COLORADO SPRINGS. The first day of Bishop Sheridan’s 2018 Danube Pilgrimage Cruise will feature a tour of the scenic Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany.
Bishop Sheridan and Msgr. Bob Jaeger will lead this special Catholic cruise pilgrimage of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary in the Oct. 31-Nov. 10, 2018.
Arriving in Munich on Nov. 1 — All Saints Day — pilgrims will begin their journey with Mass celebrated by Bishop Sheridan, followed by a tour of Munich city. Among the highlights is the main square — Marienplatz — named for the large Marian column at its center. The main square also features the Old Town Hall tower, which contains a famous clock with large figures that present a scene from a jousting tournament.
Munich will also begin the pilgrims’ immersion into Baroque art, the predominant style seen throughout the cruise. Baroque style, which peaked in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, is an ornate style featuring gold and bold colors. Among the highlights of this style is St Michael’s, a Jesuit church in downtown Munich that features the tomb of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who built the castle in Bavaria upon which the Walt Disney Castle is based.
Another highlight of downtown Munich is the Frauenkirche Cathedral (“Church of Our Lady”), where then-Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) served from 1977-1982. Among the cathedral’s highlights is the tomb of King Louis XIV.
While Octoberfest will have finished almost a month earlier (Oct. 7), there will be an opportunity to experience the famous Bavarian ale at the pilgrims’ opening welcome dinner. The following day, pilgrims will visit stunning Weltenberg Abbey, considered the world’s oldest active brewery.
The coming days, which will be featured in upcoming articles, will include the Marian Shrine of Altotting (called the “Lourdes of Germany”) and Regensburg in Bavaria; Salzburg and Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Budapest, Hungary.
Pilgrims who want to explore more of Eastern Europe can also add extensions beyond the cruise for an additional cost to Prague, Czech Republic (Nov. 10-12), or Krakow and Czestechowa, Poland (Nov. 10-14).
Daily Mass is included, and beautiful churches where Masses are being finalized include the shrine in Altotting, Maria Plain Basilica in Salzburg, St. Martin Cathedral in Bratislava and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Budapest. Pilgrims will get to explore a deeply Catholic part of the world, and they will receive advance preparation and formation via regular emails.
The Amadeus Silver III ship combines the luxuries of a 5-star hotel with first-class crew service. There are three room decks, with the top featuring 12 luxury suites with walkout balconies. The majority of the other cabins have automatically lowering panorama windows, offering a spectacular view of the passing river landscapes. All cabins have a modern bathroom and a walk-in closet. The top deck of the Silver III features a glass-shielded River Terrace, and the main restaurant offers panoramic views.
Due to the size of the ship and other Select groups participating in this cruise, the number of rooms for Bishop Sheridan’s pilgrimage are limited and first-come, first-serve. Pricing is based on double occupancy and rooms range from $3,695 to $4,195 cash/check (credit card pricing is also available at a slightly higher cost). Pilgrims have the option of flying from Newark or JFK airports, and Select can book from Denver at additional cost.
For complete details, including the layout of the ship, go to: selectinternationaltours.com, click on “Cruises” and select the Oct. 31-Nov. 10 Bishop Sheridan Danube Cruise brochure. To receive a brochure by mail, contact Bill Howard, tour organizer, at mercypilgrimageCS@gmail.com.
[NOTE: This article is the second of a series that will flesh out the incredible itinerary of this pilgrimage.]