M a gn i ficen t Jour n e y s Fall 2013 | V ol. 7
Inside: • Pilgrim Holy Land Experiences 4 • Pack Light + Right 8 • Upcoming Pilgrimages 9 • Pope Francis Attends World Youth Day 13
Taking Pilgrims to Holy PlacesTM
letter from the founder
Dear Pilgrim Family, Once again this year has brought many spiritual adventures, new friends and new places. On Jan. 31, the Lord gave us a new house. Our new space is in the same complex, but it’s in a different building, and it provides us with much needed room. A fresh start is always a great thing, and so this is how our year began. We now have a great environment for prayer, planning and execution of pilgrimages and missions. The new year also brought us a new pope. Our entire staff watched anxiously as we awaited the announcement of the new Holy Father. I could not believe my ears when I found out that our new Holy Father was from Latin America. He is a simple man who loves God and His people. In April, we had the opportunity to attend a papal audience with St. Genevieve pilgrims. It was truly an experience we will never forget. God has continued to bless Magnificat Travel with new journeys and new pilgrims. After much prayer and discernment, we opened the position of business manager, which was accepted by Barney Lejeune. Lauren Daniels returned as a pilgrimage administrator, and we also welcomed two new pilgrimage administrators: Bonnie Bollich and Kayla Raffray. Learn more about them on page 18. Every year as I sit and read our pilgrim and mission witnesses, it never fails to amaze me on what a divine plan God has in store for us - and just how much He can change our lives over and over again. A common theme you will find spread among these stories is the power of a group, especially in travel. Prior to our journeys, many pilgrims’ experiences while traveling is among a close group of family or good friends. But that’s what makes a Magnificat journey so unique: the opportunity to connect and learn from a group of holy men and women, many of them complete strangers. While you read these pages, I pray that you are just as inspired as God’s great love continues to unfold.
Our Mission Magnificat Travel is an apostolate that seeks to “Magnify the Lord” by
TA BL E O F C O N T E N T S
supporting the ongoing conversion of pilgrims, through facilitating and shepherding journeys to Holy Places. The ministry of Magnificat Travel is intended to aid in building the Kingdom of God by planning,
FRANCE & ITALY
organizing and leading journeys focused on Christian themes and spiritually enriching subject matter.
on the cover The statue of St. Peter stands in front of the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican City. Magnificat Travel is excited to celebrate a new pontiff following the steps of St. Peter as we welcome Pope Francis.
Walking in the footsteps of Jesus, pilgrims travel to Jerusalem to see where He was born, lived, worked and died. From the Lourdes Grotto in France to the Pope at St. Peter’s Basilica in Italy, pilgrims connect with the Church family. Pilgrimage escort Andrew Bollich offers tips for packing less into suitcases so pilgrims can pack more in their journeys.
Plan your next pilgrimage or mission trip with Magnificat Travel in the United States or Europe.
MAKE MEMORIES ON YOUR JOURNEY
WHY MAGNIFICAT TRAVEL?
WORLD YOUTH DAY
MAGNIFICAT TRAVEL NEWS
Make your next travel memories with Magnificat Travel. Learn about journeys planned around the world this season. Magnificat Travel has more than 13 years experience planning pilgrimages with a Catholic focus, and they are fully escorted. Youth from San Antonio and around the world saw Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer. Pilgrims don’t have to travel overseas to make a pilgrimage to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., or EWTN Studios. Missionaries learn about being “one body” during mission trips to Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, helping the poor. Learn about the Magnificat Travel staff and meet new members and travel escorts. Magnificat Travel
“You have not come to the mountain that may be touched... but you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” - Hebrews 12:18,22
The Holy Land:
Where the Gospels come to life
his trip was the most profound experience of my life, and I feel certain no other travel destination will change my opinion. In fact, because of my pilgrimage, I know that my future travels will always be filled with wonder of the glory of God and all that He has made! It’s hard to impart your feelings of this profound experience other than to say that your relationship with Jesus will grow exponentially. I have always preferred to travel with family and friends and to keep the travel party small. This pilgrimage would not have been as blessed had I not shared the walk of Jesus’ life with 29 new friends and acquaintances.
During and after the trip, our love for each other has been a true reflection of Jesus’ love. What I can articulate is the quality of the trip. This was my first experience with Magnificat Travel, and I can truly say that it was fantastic. The pace of the trip led by our extraordinary tour guide Amer Shehadeh, along with our spiritual leaders, allowed for deep and personal reflection and prayer as we visited these most holy places. Additionally, the accommodations fostered true camaraderie with fellow pilgrims. Using our free time to share our thoughts from the day or to view photos taken during the day was treasured time. We even were all together one evening awaiting the news of our new pope…how wonderful! Many of the pilgrims on the trip had traveled with Magnificat before and shared how special their journeys to France and Italy were. I certainly look forward to traveling again with Magnificat in the future, because I know the experience will be exceptional! Janet Wood Sacred Heart Church Broussard, La.
Jesus is Alive In the Holy Land
y friends, I am here to tell you Jesus is not dead, but alive. We have seen him with our own eyes. We have touched him with our own hands and tongue. We have consumed him into our bodies. Jesus has risen and we are witnesses to these things. If ever I was in awe in my life, this was one of those moments. We awoke and traveled the way of Jesus with his cross to the Calvary, which is now enclosed in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We were almost alone and were able to touch and kiss the rock upon which held the cross of our Lord and which his precious blood fell upon. We then descended to reverence the pillar where Jesus was scurged. We viewed the crack in the earth from the earthquake that took place when Jesus gave up his last breath. We celebrated Eucharist in and around the tomb. The tomb is small, only big enough for a few people.The group remained outside while Deacon Ken Soignier, a priest from Milan and I celebrated the Eucharist in the tomb.The Word was proclaimed and homily given outside the tomb, and the consecration took place above the slab where He was laid. Clearly the power of the Lord was upon us. Did I
Left: Fr. Michael Delcambre, right, says Mass at Shepherd’s Field with Deacon Ken Soignier, left. Above: Pilgrims Teresa and Luis Meza at Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem.
breakfast and visited the pool mention that it was the high of Bethesda where Jesus Mass? There are Masses said visited. We also visited the every 30 minutes there from 5-8 a.m. However, there is one site where St. Steven was martyred. All in all, it was a Mass that is the high Mass in good morning. which the Franciscan Monks I feel alive in every way, chant all the Mass parts.Yes, we truly a witness to light overcelebrated that Mass! Wow! We were all in tears as we de- coming darkness. clared victory over Those of you who are reading sin and death. At one part in this, I assure you that there is no the Liturgy, I came darkness in your life that Jesus out of the tomb cannot overcome.There is no sin with the consethat he cannot forgive.There is crated Eucharist no place that he will not pursue and elevated him to declare “Behold you in order to give you life. the Lamb of God, His words to me at CalBehold Him who takes away vary and in the tomb were: “I the sins of the world, happy Love You.” Everything he did are those called to the supper was out of love for me and of the Lamb.” you. He shows us the depth Words cannot express of his love in the cross, in the the joy and jubilation of these words.These words are a dec- tomb. He gave everything up for us. We have much to laration that Jesus is not dead be thankful for and our life is but alive. He has risen and is alive among us. “Alleluia” is our how we thank him. battle cry. Fr. Michael Delcambre After an emotional Pastor of St. Joseph Church celebration and experience Cecilia, La. of the Resurrection, we had
TRIP of a LIFETIME •
In Cana, pilgrims with spouses renew their wedding vows.
At the Mount of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon of the Mount, pilgrims celebrate Mass in the garden overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
Pilgrims renew their Baptismal promises at the Jordan River.
At Mt. Tabor and the Church of Transfiguration, pilgrims feel the presence of God at the site of the Transfiguration, the last time Jesus was in the area of Galilee.
At the Church of the Visitation, where Mary and Elizabeth met while both pregnant, pilgrims hear the Magnificat in multiple languages.
Pilgrims take a “floating experience” at the Dead Sea and a camel ride.
Adapted from experiences by Luis A. Meza, M.D. Carmelite Monastery, Lafayette La. Magnificat Travel
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Faithful Pilgrimage to France
Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine Lourdes, France
MagnificatTravel Travel Magnificat
he pilgrimage to France in May far exceeded my expectations. The selection of very holy religious sites was spectacular. Father Neil McNeil made each of the Masses we were privileged to attend very special. He is quite the spiritual advisor.
Every activity we participated in was and still is very moving spiritually. From attending the international Mass at Lourdes with approximately 15,000 other pilgrims, to climbing 1,000 feet or more to partake in the Way of the Cross at Lourdes, and Mass at the grotto of the apparitions, we were truly blessed.That was our first stop in Lourdes. Our other stops were Nevers, Ars, Chartres, Paris and Lisieux. Every stop included visits to awesome churches, basilicas or crypts: some of the finest buildings and testimonies to our Catholic Church and faith.Visits to the tombs of incorrupt saints and the parents of Saint Therese alone were worth the journey. My fellow pilgrims from South Louisiana and California were very friendly and consoling. I made many new acquaintances that I hope to see again on another pilgrimage. I was truly blessed by their support and affection. The accommodations, buses, flights, meals, etc., arranged by Magnificat Travel were top notch and probably the best available in many of the small towns we visited. Thanks to the entire Magnificat team for an enjoyable time. Keith LaBauve
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral Alexandria, La.
Top: A pilgrimage to Italy always includes a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Above: Pope Francis waves to pilgrims as he processes through St. Peter’s Square during the Papal Audience. Left: Pilgrims visit the Lourdes Grotto in France.
Pope & Inspiring sites in France & Italy
his was the trip of a lifetime. Many of our friends have taken trips to France/Italy, but on our trip with Magnificat Travel, we were able to have access to many things that other tour groups didn’t, including St. Peter’s tomb. I enjoyed Mass every day with Fr. François Sainte-Marie, each at a different chapel along our journey. One of the highlights for me was seeing Pope Francis - he is so inspirational - and the most emotional for me was praying on the Holy Steps. Our trip was a good blend of vacation and pilgrimage. From the hills of Assisi to the canals of Venice and the streets of Rome, it was spectacular! Lisa Newsom St. Joseph Catholic Church, Milton, La. Magnificat Travel
T r av e l T i p s
Pack Right + Light If you’re leaving on an extended pilgrimage or trip for more than two days, how can you enjoy your journey and ease concerns about being prepared? How much or little should you pack? How can you avoid pitfalls to travel?
Where you are traveling dictates how to pack, but here are some starters:
toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, one shampoo/ conditioner if necessary, shaver, comb/brush, etc.
One basic top and bottom for every 2-3 days of trip. Guys, consider packing several white V-neck T-shirts to wear underneath tops. Ladies, consider camis. Bring one set of nice clothes for special occasion such as church, a date, etc.
and undergarments for the entire trip. If away more than two weeks, schedule “wash time.”
Adapter and converter,
if traveling abroad, for anything you plug into the wall (chargers, computers).
Bring two comfortable pairs for walking.
A debit/credit/ATM card. Call your bank in advance to let them know where you will be travelling to and when. Travel with enough currency of the country you are visiting to last at least three days.
What NOT to pack The more we pack, the more we worry. Packing too much can be as detrimental to enjoying your trip as being underprepared. • •
Prescription medicine for the entire trip in prescription bottles with your name.
Glasses, contacts, etc. Pack for weather.
Bring one jacket or coat, if needed., and a compact umbrella/ poncho.
One large suitcase (under 50 pounds if flying) and one backpack or small carryon.
• • •
Blow dryer, if provided. Non-essentials such as curling irons, hair spray/gel, etc. Most hotels will have shampoo, conditioner and soap. Check online if unsure. Medicine for every “what if” possibility. Drugstores are usually available in cities we visit. Expensive jewelry, coats, boots and hats. Every camera, computer or electronic attachment known to man. Several thick heavy books that won’t be opened. Bringing one book increases your chances of actually reading it.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to pack less into the trip. How can more become less and less become more? • Pick out the most important agenda item each day and make sure it happens. All else is extra. • Schedule rest time, especially after long travel days. Without rest, the enjoyable things become miserable. Lightening your agenda can allow you to make memories instead of blurs. • Schedule time every day to pray, reflect and be thankful. Andrew Bollich, pilgrimage escort
Upcoming Journeys EUROPE
Family Pilgrimage to Assisi & Rome Dec. 27, 2013-Jan. 4, 2014 Focused on family, this pilgrimage is a carefully discerned grouping of families. The afternoons and evenings are intentionally left unplanned so families can spend time together. Spiritual director: fr. mark toups holytravels.org/familyitaly
Poland: Footsteps of Blessed John Paul II Feb. 27-March 3, 2014 Experience the country where Pope John Paul II was born, served and answered the call to the priesthood. Visit special places in the lives of St. Faustina, St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Edith Stein. Spiritual director: fr. franÇois sainte-marie
High School Senior Trip to Italy
May 30-June 7, 2014 High school graduates will have an unforgettable, yet spiritually educational experience on the Senior Trip to Italy! As an alternative to a traditional senior trip, this pilgrimage focuses on scenic sites of Italy. Spiritual director: fr. mitchell guidry
Blessed Jean Martin Moye Pilgrimage - France June 30-July 12, 2014 Join the Sisters of the Divine Providence as they follow their founder’s footsteps through scenic France. Visit Paris, Lisieux, St. Jean de Bassel, Lourdes, Portieux, Cutting, Metz,Trier and Strasbourg. Spiritual director: sr. gloria fiedler holytravels.org/sdpfrance
Our Lady of Lourdes Church - Italy Sept 17-27. 2014 Visit Rome, Assisi, and San Giovanni Rotondo. Celebrate Padre Pio’s feast day at San Giovanni Rotondo, the place where Padre Pio lived and served. Spiritual directors: fr. bill melancon and fr. clint trahan holytravels.org/ololitaly
Passion Play Pilgrimage, Ozarks, Ark. Oct. 17-20, 2013 In a four-day retreat to the beautiful Ozark Mountains in northern Arkansas, attend daily Mass and see the Great Passion Play, which portrays Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, performed by a cast of over 100 actors and live animals. holytravels.org/passionplay
EWTN & Shrine of Blessed Sacrament
March 27-30, 2014
Take a pilgrimage to the EWTN Studios in Alabama and visit the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Stay at St. Bernard Abbey, the Benedictine retreat center where the famous Ave Maria Grotto is located.
877-454-7469 P.O. Box 4801, Lafayette, LA 70502
337-291-1933 (phone) 337-291-1935 (fax) www.holytravels.org
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“I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth.” - Pope Benedict XVI, bidding farewell after his resignation
WHY MAGNIFICAT TRAVEL? With Magnificat Travel, travel as a pilgrim, not a tourist. A pilgrim invests themselves so as to be affected by the pilgrimage. The pilgrim is part of a community making the pilgrimage.
Over 13 Years Experience Our staff has extensive travel industry and ministerial experience, enabling us to offer a unique and quality pilgrimage experience. Magnificat Travel is family owned and operated from its inception in 2001. Our team began planning and leading pilgrimages since 1995, long before Magnificat Travel became a full-time ministry.
Journey is Fully Escorted
Take a Spiritual Adventure
The Magnificat Travel experience includes complete travel planning, payment management and free travel for the local group leader(s). A spiritual director - often an ordained priest - leads each pilgrimage and carries out spiritual activities. A trained travel escort coordinates logitistics, enabling you to fully engage in the experience.
When we travel to far away places, we leave our routines and what is familiar. We allow our minds and hearts to be more open to God’s word and direction. We free ourselves from daily distractions and noise that sometimes impedes our ability to grow, develop and appreciate our place in life and call from God.
Insurance Covers Unexpected Situations
never thought about purchasing insurance before. It always seemed like a gimmick from travel companies to pay extra for something I would never use. What could possibly go wrong? Famous last words. At Magnificat Travel, I find myself managing 10-12 travel insurance claims a year. From cancellations due to hurricanes or airline strikes to European flooding or personal illness, I have seen it all. There is nothing that makes me feel more helpless than
talking to pilgrims who find themselves in circumstances outside their control, forcing them to cancel just days before a journey with no hope of refunds. Equally as challenging is accommodating those disasters or challenges en route. Here at Magnificat Travel, we try to cover every base, but unfortunately, we are unable to predict all circumstances. And here is where I made the travel insurance conversion. Friends laughed when I purchased a policy for a trip to Disney World. I quickly explained the odds of getting
sick right before the incident, therefore losing money I had already invested. I’ve seen it way too many times to doubt the probability of this sort of occurrence. More now than ever, airlines are changing their policies day to day. Please do not let yourself be put in a situation that ruins your journey of a lifetime. Hopefully this can be used as a witness to why travel insurance becomes so imperative, no matter the situation or destination to which you are traveling. Katie Tregre, Magnificat Travel
World Youth Day 2013 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Top: Brother Gabe Ruiz participates in Praise and Worship with 3.5 million Catholics from around the world. Middle: Gabby Villafuerte and Bianca Esquivel wear Rio de Janeiro scarves and pray the Way of the Cross with Pope Francis. Bottom:The World Youth Day pilgrims camp out in anticipation of the Pope.
aving been blessed with the opportunity to be on pilgrimage for World Youth Day Madrid 2011 with Magnificat Travel, I was ecstatic to know I’d once again be a pilgrim in God’s hands and in the hands of the Magnificat family. We arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the day of Pope Francis’ arrival and welcoming. Some of us were in the third row of a very packed crowd, bursting with excitement and anticipation of the Pope mobile passing by. I will never forget the cheering that erupted when Pope Francis passed. The next night we attended the Stations of the Cross, then followed a beautiful afternoon of praise and worship.The best part, though, was going to Copacabana Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world, and seeing dozens of flags from all over, hearing different languages and praising our Lord, all of us at peace and united in our Catholic faith. Adoration on the beach was a taste of heaven. Nearly 3 million Catholics adoring our Lord and all that I could hear besides grateful cries (my own and those around me) was the sound of crashing waves that seemed to announce that the Calmer of Storms was in our midst. We learned the dance to a flash mob prepared for Pope Francis, and we traded stories, souvenirs and English expressions with those around our little camp site: America bordered by Brazil,
Peru, Chile and Paraguay.The final Mass and announcement of World Youth Day 2016 in Poland closed the big 2013 event with such gratitude and joy: gratitude for the Catholic Church and for protection over us. Of course, World Youth Day does not end. Pope Francis challenged each of us to not be afraid, to hold near to prayer, the sacraments and to serve others. He challenged us to be strong and to be a voice for the voiceless, aware of the pressures and manipulations we face. He promised us, as we knew from Scripture, that God will be with us every step of the way. Like the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks this diverse and vibrant city, we are called to go forth and embrace all people with the compassion and light of Christ. We are called to make disciples of all nations, trusting that Christ, in his redeeming love, holds and guides us. May we turn our hearts to Christ, set our gaze on heaven and see Christ in one another. Bianca Esquivel Coordinator of Religious Education and Chaplain St. Phillip of Jesus, San Antonio,Texas Magnificat Travel
“There can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person’s dignity and without respect for his or her rights.” - Pope John Paul II
Defend Life! This trip made me realize that we can never stop fighting until there is an end to abortion, not only in our country, but all over the world. I am so glad that God gave me this opportunity and insight on the pro-life movement and allowed me to experience this amazing opportunity.
Pro-Life March on the capitol
tepping off the airplane into the cold Baltimore weather, I knew this trip would be a great one. The day of the March for Life was very exciting. Hundreds of thousands of people were there marching in the snowy weather for the same great cause. Eagerly, my friends and I grab some signs that say “DEFEND LIFE” and “STOP ABORTION NOW.” Little did I know what I would soon experience on that March would change my life forever.The faces of the mothers who regret their abortions will be imprinted in my mind forever. The brave and courageous fathers standing there weeping for their aborted children was an amazing and powerful sight.The challenge of giving out our baby feet pins had all of us excited and on the lookout for
someone who would touch our hearts that day. All of the gruesome pictures of tiny aborted babies shocked and horrified me.The thought that someone could take this precious little life and suddenly end it disgusted me. But, at the same time I couldn’t take my eyes off of the images. There were a few prochoice protestors shouting horrible things at pro-life activists passing by.We simply told them to have a blessed day and silently prayed for them to have a change of heart. I realized on the March just how many people care and want the decision of Roe v. Wade reversed.We can never stop fighting to protect life. It is our responsibility to stand up for those who do not have a voice and a choice or not to live. I realized on this trip that life is a precious gift from God that should not be taken for granted. I met Eli, who has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair.Watching Eli’s smiling, silly faces as he played airplanes
with me made me realize just how precious life is. I was thankful that Eli’s parents had chosen life so that I had the opportunity to meet and enjoy his company. Eli has the best personality and attitude in the world. Seeing
how much he enjoyed his life made the trip that much more rewarding. Katherine Comeaux 11th grade student Hanson Memorial High School Franklin, La. Above:The Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument. Left: Katherine Comeaux, Dom Casanova, Sarah Ruiz and Sarah Stirling with signs before the March for Life. Below: Students from Hanson Memorial High School in Franklin, La., join the March for Life on Jan. 25.
FOUR DAYS IN GOD’S EMBRACE: EWTN EUCHARISTIC PILGRIMAGE
s a pilgrim seeking a holy journey during Lent, I found a treasure and must compliment Ray and Maria Tregre of Magnificat Travel for the excellent “rolling retreat” to EWTN Studios and Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, St. Bernard Abbey, and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. During our time on the bus, we prayed, watched inspirational movies and received wonderful teachings from our spiritual directors, Msgr. Curtis Mallet and Fr. François SainteMarie, who also entertained us with some very funny jokes. Our nights were spent in much comfort at St. Bernard Abbey Retreat Center in Cullman, Ala. The Benedictine Brothers have a boarding school there, a beautiful church where we attended Mass and the Ave Maria Grotto. After visiting the Grotto, we traveled to Irondale, Ala., for a tour of EWTN. This was most enjoyable for me because I have been watching the network for almost 20 years. The following day we went to Hancevillle, Ala., to the Shrine. I do not have words to express the beauty of this most holy place, but I can tell you what I felt there. A life-size statue of El Divino Nino (the Divine Child Jesus) speaks to each person who enters the piazza on their way into the Shrine. He holds out His little hand with His heart in it showing how much He
Pilgrims visit the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament during a pilgrimage to EWTN Studios in Alabama.
loves us. He wants us to take His heart and give ours to Him and to all those He sends into our lives. On my pilgrimage, I experienced this kind of love, not only from Our Lord and the rest of our heavenly family, but from all my fellow pilgrims, and especially from Maria, Ray, Tessa, T.J. (our bus driver) Msgr. Mallet, Fr. Francois, and my roommate, Bonita. Love was everywhere - in the bus, at the Abbey, in the Shrine and at EWTN Network! Let me share examples of this love. Before signing up for the pilgrimage, I told Maria a few special needs I have. She made me feel so comfortable. Nothing was a problem. All would be taken care of. Thank you so much, Maria, for giving me your heart before the journey and on all four days of it. I was recently fitted with leg braces that have been like a miracle for me as far as walking is concerned.
Now I can walk on flat surfaces, but uphill or steps, is difficult. That’s where Ray and the extra vehicle came in very handy, but not just for me. There were several of us senior citizens who found the walk from the retreat center to the cafeteria or the church a bit of a challenge. One night he saw that my hands were very cold because I had forgotten my gloves. He gave me his jacket to keep them warm. Thank you, Ray, for giving me your heart. Now, as I reminisce about my journey and all the people who shared their hearts with me, it is difficult to stop writing. To all my fellow pilgrims, especially those who were in my group on our last evening together, I thank you for giving me your heart, and I give mine to you. Rosalie Streva Our Lady of Fatima Church Lafayette, La.
Missionaries Persevere in Prayer
ersevere in prayer is the beginning line from Colossians 4:2, and it is
also the phrase that stuck with me during the week I spent in Puerto Rico. Our mission trip began with a bus ride from Old San Juan to our retreat house in Aguas Buenas. After a long day of traveling, we all had fallen asleep. We fell asleep in traffic and woke up in paradise. We were in awe when we were surrounded with lush greenery and beautiful flowers. We immediately scoped out the grounds and took in all the beauty Puerto Rico had to offer. While we were Top: Andrew Tregre, Brandon Verret, and Alexis Fonthere, we worked tenot tour old San Juan on their Day of Pilgrimage. around the retreat Above:Top row, Christen Chauvin, Gabby Monju, house painting and Dominique Lorentz, Molli Fortier, Aimee Fortier, Jessica gardening. Along Clark, Julie Lefort and Danielle Chauvin. Middle row, the same lines, Katilynn Walker, Anna Didier, Maria Rachal, Casey Hollier, Alexis Fontenot, Megan Roberts, Destiny Ortiz some of us had and Emily Sagrera. Bottom row: Catherine Dugas. the opportunity to help a family imFar Right: Jessica Clark and Destiny Ortiz paint prove and beautify at a Puerto Rican orphanage.
their family-operated nursing home. It was also a privilege to travel to a shelter for abused infants. There, we had the chance to play with the children and witness their unforgettable joy. We were also blessed with the opportunity to visit a few historical cities and sites Puerto Rico had to offer. We had experiences like making small talk with a Puerto Rican woman in Caguas to swimming under a waterfall in the rainforest. There was never a moment that was not lived to its fullest potential. Throughout this past year, I have not been as consistent in my prayer as I should have been. The pressures of college and a relationship did not lead me on the right path in my prayer life. I have attended Catholic school my whole life and was taught how to pray, but I have never experienced prayer like I did on mission trip. Deacon Juan Pagan explained to us how to deeply pray through the morning and evening prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours, which truly allowed me to enter into a full
prayer experience. I was so blessed to have 23 other missionaries along with me who helped me grow in faith and community. These people have become my best friends in one short week. The kind of friends that can only deepen your faith and encourage you to make the right decisions. I am forever grateful to the impact they made and will continue to make in my life. I was so blessed to be able to go on this life changing mission and I look forward to seeing what else God has in store for me in the future. Julie Lefort, Junior University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission - I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.” - Cardinal John Henry Newman
Helping those in need on Mission in Costa Rica
t seems impossible at times to put into words the life changing experience a person might gather while laboring in the fields for our Father. My mission trip to Costa Rica was without uncertainty one of these times. Sixteen missionaries and I loaded our packed belongings onto a bus and left the comfort that was so common to us as we drove off into total darkness. My first attempt to rationalize what was going on as the tiny road we drove on wound up, down and around the Costa Rican mountainside in sheer darkness was halted when the awe-inspiring glow from the lights of San Carlos slowly faded beyond my sight. It was at this point that I realized, “This is for real.” This trip was going to be a mission. We rode across the Costa Rican countryside before awaking to the sound of cheerful singing, clapping and the sight of so many smiles. The most amazing and caring Costa Rican family was accompanied by missionaries who had arrived earlier that day, and they were all dancing and singing for us as we wearily unloaded our bags. The nights proceeding would be so very similar with cheerful singing and dancing as well as a sense of community unlike most anything else. The next morning we were up bright and early to pray and have introductions. Breakfast, as every other meal during the stay, was amazing and so filling! We ate traditional
Costa Rican foods such as beans and rice with pork and chicken, along with fresh fruits and fruit juices. The work, which consisted of painting walls, refinishing doors, repairing the roof and some landscaping, seemed easy while working alongside so many new-found friends all with the same goal in mind. We wanted to help others who were in need, and more than anything, we wanted to minister to the poor and elderly, which we soon had the amazing pleasure of doing. We were able to go to a small mountainside village, which was terribly impoverished. Floors made of dirt and walls of tin tied to the nearest tree is what made most of the houses in this particular village. The most elaborate home had a floor and the faintest sign of what was running water. None of them had electricity and only by small trails worn into the dirt were we able to reach the homes. We brought food and the good news of the Gospel to the families that lived here. The children all flocked to us; however, some of the adults seemed skeptical of our intentions. To everyone’s enjoyment, by the day’s end we were playing soccer with the children
and even some adults joined in. We were also graced with the opportunity to visit a retirement home with many shut-in elderly and ill individuals.
We left them with smiles, but more importantly, we left them with the infinite presence of Christ in their village. On Sunday we attended Mass at a small church in the nearest town.The feeling that I experienced just by being able to worship God with people
so far from home in such a different culture is indescribable. The individuals I encountered there forever touched me and left an indelible mark on my heart and mind. The return trip crept up on us all too soon, as we were so indulged in being about the Lord’s work and the culture of a different country, as well as so many friends and great times. In summation, the trip was entirely amazing! Isaac Adams, Graduate University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Top left: Caroline Smith with Costa Rican child. Top right: Ashley Deshotels, Caroline Smith, Rebecca Padgett and Kate Darnall. Bottom: University of Louisiana at Lafayette missionaries.
New Places and New Faces
s our staff has been planning your itineraries and travel arrangements, we’ve done our own bit of travel… moving into another office. Thankfully we haven’t strayed too far from our previous location. In fact, we are still in the same complex, but we have a new address. With our new office came some new pilgrimage administrators to accommodate the worldwide journeys we have planned for this year. As always, our staff strives to be available to help you as you journey on the trip of a lifetime. If you haven’t had the pleasure to speak with our new, or old, team members, we invite you to learn more about them below. Maria Tregre Director of Travels With more than 15 years of experience coordinating pilgrimages, Maria solves all travel hiccups before, during and after our groups have returned. Bonnie Bollich Pilgrimage Administrator Bonnie joins our team with one objective: to find solutions. There’s no task too impossible for her to complete, and she brings the joy and compassion only a mother can bring. We’re grateful for her innovative ideas to make the office and pilgrimage planning run smoothly.
Magnificat Travel Staff Top: Left to right, top row, Katie Tregre, Barney Lejeune, Maria Tregre. Bottom row, Kayla Raffray, Bonnie Bollich and Lauren Daniels. Pilgrimage Escorts Above: Top row, Barney Lejeune, Deacon Juan Pagan, Maria Tregre, Andrew Tregre,Tessa Boustany, Ed Boustany. Bottom row, Bonnie Bollich, Pam Zuschlag and Lauren Daniels. Not pictured: Andrew Bollich, Alexis Darbonne, Candice Guidry, Mary Hernandez and Kelli Davis.
Lauren Daniels Pilgrimage Administrator Lauren, who has organized pilgrimages for us in the past, returns to Magnificat Travel ready to put her sharpened organizational skills to use. Without her, our office supplies would never be stocked, and we would be lost without her creative ideas and energy.
Barney Lejeune Business Manager Barney is not only the sole man in a sea of women, but he sees to our every technology and customer service need. He manages operations with an experienced, yet gentle hand, and you can’t help but feel right at home when you speak with him. Kayla Raffray Pilgrimage Administrator The newest addition to our team, Kayla comes to us with a newly attained Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies. Her bright personality keeps all our spirits up, and she is always successful in putting a smile on your face. Katie Tregre Public Relations Director A seasonal worker, Katie dives in at the perfect time to ensure smooth communications for all travelers, both potential and current. With an eye for detail and design, she aims to carry out Magnificat Travel’s mission in all mediums.
Magnificent Journeys Newsletter • 7th Edition Maria Tregre, Publisher Katie Tregre, Editor Brenda Cooper, Editor, Designer Cooper 8
Contributors Isaac Adams Andrew Bollich Katherine Comeaux Fr. Michael Delcambre
Bianca Esquivel Keith LaBauve Julie Lefort Luis Meza Lisa Newsom
Rosalie Streva Janet Wood Copyright © 2013 Magnificat Travel, LLC
Thank you to our Spiritual and Group Leaders
agnificat Travel thanks the following spiritual and group leaders for providing guidance and direction, and helping us succeed in our mission. You make our journeys more memorable spiritual experiences, and you are all in our prayers.
Earn Travel Credit!
Fr. Chester Arceneaux
Our Lady of Wisdom Church Lafayette, La.
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Lafayette, La.
Fr. Neil McNeill
Fr. Joe Breaux
St. John the Evangelist Mementau, La.
St. Thomas More High School Lafayette, La.
Fr. Bill Melancon
St. Thomas Aquinas Wichita, Kan.
Charlie Jaubert New Iberia Catholic High School New Iberia, La.
John Listi St. Thomas More High School Lafayette, La.
Fr. James Burkart St. Luke the Evangelist Church Houston, Texas
Notre Dame High School Crowley, La.
Fr. Ed Duhon
Diocese of Lafayette Lafayette, La.
Plan your journey to holy places. Register just 25 paid participants, and you will receive a complimentary credit for travel!
Our Lady of Lourdes Church Erath, La.
Mary Melanson Deacon Juan Pagan Lance Strother St. Thomas More High School Lafayette, La.
Sacred Heart Church Broussard, La.
Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, Texas
Sr. Maureen Little Academy of the Sacred Heart Grand Coteau, La.
Contact Magnificat Travel:
Fr. Norbert Maduzia
Sacred Heart High School Ville Platte, La.
Dr. Louis Varela
Msgr. Curtis Mallet
St. Ignatius of Loyola Church Houston, Texas
Diocese of Lafayette Lafayette, La.
St. Ignatius Loyola Church Houston, Texas
Fr. Louis Richard Sacred Heart Church Broussard, La.
Fr. Edd Salazar
Sr. Gloria Ann Fiedler
St. Bernard Catholic Church Breaux Bridge, La.
Fr. Garrett McIntyre
Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House Lake Dallas, Texas
Fr. William Schambough St. Pius X Catholic Church Lafayette, La.
Fr. Franรงois Sainte-Marie Cathedral of Mary, Crown Gibraltar, Spain
Fr. Jared Suire Immaculate Conception/Holy Trinity Washington, La.
Fr. Clint Trahan St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Lyons Point, La.
Take me to Holy Places with Magnificat Travel! Visit us online: www.holytravels.org Mail this form: Magnificat Travel P.O. Box 4801 Lafayette, LA 70502 Fax this page: 337-291-1935
2013-2014 Pilgrimages See page 9 for details
Full Name: Title:
Passion Play Pilgrimage, Ozarks, Arkansas Oct. 17-20, 2013
Family Pilgrimage to Assisi & Rome Dec. 27, 2013-Jan. 4, 2014
Pilgrimage to Poland Feb. 24-March 3, 2014
EWTN & Blessed Sacrament Shrine March 27-30, 2014
Email: I would like to receive emails about Magnificat Travel news and upcoming journeys. Please call me to discuss a pilgrimage, mission trip or youth trip for my group. I am interested in: Pilgrimages
Senior Trip to Italy May 30-June 7, 2014 Blessed Jean Martin Moye - France June 30-July 12, 2014 Our Lady of Lourdes Church - Italy Sept. 17-27, 2014 World Youth Day Poland Aug. 6-17, 2016
P.O. Box 4801 Lafayette, LA 70502
Phone: 337-291-1933 Toll Free: 1-877-454-7469 Fax: 337-291-1935 Learn more about our upcoming journeys and see pictures of recent trips online: holytravels.org facebook.com/holytravels twitter.com/holytravels email@example.com
Book a Youth Pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. Celebrate and explore the history of the Catholic Church in America Catholic-Focused Our pilgrimages are Catholicfocused, and weâ€™re the only local Catholic travel company. Better Value Our prices are lower than our competitors and trips are often a day longer. All meals are included and all site fees and cover-charges are covered. More Time Pilgrims stay in hotels in D.C. center, not the suburbs, so you spend more time touring and less time commuting. Easy Planning We plan all the details of your trip, which will be fully-escorted by a Magnificat Travel staff member. We also coordinate information meetings so you can focus on your job â€“ educating students.
Magnificat Travel is an apostolate that seeks to “Magnify the Lord” by supporting the ongoing conversion of pilgrims through facilitating an...