Trip to May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II planned

NORMAL — Father Kevin Lucas, chaplain of John Paul II Catholic Newman Center at Illinois State University, is leading a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi that will include attending beatification ceremonies for Pope John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1, 2011.

The April 26-May 3 trip has been designated as the official Diocese of Peoria pilgrimage to the beatification. Space is very limited.

“I am extrememly excited to have this opportunity to be present for the beatification of John Paul II,” said Father Lucas.

“The holiness of his life inspired and continues to inspire me in my vocation to the priesthood,” he continued. “It also is a great honor for me to represent the students of the John Paul II Newman Center at this historic occasion, as I know that his life and teachings continue to inspire the young people of the Church today to grow in holiness.”

Cost of the trip is $2,780, based on airfare from Chicago, and also covers hotels with breakfasts and dinners. A $500 deposit is required, with final payment due in early March.

The group will spend April 27-29 in Assisi, including a private Mass at the tomb of St. Francis. From April 30 to May 3, pilgrims will stay in the Roman Castle area of Rome overlooking Albano Lake. Scheduled activities in addition to the beatification include a half-day tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and other major churches of Rome, including the catacombs.

For more information on the pilgrimage, including an application form and brochure, call Trinity Retreats and Pilgrimages, Inc., at (504) 833-1525.

Father Lucas is also administrator of St. Patrick’s Parish in Bloomington.

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