Sep 16 - 25, 2019


Pubs, Castles and Monasteries: A Journey Through the Cultural, Historical and Religious Treasures of Ireland



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Join Father Matthew Jacob along with other members of Lumen Christi Parish for an exciting journey to Ireland. This is a unique, customized journey to sites of great cultural, historical and religious significance in one of the most beautiful and inspiring lands of Europe. You will experience stunning scenery, local music, artisans, Irish cuisine and historic religious sites. There will be a blend of expertly guided activities along with free time to explore local sites at your own pace. Hotels were chosen for ease of access to historical centers of the towns and cities we will be visiting. The trip begins in the western part of Ireland, visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Croagh Patrick, Knock and the mystical Dingle peninsula. It continues to the beautiful medieval village of Waterford where we will get a chance to see how Irish crystal is made by local artisans. Our program concludes in the cosmopolitan and historical city of Dublin. Throughout, we visit ancient monasteries, castles and, of course, local pubs and restaurants to get a feel for Irish music and culture. Come experience the magic of Ireland. For more information, please contact Karen Bersch at or give her a call at 262-512-8983.

Program Itinerary:

Mon Sep 16: Depart Chicago for Shannon, Ireland.

Tue Sep 17: Arrival Shannon. Arrival Shannon. Meet the tour manager and motorcoach. Visit the Burren area and the Cliffs of Moher (the spectacular cliffs facing the Atlantic ocean) - to get some fresh air after the flight and stretch legs. Continue then to Galway. Check into hotel with free time to explore town center and area around hotel. Hotel check-in time is 3:00pm. Welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight Galway.

Wed Sep 18: Breakfast at hotel. This morning, visit Croagh Patrick and Knock Shrine. Croagh Patrick is the site where legend has it that the snakes plunged to their death when St. Patrick rang a bell from the mountain. Spend some time at Croagh Patrick (some may want to do a little part of the hike up/others visit the information center. We will then continue to the Shrine of Knock that celebrates a Marian appearance in 1879. Visit the Shrine with Mass. Return to Galway with a walking tour of the city center followed by dinner at a local restaurant. This evening the tour manager can indicate some pubs to enjoy local music. Overnight Galway.

Thu Sep 19: Breakfast at hotel. Travel to Clonmacnoise – one of the great ancient monastic settlements of Ireland. It was founded in 545 by St. Kieran. There are important Celtic crosses and monuments from the monastic buildings. This would be a great place to think about the early rise of Christianity in Ireland and the form it took. Explore Celtic influences on early Christian spirituality here. Celebrate Mass at a local parish (outdoor Mass at Clonmacnoise no longer permitted). Continue then to Limerick. Stop in Bunratty to visit the Castle here – one of the more famous ones. It is a “strong” castle – with thick walls and an interesting museum. Walking tour of the historical center of Limerick with dinner and entertainment at a local gastro pub. Overnight Limerick.

Fri Sep 20: Breakfast. Day excursion to Dingle Peninsula (one of the more beautiful drives – and includes many interesting historic sites). Begin with scenic drive to Slea Head and Dun an Oir Fort - then to some of the historical sites – Reasc monastery (6th century), the Gallerus Oratory (primitive Christian architecture) and visitor center and finally Kilmalkedar Church (12th century). Then stop in Dingle for free time. Return to Limerick for evening at leisure (opportunity to sample local pubs/music on your own - tour manager can make suggestions and give information about local options). Overnight Limerick.

Sat Sep 21: Breakfast at hotel. Travel to Waterford. Stop en route at Cashel - Visit the Rock of Cashel. This is one of the most important historic sites in Ireland – regional capital and place where St. Patrick baptized King Aengus. In the 10th century it became a fortress and later in the 12th century a cathedral was founded here. Continue to Waterford for a guided visit to one of the glass factories there. Dinner at a local pub. Overnight Waterford area.

Sun Sep 22: Breakfast at hotel. Waterford is a charming town – and worth spending some time walking through the medieval streets and visiting historic sites there. Walking tour of historic center including the Medieval Museum and Bishop’s Palace. Celebrate Mass at local Catholic church. In the afternoon travel to Dublin. On arrival in Dublin, check into hotel with evening at leisure. Tour manager can make suggestions for cultural opportunities and restaurants. Overnight Dublin.

Mon Sep 23: Breakfast at hotel. Morning guided visit to Dublin Castle, Trinity College (and the library with the Book of Kells (ancient Celtic decorated Gospels), and St. Stephan’s Green – with Mass at the Our Lady of Wisdom (associated with Newman’s university ministry). Continue on to Guiness Factory for a tour of the brewery, tasting and light lunch. Closer to departure, we can identify plays or other shows that the group might like to take advantage of this evening. Overnight Dublin.

Tue Sep 24: Breakfast at hotel. This morning visit Temple Bar area with its quaint historic neighborhoods and shops. Visit Christ Church Cathedral (Church of Ireland). Mass at a local Catholic Church. Afternoon free to enjoy Dublin at leisure. This evening gather for a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Dublin.

Wed Sep 25: Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for return to USA.

Inclusive Features:

Air transportation from Chicago to Shannon, Ireland
Hotel accommodations in lovely hotels near historical town centers; all rooms with private facilities.
All site and museum visits pre-reserved and pre-ticketed in anticipation of arrival
Permission and authorization for all restricted-access locations obtained in advance
Pre-paid reservation fees, entrance fees, ticket admission fees
Expert, dedicated guides and bus tour staff
National level on-site tour manager present from arrival through departure from Ireland
Meals included:

  • All breakfasts at each hotel
  • One dinner in a local Galway restaurant
  • One dinner along with entertainment at Locke’s Pub in Limerick
  • One dinner in New Ross or Waterford
  • Farewell dinner in Brazen Head and will include Irish Storytelling
  • (All cover charges and gratuities to restaurant staff included)

    Masses at Knock Shrine, Waterford, Our Lady of Wisdom (associated with Newman’s University ministry), and at a local Catholic Church in Dublin.
    Air transportation from Dublin to Chicago.


    Group Flight Schedule:

    The group flight schedule will be posted approximately 4-6 weeks after the registration deadline. Schedules are subject to change; final information will be included in the final itinerary you receive approximately 3 weeks prior to departure.

    Group airline reservations include parameters imposed by the airlines. With group flight reservations you are not permitted to: pre-select your seat assignment, request extra leg room, upgrade your ticket to business or first class, deviate from the group flight dates, or depart from another city. For group reservations, most airlines set aside a block of seats for the group, and do not inform passengers of their seat assignment or accommodate requests until the day of departure. Illume encourages you to reiterate any seat requests at time of check-in.

    Illume offers a Land Only program option for those travelers who'd like to customize their flight reservations. This will allow you to book your own airfare. It is highly encouraged that you opt for Land Only if you have specific flight preferences.


    Hotel information will be posted approximately 4-6 weeks after the registrations deadline. Confirmed hotels are subject to change at any time without notice.

    Complete Program Prices:

    Includes group airfare and airport transfers
    $4650 per person based on double occupancy
    This amount includes $425 for airline taxes and fuel surcharges (estimate as of October 5, 2018)
    $800 supplement for single occupancy

    Land Only Program Prices:

    Excludes all airfare and airport transfers
    $4050 per person based on double occupancy
    $800 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 $1200. 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 October 5, 2018—and on 2018 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:

    Karen Bersch

    Complete the Event Registration Form before December 10, 2018.


    After December 10, you will receive an invoice e-mail for your $800 per person deposit due January 7, 2019. You will also have the option to add Travel Insurance/Protection to your program at that time.

    A second non-refundable deposit of $1800 per person due not later than: March 15, 2019

    Balance of payment due not later than: June 18, 2019

    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.

    Registrations will be accepted after December 10 on a space-available basis. Additional costs may apply. Contact illume for pricing and availability after December 10.

    Program No. 19.10509










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