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“Travellers know, it pays to plan early!” — Fr. Ralph Kleiter
Before you move into summer activities I want to update you on programs still available. Please note that it is to your advantage to Book Early by June 30, 2014 for discounts on the 2015 programs.
I. Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland/Labrador & Maritimes) & Quebec Programs starting Sept. 10, 2014. “Getting to know our Canada” in a land of new saints and change. Option :Cruise Quebec from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Details: www.pilgrimjourneys.ca Some space still available. All are ticketed but if interested I will try my best!
II. Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries — including the Peruvian Amazon Basin & Machu Picchu. Land Tour Feb. 3 - 14, 2015 Collette Package from Saskatoon return $5,599.00 Option: Bridge to the Americas, Panama Canal cruise to Lima, Peru from Miami Jan. 16 - Feb. 3, 2015 Cruise Package from US$4,899.00 Free Air. Open Attachment I
III. Spotlight on San Antonio (Texas)---Final winter Getaway March 22-26, 2015 from $1199.00+ Air **Special interest for Snowbirds. Join us in San Antonio before returning home. Call for details
IV. Pilgrim Journey to Biblical Lands — the 23rd “Kleiter Klassic” in the Holy Lands with Gisele Bauche, Guest Facilitator
Land Tour Sept. 5 - 17, 2015 Land Cost: US$3,146.00 + Air @$1,900.00-$2,100.00 Saskatoon return Open Attachment II
Post Land tour options:
a) Jewels of the Aegean , 10-day cruise featuring St. Paul’s ports, Sept. 17 - 27, 2015 from US$4,299.00 Free Air
Open Attachment III
b) Land Extension to St. Paul’s northern Greece, Sept. 27 - Oct. 3, 2015 TBA
c) Footsteps of Discovery in Biblical Lands, 21-day voyage Oct. 4 - 25, 2015 Istanbul to Dubai featuring 3 Day stay in Israel, Suez Canal, Luxor, and many other significant ports offering exclusively designed Day Excursions. From US$6,299.00 Free Air Open Attachment IV (Ideal for those wanting a more extensive overview of area or prefer a more leisurely pace at Holy Sites with Oceania’s wonderful MS. Nautica
Advance information and Early Booking discounts on 2015 travel available until June 30, 2014. N.B. Oceania’s ships have only 680-1140 Guests & space is already limited! I hope you have not already made other travel plans. Let me know if you are able to consider joining me or better…with a small deposit (refundable) by June 30, 2014 you can benefit from the Early Booking discounts and added amenities. , 306-244-3747; email Tell a travel friend, contact me TODAY and let’s begin the fun of planning! These small party and extraordinary travel designs are intended to make your travel investment not just another tour.
Fr. Ralph Kleiter, Ministry to Tourism, 314-619 Saskatchewan Cres., W, Saskatoon SK S7M 0A5 Tel. 306-244-3747, firstname.lastname@example.org www.pilgrimjourneys.ca
Ministry to Tourism is offering a number of upcoming Pilgrim Journeys. Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries, including the Peruvian Amazon Basin and Machu Picchu land tour Feb. 3 - 14, 2015 and the option of a Bridge to the Americas cruise to Lima, Peru from Miami Jan. 16 - Feb. 3, 2015. Pilgrim Journey to Biblical Lands: Sept. 5 to Sept. 17, 2015 land tour, with other post-tour options available including a 10-day cruise featuring St. Paul’s ports, a land extension to northern Greece, and/or a “Footsteps of Discovery in Biblical Lands” 21-day cruise. Note: early booking discounts on 2015 travel is available until June 30, 2014. Atlantic Canada and Quebec Programs start Sept. 10, 2014 (early bird deadline is now past.) Find details at: www.pilgrimjourneys.ca or contact Fr. Ralph Kleiter: (306) 244-3747; email@example.com
I know that with the current attention to Spring planting it is difficult to focus on Winter 2015!
You are, however, aware of my extraordinary cruise via the Panama Canal to Peru with the option to explore this “Ancient Land of Mysteries “ alone or after the cruise in January/February 2015.
I have just been informed that this extraordinary cruise itinerary aboard Oceania’s beautiful Ms. Regatta (since it is not a Mega ship but welcomes only 684 Guests) already has very limited space availability. Happily, I still have in my group allocation a couple of staterooms available each in Ocean View and Veranda categories. These are now available on a “first come, first go” basis.
I am attaching for your information the complete itinerary for “Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries” Feb.3-14, 2015.. This is still available with Early Booking Savings as a package in itself or as a Post Cruise Option . For those taking the cruise(which includes the Air) the supplement for this Post Cruise Land Option is about $3,000.00 per person.
Also attached is a flyer on the cruise. Do visit www.oceaniacruises.com and www.pilgrimjourneys.ca for more details.
May I have the favor of your immediate reply.LIMA CRUISE
Ministry to Tourism
Rev. Ralph Kleiter
314-619 Saskatchewan Cres. W
Saskatoon SK S7M 0A5, Canada
I. Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries, including the Peruvian Amazon Basin & Machu Picchu. Land tour Feb. 3-14, 2015 Option: Bridge to the Americas, cruise to Lima, Peru from Miami Jan. 16-Feb. 3, 2015
II. Pilgrim Journey to Biblical Lands-the 23rd “Kleiter Klassic” in
the Holy Lands Land tour Sept. 5-16, 2015
Post tour options: a) 10 day cruise featuring St. Paul’s ports, Sept.17-27, 2015
b) Land Extension to St. Paul’s northern Greece, Sept. 27-Oct.3, 2015
c) Footsteps of Discovery in Biblical Lands, 21 Day cruise Oct. 4-25, 2015
(For those wishing to return or prefer a more leisurely pace at Holy Sites)
III. Atlantic Canada & Quebec Programs, starting Sept. 10, 2014. Last chance. Sorry, too late for early booking discounts.
Contact: Fr. R. Kleiter 306 244 3747; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.pilgrimjourneys.ca; www.oceaniacruises.com ; www.gocollette.com
Retired Canadians long to spend winter like the birds---in southern climes. It is my observation that people invest, even in southern properties, which offer great weather but often any other enrichment is limited or not much different from living at home.
Ministry to Tourism is happy to suggest that “Snowbirds”, at least early in their retirement while their health and mobility are good and insurance premiums acceptable to make an extended travel venture of one or more months before settling into one place later in their retirement. Get to know more of the wonderful world which “Snowbirds” too often just dream about. I look forward to hear from you OR to meet you at my spring Travel Night, April 9 at 7:30 PM.
P.S. Important Announcement from Ministry to Tourism For obvious
reasons, Ministry to Tourism will be discontinuing general mailing of
travel information by Canada Post.
*If you wish to continue being informed of our programs please provide an email address (your own or that of a friend/relative willing print the information for you). Simply send an email message to Kleiter@shaw.ca with “Email Address” as subject. You will than continue receiving occasional letters and future travel plans of Ministry to Tourism. *If you cannot provide an email address and you still wish to remain on our distribution list please contact Ministry to Tourism at 314- 619 Saskatchewan Cres., West, Saskatoon, SK S7M 0A5 Tel: 306-244-3747; Fax: 306-374-1208. You may also leave a telephone message if there is no answer. If we do not hear from you we will remove you name from our list. You are a valued travel friend and we depend on your feedback regarding your preferred destinations in any future travel plans. Let us know what these destinations are. And always check with us before finalizing a significant travel plan.
Thank you for your kind attention and assistance in making Ministry to Tourism programs known and so successful.
I am delighted to inform you that I will be using email primarily in future communication to you. Please note attached/enclosed notice of discontinuation of future communications by “snail mail”. Please advise me if this will not work for you.
Ministry to Tourism
Rev. Ralph Kleiter
314-619 Saskatchewan Cres. W
Saskatoon SK S7M 0A5, Canada
You have indicated to me that you might be interested in joining a future “Rail Cruise” in Canada. During the summer I have been designing a series of possible Pilgrim Journeys primarily by Rail but including extraordinary stopovers and features with Step-on Guides. I have also included other modes of travel some of which most people would not think of taking or if they visited the areas previously this new design would become even more interesting and enjoyable. I am calling the series: “Getting to know our Canada”.
I have designed a variety of programs and I am sincerely inviting your feedback. Attached are abbreviated proposed journeys for the Spring and Autumn of 2014 and 2015. The length of each would be around two to three weeks. The cost, depending on what inclusions will be finally offered and in light of the current high cost of Rail travel in Canada, each package should have an all inclusive price range of $5,000.00-$6,000.00 per person sharing.
"Please review the draft itineraries below and let me know if any would interest you in 2014-15.
“GETTING TO KNOW OUR CANADA” A series of comprehensive travel designs for 2014-2015-Draft I Spring & Autumn 2014
A) Spring 2014-Only one option is being offered at this late date: May 22-June 12, 2014 Via Rail to Toronto*Sightseeing Programs in Toronto, Midland (Martyrs’ Shrine & Sainte Marie among the Hurons, re-creation of Jesuit mission), Stratford Festival, *Via Rail to Kingston* Waterways Rideau Canal 6 day cruise *Ottawa 4 Days Program*Via Rail to Niagara Falls for Program & Shaw Festival* Via Rail Home (Choose ONE from the Autumn Season)
B) Autumn 2014-After Labour Day Weekend Via Rail to Toronto-Harvest Colours* Midland Shrine & Niagara Falls Wine Festival * Flight to Newfoundland *7-10 Day tour of the Rock* Flight to Halifax* Sightseeing Program *Via Rail’s “Ocean” to Montreal*Quebec Program (350th & 375th Anniversaries Quebec Diocese & arrival of Ursulines respectively.) *Flight Home
C ) Autumn 2014 – After September 21 Via Rail to Toronto * Sightseeing program* Via Rail to Quebec * Quebec Shrines * 10 Day Fall Foliage Cruise to New England & New York *Sightseeing & Theatre NY Program *Fight Home
D) Autumn 2014-Early October Flight to Ottawa*Ottawa Program featuring War Museum- Anniversaries of WWI & II *Via Rail to Montreal *Quebec Program-Shrines & Anniversaries* Via Rail’s “Ocean” to Halifax * Sightseeing Program* Flight to Winnipeg* St. Boniface & New National Human Rights Museum* Via Rail to Churchill * Polar Bears on the Tundra Program* Via Rail to Winnipeg & Home
(Choose ONE from each season)
1) Spring 2015-Before the Victoria Weekend Flight to Ottawa *Ottawa Tulip Festival & Sightseeing Program-Flag Anniversary * Ontario Waterways 6 Day cruise*Via rail to Quebec * Quebec Shrines *Via Rail Home
2) Spring 2015- After Victoria Weekend Via Rail to Toronto *Midland Shrine *Via Rail to Kingston * 7 Day St. Lawrence River and Thousand Island Cruise * Flight to Winnipeg & Churchill * Whale Watching * Via Rail to Winnipeg * St. Boniface Historic Sites & New National Museum of Human Rights* Via Rail Home
3) Spring 2015- Early June Via Rail To Jasper AB *Mountain Sightseeing *Via Rail to Vancouver * 7-10 Day Alaska Cruise *Yukon Visit * Flight Home
I. Autumn 2015- After Labour Day
Flight to Ottawa *National Museums & Flag Anniversary * Flight to St. John’s Newfoundland *7-10 Day tour of the Rock * Flight to Halifax * Nova Scotia Sightseeing * Via Rail’s “Ocean” to Montreal *Quebec Shrines * Flight Home
II. Autumn 2015- End of September
Via Rail to Jasper AB *Mountain Sightseeing *Via Rail to Vancouver * Vancouver Program * Flight to Kelowna * Okanagon Wine Festival *Flight Home
III. Autumn 2015-Early October
Flight to Kelowna *Okanagon Wine Festival * Flight to Vancouver *Vancouver Program * Via Rail to Jasper * Mountain Program * Via Rail Home
IV. Autumn 2015- Late October
Via Rail to Toronto * Toronto Sightseeing * Niagara Falls Sightseeing* Shaw Festival *Niagara Wine Festival *Flight to Winnipeg * New National Human Rights Museum * Flight to Churchill* Polar Bear Safari *Via Rail to Winnipeg and Home
I appreciate your response and observations. This will enable me to finally offer a very compelling program, one in which I hope you will even be able to enjoy.
Follow their Footsteps in 2013 Oct.14- Nov. 9 or Oct. 25-Nov.9 Celebrating with Fr. Ralph Kleiter, Director of Ministry to Tourism, Diocese of Saskatoon
“50 Golden Years of Ministry” to Parishes & Travel Pilgrims Your Pilgrim Journey to Biblical Lands will be Enriched by Gisele Bauche, Special Guest Facilitator Former Director of the Catholic Pastoral Centre and Queen’s House of Retreats, Diocese of Saskatoon Having also completed studies in Jerusalem, she now facilitates workshops and retreats on Scripture, Spirituality and Sacred Art. Join this festive “Jubilee Pilgrim Journey” during this Year of Faith.
In leading his 22nd Pilgrim Journey to Biblical Lands and Around Ancient Seas Fr. Kleiter is highlighting his two favorite destinations and experiences in world travel! It is around Ancient Seas & Lands that Divine Providence deemed to reveal for Jews, Christians and Muslims the Sacred Mysteries in this “Cradle of Civilizations”.
You will begin as the early church began its outreach in Asia Minor (today’s Turkey), Greece and the city of Christian Martyrs----Rome.
With the varied enrichment choices offered aboard the world class Crystal Serenity Gisele Bauche will further enhance your insights making this Pre-Holy Land experience ideal for deep inspiration, community building and enjoyment. And then, actually visiting the Holy Land, where Jesus walked around the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and up to Jerusalem. Your life will never be the same!
Christians of a certain age along with people around the world will remember the excitement that came with the visionary reign of Blessed John XXIII and especially with the opening of the Second Vatican Council Oct. 11, 1962,
Even those who have no memory of this historic event realize that the church on the local and universal levels has been enriched because of this Council----the liturgical renewal, scriptural awareness, ecumenical stance and our call to be truly “People of God”---to mention only a few riches enabled by this Council. We need to celebrate with a renewed commitment the challenges Blessed John XXIII and the Fathers of the Council offered us fifty years ago.
Personally, in my almost fifty years of ministry, I have been privileged to belong in this era. I have been approached and encouraged to enable this celebration with the universal church by designing a Pilgrim Journey to Italy, Oct. 9-23, 2012. I need to know immediately if you are interested in joining us.
Please accept this invitation to stand in the light of this great council, “the greatest religious event of the twentieth century” (Bl. John Paul II). We will follow in the footsteps of Blessed John XXIII as Benedict XVI begins this celebration with the opening of a “Year of Faith”. We will begin in Rome Oct. 11, 2012 with the 50th Anniversary celebrations, visit Angelo Roncalli’s (John XXIII) humble beginnings in northern Italy---Scotto il Monte, Bergamo, Venice, Padua, Ravenna, Assisi etc----and culminate our Pilgrim Journey in joining the church, especially with our First Nations people in Canada, at the Oct. 21st canonizations. Blessed Kateri Tekawitha, first North American Indian to be so recognized, and Blessed Marianne Cope, close associate of St.Damien, Priest & Leper from Molokai (Hawaii), will be proclaimed Saints of the Church.
I estimate the all inclusive cost per person sharing to be in the
$3600.00-$4000.00 bracket for an exclusive two week program, Oct. 9-23,
2012. At this very late date, I need to know if you are interested. If at
least a small group of 10-15 persons are prepared to make a commitment by
Monday, May 28th I will immediately begin the process.
Comprehensive Holy Land Pilgrim Journey (Nov. 5-24, 2012) The presentation last Sunday of my 21st Holy Land program resulted in an overwhelming response. Only a few seats remain! The post Holy Land Option to Portugal (including Fatima) is also popular. Act today! Details: www.pilgrimjourneys.ca
Just Announced! New Lower Limited-time Fares on remaining 2012 Crystal
Book an all-inclusive journey on Crystal Cruises (Serenity) by April 30 if you wish to “join the Chaplain’s table” and receive:
Book Now Cruise-Only Fares from just US$2,620 All inclusive fares includes…..
*Gratuities for bar, dining and housekeeping staff
*Complimentary specialty dining, fine wines, champagne, premium spirits, beer and non-alcoholic
beverages including bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees
*Up to $400 shipboard creditfor every new-to-Crystal guest you bring on board
*$1,000 per person additional Penthouse deck savings. Optional Air Add-Ons
-Canary Islands Cruise, Nov.28-Dec.9, Lisbon to Barcelona from $3295.00
-Atlantic Explorer, Dec. 9-21, Barcelona to Miami from $2620.00
-Christmas Caribbean Cruise, Dec. 21-Jan.4/13, Miami Return Details: www.crystalcruises.com
**Special fares & benefits when including the Trans Atlantic Passage ( only Crystal Serenity makes it an exceptional joy). There is simply no better time to experience the award-winning luxury and value of the World’s Best. Book your cruise before fares increase!
PLANNING TO TRAVEL IN 2013? Let me know your preferred land and/or sea destinations. I will try to include them in my 2013 Programs.Rev. Ralph Kleiter, Ministry to Tourism 306-244-3747 email@example.com
The 50th International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Dublin, Ireland, June 10-17, 2012 with the theme “The Eucharist-Communion with Christ & with one another”. The Saskatoon Diocesan official delegation will be led by Bishop Don Bolen along with Fr. Ralph Kleiter, Ministry to Tourism.
The general theme of the Congress will be explored each day with a special focus on some aspect of the theme. Each day will offer “teaching” moments (Catechesis) usually presented by a bishop. Words of encouragement and inspiration from a lay-person with a story of faith will follow. Wonderful celebrations of the Eucharist will also highlight each day’s theme and its challenges. Ample opportunities for meeting the universal church and cultural events have been worked into the week by the Irish hosts.
After the Congress Week most of the twelve member Saskatoon delegation will continue to discover the “Emerald Isle”. It is hoped that there will also be opportunities during the Congress Week for independent travelers to Dublin from the diocese to meet with the Saskatoon delegation.
I write after a week on the journey. We are only seven persons (all
seasoned travellers): Carol & Joel Yelland, Chick & Louise
Rodgers, Mary Ann Rosher (Eatonia), Yvonne Wiesner (Unity) and myself.
Unfortunately Al & Mary Lozinzki had to cancel at the last minute due
to Mary’s reaction to a Tetanus shot in Saskatoon. This is a Pilgrim
Journey of huge contrasts. From the man- made heights at Dubai to Indian
Mysteries and then to the natural Himalayan heights in Nepal we all want
to shout out with Job : ”Look, God is great!”
This Emirate was an extraordinary and beyond description insight. Whether it is the Desert Experience with 4WD, the BBQ at a desert camp with swirling and belly dancers or the great architecture of the Islamic builders (they are getting ready to host Expo 2020) all were impressive...always the biggest and the greatest! Some also experienced “High Tea” on the world’s tallest structure—Burj Kalifiva.
Yesterday, after an introductory visit to the highlights of Delhi as well as the traffic, honking of horns and super drivers we flew to Udaipur, some 600 kms SW of Delhi in the State of Rajasthan. Here the Maharanas reigned for centuries. The Palaces along Lake Pichola are nothing less than fairy-tales. We have two nights here at Fateh Garh www.fatehgarh.in which offers something different in “heritage renaissance style”. Perched on a hilltop 20 minutes outside of Udaipur we are treated to a 270-degree bird’s eye view of the historical city and the Lake while being provided with an experience of the spiritual, cultural and environmental heritage based on ancient Indian wisdom drawn from the five basic elements of nature—fire, water, earth, wind and space. I decided to skip today’s sightseeing of more temples and just take some “Down time” at this iconic setting. I think this is what the “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” must have been like in early prehistoric times.
The weather, always a focus for Sask. people, has been “coolish”, but clear,12-20 C. I am happily comforted by having brought my “woollies”. The food has been generous and especially tasty. Our food at home will now seem so limited without all those exotic Indian spices. This morning most of the group benefited from Sunrise Yoga experience. I am sticking to “Lectio Divina” and centering prayer!
Looking towards future travel
I have been able to be connected through WiFi everywhere and I am delighted to receive requests for participation in my next Pilgrim Journeys---Easter in Rome & especially the Autumn 2014 Programs to Atlantic Canada. As usual I try to integrate elements in the programs which are rarely offered in “off the rack” tours or during winter escapes to southern climes, such as to Hawaii or southern USA.
The Mysteries of India program is opening another new world. We even have two retired sisters—in their 80s--- enjoying every aspect on this Collette small group “Explorations” presentation of which we all are currently being enriched.
Udaipur en route to Jaipur, India
You obviously have some interest in travel, since you have come to this web site. I enjoy preparing for travel and traveling, and I try to do this as part of my special ministry.
On July 1, 1999, Bishop James Weisgerber of Saskatoon Diocese appointed me to the "Ministry to Tourism." I have been involved in parish ministry for over 30 years, and I was in the tourism industry before my ordination. I have continued to have a keen interest in the phenomenon of leisure-tourism. I have been involved in specialized travel for over thirty years. Through this time, my major goal has been to help travelers "discover the Sacred in reflective travel."
The Pontifical Council of the Holy See is encouraging more and more dioceses to establish concrete pastoral or spiritual care for travelers. This is not to be limited to tourists being received, but in helping tourists become more enriched and responsible in their travels. I believe that the Church needs to have a presence, and to dialogue with all those who work with tourists (e.g. travel and hospitality industries.) The Ministry to Tourism is meant to be a response to the initiatives coming forth from Rome in recent years.
I am convinced that good travel design, whether by land, air or sea should reflect our journey through life. This is not unlike a good retreat experience. People can experience in a good travel journey, "a pivotal moment in their spiritual life."
There is an upsurge in the retreat movement and various types of spirituality. Tourism, especially in a Christian perspective, must have a holistic approach that sees the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit.
Ministry to Tourism
Director: Rev. Ralph Kleiter
Telephone: (306) 244-3747
Fax: (306) 374-1208
What Makes Our Tours Different From Other Tours?
- Our New Voyages Enrichment Program -
(Ministry to Tourism's Special Contribution)
A special feature of "Pilgrim Journeys" is Ministry to Tourism\'s Enrichment Program known as "New Voyages."
Ministry to Tourism offers the valued feature of a special theme curriculum during a travel experience. In fact, as soon as you are registered, you will begin to receive printed materials to help you prepare for your travel experience.
Ministry to Tourism offers:
Orientation sessions before, during and after major site visits. Special theme celebrations, liturgical and otherwise, for participants regardless of religious backgrounds.
Helpful "tools" and materials to assist participants to integrate the experience.
Services of special presentations by guest facilitator(s).
Exclusively designed special interest excursions at a minimum cost.
Although many vacation packages offer exceptional value, our facilitator(s) accent this experience with a reflection focus that will prove to be even more alluring, meaningful and engaging.
As we enter the third millennium, and a period of paradigm shifts, it is hoped that participants will experience a spiritual and physical integration towards wholeness in the midst of the travel experience giving hope and peace we all desire.
If you still have unanswered questions, please do not hesitate to
Contacting us is simple. No problem. Just . . . (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Father Ralph L. Kleiter (of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon,
Canada) has been involved in parish ministry for over 30 years. and was
in the tourism industry before his ordination. He continues to exhibit a
keen interest in the phenomenon of leisure-tourism and has kept in touch
with this contemporary reality as a pastor through study and the
designing and directing of special travel programs from his home province
of Saskatchewan and Canada to local and around the world
During two sabbatical year opportunities in Europe --- London, Paris and Rome --- and at the Jesuit School of Applied Theology in Berkeley, California he has pursued his interest in the pastoral implications of tourism on the Church, whether it receives or exports significant numbers to tourists.
Specifically, he has been able to develop several tools which enables travelers to make their travel experiences more than a cruise or bus tour more than simply an escape to the sun more than a "Retreat at Sea", and even more than a pilgrimage.
A Ministry to Tourism strives to make a travel experience truly a "discovering of the Sacred in reflective travel".
Reflections on a new ministry/pastoral for the Church
NOTE: These are bookmarks which will take you to the various reflections.
Please join us in reflecting for a moment, then you can return to this site:
We have all been tourists or visitors at one time or other. Sometimes
the hospitality we experienced in a particular place --- even in a
Christian Cathedral or historic sight -- stood out in our memory for the
wrong reasons. We left that place wondering whether the message of the
Christian and/or Hebrew scriptures was ever heard there.
As Church people we know that such encounters as these can prove to be the first steps in the birth and development of faith life. No wonder the church\'s new Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) underscores the importance of hospitality and care of the inquirer. Aware of this central element in sharing the "Good News" to all people, a ministry to tourism which attempts to reflect basic human values contained in the Gospel message can become a "new vehicle for the manifestation and proclamation of this message." (Declaration on Tourism, Basilica of s. Vitale, Ravenna, 13th October 1990).
It is in this light that time and again Pope John Paul II has shown the value that the Church attaches to the pastoral of tourism. In speaking to the 2nd World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Tourism (Nov.10,1979) the Pope emphasized that this growing phenomenon is becoming "a significant moment in the life of our contemporaries which needs a specific evangelization".
Over recent years we have observed and experienced travel to be as Paul VI described it as "the social event" of the century. Even small provinces in Canada with minimal tourist attractions find large populations on the move during various seasons. This reality should move us to reflect and question whether the Church in Canada and elsewhere could not be more ready to address this "epoch-making mass phenomenon" (John Paul II, Sept. 1,1979).
Shortly after the second Vatican Council the Holy See established
several offices to address contemporary pastoral concerns such as
tourism. Recently the Constitution Pastor Bonus (March 1989) raised the
Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migration & of Tourism to the
status of a fully-fledged Council. It seems clear that people at this
Pontifical Council in Rome are quite aware of the infancy status and
pioneering nature that this pastoral field currently demands. Archbishop
G. Cheli at the Council in addressing the IV World Congress for Pastoral
Care of Tourism (Rome, November 1990) said:
"Even today, it is still not easy to see tourism as a sector in human life calling for sustained attention. 'A misunderstood industry, a service to be developed' was the theme of this year's world tourism day, but we could just as correctly talk about \'a misunderstood pastoral field, a service to be developed'"
In 1969 the Holy See published a General Directory for the Pastoral Ministry in the field of Tourism. It has already proven helpful in the countries where tourism is being seriously addressed. Not only does it outline the values and concerns of tourism, but it stresses that responsibility for it lies with the entire community of the faithful.
"The evangelization of this 'social event of the century' is the duty of the whole People of God, both clergy and laity, each according to his or her specific competence, and should be a manifestation of the new horizons of charity and of concern for the new form and structure of the Christian community towards whose dynamic activation, expansion and transformation tourism contributes".
The second section of this document focuses at some length on the various pastoral practices tourism might invite us to undertake.
In many Canadian parishes and faith communities today, especially during the long weekend or holiday seasons, people of all ages are conspicuous by their absence from their Sunday liturgy and worship. Where are they? More often than ever, they are gone to a lake resort, skiing, or visiting friends and relatives in another region of the country. In some areas and during inclimate seasons the "exodus to the South" is particularly evident in church life. Even if they remain in their locale, people are drawn to the nearest "people place" for leisure activities (e.g. shopping malls or sports centres etc.) If this is true among the active church people, we can well imagine how true it is for those who are less committed.
In addition, the increasing demands for good communications and education means that people from most sectors of society are frequently on the move attending conventions, conferences etc. in and outside the different regions of our land. The hotel and transport industries can easily attest to this fact.
In all these cases, are we attempting to help parish congregations face and adapt a pastoral care program that is responsive to these recently established realities in our country?
It is clear from the above and from the many statements on the subject issued by modern- day popes from Pius XII to John Paul II that the pastoral care of tourists and those involved in the tourism industry deserve a new and continuing impulse. Recently, as reflected by nearly two hundred delegates from various countries attending a World Congress in Rome (Nov. 1990), more and more countries are indeed attempting to respond seriously to these invitations from the Holy See, and the World Council of Churches.
During the European Year of Tourism 1990, a declaration on tourism was published by Church leaders and they invited us "to take note of the urgent need to instill in tourism the human values embodied in the spirit of the Gospel."
People today spend so much time and energy in order to get away on a weekend, day off or a vacation. A central challenge of an effective ministry to leisure-tourism is to educate people to approach this dimension of life in a more enriching way. Those who serve tourists, whether within church or industry setting, need to help people integrate the physical and spiritual into a wholeness whereby their leisure pursuits satisfy what is really a spiritual need. In our society we recognize serious situations of deprivation. A ministry to leisure-tourism, however, faces a huge challenge of educating a growing population in this regard reflecting the approach which Jesus Christ Himself took when he frequently sought a "lonely place."
Furthermore, for some countries it would seem that an appropriate use of tourism within their country might be a timely way to help them work toward a unity that sometimes seems to be lacking between the various cultures, provinces and/or regions. At the same time, tourism is an area where inter-faith and inter-church cooperation may well further the reign of God.
We also know that in developed countries we can expect an increase in the age of people. Studies indicate that by 2020 as much as nineteen per cent of the population will be 65 years of age or older. Today, generally around ten percent of the population is 65 years of age or older. It should be noted that it is retired people who are primarily available for travel because they generally have more time and resources to be directed through the enrichment of travel.
The new millennium is upon us! Many celebrations took place during year 2000, (e.g. Expositions, Olympics) as well as several Christian observances, (e.g. Jubilee Year 2000, Oberammergau Passion Play, pilgrimages to the Holy Land, etc.). The Ministry to Tourism served well for the movement of people during year 2000.
Pope John Paul II is of course aware that this tourism reality affects people of all ages, and young people are no exception. That is why he has requested the local churches, "to collaborate more among themselves in order to reach all these tourist migrants, and invest more, in terms of personnel and practical means, in a sector which affects modern man, and the young particular." General Directory p.41 Finally, it would seem that in today's Church we are more aware of our call to evangelize and/or re-evangelize, to be really hospitable "heralds" of the Good News. True hospitality is the first essential step in any form of pastoral practice. For this reason the General Directory exhorts us to consider the pastoral care of tourism to be "a component of the ordinary and essential pastoral care of the diocese" (N.18). In a concerted and intentional way we have to get rid of any negative aspects tourism may have and work together so that tourism, like every human reality, may be redeemed and sanctified.
Facilitate parishes in tourist areas to more fully and creatively
develop their ministry.
Address the needs of travelers at International airports, religious sights and events, resorts and theme/nature parks.
Influence and dialogue within tourism industry and other bodies in so far as the tourism affects social justice, ecological issues and general pastoral concerns.
Be a vehicle to promote values as directed by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples (Tourism section).
Promote associations of Christian/Catholic persons in the tourism industry.
Offer models for meaningful group travel for elderly, youth etc., and to qualify visits to sacred places and events.
Promote an appropriate influence and presence of the Church's ministry on cruise ships regularly visiting our ports.
Establish a network of support and sharing with those involved in the actual ministry to tourists.
Organize educational opportunities for tourism - e.g. workshops, conferences, etc.
Assist, in co-operation with Liturgy Committees, the development of good and meaningful liturgical celebrations in tourist areas.
© Fr. Ralph (Ministry to Tourism)
It's a design that offers you a travel experience on a carefully selected ship or any other means of travel. It offers you 'lenses' to experience your vacation in a different way. Your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions will be enriched. This travel design is an opportunity to discover the Sacred in reflective travel.
"We had time to consider the theme...." "The theme of leisure focused our attention on the attitude and approach to life that would enhance our ability to bring balance and integration to all our experiences." Alaska Cruise Participant, 1993
Today, Christianity is undergoing a major renewal of spirituality. It can affect the way you experience the Sacred in your life; the way you relate to your God; the way you might pray. You need opportunities like New Voyages to help you heighten this awareness. And when you participate in this unique travel design you do so with your whole being. Each part of you needs to be addressed.
" I truly enjoyed the cruise. It was a real enlightenment to God's creation." Alaska Cruise Participant, 1993
In one sense it is. But this kind of retreat does not allow you to withdraw from the world and one another. Rather you withdraw with new or old friends in order to "grow through leisure". It is intended to help you experience the Sacred or God in another way; to romance the human and the divine within you, to approach life--including your leisure-tourism-- more reflectively . It is a kind of retreat which strives to introduce you anew to the presence of God in creation, in the places visited, in the very savouring of the decor of your "place of retreat"---the cruise ship, or location chosen. It is not a type of retreat conducive to processing deep spiritual issues requiring individual spiritual direction or therapy. Another place of retreat might better serve this purpose. Nor is it a type of retreat which is geared to profound conversion experiences although some will encounter the Sacred in a special way while on tour or at sea.
"Its focus on 'leisure: a spiritual need', was a unique opportunity to experience the best of a retreat and the best of a cruise." Alaska Cruise Participant, 1993
You enjoy the whole travel experience with its stops and activities as an integral part of the design. This is supported by regular theme 'focus sessions'. A pre-cruise package for New Voyages orientation and cruise information is also offered. Regular worship and prayer, discussions and reflection time are suggested , so that your daily experience can be integrated into your life. Some may seek time to be alone by walking, or simply being in the presence of the day's sun or the night's stars. It is your time. Most importantly, it is a time for ministry to self.
"The 'focus sessions' time make an excellent use of travel time." Alaska Cruise Participant, 1993
Most churches today emphasize the sacredness of everyday life. Everybody is called to wholeness. All of creation is seen as sacred , not opposed to the secular. Contemporary spirituality strives to integrate the human and spiritual into everyday life. A New Voyages experience reflects a spirituality which stresses the inter-connectedness of your body, mind and spirit.
"It sharpened our awareness that all of life is God directed and challenged us to celebrate this reality in gratitude and joy". Alaska Cruise Participant, 1993
It is for people who enjoy land tours. It is for people who love the experience of being at sea aboard a fine ship. It is for people reluctant to board a ship; and yet are interested in this kind of experience. It is for people who enjoy being with persons of all ages, interests and religious backgrounds. It is for people who have decided they want something more than just the "great escape" to a beach resort or the "fleeting fun" of a party cruise. It is for people who want to disembark from their cruise holiday, or end their tour as a renewed person--in body, mind and spirit. It is for you !
"Our diverse group enjoyed the focus....knowing that our approach to life will never be quite the same. The quality of this "retreat" certainly calls for a follow-up and many of us will return." Alaska Cruise Participant, 1993
No. You simply need to be thirsting for a growth or rediscovery of the sacred in your life. People from any mainline Christian background have no difficulty relating to the special thematic "focus sessions". Besides the input, there are optional ecumenical worship services, regular Roman Catholic Eucharist and appropriate creative rituals and celebrations to mark highlights during New Voyages.
"This experience is more meaningful for me now". Alaska Cruise Participant, 1993
Definitely not. Most people today want to be more purposeful in their travel ventures. Often instead of making things a priority, special kinds of travel becomes for them an investment. Participants often indicate that they live quite modestly, even sometimes in spite of their resources, so that they can invest in enriching travel opportunities where value may be realized from their limited hard- earned dollars. By investing in New Voyages they soon discover very good value , since it allows for both a holiday plus a type of retreat . Any perception that New Voyages is only for the "rich" is unfounded.
"Our spirit life must also be nurished with authentic leisure if we are going to have a healthy approach to life and discipleship." Dr. Leonard Doohan, author of: "Leisure: A Spiritual need"
Fr. Ralph Kleiter
314-619 Saskatchewan Cres. W
Saskatoon SK S7M 0A5
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