Kevin Reilly was born in Wilmington, Delaware. From early childhood he was an exceptional athlete. Upon entering Salesianum School, Kevin played both football and basketball. A born leader and strong motivating force on and off the playing field, it was not surprising that he was chosen to be captain of the varsity football team and basketball team.
His natural leadership skills and athletic abilities secured him a full athletic scholarship to Villanova University. While at Villanova, Kevin was voted the team’s MVP and first team All-East linebacker.
Kevin joined the NFL in 1973 when he was drafted in the seventh round by the World Champion Miami Dolphins. Later that year, Kevin returned to his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and joined the Philadelphia Eagles, serving as captain of the special teams. Kevin’s NFL career was cut short in 1975 when he was diagnosed with a rare desmoid tumor. To halt the spread of cancer, Kevin’s left arm and a large portion of his shoulder were amputed along with four ribs.
Kevin was a senior executive in sales and marketing at the Xerox Corporation for over 30 years. While at Xerox, Kevin spent two years as the employee development manager which encompassed training new and current employees in sales skills, quality training, diversity training and sexual harassment prevention. Kevin is also a qualified peer visitor at the Walter Reed National Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., which allows him to provide counseling to amputees. Kevin is a member of three sports halls of fame, including Salesianum High School, Villanova University, and Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.
Kevin is also the pre-game and post-game radio co-host for all Philadelphia Eagles games which broadcast live on 94.1 WYSP-FM, Sports Radio 610WIP-AM and WDEl.
Kevin never gave up sports altogether – he is an avid runner and golfer, two of the many things people told him would be impossible after his surgery. In addition, Kevin is a Board member with Easter Seals nonprofit charitable organization. Kevin lends his talents to numerous charities and is an auctioneer for over a dozen auctions each year for various charities.
Kevin has been able to overcome the adversity in his life and now works as a motivational speaker, delivering his inspirational message to others by encouraging them to “use faith and inner strength to overcome adversity”.
For more information on Kevin Reilly, please visit kreilly.com.
Day 1. Monday, April 18: USA – Rome
Today embark on a transatlantic flight to Rome, Italy.
Day 2. Tuesday, April 19: Rome
Welcome to Rome! Upon arrival, meet your tour escort and board your private motor-coach. Today’s highlights will encompass Ancient Rome: the Catacombs, the burial place of early Christians including many saints from as early as the 2nd century AD; the Coliseum, Rome’s historical symbol and greatest amphitheater which staged deadly combats and where many early Christians were martyred. Continue to your hotel for a welcome dinner with fellow travelers. (WD)
Day 3. Wednesday, April 20: Rome
Take your places early in St. Peter’s Square to attend the weekly Papal Audience. Afterwards, enjoy a walking tour of downtown Rome including visits to the Pantheon, the best-preserved monument from ancient Rome thanks to its transformation into a church in 609; the magnificent church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, one of the only Gothic structures in Italy and housing the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint of Italy; St. Ignatius, Jesuit church built in 1626 after the canonization of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. It houses relics of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. John Berchmans, and St. Robert Bellarmine; the Trevi Fountain, an extravagant Baroque monument and Rome’s largest and most famous fountain; and the Spanish Steps, in the heart of Piazza di Spagna built to link the square with the French church of Trinita dei Monti at the top. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)
Day 4. Thursday, April 21: Rome
This morning, tour the Vatican Museums and marvel at the Sistine Chapel, the renowned masterpiece of Michelangelo. Afterwards, walk through the Holy Door as you enter the famous Basilica of St. Peter, constructed on the site of the hallowed tomb of the Apostle, resplendent with mosaics, art treasures, and gold. Among the basilica’s most precious relics are a portion of the wood of the True Cross and part of the lance that pierced Christ’s side. Touch the beloved statue of St. Peter and admire Michelangelo’s Pieta. Render homage to the many buried popes. The rest of the day is at leisure, with dinner on your own. (BB)
Day 5. Friday, April 22: Rome – Assisi
Today journey to Assisi, where your guided sightseeing will include St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, which houses the Porziuncola Chapel where St. Francis of Assisi spent most of his life; the miraculous rose bush which was originally a briar-bush in which the saint rolled during a temptation; and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Then, visit the Church of St. Clare to venerate the saint’s relics. She was the foundress of the Order of Poor Clares and followed the teachings of St. Francis by living in poverty and humility. Continue to the imposing 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis where the great saint is buried. It houses also many of the saint’s possessions and a series of frescos depicting his life. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore this beautiful medieval town, with its geranium-hung streets, lovely views, and fountain-splashed piazzas. (BB)
Day 6. Saturday, April 23: Assisi – Siena – Florence
Depart from Assisi towards Siena. There, visit the Casa di Santa Catarina where St. Catherine of Siena grew up, and which is now surrounded by chapels and cloisters. Among them is the Chapel of the Crucifixion, in which she received the stigmata. Next, stroll along Piazza del Campo, Italy’s loveliest piazza that occupies the site of the old Roman forum. Cafés, restaurants, and a fine medieval palazzo now line the Campo’s fringes. Afterwards, continue to Florence with a visit upon arrival to the Piazzale Michelangelo for beautiful views of Florence. Next to it visit one of the finest Romanesque churches: San Miniato al Monte. Dinner and overnight in Florence. (BB, D)
Day 7. Sunday, April 24: Florence
This morning, wake up in the heart of Tuscany. Begin your sightseeing with a guided tour of the famous red-domed Florence Cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, the fourth largest church in Europe, which is one of the oldest buildings in Florence. It contains the relics of St. Zenovius (337–417), first bishop of Florence, who completely evangelized the city and its outskirts. He was known for his many miracles, especially for restoring the dead to life. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure for independent sightseeing, browsing through the many beautiful shops, and dining in this Tuscan city which is a vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance. (BB)
Day 8. Monday, April 25: Florence – Venice – Padua
Today, travel to Venice, the romantic “City of Water.” Upon arrival, visit the famous Piazza San Marco, described as the most elegant drawing room in Europe. A guided tour of the magnificent St. Mark Basilica will take you to the main altar, where the remains of St. Mark the Evangelist reside, then to the treasury where the “Pala d’Oro,” a splendid altar-piece made up of gold panels encrusted with jewels and relics, can be admired. The rest of your day is free to enjoy this romantic and historic city, before heading to Padua for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 9. Tuesday, April 26: Padua – Milan
This morning, render homage to one of the greatest and most beloved saints – St. Anthony. Visit his basilica, built in 1232, where his tomb lies in the north transept. Continue to Milan to visit the breathtaking Duomo, the giant cathedral which houses, under its cupola, the relics of St. Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan. Rest of the day at leisure. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate the success of such a memorable trip with fellow travelers. (BB, FD)
Day 10. Wednesday, April 27: Milan – USA
After breakfast, transfer to Milan’s airport for your flight back to the USA. (BB)
Buffet Breakfast (BB), Dinner (D), Welcome Dinner (WD), Farewell Dinner (FD)
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.