The pilgrims first visited the Our Lady of Knock shrine in Ireland, where Father Bernardo was invited to concelebrate the afternoon Mass. Ushers also invited students to participate in the Mass. Sydney Bonta was a reader and Gracie Stull, Conor Kearns, Alexis Hruby and Sophie Daily brought up the offertory gifts. After Mass, Father Bernardo helped administer the anointing of the sick to those in need.
While traveling, it was difficult for the pilgrims to stop at churches for Mass, particularly since most churches are locked after the last Mass of each morning. Father Bernardo celebrated Masses on each of the buses as the pilgrims traveled. He also celebrated Masses and heard confessions in the hotels throughout the trip.
The pilgrims also visited Dublin, Wales, London and saw Stonehenge.
“We learned a great deal about the Catholic/Protestant history of England,” said teacher Sheila Sievert. “It was an especially significant moment in history to be present in England as we were there when the Brexit vote took place.”
In Paris, the pilgrims saw the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Spanish teacher Tracy Chapelle and her daughters saw the nearby Sainte Chapelle Chapel which bears their family name.
The pilgrims also saw the Eiffel Tower during an evening boat cruise. The following day they visited Sacré-Coeur Church in Montmartre.
The group traveled by train through the Pyrenees Mountains to Barcelona in Spain. There they visited La Sagrada Familia, such a massive work that after 100 years, it is still under construction. Father Bernardo concelebrated Mass at the Barcelona Cathedral and was asked to read the Gospel in English after it was read in Catalan (the local dialect).
The trip ended at the Vatican in Rome. The pilgrims attended a papal audience where Pope Francis spoke about the year of mercy and the obligation to always be merciful toward one another.
The pilgrims also had a tour of the Vatican museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica after the audience.