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Pilgrimage to Santiago, Braga, Porto, Fatima & Tomar, April 21st - 29th 2018

Spiritual Leader: Monsignor Daniel McHugh 

PRICE = £1059

Day one – Saturday 21st April 2018 Luton - Porto - Santiago
Early morning scheduled flight to Porto. On arrival, transfer by coach to Santiago de Compostela. Check into our centrally-located hotel for an overnight stay. We make our first visit to the Cathedral this evening. Dinner will be in our hotel.
Day two – Sunday 22nd April Santiago - Braga
This morning we have a guided tour of the Cathedral followed by joining in at the Pilgrim Mass at 12 noon. Time at leisure. Afternoon departure by coach to Braga where we check into our centrally-located hotel for dinner and four-night stay.
Day three – Monday 23rd April Braga - Bom Jesus
After breakfast we visit the twelfth century cathedral of Braga and other churches in this historic town, which in the first century became one of the oldest and most important centres of Christianity in the world. Afterwards we drive two miles out of town to visit the Bom Jesus Sanctuary, where we celebrate Mass. Afterwards you can either take the lift or climb the 1000 steps to the top in the footsteps of countless other pilgrims. We return to the hotel for dinner.
Day four – Tuesday 24th April Braga - Porto
After breakfast, depart for Porto for a visit to the old town set on the River Douro. Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral, and there will be a guided visit as well as time at leisure. Return to Braga in the late afternoon. Dinner will be in our hotel.
Day five – Wednesday 25th April Douro Valley Cruise
Early Mass in Braga. Today we take a cruise through the Douro Valley, from Regua to Pinhao, with lunch included on board. After disembarking, we take a coach drive via the picturesque town of Amarante, built on a hillside overlooking the River Tamega (if time permits we will also make a visit to one of the Quintas enroute to Amarante). Return to Braga for dinner in our hotel
Day six – Thursday 26th April Braga - Coimbra - Fatima
We depart Braga and travel south to Coimbra (pronounced “Queenborough”) to visit the twelfth century Cathedral, Portugal’s earliest, where we celebrate Mass. We also hope to visit St Theresa’s convent, where Sr Lucia, one of the three young visionaries of Fatima lived for many years. In the afternoon we continue to Fatima, where we check into our hotel, the Casa das Irmas Dominicanas, for dinner and a three-night stay.
Day seven – Friday 27th April Batalha - Nazaré - Alcobaca
After breakfast we drive to the fourteenth century monastery of Batalha dedicated to Our Lady, with its famous ornate cloisters (and English connections). We continue to the picturesque fishing village of Nazaré, first visiting the shrine of Our Lady of Nazareth, and afterwards having lunch here (included today). We return to Fatima via the famous Abbey of St Mary in Alcobaca, one of the most beautiful religious buildings in Portugal. Dinner will be in our hotel.
Day eight – Saturday 28th April Tomar
Tomar has been a Catholic town since the taking back of this part of Portugal from the Moors in the twelfth century. At first it was under the command of The Knights Templar, who constructed the awesome castle and convent of the order of Christ, which became the Templar headquarters. In 1314, when the Templars were being suppressed by the Papacy, a new order, the Knights of Christ was established. The Convento de Christo is one of the most magnificent buildings in Portugal and we will have a guided visit spending some time here before continuing to the Church of St John the Baptist and the Chapel of our Lady of The Conception. In the afternoon we drive back to Fatima, where the rest of the day will be at leisure. Dinner will be in our hotel. After dinner we are welcome to participate in the candlelight procession.
Day nine – Sunday 29th April Fatima - Lisbon - Luton
This morning we visit the Basilica and the Chapel of the Apparitions. Mass will be celebrated during the morning. We also visit the shrines of the Apparitions of Our Lady and the Angels in Aljustrel, and see the homes of the children, before departing for Lisbon Airport.

This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.

Price Includes

  • Scheduled flights: Luton - Porto; Lisbon - Luton.
  • Current UK and Portugal airport departure taxes.
  • Eight nights accommodation based on sharing a twin-bedded room, with private facilities: 21 - 22 April Hotel Gelmirez, Santiago, 22 - 26 April Hotel Mercure, Braga, 26 - 29 April Hotel Casa das Irmas Dominicanas, Fatima.
  • Meal plan: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 8 dinners.
  • All coach transfers and touring in Spain and Portugal as per the itinerary, by air-conditioned coach.
  • Pax Travel Tour Manager while in Spain and Portugal.
  • Local English-speaking guides where appropriate to the itinerary.
  • All entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • Daily Mass arranged at different churches, basilicas and shrines.
  • Return transfer from Birmingham to Luton Airport.
  • ATOL or ABTA financial protection.

Extras

  • Travel insurance. We offer cover by Travel & General Insurance Services. Their premium is currently £33.00. Further details are on our booking form.
  • Single room (limited number) supplement at £176 for eight nights.
  • Seven lunches. Drinks.
  • Catering during the flights.
  • Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airlines.
  • Gratuities to hotels, restaurants, drivers and local guides.

To reserve your place on the tour you will need to complete a booking form and return to Pax Travel with a deposit of £200 (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person. Cheques are to be issued in favour of Pax Travel Ltd.
The balance payment to be received by Pax Travel no later than 21st Feb. 2018.
The above tour price is guaranteed for booking forms received by Pax Travel by 8th December 2017.
All the flights in this brochure are financially protected by the ATOL scheme.

For further information please contact Frederick Slater: 01564 779237 - frederick1310@icloud.com

50th Anniversary of Monsignor's Ordination to the Priesthood

On Sunday 24th September 2017 parishioners, friends, family, 35 Priests and Deacons celebrated Monsignor McHugh's 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood at St George and St Teresa in Dorridge where he has been for the last 16 years. A Mass of Thanksgiving started at 3pm followed by a celebration in the Parish Centre.  The main celebrant was Bishop Robert Byrne and con-celebrating was Bishop Philip Pargeter together with the Priests and assisted by the Deacons from the Archdiocese of Birmingham and Priest friends who had traveled for the occasion. The Church was full, and the overflow watched online in the Parish Centre.  The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Stuart Davis, and the Mayoress attended. Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre and the Order of St Gregory were also present and led the Procession. The Children from St George and St Teresa Primary School played a special part in the singing of the Mass.

The Homily was given by Monsignor himself starting with “50 years looking back I have so much to be thankful for in my life as a priest” and how the day's Liturgy and Gospel on the Lord’s generosity was so relevant, his Gift.  Her went on to say how amazing it is what you end up doing. During a visit to the sick, one lady said to him “Monsignor I wish you a very happy day on Sunday, 50 years of giving love to people is worth celebrating”. He spoke about the importance of each Sacrament in family life and how it links to the school. The Sunday Homily keeps him fresh. He then went through the ways his Priesthood took various directions under different Bishops, and how he developed the Special Gift he has on “Talking people into doing things.”   As he moved on he said it has been a “Special 50 years continuing to learn and thanked God for His generosity”.  He did reveal he has no immediate plans to hand over the reigns as it is a good place to be surrounded by people readily willing to help.

Following Communion Tony Taylor, Chair of the Parish Council, spoke to all those present and thanked Monsignor for his 16 years of Service at St George & St Teresa and what he had achieved including the erection of the Calvary Cross next to the presbytery, Parish Mission, Annual Pilgrimages, Support for Parish school, the planned church Baptistry later in the year. This was followed by a recital of the Bob Chilcott “Irish Blessing” by the church choir.  Mass concluded with a solemn blessing by the Rt Reverend Robert Byrne, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham.

Afterwards the many of those present joined parishioners for celebratory refreshments in the Parish Centre. A presentation was made to Monsignor McHugh to mark his 50th Anniversary. Local celebrity Don MacLean proposed a toast and the Mayor of Solihull Councillor Stuart Davis responded.

It was a wonderful celebration.

Link to 133(!) photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm8jAeBd from the day and photos of the Sacraments floral display from the day before.

New Baptistery

Highlighting the Sacrament of Baptism in the Jubilee Year of Mercy

20th November 2016 Feast of Christ the King 
“In Baptism we are `incorporated` into Christ becoming part of His Body, the Church, and called to enact in our lives the pattern of His life” (a “Pilgrimage Companion” for the Year of Mercy Cardinal Vincent Nichols).
We thank God for the wonderful gift of Baptism.

The Sacrament of Baptism
Pope St. John Paul II in June 1979. Stepping in to the Church where he had served Mass, received the scapular, and prayed daily during his youth, the 264th Bishop of Rome went straight to the Chapel that housed the Baptismal Font and venerated the place where he had been “born again” in 1920. Why? Because Karol Wojtyla knew that that day was the most important day of his life: the day when he was first empowered, by water and the Spirit, to become a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ and a missionary disciple. As John Paul understood it, the most important day of his life was not the day on which he was ordained a Priest, consecrated a Bishop, or elected Pope. The most important day of his life was the day of his Baptism. Everything else flowed from that, like the waters in Ezekiel`s vision, flowing from the restored Temple to renew the face of the earth.
(George Weigel in the Journal First Things January 2015)

Baptism is a special moment in St. George and St. Teresa. It is not just a celebration of birth, it is a new birth in the Holy Spirit, becoming a child of God. The Ritual brings this to life in the symbols: the Baptismal Shawl, the anointing with Holy oils, the waters of new birth, the lighted candle. It is that special grace of Baptism that we wish to highlight in creating a Baptistery for the Baptism Font on the occasion of this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The Concept:
Depicted by the Architect has been on display for a good deal of this year (2016) to allow people to comment; it has been amended in the light of this; if enough people are prepared to make a one-off contribution to the cost, it will go to the Diocesan Church Art and Architecture Committee for further refinement, and approval.

The Plan:
The Font will be near the interior entrance to the Church, but in a position visible to the Congregation- near the entrance because Baptism is the Sacrament of entrance into new life in the body of Christ. It will have a glass surround, letting light through and giving place for symbols – eg. the Holy Trinity, Water, The Holy Spirit/Dove/Tongues of Fire/Love, like our Tabernacle cover and Lectern fall. The glass surround would open on Sunday so that people could take the Baptismal Water as they bless themselves, remembering their Baptism. The small Baptistery created by the glass surround will have the Holy Oils of Chrism, Baptism and the sick in a special receptacle; and the Font, the same one we use now, would be lit specially to highlight and to remind us of the awesome gift of new life in Baptism. The Paschal Candle would be placed there.

The Cost:
Will be in the range of £25,000.00 to £30,000.00.
We are already about one-third of the way there (one person has given £3,000.00, another £2,000.00, others £1,000.00 each and one £100.00). To give you an idea, if 15 people give £1,000.00 we will be able to meet the cost of the glass. Any donation of any size is very welcome, of course, but we do hope for some large donations from those who can afford it, in order to reach our target by 20th November, the Feast of Christ the King, and the close of the Jubilee Year.

Please forward your Pledge Form to
Monsignor McHugh at The Presbytery, St. George and St. Teresa. One family has written giving a cheque for £2,000.00, saying “we hope that this contribution will assist in the provision of a new Baptistery for the benefit of future generations”.