LeAnn Thieman is a nationally acclaimed professional speaker, author, and nurse who was “accidentally” caught up in the Vietnam Orphan Airlift in 1975 when she helped rescue 300 babies asSaigon was falling to the Communists. Through God’s grace, she endured and is living proof that God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.
By sharing her amazing adventure and stories from her book Chicken Soup for the Soul, Living Catholic Faith, she proves her conviction that, just as God led her to Vietnam, He leads us all when we trust His guidance. Her presentations and books fill people with hope and love, nourishes their souls, and deepens their connections with God. LeAnn has shared her life lessons and faith around the globe on BBC, NPR, PBS, FOX News, PAX-TV’s It’s A Miracle show, Newsweek Magazine’s Voices of the Century issue, and countless radio and TV programs.
Her 15 books have inspired, motivated, and changed the lives of millions of readers. It began with This Must Be My Brother, her incredible Operation Babylift story. After it was featured in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, LeAnn became one of Chicken Soup’s most prolific writers.
Her devotion to thirty years of nursing made her the ideal co-author of Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, which hit the New York Times Bestseller list! She went on to write a dozen more Chicken Soup titles including Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Book of Miracles and Chicken Soup for the Soul, Answered Prayers.
Her latest, SelfCare for HealthCare, Your Guide to Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health is a dynamic component of her transformational SelfCare for HealthCare initiative.
LeAnn was inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame, further motivating people to say, “I’m going to live my life differently after hearing you today.”
To learn more about LeAnn, please visit www.leannthieman.com.
Msgr. Bob Amundsen is a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver and has been in pastoral ministry for 45 years. He has served parishes in Denver, Fort Collins and Lafayette, Colorado, and directed the Catholic campus ministry at Colorado State University for 12 years. He did his theology studies in Rome from 1966-1970 and has been back to Rome and Italy several times. He loves music, especially playing the accordion in Roman trattorias.
Day 1. Thursday, October 6: Transatlantic flight
Depart today on your flight to Rome, Italy.
Day 2. Friday, October 7: Rome
Welcome to Rome! Upon arrival, take a panoramic tour of the Eternal City from your private motor-coach. Continue to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before your evening welcome dinner with fellow travelers. (WD)
Day 3. Saturday, October 8: Rome
After breakfast, visit the Vatican Museums which are famous for their centuries-old collection of art and sculptures, including the Raphael Rooms. See the magnificent Sistine Chapel. Then, visit St. Peter’s Basilica and crypt. Walk through the Holy Door to gain the indulgence of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Rome. (BB)
Day 4. Sunday, October 9: Rome
Make your way to the Vatican Square to receive the Papal Blessing. This afternoon, visit St. Mary Major, housing the crib of Bethlehem. Then visit St. John Lateran, the Pope’s basilica from which he makes solemn declarations ex cathedra. Nearby, visit the Scala Santa, the sacred stairs which Our Lord climbed after His scourging. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)
Day 5. Monday, October 10: Rome
Today, make your way to Rome’s historical symbol and greatest amphitheater, the Coliseum, which staged deadly combats and where many Christians were martyred. Then, tour downtown Rome with visits to the Pantheon, which is the best-preserved monument from ancient Rome thanks to its transformation into a church in 609; S. Maria Sopra Minerva, one of the only Gothic structures in Italy, housing the tomb of St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint of Italy; and the Trevi Fountain, an extravagant Baroque monument which is Rome’s largest and most famous fountain. Rest of the day is free with dinner on your own. (BB)
Day 6. Tuesday, October 11: Rome – Assisi
Early this morning travel to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis and St. Clare. Upon arrival, enjoy some free time to explore this beautiful medieval town with its geranium-hung streets, lovely views, and fountain-splashed piazzas. This afternoon, your guided sightseeing includes St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, which houses the Porziuncola Chapel where St. Francis spent most of his life; the rose bush in which the saint rolled in order to overcome his temptation to abandon his way of life; and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Then, visit the Basilica 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 many of the saint’s possessions and a series of frescos depicting his life. Dinner and overnight in Assisi. (BB, D)
Day 7. Wednesday, October 12: Assisi – Siena – Florence
On your way to Florence today, visit the hometown of the patroness of Italy: St. Catherine of Siena. Your guided sightseeing in Siena includes a visit to the Casa di Santa Caterina where the saint was born, now surrounded by chapels and cloisters. Among them is the Church of the Crucifixion, in front of which she received the stigmata. Visit the Gothic Church of San Domenico, where the preserved head of St. Catherine can be seen. The church has the only portrait of the saint considered authentic. Enjoy some leisure time with lunch on your own in the charming city center, Piazza del Campo. Afterwards, amidst some of the best-loved scenery in Italy, experience regional wine-tasting at a Tuscan winery. Arrive into Florence for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 8. Thursday, October 13: Florence
Today tour Florence, a vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance. Visit the Church of S. Miniato al Monte, described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most scenic churches in Italy. It was built on the spot where the brave soldier-martyr, St. Miniato, had his hermitage. Visit the famous red-domed Duomo: the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, the fourth largest church in Europe and 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. Admire the magnificent East Door of the Baptistery, known as the “Gate to Paradise.” Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (BB)
Day 9. Friday, October 14: Florence
Your morning sightseeing is of the Convent and Museum di San Marco where the relics of St. Antonino are kept. St. Antonino was the convent’s first prior and later became Archbishop and patron saint of Florence. Here admire a series of devotional frescos by the famous Fra Angelico. Next, visit the Accademia which houses Michelangelo’s David. The rest of the day is free. (BB)
Day 10. Saturday, October 15: Florence – Padua
This morning, depart towards Padua to visit the Basilica of St. Anthony the Wonder Worker, enshrining his relics, and walk to the Basilica of St. Justina, housing the relics of St. Luke. Then, take a walking tour of the city’s historic center. Transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 11. Sunday, October 16: Padua – Excursion to Venice
Depart early for an excursion to Venice, the Floating City. Visit the Basilica of St. Mark, the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture; the visit includes the Pala de Oro and the Treasury. Enjoy free time to experience a gondola ride or visit other sites on your own. Continue to visit S. Geremia Church, a pilgrimage site to the relics of St. Lucy. Finally visit S. Rocco Church, housing the tomb of St. Roch, patron of Venice. Return to Padua for an evening farewell dinner to celebrate the success of such a memorable pilgrimage. (BB, FD)
Day 12. Monday, October 17: Venice – USA
Transfer to Venice airport for you return flight 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 trip information or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.