Fr. Joseph Campbell, a priest of the Diocese of Erie, holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Gannon University and has earned an S.T.B. and an M.A. in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Fr. Campbell is currently serving as the pastor of three parishes in the Shenango Valley: St. Anthony, St. Adalbert, and St. Stanislaus Kostka – Holy Trinity.
Fr. James Campbell was born in Erie, PA. After finishing his B.S. in Mathematics, he continued his studies at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA, and received a S.T.B. and an M.A. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2006 and is currently pastor of St. Eulalia Church in Coudersport, PA, and St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in Port Allegany.
Day 1: Monday, June 1 USA – Rome
Begin your journey with an overnight flight to Rome, Italy.
Day 2: Tuesday, June 2 Rome
Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival in Rome’s international airport, meet your tour escort and board your private motor-coach for a panoramic view of the city. After a visit to St. Paul Outside the Walls, the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle and one of the five major basilicas of Rome, walk through the Catacombs, where the early Christians used to celebrate Mass. Enjoy a guided tour of Rome’s downtown and lunch on your own at Cecilia Metella. See the Pantheon—the most extraordinary and best-preserved ancient building in Rome. Then, visit Santa Maria Sopra Minerva with its superb collection of art and sculpture from as far back as the 13th century and which houses the remains of St. Catherine of Siena and Fra Angelico. Transfer to your hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight. (WD)
Day 3: Wednesday, June 3 Rome
Early this morning, take your places in St. Peter’s Square for the Papal Audience, where Pope Francis will address and bless the crowd. Then, visit St. John Lateran Basilica. It is the oldest of Rome’s four major basilicas and the cathedral of the Church of Rome. It is also known as the Redeemer, because of the apparition of the face of Christ on the day of its consecration. Then, go up the Scala Santa, the largest relic in the Christian world. These Holy Steps are the staircase from the Praetorian Palace where drops of Jesus’ blood fell after He was flagellated. Then, visit Sancta Croce in Gerusalemme, originally begun by St. Helen when she returned from Jerusalem with the relic of the True Cross and soil from Calvary. Continue to the Basilica of St. Mary Major which houses two of Christianity’s greatest treasures: the relics of the manger from Bethlehem in which the Baby Jesus was laid following his birth, and the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary “Salvation of the Roman People.” Visit the famous Trevi Fountain on your way to enjoy dinner at Abruzzi Ristorante. Overnight in Rome. (BB, D)
Day 4: Thursday, June 4 Rome
This morning, marvel at St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church and the center of Christianity, which is built on the site where St. Peter the Apostle and many other popes and martyrs are buried. Among the Basilica’s most precious relics, one finds 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. Then, visit the Vatican Museums with the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. You may take the Scavi Tour to visit the Necropolis under the Basilica. Dinner tonight is on your own at a restaurant of your choice, such as the Old Bear Restaurant. (BB)
Day 5: Friday, June 5 Rome – Assisi
After breakfast, make your way to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis and St. Clare. Your guided sightseeing in Assisi includes 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 frescoes depicting his life. 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. In St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, visit the Porziuncola Chapel where St. Francis spent most of his life, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 6: Saturday, June 6 Assisi – Orvieto
This morning, continue your sightseeing of Assisi. Visit San Damiano, the monastery where St. Clare performed the most famous of her miracles in 1240, when she turned away an attack by Saracen soldiers who had broken into the convent by showing them the Sacred Host. Then, Eremo delle Carceri on the slope of Monte Subasio outside the walls of Assisi, which was used by St. Francis as a retreat place for prayer and meditation. Continue to Orvieto, where the Duomo houses a Eucharistic Miracle in which real blood from a consecrated host fell on the altar cloth in nearby Bolsena. Dinner on your own and overnight in Orvieto. (BB)
Day 7: Sunday, June 7 Orvieto – Bolsena – Siena
Today is the feast of Corpus Christi. After morning Mass, join the large procession through the streets of Orvieto. After some time enjoying the festivities, transfer to Bolsena for an evening procession in that town. Then, travel to Siena for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 8: Monday, June 8 Siena – San Gimignano – Florence
In Siena visit the Duomo, one of Italy’s greatest cathedrals, a spectacular mixture of sculpture, paintings, and Pisan-influenced Romanesque Gothic architecture. Then visit the house of St. Catherine, patron saint of Italy, surrounded by chapels and cloisters. Among them is the Church of the Crucifixion, in front of which she received the stigmata. Continue to the Piazza del Campo, Italy’s loveliest plaza that occupies the site of the old Roman forum. On your way to Florence, stop at a winery for a Tuscany wine tasting. Upon arrival into Florence, visit San Miniato al Monte. This church was built in honor of St. Minias, the first martyr of Florence. Tradition says that after he was beheaded, he picked up his head, crossed the Arno River and walked back to his hermitage. Dinner and overnight in Florence. (BB, D)
Day 9: Tuesday, June 9 Florence
Today, visit the famous Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore, Europe’s fourth largest church and the city’s most famous symbol. Admire its marble pavement and Brunelleschi’s large red dome. Next, visit the Convent of San Marco which was founded in the 13th century and contains the great works of Fra Angelico. Cells and cloisters show the simplicity of the life of the Dominican monks. Then, visit the Galleria dell’Accademia, which holds a massive collection of sculptures and works of art, including the famous David of Michelangelo. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Florence. (BB)
Day 10: Wednesday, June 10 Florence – Pisa – Lucca
Your sightseeing in Florence includes the world-renowned Uffizi, Italy’s greatest art gallery. It not only contains the world’s most magnificent collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, but also masterpieces from foreign places such as Holland, Spain, and Germany. After lunch on your own, travel to the historic town of Pisa, most famous for its leaning tower. After a visit to Pisa’s Duomo, travel to Lucca for dinner and overnight. Time allowing, there visit the Santo Volto and St. Zita. (BB, D)
Day 11: Thursday, June 11 Lucca – Rome
In Lucca, pray before the tomb of St. Gemma Galgani. Then, return to the Eternal City for free time before your farewell dinner accompanied by Italian music. (BB, FD)
Day 12: Friday, June 12 Rome – USA
After breakfast, transfer to Rome’s Fiumicino airport for your flight home.
(BB) Buffet Breakfast; (D) Dinner; (WD) Welcome Dinner; (FD) Farewell Dinner
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information on this pilgrimage or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.