Re-encounter the Passion of Christ

with Fr. Eric Augenstein

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Since 1634, the Oberammergau village in Germany has staged a Passion Play every 10 years. Join Fr. Eric Augenstein to contemplate the mysteries of the cross as you discover Switzerland, Austria, and Germany!

Highlights of this journey include:

  • Re-encounter the Passion of Christ with tickets to the Oberammergau Passion Play

  • Celebrate Mass and pray in some of the oldest monasteries and abbeys in Europe

    • Einsiedeln Abbey - Swiss, Benedictine community which founded Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Saint Meinrad, Indiana.

    • Abbey of St. Gall - Built in the 8th century, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was once one of the chief Benedictine abbeys in all of Europe.

  • Experience the rich Germanic history and culture

Pictures below: (1) Lucerne, Switzerland from Lake Lucerne; (2) Mirabell Garden in Salzburg, Austria; (3) Wieskirche (Pilgrimage Church of Weis) in Steingaden, Germany; (4) Painted House in Oberammergau, Germany.

EXTENSION

 

PLUS - Optional Extension to Munich, Germany!

  • Discover the sacred beauty of Munich, Germany: Contemplate the divine beauty of God while gazing upon the breathtaking art in the city’s numerous Baroque and Rococo styled churches, chapels and cathedrals.


PILGRIMAGE CHAPLAIN

Fr+Eric.jpg
 

Fr. Eric Augenstein
Pastor, Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Church in Indianapolis

Father Eric Augenstein, "Fr. Eric,” currently shepherds the community of Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Church in Indianapolis as pastor, and is also Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, a role he has held since 2013.

In 2010, Fr. Eric went on pilgrimage to the village of Oberammergau, Germany, for that year’s Passion Play, spending time as well in Switzerland and Bavaria. He is eager to accompany a new group of pilgrims to this unique and moving spiritual experience. A seasoned pilgrimage chaplain, he has also accompanied groups to Italy, Greece, the Holy Land, Poland, and three World Youth Days (Rio de Janeiro, Krakow, and Panama City). 

Fr. Eric was ordained a priest in 2004 and previously served as Associate Pastor of the Richmond Catholic Community and Chaplain of Seton Catholic High School, Richmond, IN (2004-2007), Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, New Albany, IN (2007-2013),  Chaplain of Our Lady of Providence High School, Clarksville, IN (2011-2013), and Sacramental Minister of St. Agnes Catholic Church, Nashville, IN (2013-2019).


Schedule

 

Dates of this pilgrimage are:

Wednesday, July 15 - Friday, July 24, 2020 (10 days/ 9 nights)

  • Day 1: Wednesday, July 15- Depart U.S. (flights not included in the package)

    • Please note: If you are arranging your own airfare, please arrive to the Zurich airport no later than 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16. One transfer will be made from the Zurich hotel to Lucerne for those arriving before 2:30 p.m.

  • Day 2: Thursday, July 16 (D) - Arrive in Zurich and transfer to Lucerne. Welcome dinner at hotel. Overnight in Lucerne.

  • Day 3: Friday, July 17 (B, L) - Day-trip to Einsiedeln, including tour of Einsiedeln Abbey and Mass at Einsiedeln Shrine (pending). Lunch in local restaurant. Free time for prayer and meditation in the monastery. Transfer back to Lucerne and dinner on your own. Overnight in Lucerne.

  • Day 4: Saturday, July 18 (B, D) - Mass at local church. Morning guided tour of Lucerne, including Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, Lion Monument, Jesuit Church, Franciscan Church, and Spreuer Bridge (all exterior views). Lunch on your own and free afternoon to enjoy Lucerne. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Lucerne.

  • Day 5: Sunday, July 19 (B, D) - Morning scenic drive with views and photo stops throughout Swiss countryside on the way to Interlake for full-day excursion. Upon arrival, celebrate Mass at local church. Guided, orientation walk of Interlaken, including Aare River, Unterseen, Höheweg, Höhematte, Japanese Garden, and a former monastery with castle and church (all exterior views). Lunch on your own. Afternoon on your own to explore Interlaken, or select one of the optional afternoon supplements (below). Transfer back to Lucerne and dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Lucerne.

    • Afternoon option 1: Lake Thun Boat Cruise (+$107 per person) - Half-day boat cruise on Lake Thun offering views of the Bernese Alps, lake shore, parklands, and castles, including Spiez, Hünegg, Oberhofen, Schadau and Thun. Choose two castles to enter and explore.

      OR

    • Afternoon option 2: St. Beatus Caves (+$30 per person) - Half-day excursion to St. Beatus Caves near the lakes of Interlaken. Explore the caves and journey over a kilometer into the mountain along well-lit walkways, and visit the Cave Museum.

  • Day 6: Monday, July 20 (B, L) - Travel to Salzburg, and en route stop in St. Gallen to visit St. Gall Abbey and celebrate Mass (pending). Lunch at local restaurant before continuing on to Salzburg. Check into hotel, enjoy free time and dinner on your own. Overnight in Salzburg.

  • Day 7: Tuesday, July 21 (B, D) - Morning visit to Mariaplain Shrine and Mass (pending). Enjoy the Sound of Music tour while driving through the Austrian Lake District, including Mondsee, St. Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang, and views of the Salzkammergut Mountains. Return to Salzburg and lunch on your own. Afternoon city tour of Salzburg, including Mirabel Gardens, gondola ride (weather permitting) to Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg Cathedral, Mozart’s house and other sites (all exterior views). Dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Salzburg.

  • Day 8: Wednesday, July 22 (B, D) - Travel to Oberammergau, en route stop in Steingaden at Wieskirche and explore the church. Continue to Schwangau and celebrate Mass at St. Coloman (pending). Lunch on your own before a guided visit Neuschwanstein Castle. Then, drive on to Oberammergau and check into hotel. Dinner at hotel. Overnight in Oberammergau or vicinity.

  • Day 9: Thursday, July 23 (B, L, D) - Morning Mass at nearby Ettal Monastery (pending). Free time before departing for Passion Play. Light lunch before Passion Play Part 1 begins at 2:30 p.m. Break and 3-course dinner at 5:30 p.m. Passion Play Part 2 from 8:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Overnight in Oberammergau or vicinity.

  • Day 10: Friday, July 24 (B) - Transfer to Munich airport and depart for U.S. (flights not included with package).

    • Please note: If you are arranging your own airfare, please depart from the Munich airport anytime after 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 24. One transfer will be made from the Oberammergau hotel to the Munich airport for those departing after 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 24.

    • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designating times, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.

Optional extension to Munich, Germany - July 24-26, 2020

  • Day 10: Friday, July 24 (B) - After breakfast, check out of hotel and transfer to Munich. Check into hotel and enjoy the rest of the day on your own. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight in Munich.

  • Day 11: Saturday, July 25 (B) - Day on your own to explore the historical, cultural, and architectural wonders of Munich. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight in Munich.

  • Day 12: Sunday, July 26 (B) - Transfer to the airport. Depart for U.S. (flights not included with package).

*(B,L,D) denotes meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) which are included in the package. Please note that all liturgies are subject to availability and pending final confirmation.


DETAILS

 

Pilgrimage package includes:

  • Pilgrimage preparation and follow-up materials delivered via email

  • A dedicated pilgrimage guide who will accompany the group throughout Switzerland, Austria, and Germany

  • Custom-designed pilgrimage booklet for each pilgrim

  • Tickets for included activities: Switzerland- St. Gall Abbey; Austria - Cable car to Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg; Germany - Neuschwanstein Castle and Passion Play, including 3-course dinner on Day 11, textbook for 2020 Passion Play, and bus shuttle to and from theater

  • Airport/hotel transfers (if arriving/departing during designated times)

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned, 49-seater motorcoach for the duration of the pilgrimage

  • Accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, including taxes, in 3-star hotels or guest houses (single-occupancy supplement available)

    • Lucerne: Ibis Styles or similar

    • Salzburg: Star Inn Gblerbrau or similar

    • Oberammergau: 4-star hotel or 5-star religious guesthouse (TBD one month prior to arrival by Oberammergau planning committee)

  • Breakfast daily at hotel, 3 lunches, and 6 dinners

  • Whisper sets for each pilgrim

  • Gratuities for guide(s), driver(s), and meals

  • Promotional and pilgrim registration support

  • In-person preparation meeting for all pilgrims to review itinerary, activities, logistical arrangements, and prayer resources

Pilgrimage package does not include:

  • Round-trip airfare (optional add-on for a $40 per person ticketing fee - flight pricing and schedules available 10 months prior to departure)

  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees

  • Any personal purchases

  • Meals while traveling, as well as 4 lunches and 2 dinners

  • Recommended travel insurance

  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

Optional Munich Extension package includes:

  • Everything as found in the Core package, as well as:

    • All breakfasts

    • Transfers from Oberammergau to Munich and from Munich hotel to airport

    • Accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, including taxes, in 4-star hotel (single-occupancy supplement available)

      • Leonardo Olympiapark or similar

Optional Munich Extension package does not include:

  • Round-trip airfare (optional add-on for a $40 per person ticketing fee)

  • All lunches and dinners

  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees

  • Any personal purchases

  • Recommended travel insurance

  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included


PAYMENT

 

Individual rates as low as $4,489!*

Estimated Core pilgrimage package total cost:  $4,689 per person

  • Optional Extension package total cost: $549 per person

*Save $200! Register by October 15, 2019, for early-bird savings of $200.

The pilgrimage package does not include airfare. Air schedules and costs are not available until 10 months prior to departure.

Additional Items:

  • Day 5 Afternoon Options

    • Lake Thun Boat Cruise: +$107 per person

    • St. Beatus Caves: +$30 per person

  • Core pilgrimage package single-occupancy supplement: + $998 per person

    • Please note: Single-occupancy rooms may not be available at hotel during stay in Oberammergau (Days 8 & 9)

  • Optional Extension package single-occupancy supplement: +$229 per person

  • Early-bird savings (sign up before October 15, 2019): Save $200 per person

  • Private transfers (if not arriving/departing during designated windows) - see pricing below

Please note that singles are subject to availability. If you are a single traveler but would like to find a roommate, we will do our best to match you with another roommate. If you are a single traveler and we cannot find you a roommate, you would be required to pay the single-occupancy supplement for a single room.

Want to extend your stay?

  • Arrive early to Zurich or Lucerne

    • Private transport from Zurich airport to Zurich city center - $125 per transfer (up to 5 pax)

    • Private transport from Zurich airport to Lucerne hotel - $435 per transfer (up to 3 pax) or $575 (up to 5 pax)

    • One-night stay at the Lucerne Hotel Ibis Styles - $342 per room per night (single or double-occupancy, including bed and breakfast)

  • Stay later in Munich

    • See optional extension or contact us.

  • Need additional services? Please contact us directly if you’d like us to quote you for additional services during your stay. Additional nights accommodations, private guides, transfers, tours, tickets, and other concierge services available.

Need a transfer?

  • Private transport from Zurich airport to Zurich city center - $125 per transfer (up to 5 pax)

  • Private transport from Zurich airport to Lucerne hotel - $435 per transfer (up to 3 pax) or $575 (up to 5 pax)

  • Private transport from Oberammergau to Munich airport - Please inquire.

  • Private transport from Munich city center to Munich airport (only if not participating in the Munich extension) - $125 per transfer (up to 8 pax)

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designating times at the Zurich and Munich airports, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.

Rates also assume a minimum of 25 full-paying pilgrims.

Flights:

This pilgrimage is designed to arrive in to Lucerne, Switzerland, at the beginning of the pilgrimage, and depart from Munich, Germany, at the conclusion of the pilgrimage.

Flights are not included in the standard “land-only” package. Beginning September 1, 2019, registered pilgrims can contact our travel partner - LUXE Travel - to make flight arrangements. Cost of this service is the published fare plus a $40 per person ticketing fee. Instructions on how to contact LUXE Travel and book your individual flights will be made available after registration. Please contact us directly if you have any questions regarding flights.

I/we are arranging our own flights, when should we plan to arrive/depart?

  • Please arrive to the Zurich airport no later than 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16. One transfer will be made from the Zurich hotel to Lucerne for those arriving before 2:30 p.m.

  • Please depart from the Munich airport anytime after 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 24. One transfer will be made from the Oberammergau hotel to the Munich airport for those departing after 11:30 a.m. on Friday, July 24.

  • If you elect to arrive/depart at times different than those listed here, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf.

    • Private transport from Zurich airport to Lucerne hotel - $435 per transfer (up to 3 pax) or $575 (up to 5 pax)

    • Private transport from Oberammergau to Munich airport - Please inquire.

Payment Schedule:

  • Deposit - $300 due upon registration

  • Final balance - Due by March 17, 2020

    • Invoices will be emailed approximately 4-6 weeks in advance of the final balance due date.

    • The final payment may be paid by credit/debit card, electronic bank transfer, check, or money order.

Please note: Payment plans can be arranged if needed. Please contact us if you would like to pay in several installments.

How do I pay?

  • During registration, the $300 deposit can be paid online with a credit card or debit card.

  • The final payments may be paid credit/debit card, check, money order, or electronic bank transfer for no fee. Checks and money orders can be made payable to "Verso Ministries LLC".

    • Payments can be mailed to:

      • Verso Ministries LLC

      • P.O. Box 986

      • Notre Dame, IN 46556

Registration is open until filled. If space is still available, registrations may be made at any time.

What is your cancellation policy?

$150 of the $300 pilgrimage deposit is non-refundable. Cancellations are possible at any time, but refunds are subject to cancellation fees at the rates listed here.

  • Cancellation after deposit and 91 days or more from departure: $150 per person

  • 90-31 days prior to departure: $300 per person

  • 30-15 days prior to departure: $500 per person

  • 14-7 days prior to departure: $1,000 per person

  • 6 days or less: No refund given

Any cancellation charges incurred from other supplies or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, etc.) may come in addition to the administrative fees listed above. Cancellation fees are for individual pilgrims.

Why is this is an estimated final package price?

Final airline taxes and fees may fluctuate until flights are ticketed (about 30 days prior to departure). Any excess fees levied by the airlines beyond the original total price at time of booking will be the responsibility of each pilgrim. Also, prices are based on the current (as of March 2019) exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar to .90 Euro. Any drastic fluctuations in currency exchange rates could affect the final pilgrimage pricing.

If you have any questions about pricing and when final pricing decisions will be communicated, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.


QUESTIONS

 

Please contact us with any questions!