God is Full of Life

A Pilgrimage to Italy with University of St. Francis

May 13 - 23, 2024

About

Join the University of St. Francis to experience the fullness of life and the beauty of the Catholic Church through the life of St. Francis on a trip to Rome and Assisi. This pilgrimage is designed for encountering the life of St. Francis, integrating into the charism of the University of St. Francis and Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration, and experiencing the broader Catholic Church.

Trip Details

Group Type

University of St. Francis Community, 20-45 pilgrims

Length

10 days, 9 nights

Accommodations

Standard

Cost

As low as

$4,288

Deposit:

$500

What's Included

Pilgrimage Director (groups of 30+ pilgrims)
Local, licensed tour guide(s)
Custom booklet for each pilgrim
Catholic Chaplain
Daily Mass
Private transportation on motor coach
All tickets and donations for included activities listed on itinerary
Standard accommodations
Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 6 dinners
Gratuities for pilgrimage director, guide(s), driver(s), and meals
Audio headsets

Itinerary

May 13
Depart U.S.
  • Depart for Italy (flights not included in the package)
May 14
Rome
  • Arrive in Rome by noon and transfer to hotel (flights not included with the package)
  • Pilgrims should plan to arrive no later than noon to the Rome Fiumicino (FCO) airport
  • Pilgrims who arrive by noon will be transferred to the hotel in one group
  • Pilgrimage will officially begin at 3 p.m. from the hotel
  • Welcome mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls, followed by welcome dinner
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodation: Hotel Emmaus or similar
  • Meals included: Dinner
May 15
Rome
  • Morning Papal Audience with the Holy Father in St. Peter’s Square (pending the Holy Father’s travel
    schedule)
  • Afternoon visit to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, prayer on the Holy Stairs, veneration of the
    Passion Relics at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, and the Basilica of Saint Mary Major
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodation: Hotel Emmaus or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast
May 16
Rome
  • Morning Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, followed by a tour of the Vatican Museums including
    the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodation: Hotel Emmaus or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
May 17
Rome, Greccio, Assisi
  • In the morning, depart from Rome on a daytrip to the Rieti Valley
    Celebrate a Christmas Mass at the Sanctuary of Greccio, established by St. Francis, constructed in 1228,
    and site of the first nativity scene
  • Continue to Assisi and check into hotel
  • Overnight in Assisi
  • Accommodation: Hotel Windsor Savoia or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
May 18
Assisi
  • Day pilgrimage through the old city of Assisi, with Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis, veneration of the
    original San Damiano crucifix at the Basilica of St. Clare, and visits to the Cathedral of San Rufino and
    Cheisa Nuova
  • Overnight in Assisi
  • Accommodation: Hotel Windsor Savoia or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast
May 19
Assisi
  • Morning visit to the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels with Mass celebrated under the Porziuncola
    (pending availability)
  • Afternoon exploration of the San Damiano Church and monastery of St. Clare
  • Overnight in Assisi
  • Accommodation: Hotel Windsor Savoia or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
May 20
Assisi, La Verna, Assisi
  • Take a day trip to La Verna
  • Explore the Sanctuary of La Verna and the Chapel of the Stigmata, where St. Francis of Assisi received
    his stigmata, including Mass
  • Overnight in Assisi
  • Accommodation: Hotel Windsor Savoia or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
May 21
Assisi, Rome
  • Morning visit to the Sanctuary of the Eremo delle Carceri and the cave of St. Francis
  • Afternoon free time to explore the old city of Assisi on your own
  • Late afternoon departure for Rome
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodation: Hotel Emmaus or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
May 22
Rome - Free Day
  • Free day in Rome to explore on your own
  • Closing Mass in a local church
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodation: Hotel Emmaus or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
May 23
Departure
  • Depart for the U.S. (flights not included in the package)
  • An optional airport shuttle will depart from the hotel to the airport at 7 a.m. on this day
  • Based on their flight departure time, pilgrims are welcome to ride the 7 a.m. airport shuttle or arrange
    their own transportation to the airport
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Led by

Group LeaderGroup LeaderChaplain
Sister Karol Ann_University of St. Francis
Sister Karol Ann

A native Hoosier, Sister Karol Ann Hoefer was climbing the corporate ladder as a CPA when the Lord invited her to follow Him in a more radical way. Perpetual adoration and Franciscan community life drew her to the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in 2013. She professed her final vows in 2021 and currently serves as treasurer of her religious community. Sister Karol Ann loves Jesus, snail mail, laughter, and chocolate.

Sister Mary Amata

Sister Mary Amata is from Floyds Knobs, Indiana. She met the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration while studying at Ball State University, and was attracted to their joy, dedication to Jesus in the Eucharist, and sisterly love in community. Sister Mary Amata entered in 2017 and is currently in temporary vows. She is finishing her studies at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Theology and Business Management. As she continues to follow God’s call in this vocation, Sister Mary Amata is filled with gratitude at the gift of living as Jesus’ bride and strives, with the help of her Sisters, to make her life “one ceaseless act of adoration” (quote Bl. Maria Theresia Bonzel, foundress).

Fr. Paolo Degasperi

Fr. Paolo was born in Trent, Italy in 1988 and studied Business in Milan. Later, he joined the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate after College at age 22. In 2016, Fr. Paolo moved to Fort Wayne, IN to join the Franciscan Friars Minor. He studied at the Seminary in Cincinnati, before being ordained a Diocesan priest for the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend in June 2021. After ordination, Fr Paolo was assigned to St. John the Baptist in Fort Wayne first as the vicar and since last June as the pastor. He is currently helping as a chaplain at Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne.

Pricing

As low as

$4,288

Package Cost (without savings)

$4,488

Trip Savings

Early bird (first 20 pilgrims to register, available until January 1, 2024)
Save $200/person

Optional Add-ons

Travel protection
Quote available upon request*
Single room supplement (limited availability)
$801/person

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

*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 20 full-paying pilgrims.

  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees
  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Any personal purchases
  • Any meals not indicated on itinerary, as well as drinks at meals
  • Any required COVID tests or vaccinations
  • Recommended travel protection with Cancel for Any Reason coverage
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

Designated arrival and departures times

  • Arrival information
    • Arrive by: May 14, 2024
    • Arrival time: By 12noon
    • Arrival airport: Rome Fiumicino (FCO) airport
    • Arrival transfer: Pilgrims who arrive by 12noon will be transferred to the hotel in one group
  • Departure information
    • Depart on: May 23, 2024
    • Departure time: at or after 11:00 AM
    • Departure airport: Rome Fiumicino (FCO) airport
    • Departure transfer: An optional airport shuttle will depart from the hotel to the airport at 7 a.m. on this day
      • Based on their flight departure time, pilgrims are welcome to ride the 7 a.m. airport shuttle or arrange
        their own transportation to the airport

 

 

Want to arrive or depart outside of the designated times?

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designated times, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.
  • Private transfer information and pricing can be found in the Additional Information section below.
  • Need to book a private transfer? Contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at (574) 383-9396.

 

Want help arranging your flights?

Standard Accommodations

  • Rome: Hotel Emmaus or similar
  • Assisi: Hotel Windsor Savoia or similar

 

Need to get around? Private transfers

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designated times at the Rome airport, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.
  • Need to book? Contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at (574) 383-9396.

 

Arriving early or staying late? Pre-stay and post-stay options

This is no extension planned 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.

Final package price is estimated. Prices are based on the current exchange rate as of October 2023. Any drastic fluctuations in currency exchange rates 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 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

*To qualify for free cancellation within 2 weeks of deposit, deposit must be made 180 days or more 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 you don’t want to miss out on available discounts, including the early bird savings (see “Trip Savings” in the Pricing section above more details). 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 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.