Want to spend part of your summer following in the footsteps of Saint Francis de Sales? For the first time, DeSales University Campus Ministry is hosting a pilgrimage to France and Switzerland for students, employees, and members of the Diocese of Allentown.
The pilgrimage will take participants to Annecy, Geneva, and Lyon from June 25 to July 2. Maggie Riggins, director of campus ministry, and Father Tim McIntire, OSFS, chaplain and instructor of theology, will host the trip.
“This is a very Salesian pilgrimage,” says Fr. McIntire. “We’re really just trying to follow in Saint Francis’ footsteps as much as possible and give a sense of his life and the place where he lived.”
Participants will get to see many Salesian sights, including the monastery of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, which was founded in Annecy in 1610 under the inspiration of St. Francis and Jane de Chantal. “We’re going to be able to go in and stand in the exact room where Saint Francis and Jane stood and started the Visitation,” says Fr. McIntire.
Participants will celebrate Mass at the Eglise de Thorens Glieres, the parish church where Saint Francis was baptized, and at the Basilica Notre Dame de Fourviere in Lyon. There will also be free time, including a day to tour Geneva.
“We want people to have a good time,” says Fr. McIntire. “There is going to be a wonderful balance of prayerful activities and reflection, along with plenty of free time to explore the beauty that the Savoy region has to offer.”
Fr. McIntire has hosted previous trips to this region, but they focused solely on high school students and educators from Oblate and Oblate-related schools. This is the first time the pilgrimage, hosted by Campus Ministry, is open to students and employees at DeSales as well as members of the Diocese.
“Bishop McShea invited the Oblates to help co-found this University. He really invited Salesian spirituality into this Diocese. We think there has been a Salesian impact and perhaps people would like to learn more and see where Saint Francis de Sales was born, lived, and died.”
For more information on the pilgrimage, contact Fr. McIntire at 610.282.1100, ext. 1393, or Timothy.McIntire@desales.edu. You can also view the entire itinerary and pricing information here.
Photo of Annecy by italio setti via Flickr
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