Pilgrimage

Germany Trip Summary, Comments, Farewells and Departure

by Steve Ray on September 15, 2017

After eight days of intense touring of Germany and following all the sites of Martin Luther and the “Protestant Devolution” we finally said our goodbyes, shared our comments about the trip and headed home. But the trip was not only about Martin Luther and the Protestant rebellion. We also explored and toured the life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, understood World War II, the Nazi and Soviet Communist eras, the divided Berlin and the suffering of the people behind the Iron Curtain. The trip was also kind of like EWTN’s show The Journey Home with lots of conversion and vocation stories along the way including our local guide Klara who was an atheist in Czechoslovakia and has recently become a Catholic. But it was also a beautiful tour of Germany which is full of history, rustic castles, idyllic rivers and villages, old churches and excellent food and drink. We learned a lot and even though I knew much about Martin Luther and the whole Protestant situation I think I doubled my knowledge by visiting all the sites and sharing the information among the group and especially with Ken Hensley’s excellent teaching. For those who want to learn more about Martin Luther, John Calvin and the whole Protestant revolt visit www.kennethhensley.com. More than half of the people on this trip it traveled with us before and again we bonded into a very close group of friends. There was no wrangling or discontentment among the group at all. It was smooth and harmonious and full of personal and spiritual growth and development. Everyone’s faith was deepened in the conviction that the Catholic Church contains the fullness of the truth and is, in fact, the church that Jesus founded 2000 years ago and that Martin Luther introduced a great rupture into that unity which has brought chaos into the modern Western world. We especially enjoyed celebrating Mass with these holy priests in cities that have become radically Lutheran. We again proclaimed the truth of the Catholic faith in the cities that have been deprived in many ways through their protest and separation from the unity of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church. I think we were the only Catholic group to take a trip like this on the 500 anniversary of the “Protestant Reformation”. I’m certainly glad that we planned and executed this trip and it was a marvelous experience for all of us.  We expect to do this trip again in about five years.

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Today we visited the city of Worms Germany where Martin Luther was called before the “Diet” or Tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire at the “Diet of Worms” in 1521.

I know that sounds funny and kind of disgusting but a “diet” was a tribunal and it was held in the city of Worms in Germany. We celebrated Mass there at the Church of Our Lady (Homily Part 1 and last 2 1/2 minutes of homily here).

We visited that site today and learned more about Luther from Ken and other conversion stories and had fun along the way. Klara our guide told us her story of growing up atheist in Communist Czechoslovakia and recently discovered the Catholic Church.

On the way back to our hotel we drove along the beautiful Rhine River with all of the vineyards and mountains and castles.

We also had our farewell dinner tonight with lots of comments and laughter and fun.

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Today we visited Marburg which is a quaint and historic town with the beautiful Bavarian looking houses and buildings. No one wanted to leave.

Up on the mountain was the castle of Marburg where Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli and a large group Protestants gathered to try and hammer out the “Protestant theology.” I explain more in the video.

Then to Boppard for Mass (homily) and a birthday party.

For some reason it won’t upload the video from this location in Germany. Click this link to view today’s movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn9Rq_KMDGA

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Bach Concert, Luther House and Wartburg Castle

September 12, 2017

We started the day in Eisenach Germany with Mass at the Church of St. Elizabeth. She was an amazing woman well before the time of Luther who cared for the poor in an exceptional and miraculous way. You can hear the excellent homily here (Part 1 and Part 2). Today we branched out a bit […]

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Luther’s Young Years, Monastery and Birth & Death

September 11, 2017

Eisleben: birth and baptism of Luther. Also where he preach his last sermons and died. This was also the town of St. Gertrude the Great. We has Mass at St. Gertrude’s with another fantastic homily. Mansfeld: Luther’s childhood home and church where he sang in the choir and served as an altar boy. He was […]

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Leipzig Germany: Luther-Eck Debate and Bach’s Greatest Works

September 10, 2017

Tour of historic Leipzig where The 20 day debate between Luther and Eck took place – a debate st which Luther fared poorly. It was here also that Johann Sebastian Bach did most of his creative work. Started the day with a reverent Mass and great homily well worth your time (Part 1 and Part […]

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Potsdam and Wittenburg Germany

September 9, 2017

Leaving Berlin we drove to Potsdam to tour the palace and gardens of King Frederick the Great though we concluded that in the culture wars he was more our adversary than a friend. Wittenburg was an amazing though sad visit since this is where Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Wittenburg Door which […]

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Delivered “500 Reasons to Be Catholic” to Luther at Wittenburg Door

September 9, 2017

Today we went to Castle Church in Wittenberg Germany. I had promised people I would deliver their “95 Reasons for being Catholic.” We ended up with many hundreds of reasons that were sent to me. I kept my promise today and delivered them to Martin Luther in person. I could not mail them to the […]

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Germany Berlin All Day! Berlin Wall, Wow!

September 8, 2017

After celebrating mass at the church of Saint Thomas Aquinas (brilliant homily here) we spent the rest of the day touring Berlin. There’s a tremendous amount of history here and we packed a lot in. I think the most moving part of the day was as we walked around the remaining segments of the Berlin […]

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Site of Jesus’ Baptism, Nice 2-Minute Video by Jordanian Tourism Department

September 8, 2017

We know where Jesus was baptized. It was on the Jordan side of the Jordan River. The site is called Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan as mentioned in John 1:28. This is a nice little 2 minute video about this site. You will also see this site in great detail in our upcoming documentary on Elijah & Elisha – […]

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Arrival in Germany for the 500th Anniversary of Protestant Devolution

September 7, 2017

Our group all arrived today in good order in Berlin for the start of our Germany tour. We are going to follow the footsteps of Martin Luther and the Protestant Deformation. I know that it’s called the Protestant “Reformation” but as a convert to the Catholic Church I realize now that it was not a […]

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Send me your No. 1 Reason for Being Catholic. I will Leave a List of 95 Reasons at the Wittenburg Door in Germany next Sunday 9/10/17 at Mass!!

September 3, 2017

Next Sunday our group will have Mass at the Catholic Church in Wittenburg Germany. It was in Wittenburg that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg Church door. I will leave ANOTHER list — “95 Reasons to Be and Stay Catholic.” We need your help. Please send your best reason (or two or three ) […]

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Nice 2-Minute Video on Jesus’ Baptismal Site in Jordan

September 2, 2017

We know where Jesus was baptized. It was on the Jordan side of the Jordan River. The site is called Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan as mentioned in John 1:28. This is a nice little 2 minute video about this site. You will also see this site in great detail in our upcoming documentary on Elijah & Elisha – […]

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Safety in Jerusalem- 07/23/17 Update

July 23, 2017

UPDATE 07/23/17: As stated last week I confirm that none of the localized problems in Jerusalem have anything to do with our pilgrimages or itinerary. Just like gang fighting in localized areas of Chicago or New York have no effect on tourists and businesses in normal areas. Have no fear. If questions, email me at […]

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Join us in Oberammergau in 2020: Germany, Switzerland & Italy

June 7, 2017

We are now planning two trips to the Passion Play in Oberammergau Germany in 2020. This play is only performed every ten years. Keep an eye on our developing “Oberammergau Page” for full itinerary, development, final dates and soon to register. Contact Elizabeth for more info or to be put on our list (emarkey@ctscentral.net or 800-727-1999, ext. […]

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Oberammergau Play 2020 with Germany, Switzerland and Italy

May 31, 2017

‪We are going to Oberammergau Germany in 2020 for the Passion Play with visits to Munich, Dachau, sites in Switzerland (Zurich and St. Galen with Swiss Guards) across the Alps into Milan Italy, meeting with Gianna Molla w/ extension to Rome and much more. Exciting additions. More soon.‬

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