Oct 16 - 27, 2023

The Church of Saint Therese


In the Footsteps of Paul: An Exploration of 
the Greek Context of Early Christianity


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Join Father Gregory Kandt of the Church of St. Therese in Gloucester for a rich and inspiring journey to Greece.  Our itinerary includes stops at some of the more significant Pauline sites from the earliest days of Christianity, including Thessloniki, Philippi, Corinth, Athens, and Ephesus.  We will have the chance to explore impressive monuments at these sites and ponder the world of the first generation of Christians.  Our program includes a four-night cruise through the Aegean, stopping in iconic places like Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, and Crete.  We will enjoy land excursions at Kusadasi (Ephesus), Patmos (sites associated with St. John), Rhodes (the crusader-era palace), and Crete (the Palace of Knossos and evidence of the historic Minoan civilization.  Throughout, we will have access to local expert guides, a tour manager, breakfast/dinner daily (plus lunch during the cruise).  Fr. Gregory will celebrate liturgy with us at select historic venues each day.  This is a memorable and customized journey that you are sure to enjoy!  Come join us. 

Program Itinerary

Monday, October 16, 2023
Depart from Washington Dulles for Thessaloniki

Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Arrival Thessaloniki. Your group will be met by your local tour guide/manager who will accompany you to your city-center hotel.  Depending on time of arrival, there may be a bus orientation of the city before you check in.  Welcome dinner this evening at the hotel. Overnight Thessaloniki.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Breakfast. Today we enjoy a day excursion to Philippi (with Mass there near baptismal site) and Kavala (Neapolis). These are important Pauline sites, his first in Europe. When we return to Thessaloniki, depending on time, we will visit some important monuments. Dinner/overnight Thessaloniki.

Thursday, October 19, 2023
Breakfast.  Today, we travel to Kalambaka. We start the day by exploring Thessaloniki (some of these visits may be made on the previous two days to conserve time for today's journey to Kalambaka), coming across the White Tower, the Arch of Galerius, the Rotonda, the oldest of Thessaloniki’s churches, Aristotelous Square, the fortress and Ramparts overlooking the city and its gulf.  We also visit the Byzantine churches of St Sophia and St. Dimitrios, an early convert to Christianity martyred by the Romans. We then visit the town of Verias dubbed “Little Jerusalem” for the many churches that are built across it.  Here we will visit the Bema of St Paul where the Apostle stood and preached the Gospel to the Veroeans in 49 AD.  (Mass here in Verias)  We continue with a visit to Vergina or ancient Aegae, was the first capital of the kingdom of Macedon.  Although the capital was later transferred to Pella, Aegae remained the city where sacred rituals and ceremonies would take place.  Here we will visit the very impressive site of the Royal Tomb of King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.  Displayed within this tomb are the finds such as the gold ossuary with the 16-pointed Macedonian star, gold leaf wreaths, frescos, and ornaments. Dinner/overnight Kalambaka.

Friday, October 20, 2023
Breakfast.  Morning Mass in the hotel.  We continue to nearby Meteora to visit one or two of the mountain-top monasteries.  We then travel to Delphi - one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the ancient world -  to visit the Temple of Apollo and place of the Oracle of Delphi.  Dinner/overnight Delphi.

Saturday, October 21, 2023
Breakfast.  This morning we travel from Delphi to Corinth one of the important Christian communities founded by Paul.  We will celebrate Mass at an outdoor site here.  We then continue to Athens, check into our hotel, and enjoy dinner at the hotel on their roofdeck.

Sunday, October 22, 2023
Breakfast. Include Mass this morning at a local Catholic Church.  Continue then with a visit to the Acropolis, Agora, and Areopagus - sites Paul visited when he met with local Athenian officials. This was the center and focus of Athenian social, political, and religious life.  Afternoon visit to the Acropolis Museum.  Some free time in the Plaka district and dinner in the same area.  Overnight Athens.

Monday, October 23, 2023
Breakfast. This morning we transfer to the port and our cruise of the Aegean.  Our first port of call today is Mykonos - a popular tourist island and one of the more picturesque. We will celebrate Mass on board the ship. On the cruise, breakfast, lunch, and dinner at included.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Cruise.  Our port of call today is Kusadasi near the ancient city of Ephesus.  We will enjoy a shore excursion to explore the archaeological site of Ephesus - one of the largest in the world.  This was where one of the ancient wonders of the world existed - the Artemision.  It was a popular pilgrimage site focused on the fertiility cult of Artemis.  Christianity took a strong foothold here.  It was here, in the shadows of Artemis, that Christianity declared Mary  - theotokos - Mother of God.  We will visit the main archaeological site and the House of Mary on a hill overlooking the ancient town of Ephesus.  We continue on the cruise to Patmos, the island where John is said to have written the Book of Revelation.  We will visit St. John's Monastery and the Cave of the Apocalypse.  We will celebrate Mass on board the ship.  We continue overnight on the cruise to Rhodes.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Cruise.  Our port of call today is Rhodes, one of the important crusader-era settlement in the Aegean.  We will enjoy a walking tour of the medieval city and the Knights palace. We will also celebrate Mass on board the ship.

Thursday, October 26, 2023
Cruise. Our port of call today is Crete.  At Heraklion, we will visit one of the oldest archaeological sites - the Palace of Knossos, place of the ancient Minoan civilization.  We continue later to Santorini, one of the more popular and picturesque islands in the Aegean.  We will celebrate Mass on board the ship.

Friday, October 27, 2023
Our cruise ends early this morning.  We will disembark and transfer to the Athens airport for our return to the USA.

Inclusive Features:

Flights Washington Dulles-Thessaloniki and Athens-Washington Dulles, 10-nights accommodations in centrally located 4-star hotels and outside category group cabins, breakfast and dinner daily, local transportation via deluxe motorcoach, a full-time local tour manager and guide, and entrances and guided visits per the itinerary. 

Complete Program Prices:

Includes group airfare and airport transfers
$5250 per person based on double occupancy
$1200 supplement for single occupancy

Land Only Program Prices:

Excludes flight between Washington Dulles and Istanbul, and flight between Athens and Washington Dulles (as well as those airport transfers). The Land Only Program includes the internal flight from Istanbul to Izmir. 
$4350 per person based on double occupancy
$1200 supplement for single occupancy

Please note: Single rooms for single use are limited to 10% of the total number of rooms reserved. Should additional single rooms be requested, hotels may impose a higher supplement for all single rooms of $1500. If you have selected double occupancy but no roommate is available due to uneven numbers or if your roommate should cancel you will be in a single room and responsible for the single room supplement.

All prices listed are discounted for payment by check. When paying with a credit card, you will be charged the standard base price, which is 5% higher.

All program prices are based on availability of services at the time registration material is received; currency exchange rates in effect February 27, 2023 —and on 2023 land and air tariffs—and are subject to change. All services are provided subject to Illume’s Conditions and Clauses.

The program prices will be reviewed before the invoices for the final payment are mailed, and will reflect the current prices.

Program Registration:

With questions, please contact:

Fr. Gregory Kandt
St. Therese
6262 Main St.
Gloucester, VA 23601

Step 1: Complete the Event Registration Form before April 7, 2023 

NOTE: This program is currently at capacity.  Please fill out the registration form to be added to the waitlist. Illume will contact you if space opens up.


Step 2: Submit your $1500 deposit check per person to illume not later than April 7, 2023:

236 Lewis Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

Checks should be made payable to illume. Please include the program number 23.10627 on the memo line. 

You will receive a Welcome E-mail from illume after March 25, 2023. You will also receive a link to add optional Travel Insurance/Protection to your program at that time.

Nonrefundable second deposit of $1500 per person due not later than: May 18, 2023

Balance of payment due not later than: July 18, 2023

Note: Any changes to the program will be outlined in the final documents which you will receive one month prior to departure. If changes are made that affect the program price, you will receive an invoice or a credit accordingly.


Program No. 23.10627




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