10 Day Pilgrimage to
April 5-14, 2018

Dear Friend in Faith,

The spirituality of the Heart, which reflects the charism of the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is greatly attributed to France native Fr. Jules Chevalier, MSC. This spirituality of the Heart is the essence of our promise to God as vowed religious women. It is the foundation of our mission to be the compassionate Heart of Christ for people everywhere.

With this in mind, we invite you, our dear family, friends and benefactors, to journey with us on a first-of-its-kind MSC pilgrimage to the country of France, April 5-14, 2018, where we will explore the roots of our charism and the home of our Spiritual Founder Fr. Jules Chevalier. Our journey will begin in Paris and will take us to Richelieu, Issoudun, Bourges, Nevers, Paray-le-Monial, Rocamadour, and finally to Lourdes. While in Issoudun we will visit the Basilica of Issoudun consecrated to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Fr. Jules Chevalier in the 19th century. A local MSC priest and sister will provide us stories of spirituality, faith and mission in action.

We believe this pilgrimage will be a profound and joyous experience for laity and for religious alike. Should you wish to learn more about how to participate, please see the attached itinerary. With great hope we await what we know will be a journey of deep-rooted discovery and kinship!

May God Bless You Abundantly,
Sister Mary Anne Bigos, MSC
and the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


DAY 1: Thurs., April 5 - New York/En Route

Depart from New York for your overnight trans-Atlantic flight to Paris.

DAY 2: Fri., April 6 - Paris D

AM: Welcome to Paris, the City of Lights! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. En route to the hotel you will enjoy a Panoramic Tour of Paris.

Paris - The capital of France is also the capital of the world to many travelers. A talent for urban landscape has created perhaps the most beautiful of the world’s great cities. The City of Light and romance is a delightful experience. There are a million things to see and do, from visiting the magnificent churches, strolling the boulevards, to seeing the museums and art galleries, and the parks and lovely gardens of this city famed for its beauty, charm, and traditions.

PM: The remainder of the day is free for you to relax and catch up with the time difference.

Dinner: Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 3: Sat., April 7 - Paris B
AM: Tour of the Churches of Paris

Your tour starts with the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, a jewel of Gothic art. The project to build this splendid cathedral began in 1160 when the Bishop of Paris wanted a new cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The first stone was laid in 1163 in the presence of Pope Alexander III.

Inside, enjoy the beauty of stained glass from the Middle Ages and the 18th-20th centuries, including the nearly 30 foot Rose Window, and admire the 7,800 pipes of the recently renovated 11th century organ. Continue to Montmartre to see the graceful Sacre Coeur Basilica. Enjoy spectacular views of south Paris from its steps. Local artists hang out in the nearby Place du Tertre, selling their paintings or offering to draw your portrait. In 1870, war broke out between France and Germany, and France was invaded. The idea took hold that the ordeals incurred by France were due to its spiritual faults rather than only political ones. This gave birth to the construction of abasilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This project was seen as atonement and also as the force of hope and spiritual renewal. In 1872, the Archbishop of Paris approved the project and chose the hill of Montmartre for the site.

PM: In the afternoon you will board the famous Parisian “bateauxmouches” for a unique experience of Paris. You will see the Eiffel Tower, the Concorde, the garden of the Tuileries, the Orangerie, Saint Louis Island, the Cathedral Notre-Dame, and the Louvre. You will have a view of all the most beautiful sites of Paris from the river Seine.

PM: Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore this beautiful city on your own.

You are on your own for dinner this evening.

DAY 4: Sun., April 8 - Paris/Richelieu/Issoudun B,D
AM: Excursion to Richelieu
After breakfast at the hotel you will depart Paris and travel to Richelieu where you will discover the town where Father Jules Chevalier was born. You will see the home of Father Chevalier. Visit the Church of Our Lady and an open-air market. Continue to Issoudun.

PM: Visit the Sanctuary of Issoudun
In the afternoon you will visit the Sanctuary of Issoudun consecrated to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Discover the Basilica, the cross, the crypt, and the Chapel of Our Lady of the Eucharist. The missionary intuition of Father Chevalier gave birth to this sanctuary in the 19th century. After being assistant pastor in three different places, Father Chevalier was named to Issoudun in 1854. In September 1855, the first community of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart settled into the place where the Sanctuary of Issoudun is today. You will meet with an MSC priest or Sister.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel.

DAY 5: Mon., April 9 - Issoudun/Bourges B
AM: This morning you will spend some time in the Sanctuary of

PM: Later you will travel to Bourges. Upon your arrival you will visit
the Cathedral of Saint Etienne of Bourges, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992. The surrounding area with the halftimbered houses takes one back in time to the Middle Ages, a time of glory for the Cathedral. Admire the rare stained glass windows from the 13th century as well as the tympanum and the sculptures.

You are on your own for dinner this evening.

DAY 6: Tues., April 10 - Bourges/Nevers/Paray-le-Monial B,D

AM: Excursion to Nevers

This morning you will travel to Nevers. Upon your arrival you will discover the Sanctuary of Nevers dedicated to Saint Bernadette of Lourdes. After her life in Lourdes, Bernadette wished to join the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity, whose Motherhouse was in Nevers. She entered into the Community on July 7, 1866 and lived there discretely for 13 years, far from the demands of the people after the apparitions. She held several positions including aide to the nurses and she was in charge of the infirmary. Bernadette was often sick and as time passed, she became sicker and sicker from having to cope with tremendous suffering, physical and spiritual.

PM: Visit the Sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial

In the afternoon you will continue to Paray-le-Monial. Upon your arrival you will visit the Sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial, which is administered by the Community of Emmanuel. You will see a presentation of the apparitions of the Sacred Heart from the 17th century. In 1671, Marguerite Alacoque entered into the Monastery in Paray-le-Monial. After several apparitions of Christ she felt called to make known her devotion to the Sacred Heart. She also began the practice of the Holy Hour shortly before dying on October 17, 1690 saying the name of Jesus. Since then, the Sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial has been dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel.

DAY 7: Wed., April 11- Paray-le-Monial/Rocamadour B,D
After breakfast at the hotel you will travel to Rocamadour, a Medieval town that is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Built on the  side of the valley wall, the chateau, the Sanctuary, and the village form the three levels of the town. Discover the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Rocamadour, the Basilica of Saint Sauveur, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary where she is called the “black Virgin” and the seven chapels. In the 12th century, the first miracle was announced and the pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary started to attract crowds. To get to the statue, pilgrims climb on their knees the 216 steps from the village to the Sanctuary. You will also see Rocamadour Castle.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel.

DAY 8: Thurs., April 12 - Rocamadour/Lourdes B,D
Today you will depart Rocamadour and travel to Lourdes, the greatest pilgrimage center in the world. Lourdes, the world’s most beloved shrine for Catholics, is nestled in a valley in the southwestern part of the Hautes-Pirénées. On February 11, 1858, the Virgin revealed herself to a poor shepherd girl, Bernadette Soubirous. Eighteen such apparitions were reported. Bernadette died in a convent in 1879. She was beatified in 1925, and then canonized in 1933.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Tonight you will join in the spectacular Candlelight Procession in Lourdes.

DAY 9: Fri., April 13 - Lourdes B,D

The day is at leisure for personal devotions, the miraculous baths, and the Candlelight Procession. You can walk in the footsteps of Bernadette and visit the places where she lived, the Boly mill where she grew up, and the cachot where her family had to move later on. Walk the way of the cross, visit the baths, or see a movie about the story of Saint Bernadette.

Dinner: Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

DAY 10: Sat., April 14 - Lourdes/Pau/New York B
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to New York. You return home richly endowed with new insights, spiritual renewal, and vast cultural wealth.

B=breakfast; D=dinner

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