Greece Turkey 2009

Information for Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


We are delighted that you are considering joining us on our pilgrimage to Greece & Turkey to walk in the Footsteps of St. Paul. There are a variety of departure cities so please check

the brochure and registration form for details.

Bishop Aquila will be our honored guest and spiritual director for this pilgrimage. We consider it a great privilege to travel to the lands where the first churches were established and to learn from him, one of those whose authority stems from those early days.

We are now taking deposits, so in order to reserve your place, please fill out the reservation form and mail it with your $500 per person deposit check to Golden Eagle Travel, 21250 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior, MN 55331.

Included will be a 4-night cruise of the Aegean to various Greek Isles, including Patmos. Another stop is in Ephesus to visit the House of Mary.

Contact us or Bonnie Lane 952-474-0903 if you have questions or concerns. Cavins Tours phone number --763-420-1074. If you wish to have information sent to any of your friends, let us know and we will email the information or mail it depending upon preference. Emily can be reached at

Day 11 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

TUE,   MAR 24

This morning we drove to Ancient Corinth, which was the most beautiful city of Roman Greece.   We visited the Doric style temple of Apollo, the market place, the fountain of Pirene, the Bema of St. Paul and the Agora, where St. Paul preached.         Dinner and overnight in Athens. Then we pack up and head for home! Though the trip has been meaningful, we all will be so grateful to be back home with those we love.

Day 10 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

Monday, March 23

A short flight took us to Athens to see the Acropolis and the Parthenon.   Beneath the Acropolis is the Areopagus or Mars Hill, where St. Paul made his famous 'Men of Athens' speech. Jeff was able to teach about Acts 17 on that site as well. For mass we went to St. Dionysius just down the street from our hotel. St. Dionysius was a convert of St. Paul's. We enjoyed a free afternoon in the city. Overnight in Athens.

Day 9 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today it was overland along the ancient route of St. Paul to Ancient Philippi where we renewed our baptismal vows at the river where St. Paul prayed. We visited two early Christian basilicas and saw traces of the Egnatian Way, the Roman Forum, the citadel and the ancient theater. We even visited the jail where St. Paul was imprisoned.   Then we drove to the ancient site of Thessaloniki and had mass celebrated by Fr. Innocenti at the hotel before dinner and overnight.

Happy Birthday to Matthew Schmitz today!

Day 8 of Greece/Turkey Pigrimage

March 21

This morning we visited the legendary city of Troy, the site of the Trojan War described in The Iliad. Then we drove through the Gallipoli Peninsula, across the Dardanelles Straits by a car ferry, cross the Turkish border and continue on to Alexandroupolis in Greece. Fr. Schmitz celebrated mass at our hotel before dinner and then we had the opportunity for confession. Overnight Alexandroupolis.

Day 7 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today we visited Pergamon, one of the Seven Churches which John addresses in the Book of   Revelation. We visited the Acropolis where there is a great Hellenistic theater and Trajan's Temple are located as well as the famous Altar of Zeus, the Temple of Isis and Serapis, and the Temple of Athena. After visiting a carpet factory, we drove north to Canakkale, visiting Alexandria Troas. Overnight Canakkale.

Day 6 of the Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

Thurs, MAR 19

After breakfast we left for Thyatira and Philadelphia, both of which are one of the Seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Jeff gave a summary of the 7 Churches in Revelation on each of the buses as we travelled. Returning to Izmir, ancient Smyrna, we toured the city including a visit to the Hellenistic ruins. Fr. Peter Richards celebrated Mass at the Church of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John, and returned to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

We are excited to have the 6th-8th grade religion class students of Resurrection School in Wichita, KS are eagerly following the pilgrimage via the web. We will pray for you at mass!

Day 5 of the Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today we visited Miletus, the city where St. Paul stopped on his way to Jerusalem, and Ephesus. Once in Ephesus it's to an archaeological site where we see the great theater, Celsius Library and the fabulous Curetes Street. We stopped at Mary's House for mass with Fr. Mastey presiding. Recently this site was visited by Pope Benedict in 2006 and John Paul II in 1979. We also visit the Basilica of St. John and viewed the Temple of Artemis. We will stay the night at the Hotel Princess in Izmir. Tonight the priest graciously offered a time of confession for the pilgrims at the hotel.

Day 4 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today we visited the site of Heiropolis where Jeff gave a talk about the nature of pilgrimage. Then we traveled a short distance to Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches addressed by John in the Book of Revelation. Jeff spoke here about the similarities of the Christians of Laodicea and Christians in the US today. We finished our day by driving to Kusadasi, the biblical Ephesus which is now a touristic port town on the Aegean where we will spend the night.

To view the photos you may click the arrows to go forward or backwards.

Day 2 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

Today, we began with Mass at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Instanbul. Then for our first full day of touring, we visited the Topkapi Palace, and the Hippodrome, the former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople.   Next we visited the legendary Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also called the Blue Mosque. Later we visited the Hagai Sophia Church, now a museum and the Chora Museum. In the evening we enjoyed a leisurely cruise on the Bosporus.

Here are photos of the day!

Pilgrims Have Arrived in Istanbul!

Dear Friends and Families of the Greece/Turkey Pilgrims:

Jeff and the tour group has arrived safely in Istanbul. After a short bus ride through the city they have arrived at their hotel for mass, dinner and a good night's rest. The tour has two buses each with three priests on board! As they travel to the sites of Paul, let us continue to pray for their spiritual enrichment.

Here are some inspiring words from Jeff's friend, Keith Moore, the musician accompanying the tour.

"St. Paul is why I am here in Turkey today. Pope Benedict has declared this the year of St. Paul, and I am traveling with a pilgrimage, leading the music for the Mass. What a world of wonders we live in! This is a strange and exotic place. It brings out the superlatives in one's thinking. When he was ministering here, St. Paul used words like, "always", "everywhere", "all things", "ceaselessly", etc. He was about telling the people of this land about the Beloved. And he didn't just tell his readers to pray without ceasing, but he did it himself. I can only imagine what it was like for him to travel to this frantic place of milling humans. I am sure though the cities themselves have changed, but I bet the atmosphere hasn't. I bet there were people walking around in Paul's day that could walk by me today in Istanbul and I wouldn't know the difference. As I walk through old town's cobble streets, I can almost hear St. Paul speaking. His words and life are still a guide and inspiration. He said to follow him as he followed Jesus. Were he with me today, he would still be about the one thing, bringing Jesus to anyone who would listen. St. Paul, pray for us that we will use your words more often in our lives following Jesus. "Always", "Everywhere", "Giving thanks", "Run with endurance", "Pressing on.", and that these words will become our way too."

Emily Cavins