Pilgrimage to South Korea

A Journey With Meg Hunter-Kilmer, Sarah Ku, & Fr. Phil Yang

September 17 - 27, 2024

About

Join Meg Hunter-Kilmer, Sarah Ku, & Fr. Phil Yang on a journey of faith and culture through the Korean Peninsula. As the only nation to evangelize itself, where Catholicism spread apart from colonialism, South Korea offers an encounter with an authentically inculturated faith. From the lives of inspiring saints to magnificent cathedrals, from bustling Seoul to the peaceful serenity of Chon Jin Am, immerse yourself in the unique and vibrant story of the Church in South Korea.

Trip Details

Group Type

Open to All

Length

11 days, 10 nights

Accommodations

Standard

Cost

As low as

$2,995

Deposit:

$500

What's Included

Dedicated pilgrimage director (groups of 30+ pilgrims), supplemented by local guides
Custom booklet for each pilgrim
Catholic Chaplain
Daily Mass & Holy Hour
Private transportation on motor coach
All tickets and donations for included activities listed on itinerary
Standard accommodations
Meals as indicated on itinerary
Preparation & follow-up materials
Audio headsets

Itinerary

September 17
Depart U.S.
  • Depart U.S. (flights not included in the package)
September 18
Seoul (D)
  • Arrive in Seoul by noon, transfer to hotel (flights not included) Pilgrimage officially begins at 3 p.m. in the hotel lobby
  • Welcome Mass and Holy Hour at Gahoe-dong Church, site of the first Mass of the Korean Catholic Church
  • Enjoy a traditional Korean meal at a local restaurant
  • Overnight in Seoul
  • Accommodations: Ibis Insadong or similar
  • Meals included: Dinner
September 19
Seoul (B)
  • Discover the uniquely lay birth of the Church in Korea along the “Good News Road,” a walking pilgrimage route winding through the streets of downtown Seoul
  • Begin at Myeondong Cathedral with Mass and a Holy Hour, the current seat of the Archbishop of Seoul
  • Then, continue to the homes of John the Baptist Yi Byeok (site of the first baptisms in Korea) and Thomas Kim Beom-u (Korea’s first evangelist), and Jongno Catholic Church
  • After lunch, continue on to the “Eternal Life Road,” to pray at the site of the beatification of the 124 Korean martyrs, visit other historical sites, and end with a tour of Seosomun Shrine History Museum and Yakhyeon Shrine
  • Overnight in Seoul
  • Accommodations: Ibis Insadong or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast
September 20
Seoul (B)
  • Witness the historical persecution of the Korean Catholic community with a walking pilgrimage along the “Unity Road”
  • Begin at Danggogae Martyrs’ Shrine, site of the third largest martyrdom of Korean saints, then continue to Saenamteo Martyrs’ Shrine
  • Complete the morning with Mass and Holy Hour at Jeoldusan Martyrs’ Shrine where the relics of 27 saints can be venerated
  • In the afternoon, visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, royal palace of the Joseon dynasty built in 1395, and Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional Korean village filled with cultural centers, restaurants, and tea houses, a window into traditional Korean culture
  • Overnight in Seoul
  • Accommodations: Ibis Insadong or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast
September 21
Chon Jin Am (B, L)
  • Take a day trip to Chon Jin Am, site of the birthplace of Korean Catholicism
  • Contemplate the Korean martyrs’ imitation of Christ at the Chon Jin Am Way of the Cross and gardens
  • Celebrate Mass and a Holy Hour, with time for hiking and exploring the vast and serene grounds of the shrine
  • Overnight in Seoul
  • Accommodations: Ibis Insadong or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
September 22
Yondangri - Solmoe - Gongseri (B, L, D)
  • Venture out from Seoul, beginning with a Holy Hour at the burial spot of St. Andrew Kim Taegon at Mirinae Holy Ground
  • Then, continue to the Solmoe Cathedral and village, renowned as the birthplace of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean Catholic priest
  • Conclude the day at Gongseri Catholic Church and celebrate Mass, considered by many as the most beautiful church in Korea, beautifully combining traditional Korean elements with Western influences and the site of 32 martyrs
  • Overnight in Cheonan
  • Accommodations: ON City Hotel or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
September 23
Haemi - Waegwan - Daegu (B, D)
  • Spend the morning at Haemi International Sanctuary, where thousands of nameless Catholic martyrs are memorialized, including Mass and time to explore the shrine
  • Then, drive to the Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey to pray with the Benedictine community
  • Overnight in Daegu
  • Accommodations: Queen Veil Hotel or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
September 24
Daegu - Hanti - Daegu (B, L, D)
  • Morning exploration of Namsan-dong Catholic Town in Daegu, including Mass at Seongmodang Church and a visit to the Daegu Cathedral
  • Continue to Hanti Martyrs’ Shrine, with Holy Hour and time for hiking in the mountains
  • Overnight in Daegu
  • Accommodations: Queen Veil Hotel or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
September 25
Hanti - Seoul (B)
  • Travel back to Seoul
  • Spend the remainder of the day exploring the city on your own — take in the sights of Seoul at its highest point at Seoul Tower, explore a curated walkthrough of the history and art of Korea at the National Museum of Korea, or savor authentic Korean dishes like bulgogi, bibimbap, tteokbokki — the decision is yours!
  • Overnight in Seoul
  • Accommodations: Ibis Insadong or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast
September 26
DMZ - Yeoncheon - Seoul (B, L, D)
  • Visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing North and South Korea at the Ganghwa Peace Observatory, with views of North Korean villages
  • Continue to the Ganghwa Dolmen Sites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing ancient megalithic tombs that date to the prehistoric period
  • After lunch, visit the Augustinian Retreat House in Yeoncheon for Holy Hour and Mass
  • Return to Seoul for a Farewell Dinner
  • Overnight in Seoul
  • Accommodations: Ibis Insadong or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
September 27
Departure (B)
  • Depart Seoul (flights not included in the package)
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Led by

Group LeaderGroup LeaderChaplain
Meg Hunter-Kilmer

Meg Hunter-Kilmer is an itinerant missionary and storyteller who travels the world telling people about the fierce and tender love of God. She is a Fellow of the Sullivan Family Saints Initiative in the McGrath Institute for Church Life and the author of three books about Scripture and the Saints. When she’s not obsessively googling obscure Saints, trying to convince people to read Scripture, or driving appalling distances while listening to audiobooks on double speed, she loves watching the Olympics and spending time with her nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

Sarah Ku

Sarah Hoyoung Ku is a mother of five based out of Silicon Valley. She is the creator behind @asiancatholicwoman on Instagram and has written for U.S. Catholic, Catholic News Service, and National Catholic Reporter.

Fr. Phil Yang

Father Philip Yang was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended Catholic school most of his life at Saint Irenaeus and Servite high school. He graduated with a history degree from UC Irvine. 

While considering the life of marriage, he got very involved in a young adult Bible study group. Here, he discovered his vocation through the word of God. After much discerning, Father Philip decided to join the Augustinians after reading the confessions written by Saint Augustine.

Father Philip received his Masters in Divinity at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. After spending 2 years as an Associate Pastor in San Diego, he was assigned as the next Vocations Director for the California province of Saint Augustine.

Father Philip’s passion is studying scriptures and helping young adults encounter the word of God.

Pricing

As low as

$2,995

Package Cost (without savings)

$3,495

Trip Savings

Early bird (All who register before 11:59 p.m. on November 30th, 2023)
Save $500/person

Optional Add-ons

Single room supplement (limited availability)
$890/person
Gratuities for guides, drivers, meals, & hotels
$85/person
Travel protection
Travel protection price is calculated based on a variety of factors and optional plans are provided by Travel Insured International.

Pilgrimage scholarships are available! For more information, email hello@versoministries.com.

“As low as” price includes savings for early bird.
Pricing listed per person in double-occupancy rooms and does not include airfare.
The number of available single-occupancy rooms is limited.

Scholarships (by application) are available! For more information, email hello@versoministries.com.

*Travel protection price is calculated based on a variety of factors and optional plans are provided by Travel Insured International.

Rates assume a minimum of 30 full-paying pilgrims.

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Gratuities for pilgrimage director, guide(s), driver(s), hotel staff, and meals (optional add on)
  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees
  • Any personal purchases
  • Any meals not indicated on itinerary, as well as beverages at meals
  • Any required COVID tests or vaccinations
  • Recommended travel protection with Cancel for Any Reason coverage
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

Arrive by: September 18, 2024
Arrival time: By 12:00 PM
Arrival airport: Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea (ICN)
Arrival transfer: Pilgrims arriving by 12:00 p.m. will be transferred to the hotel in one group at noon.

Depart on: September 27, 2024
Departure time: Anytime on September 27, 2024
Departure airport: Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea (ICN)
Departure transfer: Pilgrims departing on September 27 will be transferred to the airport in one group.

Standard Accommodations

  • Seoul: Ibis insadong or similar
  • Cheonan: ON City Hotel or similar
  • Daegu: Queen Veil Hotel or similar
  • Seoul: Ibis Insadong or similar

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.

FAQ

The sooner you register for the pilgrimage, the better! Not only does registering early guarantee you a spot on the pilgrimage before the departure fills up, but if you register before 11:59 p.m. on November 30th, 2023, 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 180s 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 recommend that all pilgrims consider purchasing travel protection. We partner with Travel Insured International (TII) to offer travel protection.

According to TII, travel protection 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 from TII. If you have any questions regarding your quotation, please call TII. 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.