Passion Pilgrimage

to Italy and France with the Notre Dame Folk Choir
March 8-17, 2024

For our Spring Break tour in 2024, the Notre Dame Folk Choir will travel on a pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, and Lourdes! In each location, we’ll perform the Passion in a historic church or concert hall. Some incredible highlights of the journey will include the opportunity to sing in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi and visit the infamous Lourdes healing baths and grotto. Additionally, we’ll be opening up a pilgrimage track anyone who would like to join us on the pilgrimage. Contact the team at Verso Ministries to learn more!

A Pilgrimage to Italy

A Pilgrimage to France

Join the Folk Choir in Pilgrimage and Song

All are welcome to join the 2024 Passion Pilgrimage to Italy and France with the Notre Dame Folk Choir

The impact on each other I think was so much more powerful than just taking this trip on your own. It was way better than anything that I had imagined.
Susan C., ’72 SMC

An Opportunity
of a Lifetime

1 Pilgrimage, 2 Tracks

Whether you choose to be a “pilgrim” or part of the “chorus,” a week of prayer, mystery, and beauty awaits

Pilgrim Track

Choosing the “Pilgrim” track means that you get to enjoy the harmony of pilgrimage and song as you accompany the Notre Dame Folk Choir throughout Italy and France. Pilgrims will be pilgrims during the day, praying at historic churches while touring the highlights of each city, then enjoying the evening performances from the audience. Pilgrims will not be part of the performance, but they will be welcome to attend each performance.

  • Join all activities as a pilgrim
  • Enjoy all performances from the audience
Chorus Track

Joining the “Chorus” track offers the opportunity to actually join the choir for the week! Chorus members will be sent music ahead of time to rehearse on their own, then they will rehearse with the choir on location. Chorus members will also have the opportunity to take advantage of most pilgrimage activities. On performance days, they will join the choir a few hours before the performance to rehearse and prepare. The Chorus will perform at all three performances with the choir. Chorus members should have relevant choir experience to participate.

  • Join all activities as a pilgrim
  • On performance days, rehearse and sing with the Choir

Tentative Itinerary

Itinerary shown is subject to change

Friday & Saturday

  • Depart from the U.S. on an overnight flight and arrive to Rome
  • Transfer to hotel for check-in
  • Optional activity – Tour of the Roman Forum and Coliseum
  • Evening dinner and reception at the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway


  • Sunday morning Mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls

  • Papal Angelus in St. Peter’s Square

  • Afternoon visits to St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, and the Holy Stairs

Monday -
Performance Day

  • Early morning entrance to the Vatican Museums, followed by tour of St. Peter’s Basilica
  • City center tour with Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and several beloved Roman churches
  • Evening performance of the Passion


  • Transfer to Assisi

  • Visit the important churches in the Old City of Assisi, including the Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Clare, and Mass in the Basilica of St. Francis

Wednesday - Performance Day

  • Mass in the Basilica of St. Mary and the Angels

  • Optional afternoon visits to the San Damiano Monastery and the Hermitage or free time in the Old City

  • Evening performance of the Passion


  • Morning Mass in Assisi

  • Transfer to Lourdes

Friday - Performance Day

  • Morning Mass in Lourdes, followed by tour of the sanctuary

  • Afternoon free time to explore the baths and other local traditions

  • Evening performance of the Passion


  • Morning Mass in Lourdes, followed by free time to explore the Lourdes sanctuary and fully process the entire experience
  • Transfer to Toulouse
  • Farewell dinner 


  • Depart France

About the
Folk Choir

The Notre Dame Folk Choir was founded in the late 1970s and quickly the choir moved far beyond the conventional definition of a “folk” group. The choir works to bridge the gap between contemporary compositions of a post-Vatican II church community and the rich expression of traditional choral repertoire. Our musical offerings have been gathered from numerous cultural traditions, and a special emphasis is placed on contemporary music. Many of the pieces in our repertoire have been arranged by the choir’s directors and a variety of other composers active in the field of sacred music.

The Folk Choir serves the University of Notre Dame as one of the principal liturgical choirs, singing every Sunday during the academic year at the 12:00pm liturgy in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Members of the choir come from a variety of academic disciplines, but are brought together by a shared love of music and a desire to practice, explore, and share their faith. Following the example of Blessed Basil Moreau, the choir aims to unify the hearts and minds of both our members and the congregations we serve through our song.

About JJ

J.J. Wright currently serves as the Director of the University of Notre Dame Folk Choir. As a conductor, pianist, composer, and producer his interests lie at the convergence of the creative process, music-making, spirituality, and liturgy.

J.J.’s work has appeared on Grammy-award winning and #1 Billboard Classical albums. Most recently, he traveled to Jerusalem with the Notre Dame Folk Choir to record their new setting of “The Passion”, which was also awarded a Teacher-Scholar Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship. J.J. has recorded extensively and has worked on albums with Dave Samuels, AfroBop Alliance, The United States Naval Academy Band, Franky Rousseau, Levon Henry, Dominic Mekky, Ike Sturm, Nate Wood, Fifth House Ensemble, Joe Henry, Ryan Freeland, 5/4 Productions, The Notre Dame Children’s Choir, The St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, Dana Nielson, and Br. Isaiah, CFR.

After an enlistment with the United States Naval Academy Band, J.J. completed his undergraduate degree in Jazz Piano at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Moving to the University of Notre Dame for graduate studies, J.J. received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the Program in Sacred Music and  lived in Rome, Italy, for one year while he wrote and composed his dissertation, Drama and Devotion at Chiesa Nuova: Translating Anerio’s Teatro Armonico to Jazz Oratorio, took classes at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, and interned with the Sistine Chapel Choir. 


JJ headshot


2024 Pilgrimage to Italy & France
Registration Now Open!

Have a question or want updates about this pilgrimage? Send us a message below.

The pilgrimage has been exceptionally beautiful in its organization, in its depth of spirituality, the teachings that have been shared, and the people we’ve encountered in the places we’ve gone. Exceptionally well organized, exceptionally well planned, and memorable for every one of us.
Pilgrim, Notre Dame Alumni

Have a Question?

Don’t hesitate to ask!

Call (574) 383-9396