The Catholic Treasures of Austria and Bavaria
For Friends and Advocates of Lesbian and Gay Catholics: February 26 – March 7, 2005
Saturday, February 26 – DEPART U.S.
Sunday, February 27 – VIENNA
We arrive in Vienna and transfer to the hotel with some time to relax. In the afternoon we tour the city, passing by City Hall, the Burg Theater, Houses of Parliament, two State Museums, and the Opera. Our visit to the Schoenbrunn Castle, with its magnificent apartments decorated by Maria Theresa and vast French Park, introduces us to the Hapsburg Dynasty, rulers of Austria for over 600 years. After we return to our hotel for dinner, we gather for prayer and introductions of old and new friends.
Monday, February 28 – VIENNA
After breakfast, we celebrate Mass at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. We visit the 17th century Capuchin Church containing the Imperial Vaults, and then Emperor Franz Josef’s Hofburg Palace. This afternoon, we have an excursion to the historic Vienna Woods, visiting Liechtenstein Castle, the ancient Heiligenkreuz Cistercian Abbey, and on to Mayerling, the former Imperial Hunting Lodge. On our return to Vienna, we pass the famous Spa of Baden. We gather after dinner for reflection on the pilgrimage.
Tuesday, March 1 – VIENNA
We celebrate Mass at the Kirche Im Lichtental near our hotel. The balance of the day is free to relax, shop, and visit sites. Dinner is on our own. At 8pm, we meet with members of the Vienna lesbian/gay Christian group, Homosexuelle und Glaube at the Chapel/Albert Schweitzer House.
Wednesday, March 2 – VIENNA/MELK/ SALZBURG
We motor south to Melk where we visit the towering, architecturally superb, baroque Abbey of Melk. We celebrate Mass before joining the monks of Melk for their sung noon service. We continue through the Wachau Region, considered the most picturesque section of the Austrian Danube Valley. We stop in Steyr and visit the Pilgrimage Church of Christkindl, which features two famous mangers. The Pottmesser manger, with over 7000 hand-carved figurines, is one of the biggest mangers worldwide. The Mechanical Manger, with an ingenious system of cogwheels, shafts and chains, brings 300 figurines to life and makes them pass through the rich biblical scenery to the tunes of a Bohemian cylinder organ. We continue to Salzburg, where after dinner at the hotel we meet for prayer and reflection on the pilgrimage
Thursday, March 3 – SALZBURG
Salzburg is the ancient seat of the Archbishop and the location for the Sound of Music. After Mass at the Cathedral, we see the colorful old section with narrow streets, Residenz Fountain and Tower, and the Geburtshaus, Mozart’s birthplace. The unusual architecture lends much to the character and charm of the city. In the afternoon we meander through the wonderful Sound of Music area, stopping to see the church in Mondsee where the Von Trapp’s wedding was filmed. Dinner is on our own. At 7:30 pm, we meet the Salzburg lesbian/gay Christian group, Homosexuelle und Glaube, at the Katholische Hochschulgemeinde, Wiener Philharmonikergasse.
Friday, March 4 – SALZBURG/ALTOTTING/ MUNICH
We depart Salzburg and proceed to Altötting for Mass at the small Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, venerated for over 500 years. We drive into Munich, and tour the City, passing the University, St. Paul’s Church, German Museum, the ‘Frauenkirche,’ the Obelisk, Theatinir Church, Feldherrnhalle, English Gardens, Schwabing Artists Colony, and Buergerbrau Kellar. After dinner at the hotel, we meet for prayer and reflection.
Saturday, March 5 – MUNICH
We celebrate Mass at the Marianhilfskirche near our hotel. The balance of the day is free. Dinner is on our own. At 8 pm, we meet with members of Homosexuelle und Kirche, a lesbian/gay Christian group in Germany.
Sunday, March 6 – MUNICH/OBERAMERGAU
We visit Neuschwanstein Castle, the model for Disney’s castle, the lavish private apartments and grotto, which Mad King Ludwig had created for Wagner’s Tann-häuser, and the Moorish Teahouse Pavilion. We continue to Linderhof Castle, Ludwig’s home for many years during the construction of Neuschwanstein. We continue to the nearby famous Benedictine Abbey at Ettal, where we celebrate Mass. We then visit the beautiful alpine village of Oberammergau, the site of the famous Passion Play conducted each ten years since 1634 in fulfillment of a pledge made by villagers for being spared from the Black Plague. We tour the Passion Playhouse before returning to Munich for our farewell dinner at the hotel.
Monday, March 7 – RETURN TO USA
After lunch, we transfer to the airport in Munich to board our direct flight to the USA, arriving later today.