Pictures from the Italy

"Rebuild My Church!”

A pilgrimage into the heart of St. Francis of Assisi

Assisi, Florence, Rome

Led by:

Fr. Ian Morgan Cron

October 18 – 27, 2012

Trip map

“A pilgrimage is a way of praying with your feet.”
Fr. Ian Morgan Cron

St. Francis of Assisi is arguably the most well-known and beloved Christian in history.  900 years after his death his message and way of life continues to inspire people of all ages, and from all traditions.

You are invited to meet St. Francis―to walk in his footsteps, to be captivated by his love for creation, and to be inspired by a faith so radical that it earned him the title, “the Last Christian.”

This unforgettable journey will be led by Fr. Ian Morgan Cron acclaimed author of Chasing Francis:  A Pilgrim’s Tale, psychotherapist, spiritual director, and experienced retreat facilitator.

In the humble San Damiano Chapel Francis heard Jesus say, “Rebuild My Church!”  Join us in a pilgrimage that will build your faith and renew your spirit.


Our journey will be full but not without times of celebration, reflection, and rest for the soul.  We will venture down the cobblestoned streets of Assisi, Rome, and Florence; explore sacred sites and shrines, eat heavenly food, and forge lasting friendships.  Woven throughout the pilgrimage will be times of worship and the regular celebration of the Eucharist.

“It is impossible to hear the timeless message of St Francis of Assisi and not be changed forever.  It is as exciting and relevant today as it was when Francis first preached it 900 years ago.” Fr. Ian Morgan Cron

This journey is designed to help you:

  • Understand the remarkable ministry of Francis.
  • Explore Assisi, Rome, and Florence in the company of a seasoned guide and expert on St. Francis.
  • Step into the sacred places that shaped the faith of St. Francis.  Respond personally to God’s movement in your own life.
  • Encounter beauty in abundance.
  • Learn new spiritual practices.
  • Return home challenged, renewed, and changed forever.


    DAY 1: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - We will depart the United States from New York’s JFK Airport for our nonstop flight to Rome where we connect to our flight into Florence. M

    DAY 2: Friday, October 19, 2012 - We arrive at the Florence airport where we will board a private motor coach and travel to Assisi, our home for the next 5 nights.  Assisi is the birthplace of Francis and a city whose walls have hardly changed since the Middle Ages.  This afternoon we will have time to stroll around Assisi.  After dinner we will meet at the town square where we will discuss Francis’ ministry and the significance of the square.  We will enjoy a “welcome to Italy” dinner in a local restaurant.  Overnight Assisi. MD

    DAY 3: Saturday, October 20, 2012 - A full day outside the walls exploring where Francis began his ministry.  This morning we will visit the church of San Damiano, where Claire lived and where Francis received his vision to “rebuild the church.”  We continue on to Santa Maria degli Angeli, the Baroque church which was built over the Porziuncola, the little chapel restored by St. Francis.  It is here in a spartan cell that St. Francis died.  We will also visit Eremo Delle Carceri, a monastery in the dense woodlands on the side of Monte Subasio.  It was here on the slope of the mountain in caves where Francis and his followers established their first home to which he returned often during his lifetime to pray and meditate.  We will celebrate Eucharist this afternoon and overnight in Assisi. B

    DAY 4: Sunday, October 21, 2012 -Today we visit La Verna where we will see the site where St. Francis received the stigmata.  We will visit Isola Maggiore, where Francis went on retreat for 40 days.  We will celebrate Eucharist and have some time to enjoy the island. Overnight Assisi. BD

    DAY 5: Monday, October 22, 2012 - We will visit the church of Santa Chiara, dedicated to St. Clare, who was one of the earliest and most fervent of Francis’ followers.  We will see the Cappella del Croscifissco, the cross that spoke to St. Francis and led him to a life of piety.  We continue on to Rivotorto, where Francis and his 12 companions put in to practice the principles of the Rule.  It was the first Franciscan Community where they lived in extreme poverty, satisfying themselves with bread, turnips and fruits.  We return to Assisi to visit the Basilica di San Francesco, which contains one of the most imposing series of frescoes, 28 scenes from the life of St. Francis by Giotto, and the crypt where the remains of St. Francis rest.  The reminder of the day we will be free to explore Assisi on our own.  At 5 PM we will join together at the Piazza Del Comune to celebrate Holy Eucharist.  Overnight Assisi. B

    DAY 6: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - After breakfast we depart for Florence.  We will visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its magnificent dome, Bell Tower and Baptistery.  The Baptistery has golden doors designed by Ghiberti representing scenes from the Life and Passion of Christ.  We visit the Museum of the Duomo to see Donatello's sculpture of Magdalene and then visit the Accademia and see Michelangelo's famous statue of David.  We will return to Assisi for dinner and overnight. BD

    DAY 7: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - This morning we begin our journey toward Rome as Francis did in the spring of 1209.  We will travel along the “Highway of the Sun” and visit Greccio to see the Greccio Monastery.  It is here that St. Francis celebrated Christmas in 1223 by placing a manger and live animals before the altar which started the custom of making crèches or manger scenes at Christmas.  We will see the Chapel of the Crib.  We continue on to Rome.  We visit the Colosseum, see the Forum, the Palatine and the Capitoline Hills.  Time permitting we will visit the Basilica San Giovanni and the Holy Steps.  Overnight Rome. BD

    DAY 8: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - This morning we will tour the Vatican State, an entire European state comprising only 109 acres, ruled by the Pope, and having its own postage stamps, coinage, anthem and flag.  Within the boundaries of the Vatican stands St. Peter’s Basilica, built on the site where St. Peter was buried after he had been martyred in Nero’s Circus.  The first chapel on the right as you enter St. Peter’s contains the Pieta’, the moving and powerful masterpiece carved by Michelangelo.  We will tour the Sistine Chapel and marvel at the beauty created by Michelangelo on its ceiling.  Some free time in the afternoon.  Overnight Rome. B

    DAY 9: Friday, October 26, 2012 - We will have an early morning visit to the Catacombs, the ancient Christian Burial grounds.  Here in one of the many chapels, we will celebrate Holy Eucharist.  We will have free time in the afternoon for shopping or more sightseeing on our own.  We will join together for a “farewell to Rome” dinner and overnight Rome. BD

    DAY 10: Saturday, October 27, 2012 - We will depart for the Rome Airport and board our flight back to the United States. BM

    Fr. Ian Morgan Cron Ian Morgan Cron is a recognized authority on St. Francis of Assisi and on contemplative spirituality.  He holds an MA in Counseling from Denver Seminary, an MDiv from New York Theological Seminary, and is completing his doctorate at Fordham University in Christian spirituality.  His latest book Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me:  A Memoir…of Sorts was a featured title in the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers program.

    Read his full biography.  Fr. Ian Morgan Cron Biography
    Solveig Leithaug International recording artist and worship leader Solveig Leithaug will paint a backdrop of worship for our journey.  Whether leading worship in cathedrals, prisons, or at retreats, Solveig’s deepest prayer is to catch a fresh glimpse of God each time.  She’s received a Dove and an Angel Award.

    More on Solveig.  Solveig Leithaug's Website

    Price: $3,499.00*.  Price is based without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from JFK Airport, New York NY on Alitalia Airlines.  Air transportation available from other cities.  * Pricing is based on a minimum of 30 pilgrims traveling and does not include airline taxes and fuel surcharges which are currently $574.80 and may change.

    ** The price is not guaranteed and may change due to the fluctuation of the Euro and the US dollar.  We make every effort to avoid any increase and will only do so if the value of the dollar falls against the Euro.  Your pricing was based on the exchange rate of $1.32 to the Euro. **

    Final payment due July 1, 2012

    $300.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport.

    Cancellation Penalties
    ◊ Until July 1, 2012:  $150.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
    ◊ After July 2, 2012:  NO REFUND

    Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on Aircraft

    The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.