Category: Travel

U.S. Borders Open Wide and Encourage Reproductive Tourism
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U.S. Borders Open Wide and Encourage Reproductive Tourism

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Last night before heading off to bed I happened to check my email, only to read this unbelievable headline – “Obama Administration Allows Fertility Clinics To Sell US Citizenship.” Boy, did that catch my eye! I’ve just finished reading the Policy Alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security. You can read it here but […]

Struble's Holy Land Adventures a Generation Ago
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Struble’s Holy Land Adventures a Generation Ago

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With the Middle East in mayhem, I’ve been thinking back to my travels in Egypt and Israel during a less tumultuous time.  Upon returning to my teaching post in snowy Salzburg Austria, I found myself suffering from a fever – possibly a result of the sudden change from shirtsleeve weather to freezing cold.  From the […]

How God Conquered My Fears in the Holy Land
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How God Conquered My Fears in the Holy Land

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While I was in the Holy Land, many Scripture verses surfaced in my mind and heart as I stood in the places of the Old and New Testaments. But, the one I found myself recalling most often was Psalm 91: For you have made the LORD, my refuge,             Even the Most High, your dwelling place.      No […]

Holy Land - Preparing for Pope Francis
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Holy Land – Preparing for Pope Francis

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When Pope Paul VI visited the Holy Land, Auxiliary Bishop Marcuzzo was still only a seminarian, but to this day he remains impressed by the visit. Now, 50 years later, other seminarians are preparing for the visit of a new Pope. Returning to the sources: this was the goal Pope Paul VI had set himself […]

Don’t Be a Tourist on the Spiritual Journey of Faith
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Don’t Be a Tourist on the Spiritual Journey of Faith

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One of the points I try to stress with those joining me on the many trips I host to Rome and other Christian holy places is the difference between a tour and a pilgrimage. A tour is more of a fun seeking trek to an exotic location, one filled with great photo opportunities that contain […]

Wrapping ‘Summer Love’ into a New School Year
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Wrapping ‘Summer Love’ into a New School Year

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I’ll admit it’s work, but I love it. I love camping…. the dust clouds and the cicadas’ rhythmic swell and the  sun leaking into  the thin tent nylon in the early morning, insistent. Our rusty old  camp grill and the Coleman  torch that scatters just a bit of an ethereal Hey-summer-we-survived-this-year’s-algebra-and-ancient-history-and-disappointments-and-triumphs-and-we’re-back-to-settle-in-your-scheduleless -rustic-August glow. The whispers […]

How Two Sacred, Bloody Images Take Us to God
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How Two Sacred, Bloody Images Take Us to God

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One year ago, on May 23, 2010, the Holy Shroud of Turin was placed out of public view at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin (Torino), Italy.  We are not expected to see it again until the year 2035.  For only the 18th time in its 2,000 year history, the Church’s most venerated relic […]

Donna D’Errico: Interview of a Catholic and Explorer
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Donna D’Errico: Interview of a Catholic and Explorer

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Before I jump into the interview with Donna D’Errico, I would like to thank her for answering a few questions regarding her life as both a Catholic and explorer.  See if you can name what Catholic sacramental she is wearing on her expedition.  JQ Tomanek: Can you give us a little background on yourself?  Were you raised Catholic?  Where did […]

Feeling Superior: The Lake, That Is
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Feeling Superior: The Lake, That Is

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“Lake Superior is the biggest, deepest, cleanest, coldest and roughest of all the Great Lakes,” said the captain of the tour boat as we cruised out of Munising, Michigan, average snowfall 250 inches, to view the Pictured Rocks National Shoreline. Pictured Rocks is a spectacular display of multicolored sandstone cliffs and geologic formations, soaring to […]

Roman Fever
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Roman Fever

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A city like no other, maybe even more so this time of year. What do you call a city with a jail named Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven)? For the last 3,000 years, you call it Rome. Forty years had passed since I had last visited Rome, broke and hitchhiking through Europe the summer after […]

A Catholic Life of Travel and Sojourns
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A Catholic Life of Travel and Sojourns

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My spiritual and secular sojourns began early in my life. My journeys have been far and wide, and have taken me down forks, in circles or off the beaten path. The trips I’ve taken have enriched my life in many ways, and these in turn have enriched my Catholic family and my travel agency located […]

A Visit to Assisi: Blessings and Spiritual Growth
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A Visit to Assisi: Blessings and Spiritual Growth

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Today, October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.  Last year, on a pilgrimage to see the Shroud of Turin, north of Assisi in Italy, my travel companions (three teenage girls) and I got to spend a few special hours in Assisi.  Seeing the Shroud left an indelible impression on me and spending time in […]

Persist for Airport Freedom
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Persist for Airport Freedom

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A “Woman Screams for Help After TSA Molestation,” and the “Texas Pat Down Ban May Be Back.” Those are just two of the headlines breaking around the nation this morning, as summer travel picks up—and so do concerns over excessive airport security. How much indignity are you willing to endure if told it’s for safety’s […]

Cries of “Saint Now” for JPII Echo “Santo Subito” for St. Francis
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Cries of “Saint Now” for JPII Echo “Santo Subito” for St. Francis

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Nearly 800 years ago, Pope Gregory IX, responded to shouts of “Santo Subito” (“Sainthood Now”) when he left the Lateran Palace in Rome and made the 120-mile arduous journey to Assisi (shown at left) to canonize St. Francis. Francis just wanted to be a humble hermit yet died a very public death in 1226, bearing the […]

Reflections of a Shroud Pilgrim, One Year Later
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Reflections of a Shroud Pilgrim, One Year Later

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Holy Week can never be the same for me.  Not after seeing the Shroud of Turin last year. It’s been nearly a year since the Shroud was placed on public display (for just the 18th time in its history) in Turin, Italy. Never did I imagine I would be among the over two million pilgrims […]

Who Wants to be Miss America When You Can be Miss Western Civilization?
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Who Wants to be Miss America When You Can be Miss Western Civilization?

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I grew up in Bombingham at a time in history when the unholy trinity was “Catholics, niggers, and Jews.” Somehow, I rejected that fairly early as I rode my ice blue bike with the white banana seat in the shadow of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. I had earned that bike by going to summer school […]

The Caves of Cappadocia
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The Caves of Cappadocia

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Standing at the base of an old, graying, wooden ladder I didn’t know what I would find in that mountain-cave turned church. As I ascended those ten or 12 steps my heart pounded, my breath grew short and my eyes were filled with awe. What I found in that stone-cooled room in the middle of […]