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Bishop’s 2018 Cruise Pilgrimage: Altotting – the ‘Lourdes of Germany’

By BILL HOWARD
11/03/2017 | Comments

COLORADO SPRINGS. The second full day of Bishop Sheridan’s 2018 Danube Pilgrimage Cruise takes pilgrims to the famous healing shrine in Altotting, known as “the Lourdes of Germany.”

Bishop Sheridan and Msgr. Bob Jaeger will lead this special Catholic Danube River cruise pilgrimage of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary from Oct.  31-Nov. 10, 2018.

After an arrival of adjustment in Munich and the celebration of All Saints Day Mass on Nov. 1, the pilgrimage continues its journey on Nov. 2 through the beautiful forests of Bavaria en route to the port in Passau, Germany, for boarding of the Amadeus Silver III river cruise ship.

Along the way, the group will spend time in Altotting, where over a million pilgrims visit each year with prayers for healing and thanksgiving for healings (the shrine features crutches and other votives left in gratitude for healings). The Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting was also a favorite visiting place for a young Joseph Ratzinger, who would eventually become Pope Benedict XVI.

The Shrine Basilica features richly decorated silver urns containing the hearts of Bavarian dukes, kings and electors, including the heart of “fairy tale” King Ludwig II — who built the castle upon which the Walt Disney Castle is based.

This day is also All Souls Day, and Mass will be celebrated at St. Konrad Monastery, a Franciscan church which dates back to 1654 and contains the relics of its namesake, Brother Konrad, a former farmer who spent many years as the monastery gatekeeper and became revered for his “exemplary life of piety and poverty, humility and charitable service.”

After Mass, pilgrims will embark on the Amadeus Silver III, settle in at the cabins that will be their home for the next week, and enjoy a special welcome dinner. 

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.

Select International has negotiated much-improved terms for Cancel for Any Reason insurance. Previously, the policy which refunded 75 percent of the paid amount, has now been upgraded and refunds 90 percent of the paid amount. Any passengers who have already booked their spots on Bishop Sheridan’s 2018 River Cruise Pilgrimage and purchased this insurance are being converted to the new policy, which is slightly higher in price due to the increased benefit. Select is currently the only company with this new offering, giving clients added and improved protection.

Life and work circumstances can sometimes cause a late cancellation of the pilgrimage, making Travel Protection an extremely worthwhile investment.

[NOTE: This article is the third of a series that will flesh out the incredible itinerary of this pilgrimage.]


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