During the course of the Pope Francis Pilgrimage tour, insight into the life lived by Pope Francis will be given by members of the religious orders. There will be a number of opportunities to participate in Mass celebrations. Alternatively, if your group is travelling with a priest, we can make arrangements for him to celebrate Mass. In addition, talks will be given on Argentina’s history and the role of the church on its culture and society.
This is a group tour with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 people
Day 1: Depart for Argentina
Departure for your overnight flights to Argentina.
Day 2: Arrive in Buenos Aires (City Tour)
Upon arrival at Buenos Aires airport, you will be met by your professional tour escort and transferred by a deluxe motor coach to our hotel. You will meet down in the lobby to begin a city tour of Buenos Aires, starting with the symbol of the city, the Obelisk. This monument was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the city. Enjoy the views of the spanish-inspired squares such as: Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martin, and Plaza Congreso. Along with the numerous soccer stadiums throughout the city, you will also get to discover the historic neighborhoods like San Telmo and La Boca, as well as getting to see the nature in Lezama Park and Tres de Febrero Park. Our last stop is Memory Park, a sober memorial dedicated to the 30,000 victims disappeared during the military dictatorship of 1976 to 1982. A controversial time, in which Pope Francis was head of the Jesuits in Argentina. On to Recoleta, where we visit the world famous cemetary of Recoleta with the tomb of Evita. At the nearby historic Church of Our Virgin Mary of Pilar we celebrate Mass. Return to hotel in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Buenos Aires - Flores
Theme: The Early Life of Pope Francis
After breakfast, we will begin our Pilgrimage by following the life of Pope Francis, starting with the early years when he was known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Our first stop is Flores, a working class town located in the center of Buenos Aires, and birthplace to Pope Francis. Continue on to Our Lady of Mercy Church where he was baptized, and the adjoining school, St. Joseph’s, where he took his first communion and attended primary school. It was here as a teenager that he received his vocational calling. We will celebrate Mass at St. Joseph’s and then make our way back to the Hotel. This evening our Tango professors will give us a private Tango class giving you the opportunity to learn some steps of this famous dance. For dinner we will visit a typical Parilla where you can sample Asado (Argentine barbecued beef). Overnight.
Day 4: Buenos Aires – San Nicolas of Rosario
Theme: San Nicolas of Rosario
We board a luxury coach and travel to the city of Rosario to visit San Nicolas, famous Marian site. Here an ordinary housewife who had no formal education and no knowledge of the Bible or theology was visited by the Blessed Mother daily for a period of over 6 years. She also received 68 messages from Jesus Christ. Numerous healings, including the cure of a boy with a brain tumor, have been documented at this site. We will be given a guided tour and lecture of the site by Sister Veronica and take part in the celebration of mass. Afterwards, you will have plenty of time to appreciate this magnificent Basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After dinner, we travel back to Buenos Aires.
Day 5: Buenos Aires – San Miguel College
Theme: The Theologian Years
After breakfast, we will make our way to Maximo of San Miguel College where Pope Francis studied and later taught philosophy and theology. As a rector, he sheltered those who were “on the run” from the military dictatorship. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to take in a lecture on Argentina’s political history from a local historian. Following the lecture, you will make your way to the Seminary Chapel and also the former living quarters of Pope Francis. During your time there, you will have the opportunity to speak with Mario, a Jesuit Brother and a close personal friend of Pope Francis. You will have the opportunity to gain personal insight into the new Holy Father, and his life while he was in Argentina. We will celebrate Mass at the Seminary Chapel, where as Rector Pope Francis celebrated Mass regularly at 7am each morning. Return to Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Buenos Aires - Tigre
Theme: Parana Delta by Water
Today, following breakfast, we will take a boat ride up north to Tigre, and visit the Parana Delta and Waterway. Our first stop is the colonial town established by the Jesuits of San Isidro. We celebrate Mass in the spectacular cathedral of San Isidro, built in 1706 by French architects, and opened by the city founder: Captain Domingo de Acassuso. Heading to Tigre, a huge delta and waterway, you make your way through the web of inter-connecting rivers and streams, you will get to view the many English Style rowing clubs, marinas, and elegant mansions. Return to your hotel in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Buenos Aires - Colonia
Theme: Day Trip to Uruguay
Today we will cruise over the River Plate on a ferry that will bring us to the historic town of Colonia, located in the southwestern region of Uruguay and facing Buenos Aires. Founded in 1680, it is a World Heritage Site and a UNESCO’s protected property. Unlike Buenos Aires, Colonia is a beach town. One of the early Portuguese settlements along the Rio de la Plata, it offers a glimpse of what buildings in Buenos Aires might have looked like back in colonial times. Along your tour, you will have a chance to view its most historical sites, Calle de los Suspiros “Street of the sighs” a beautiful cobblestone street, lined with colorful houses and trademark yellow lamps, along with the historical city gate and walls. We visit two churches. The first is San Benito Church dedicated to the black saint. We will also visit the ancient Church of the Sacred Saint, the oldest church in Uruguay where we will celebrate Mass. Return in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Buenos Aires – Lujan
Theme: The Following of Cardinal Bergoglio
Today we will visit Lujan Cathedral, built in honor of the Virgin of Lujan, the patron saint of Argentina. It is here that more than six million pilgrims would travel each year, some over 40 miles, to be blessed by Pope Francis. We will also visit and dine with the French Carmolite Nuns of L’eau Vive who reside in a convent and run a successful restaurant on the out skirts of Lujan. In addition to running a restaurant, the nuns also operate many important social programs for the disadvantaged in Lujan. Return to your hotel in time for overnight.
Day 9: Buenos Aires
Theme: Life before a Holy Father
Today is an exciting day, as we will visit the life of Cardinal Bergoglio before he embarked on his trip to the Conclave, where he would later be elevated to Pope Francis. We will visit the City Cathedral where he celebrated Mass and lived nearby in a modest 1 bedroom flat. It is here that Pope Francis described his outreach: “Instead of being a Church that welcomes and receives, we try to be a Church that comes out of itself and goes to the men and women.” As well as celebrating Mass at the Cathedral, you will have the opportunity to visit the tomb of General San Martin, the great liberator of South America. From there, we will visit the Casa Rosada (The Pink House), which is the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina. It is here where you will begin your tour into the political history of Argentina. In the evening, we get to sample the world’s best wines at a wine tasting session before taking part in a spectacular Tango Dinner show.
Day 10: Buenos Aires
Theme: San Telmo market
In the morning we retrace the route of the Holy Father by taking the subway into the city as he regularly did. We attend Mass at the nearby Santa Domingo Church, an historic church which was scene of Argentina’s fight against British invasion in the 18th century. After lunch, we attend the famous San Telmo market. Here you will have the opportunity to purchase some souvenirs of your visit to Argentina. Farewell dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Depart Argentina
Following breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we will depart for the airport for our return flights home.
† 9 nights at centrally located first class hotels as follows: (or similar)
~ 9 nights: Rooney’s Boutique Hotel
† Transfers as per itinerary
† Breakfast, LUNCH and Dinner daily
†Dinner Tango Show
† Wine with dinners
†Free Tango Lessons
†Wine tasting session
†Asado (Argentine BBQ) experience
† Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
† Free Wi-Fi in Hotel & access to computer
† Wireless headsets where needed
† Assistance of a professional local English Speaking Catholic guide(s)
† Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
† Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
† Mass daily & Spiritual activities
† Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
† Tips to hotel staff, restaurants, luggage handlers
-Travel Insurance optional