine, Abbey of Gethsemani, and Thomas Merton’s Hermitage, plus masses with Benedictine and Trappist monks. Along the way, you’ll experience the rich Bourbon Trail culture including historical tours and exclusive tastings at some of the Trail’s most famous distilleries.

Trip Details

Group Type & Size

Men only, 30-55 pilgrims


4 days, 3 nights




As low as




What's Included

Dedicated pilgrimage director, supplemented by local guides
Custom booklet for each pilgrim
Catholic Chaplain
Private transportation on motor coach
All tickets and donations for included activities listed on itinerary
Standard accommodations
Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, beer and bourbon tastings, and distillery tour
Gratuities for pilgrimage director, guide(s), driver(s), and meals
Audio headsets


October 27
St. Louis, Ferdinand, Saint Meinrad
  • Group meets at St. Francis of Assisi Church
  • Depart St. Louis
  • Lunch and tasting at St. Benedict’s Brew Works
  • Continue to Saint Meinrad Archabbey for tour (pending availability)
  • Weather permitting, take a hike to Monte Cassino Shrine and celebrate Mass
  • Close the evening with dinner and Vespers with the Benedictine monks
  • Overnight in Saint Meinrad
  • Accommodations: St. Meinrad Guesthouse or similar
  • Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
October 28
Saint Meinrad, Bardstown
  • Optional Morning Prayer (5:30 a.m.) with the monks
  • After breakfast depart for Bardstown
  • Free time for lunch in Bardstown
  • Distillery Tour #1 – Jim Beam
  • Visit St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral with Mass
  • Close the day with dinner and an evening bourbon tasting at Bardstown Bourbon Company
  • Overnight in Bardstown
  • Accommodations: Hampton Inn or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
October 29
Abbey of Gethsemani, Bardstown
  • Breakfast, then depart for the Abbey of Gethsemani
  • If possible, visit with one of the Trappist Monks and hike back to Thomas Merton’s Hermitage (pending availability)
  • Free time for hiking on the monastery grounds, including time to visit Thomas Merton’s grave
  • Sext prayer with the Trappist monks before a boxed lunch on the grounds
  • Distillery Tour #2 – Maker’s Mark
  • Free time for dinner in Bardstown
  • Evening bourbon tasting event at lodging
  • Overnight in Bardstown
  • Accommodations: Hampton Inn or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
October 30
Bardstown, Louisville, St. Louis
  • Breakfast in lodging, then depart for Louisville
  • Mass at the Cathedral of the Assumption, followed by a visit to the Archdiocesan History Museum and 4th-and-Walnut street corner
  • Private lunch, tour, and tasting at bourbon distillery (pending)
  • Depart Louisville and evening arrival back to St. Louis
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Led by

Group LeaderChaplain
Dr. Jared Bryson
Dr. Jared Bryson
St. Louis, MO

Dr. Jared Bryson is a Disciple of Jesus, husband, father of three, Pastoral Theologian, Oblate of St. Benedict, Executive Bourbon Steward, and President and CEO of Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

He holds a bachelor of science in Organizational Development from Greenville College, Greenville, IL and a Master of Divinity from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO. He also holds a Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality from Washington Theological Union in Washington, DC. He has received the Executive Bourbon Steward certification from the Stave and Thief Society, the first and only certification recognized by the Kentucky Distillers Association. Dr. Bryson has served for the past 25 years in ministry, serving in parishes, diocesan ministries, seminary, Catholic Health Care, Catholic Education, Retreat and Spiritual Direction Ministries, and currently serves as the President and CEO of Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

Father George Staley
Rev. George Staley
Oakville, MO

Fr. Staley is the Associate Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Oakville, South St. Louis County. Fr. Staley is originally from St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church where he received various sacraments and education. He attended St. Louis University High School, and upon graduation, he entered Kenrick-Glennon Seminary for nine years of formation. He was ordained a priest in May 2019 and was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi in Oakville, MO.
Fr. Staley is involved in many activities of the parish including the grade school, parish school of religion, youth ministry, RCIA, servers, Athletics Association, and others. He helped start a regional young adult ministry with other parishes called Abide – Young Adult Ministry. Fr. Staley enjoys reading, working out, spending time with others, and drinking tea. He is very grateful to have this opportunity to serve as a chaplain for this pilgrimage!


As low as


Package Cost (without savings)


Trip Savings

Early bird (first 20 to register)
Save $100/person


“As low as” price includes savings from early bird savings.
Pricing listed per person in double-occupancy rooms.
The number of available single-occupancy rooms is limited.

*Travel protection price is calculated based on the age of the traveler and the total package cost.

Rates assume a minimum of 30 full-paying pilgrims.

  • Any required COVID tests or vaccinations
  • Any personal purchases
  • Any meals not listed on itinerary
  • Drinks at meals
  • Recommended travel insurance (optional add-on)
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

No flight arrangements are needed for this pilgrimage. 



Standard Accommodations

  • St. Meinrad: St. Meinrad Guesthouse or similar
  • Bardstown: Hampton Inn or similar

There is no extension offered for this pilgrimage. 



Deposit due upon registration – $500/person
Final balance due 120 days prior to departure – Final balance

Please note: Payment plans can be arranged if needed. Please contact us if you would like to pay in several installments.


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 are for individual pilgrims and fees will be charged per person per booking.

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

  • Within 2 weeks of deposit: Free Cancellation*
  • 91 days or more from departure: Deposit is retained
  • 90-61 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost is non-refundable
  • 60-31 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost is non-refundable
  • 30 days or less prior to departure: 100% of trip cost is non-refundable

*Free cancellation (if deposit is made more than 180 days prior to departure)

Any cancellation charges incurred from other suppliers or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, tickets, 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 100 days or less prior to departure unless otherwise noted.


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 jp@versoministries.com,hunter@versoministries.com,annie@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 jp@versoministries.com,hunter@versoministries.com,annie@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.

Have a Question?



Activity Level

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.