Pictures from Spain

A Pilgrimage to France & the Ecumenical Community of Taizé

A Youth Pilgrimage to France

Led by:

Gayle Gottlich
All Saints’ Episcopal Church
Corpus Christi, TX

June 14 - 26, 2017

Trip map

In August 1940, with the Second World War raging in Europe, a young man named Roger came along to settle in the tiny village of Taizé, near the town of Cluny in eastern France.  While living a life of prayer, he began to assist political refugees, mostly Jews, who were trying to escape the Nazi occupation.

Brother Roger’s concern for victims of injustice was matched by his refusal to accept the divisions between Christians.  In coming to Taizé, his intention was not to start a new church or denomination but to create a "parable of community" rooted in the monastic tradition, a community of brothers who would make a life commitment to celibacy and to material and spiritual sharing.

Today, the ecumenical community that Brother Roger founded numbers over 100 Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed Brothers from twenty-five different countries.  The community accepts no gifts or donations for its own life; it supports itself and others solely by the work of its members.

Since 1966, the Sisters of Saint Andrew, an international Catholic community founded 750 years ago, have been living nearby.  Along with a small group of Polish Ursuline sisters, they share the responsibility for welcoming people at Taizé and elsewhere.

A concern for reconciliation in Church and world has led the community far beyond its hillside in Burgundy.  For years now, Brother Roger has been visiting Church leaders, including recent Popes, to search with them for concrete steps forward.  On October 5, 1986, he welcomed Pope John Paul II to Taizé as one of the "pilgrims and friends of the community."  In August 1992, George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, spent a week in Taizé with 100 young Anglicans.  Accompanied by children from every continent, Brother Roger has met twice with the Secretary General of the UN to express concerns of the young regarding world peace.  In 1988, he was awarded the UNESCO prize for Peace Education.

DAY 1: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - Depart the Houston Bush Airport on our trans-Atlantic British Airways flight to London Heathrow where we change planes and connect to our flight on British Airways into Paris, Charles De Gaulle Airport. M

DAY 2: Thursday, June 15, 2017 - We arrive in Paris where we will be met by our guide and driver.  Upon arrival in Paris we will see the world-famous masterpiece of the Middle Ages, The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.  We will then travel on foot (or via underground) to St. Chappelle.  We will pick up lunch at a French bakery or street vendor (perhaps enjoy a concert there if timing is right).  Continuing on we will enjoy a walking tour of Montmartre, an artist colony, named for the martyrs tortured and killed in the area.  We will then visit the American Cathedral for evensong and a tour.  We will drive by the Eiffel Tower as we leave Paris.  Then on to Chartres for overnight, stopping along the way for dinner. D

DAY 3: Friday, June 16, 2017 - Today we will visit Chartres Cathedral to see and walk the 13th century Labyrinth.  As a penance, pilgrims followed the torturous route on their knees, echoing the Way of the Cross.  The journey of 262 m (851 feet), around 11 bands of broken concentric circles, takes at least one hour to complete.  We will also visit the Stained Glass of Chartres, a glorious collection of over 150 stained glass windows that illustrate biblical stories and daily life in the 13th century (bring binoculars if you can). We will then depart for Fontainebleau chateau which was built for the kings of France as a hunting lodge.  We will tour the gardens which are arranged in the manner of an English park to the east and in the formal French style format to the west.  We will walk through the Fontainebleau Forest, a renowned hunting ground since the Middle Ages.  We will enjoy the lush vegetation and abundant wildlife in this dramatic natural treasure.  We will have time to enjoy peaceful meditation in established quiet zones.  We continue our journey to Avallon for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Saturday, June 17, 2017 - This morning after breakfast we travel to Vezelay which has been designated by UNESCO as an international treasure, strolling from Place du Champ-de Foire up winding streets to the Basilique of Ste. Madeleine on the hilltop.  We will follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims as we see Basilique Ste. Madeleine which houses the relics of Mary Magdalene and was one of the starting points for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  Today its attraction lies in the Romanesque church with its magnificent sculpture and Gothic choir.  We will then start the walk toward Santiago de Compostela as many pilgrims before have done.  We will walk 6 to 8 miles this afternoon prior to stopping in Vezelay for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 5: Sunday, June 18, 2017 - We will have a very early wake-up call today.  We continue on the pilgrimage walk for 8 to 10 miles today.  The walk will start with a sunrise Eucharist and a box breakfast before continuing on our walk.  This afternoon we will board our bus and transfer to the Taizé Community, our home for the next seven nights. BD

DAY 6 - 11: Monday, June 19 - Saturday, June 24, 2017 - We will spend full days participating in the Taizé Community where we will follow the typical day of prayer, Bible reading, singing, small group meetings, practical work and prayer vigil.  Overnight Taizé. BLD

All meals, accommodations, and activities at Taizé have been arranged by the group leaders and are not provided by Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries.

DAY 12: Sunday, June 25, 2017 - We say “Goodbye” to our Taize friends and transfer to our hotel at the Lyon Airport for overnight. B

DAY 13: Monday, June 26, 2017 - This morning we board the hotel shuttle to the Lyon airport for our return flight home.  We board our British Airways flight connecting in London Heathrow to our British Airways flight back into the Houston Bush Airport. BM

Price: $2,349.00*  Pricing per pilgrim based on a minimum of 10 pilgrims with Double/Triple occupancy.  Air from Houston George Bush Intercontinental on British Airlines.

* 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 $1.07 to the Euro.  Excludes airline taxes & fuel surcharges that will be added to your final payment invoice which are currently at $737.91 per pilgrim.  Excludes tips for the driver and guide that are payable upon completion of services.

Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $159.00.

Roommate needed.  If a roommate cannot be found, I understand that I will be charged for the single supplement.

Terms and Conditions:
◊ 2. Names as on passport.  If name is incorrect and tickets reissued, $50 fee plus change fees from airline.
◊ 3. $100 deviation fee plus any additional airfare, hotel, tour or admission charges.

Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries provides the following basic travel insurance for you at no additional cost:
◊ Trip Delay - $1,000
◊ Baggage & Personal Effects - $1,500
◊ Baggage Delay - $250
◊ Emergency Medical & Dental Expenses - $25,000
◊ Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation - $150,000
◊ Travel Assistance & Concierge Services are provided By Travelex's designated providers.

It is recommended that you purchase additional coverage.  Go to our website and click on Travelex Insurance to read the coverages and rules regarding existing conditions or call 800-228-9792 Location # 09-1983.

A deposit of $300.00 per person due with application and copy of passport by January 25, 2017.

Final payment due March 15, 2017.

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until March 14, 2017: $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ March 15 – April 27, 2017: $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ April 28, 2017 or later: 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.