Budget airline Primera Air goes under leaving passengers stranded

 
 
Primera AirAs of October 1, they have ceased operations.  Primera air offered discount airfares from Stanstead, England to several cities including New York (Newark’s Liberty Airport), Boston, Washington DC and Toronto starting at a little under $200 each way.

Those already in their booked locations will have to arrange their own transportation back home.

The discount airline offered fares under $200 for Newark to U.K. flights but was unable to compete with several other discount carriers.

Those who purchased using credit cards should contact their credit card issuers for possible refunds.

If you purchased travel insurance (we always recommend that you do)……you may be able to get a refund from the issuer.  Squaremouth is what we recommend to compare policies.

Pilgrimage of Cabrini University to Mother Cabrini’s Birthplace

My name is Mignon Toppino. I am a Junior studying Religious Studies and Social Justice at Cabrini University. This past June I was blessed with the opportunity to go on an eleven-day Italy Pilgrimage with Select International Tours. The experiences I had on this pilgrimage opened my heart up to greater growth and learning of who I am and who my heavenly Father is.

Before attending Cabrini University in Radnor, PA, I attended Cabrini High School in New Orleans, LA. So, I grew up learning from and about Mother Cabrini. Going to Mother Cabrini’s birthplace was truly the highlight of the trip for me. Being able to be in the presence of the relic of Mother Cabrini’s heart was such an awakening moment. It’s quite difficult for me to really form the right words that describe the amount of joy, peace, love, and beauty I felt in those moments. I do know I have never felt surer of God’s love and mercy.

Our pilgrimage group with the statue of Mother Cabrini
Our pilgrimage group with the statue of Mother Cabrini

To explain to you fully what this whole experience meant to me and what I learned from it, I must explain what season of life I was in before the trip. I was having a great struggle with loving myself, seeing the face of Christ in myself, and hearing and understanding God’s voice.

To say that this trip was simply a great trip with beautiful opportunities would not be completely honest, because for me this trip was transformative. Everyday since the trip, I have learned a little more, I have started to love myself a little bit more, and by God’s grace this beauty will not stop. This trip was so transformative for me because it taught me the power of intentionality.

Diving deeper into Mother Cabrini’s story I learned how she was a very intentional women. Like her, I must intentionally remember who I am, and what my Heavenly Father calls women of faith to do, which is to love and serve their brothers and sisters. I owe all of who I am and all of my life experiences to my Heavenly Father, for everyday despite my sins and faults he chooses to love me and desires a deep and intimate relationship with me. I am unbelievably blessed but not only by the love of Christ but for the bond and relationship I have made with Mother Cabrini over the years. I can tell you for a fact that without Mother Cabrini’s life of love, faith, and bravery, my life would not be what it is today.

Note: the photo here is the group at Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore e Santa Francesca Cabrini
(Church of the Most Holy Redeemer and St Frances Cabrini).  The skull of St Frances Xavier Cabrini rests within this church. It is placed within a wax figure of her likeness as shown here.

Her place of birth is Sant’ Angelo de Lodigiano

The above article was re-posted with permission from Select International Tours.

Travel Insurance during hurricane season….is it too late?

Hurricane SymbolThe Atlantic hurricane season is active this year, and for those traveling (especially on cruises) you need to be aware of what coverage you may have on travel insurance. Most beaches and tourist attractions begin to close a few days before forecast landfall if it is going to be a category 3 (sustained winds of 111-129 mph). The highest is category 5 with sustained winds over 136 miles per hour.  The danger is not just the wind but also the torrential rainfall that accompanies hurricanes (especially if it is slow-moving).

And, of course, if you are booked on a cruise the itinerary could likely be changed, but that should be covered by the cruise lines.  However, if the cruise  does go ahead (perhaps with some port substitutions) and you simply cannot get to the point of departure due to the hurricane, then you will wish that you had taken out travel insurance, because the cruise line will almost certainly not refund your money.

Many travel insurance policies include coverage for hurricanes that impact travel, as long as the policy was purchased before the storm was named.

Travelers who had a policy in place prior to the naming of the storm including Trip Cancellation and Travel Delay, may be protected in event of cancellation.

If it was purchased after that point, it won’t cover hurricane-related travel changes, said Steven Benna, a marketing specialist with travel insurance comparison website Squaremouth.

The Hurricane Lane Travel Insurance Information Center explains coverage related to the storm.

This database is regularly updated by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts with answers frequently asked questions, official provider position statements, travel alerts and notices, and other information as the storm develops. Information is subject to change at any time.

Many airlines will offer to waive change fees, etc. so if you have booked air it is best to check with the airline.

Santa Fe – The Cradle of Catholicism in the US

We often go out of the US on Catholic Pilgrimages, but do we know about the amazing Catholic history of the US itself? In Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mass was being celebrated 14 years before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and you can visit the oldest church in continuous use in the US to see where that happened, and where the first martyrs in the US died for their Catholic Faith. Santa Fe and the surrounding area is home to amazing sites of Catholic spirituality.

A bit further North, the Santuario de Chimayo is termed “The Lourdes of the United States,” where Christ is known to bring about miraculous healings and where devout pilgrims, descendants of the first Spanish settlers in the 1600’s, still walk on foot to visit from around the state every year.

Do you know the Story of St. Joseph’s Staircase–a miraculous architectural feature in the Chapel of the Sisters of Loretto that pious tradition tells us was built by St. Joseph himself? Science backs up the tradition, as a NASA study on the wood of the staircase stated that its molecular structure was not of a plant that could have grown on our planet. It is something you need to witness with your own eyes.

These are just a tiny few of the amazing experiences Santa Fe holds for devout Catholics.

We would like to invite you to visit and to stay at a beautiful historic downtown Santa Fe adobe house owned by Familia Victricis, an Association of the Faithful in the Archdiocese. Contact Giovanna at (505) 490-2775 or [email protected]. We would love to share pictures of the house, and special itineraries, guided by local priests, historians, and EWTN personality AnnaMaria Cardinalli are available.

A Tale of Two Saint Dominics…a Little-Known Connection

Most of us know of Saint Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order.  We celebrate his feast day on August 8.

But there is another Saint Dominic from whom he got his name. That saint’s name is Saint Dominic of Silos. He lived in the 11th Century and became known for his gifts of healing, among other things.    People came from far and wide to beg his intercession.

Tradition tells us of a woman who had a dream before her son’s conception in which she saw a hound racing through the world igniting everything with a flaming torch.  Troubled by this dream, she went to pray at the Benedictine abbey of San Domingo de Silos where Saint Dominic of Silos was buried. When her son was born, the parents named him Dominic, and he grew up to become Saint Dominic de Guzman, who founded the Dominican Order.

You can find his tomb in the Basilica of  Our Lady Help of Christians in Bologna. This dream was indeed prophetic. Dominic did ignite the world with sacred truth through his preaching.

Saint Dominic de Silos is buried in the Abbey that he helped re-build: the famous monastery at Santo Domingo de Silos.  You have no doubt heard the hauntingly beautiful CD of the monks performing the Benedictine Chant….they are from this monastery!

Let’s pray for the intercession of these two great saints.

 

The Oberammergau Passion Play is two years off, so what’s the rush?

As we write this in August 2018, it would seem that signing up for a pilgrimage to the famous Oberammergau Passion Play in 2010 would be a bit premature.  The small town of Oberammergau, in Bavaria, is transformed every 10 years as the famous Passion Play is enacted every day from May 16 to October 4, 2020.  The villagers fill the many roles in the play that are often handed down from generation to generation.

If you wish to attend, you can make your own arrangements and buy your own tickets, or you can book with many of the tour companies offering pilgrimages to the play.  Some of these tours are just a few days long, but many others combine other locations as well.

One itinerary we find particularly interesting is combining the Holy Land with Oberammergau.  You will travel to the Holy Land and see where it all began, from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion, and then on to Germany to visit the Ettal Monastery, the Weiss Church, Munich and then the highlight of the trip:  witnessing the passion Play.  This itinerary, offered by Select International Tours, has six departures scheduled in 2020…..and two of them are already sold out!  So now you see how important it is to sign up early.  There are a limited number of seats and a limited number of performances, so once they are gone, they are gone until 2030.

You can check out the Official Oberammergau Passion Play website here.

August 1st & 2nd The Great Pardon of Assisi

From the evening of August 1st until sundown on August 2nd each year, you may take part in the Great Pardon of Assisi.  When Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Francis in the year 1216 in the tiny Portuincula (the chapel he built) Jesus asked Francis what he wanted for the salvation of souls. Francis humbly replied that he would like to obtain an indulgence for all those who entered the church, who were truly contrite and had confessed their sins.  Jesus granted him this wish but stipulated he should first present his request to the Pope.  He obtained approval from Pope Honorius III and this came to be known as the Portuincula Indulgence, or the Pardon of Assisi.

If you happen to be in Assisi today and tomorrow it is a great opportunity; however,  you can earn this pardon for yourself or for any departed soul at your local Parish church.  

The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi, as it is properly called, are as follows:  

1.  Sacramental Confession within 8 days either before or after.  

2.  Participation in Holy Mass and Eucharist.  

3.  Recitation of the Apostles Creed, Our Father, and a prayer for the Holy Father’s intention.

The Portiuncula or Tiny Portion inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels AssisiThe Portuincula is now inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels at the foot of the town of Assisi.  

Almost all tours stop here either on the way to Assisi or upon leaving.  The Basilica is immense and the Portuincula is dwarfed by its surroundings.  As you can see here, it is quite small but open to visitors.

The Latest on the Wildfires in Greece

The worst wildfires to hit Greece in more than 10 years are burning in the country’s Attica region around Athens, evacuating many residents from the region. As of July 24, at least 74 people have died in the wildfires, and more than 100 others have been injured.

Many travel insurance policies have coverage for natural disasters, including wildfires, but in most cases you will have to have bought the insurance before the fire started.

The Greece Wildfires Travel Insurance Information Center explains coverage for the fires. This resource is regularly updated by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts with answers to frequently asked questions, official provider positions statements, and more. Information is subject to change at any time.

Questions? Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts are on hand to answer your questions about coverage for the fires. They are available from 8am to 10pm ET daily by chat and by phone at 1-800-240-0369.

If you are currently in Greece and affected by the wildfires, contact your provider’s 24-Hour Emergency Assistance for help.

You may be covered to cancel your upcoming trip to Greece, or return home early, if you meet your policy’s requirements.  You can get more information here.

Hurricane Lane threatens Hawaii..will your travel insurance cover you? Is it too late to buy?

Hurricane symbolHurricane Lane was first named a tropical storm on August 15, 2018, and has developed into a hurricane in the Central Pacific. The storm is tracking through the Pacific and is heading toward Hawaii.  Most beaches and tourist attractions have begun to close as of Wednesday August 22.  The danger is not so much the wind as it is the torrential rainfall that is expected.

Many travel insurance policies include coverage for hurricanes that impact travel, as long as the policy was purchased before the storm was named.

Travelers who had a policy in place prior to August 15, 2018 may have coverage for Hurricane Lane, including Trip Cancellation and Travel Delay.

If it was purchased after that point, it won’t cover hurricane-related travel changes, said Steven Benna, a marketing specialist with travel insurance comparison website Squaremouth.

The Hurricane Lane Travel Insurance Information Center explains coverage related to the storm.

This database is regularly updated by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts with answers frequently asked questions, official provider position statements, travel alerts and notices, and other information as the storm develops. Information is subject to change at any time.

Many airlines are offering to waive change fees, etc. so if you have booked air it is best to check with the airline.  Only one cruise line is expected to be in Hawaii at this time:  Norwegian’s Pride of America, which bases the ship in Hawaii year-round and cruises the islands.  Their schedule has been modified.

Reminder: The “Holy Stairs” in Rome are still closed for now

 

The entrance of the Holy Stairs before its' closure
The entrance of “The Holy Stairs” before its’ closure

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The restoration work is not being done on the stairs themselves (which are protected by a wood covering) but of the frescoes on the walls surrounding the stairs.  Over the years they became darkened and could barely be seen. Restoration will restore them to their original beauty, but has necessitated closing of the stairs themselves.

But you can still visit:  Although a temporary image of the entrance has been placed over the actual entrance, an additional set of stairs has been installed next to the stairway, and pilgrims can climb those instead.

The stairs will reopen in late 2018, but we do not have a definite date at this point.

Here is a great video about the work being done from Catholic News Service.

 

 

 

 

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