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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

Cause for Servant of God Rhoda Wise going to Rome

The Formal Diocesan Investigation for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Rhoda Wise will close on July 6, 2018.   The Acts of the Case will be present and sealed for transport to Rome at a 10:00 am Mass to be held at St. Peter’s in Canton, Ohio on July 7, 2018, the 70th anniversary of her death.

The main celebrant will be Monsignor Robert Siffrin, Vicar General of the diocese.  The celebration will continue with a Eucharistic holy hour, recitation of the Rosary, and the opportunity for Confession after Mass.  Rhoda Wise House and Grotto will open to the public at 1:00pm that day.

See www.rhodawise.com or call 330-453-0322 for further details.

Pope Francis invited to visit the United Arab Emirates

On June 5, 2018 Pope Francis received Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the U.A.E., who was on an official visit to the State of Vatican City, during which he handed over a message from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, inviting Pope Francis to visit the UAE.and was invited to pay a visit to the United Arab Emirates

No date has been announced, but we assume that he will accept the invitation and visit in the not too far distant future.

The U.A.E., a federal union made up of seven states,  has about 10% Catholic population (mostly foreign workers), established full diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 2007.

There are several major Catholic churches in the U.A.E.

Source:  IPS News

Dedication of New Cathedral in Knoxville, TN

A new, magnificent Cathedral has been dedicated in Knoxville, Tenessee.  Among those present were five Cardinals, 21 Bishops, over 100 priests, 58 deacons, and 39 men and women religious.

 

Mass at the dedication of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville
Mass at the Dedication

Notable among them were Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, retired archbishop of Krakow, Poland, and longtime personal secretary to St. John Paul II (who also donated two relics of the saint to the diocese, including a stole frequently worn by St John Paul II); Cardinal William Levada, retired prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Cardinal Justin Rigali, retired Archbishop of Philadelphia and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States.

Find out more about the Cathedral here.

 

Fire at Sacre di San Michele, Italy

Fire at Sacra di San Michele fratelli-italia.it
Photo fratelli-italia.it

One of Italy’s oldest and most revered, the Sacre di San Michelle has drawn visitors from the world over. Unfortunately,  according to reports in Italian Media, in January 2018, a fire that started in a construction site on the roof of the monastery spread to parts of the Abbey, but due to the efforts of the local fire brigade they were able to prevent them extending to the church and the remaining part of the monastery.

We do not know when the monastery might again be open for visitors.

Thousands flocking to Illinois Shrine

It is a shrine that was never really meant to be a shrine, according to Father Rev. Marco Mercado, rector of Maryville Academy.  This small shrine near Chicago draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims throughout the year..  It is the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, Illinois, just about a 7-minute drive from Chicago’s bustling O’Hare Airport.

It was in 1988 that a traveling statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was brought back from Mexico City to the U.S.  After several failed attempts to find some church to accept it,  Maryville Academy offered to house the statue in a small chapel and from that a shrine was born.

Needless to say, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe are a highlight of the year.  Celebrations, along with native dancers, began on December 10th but the activities will really heat up starting on December 11th, with Masses beginning at 4:00 p.m. and being held every two hours through the night and following day until the final Mass and solemn procession at 7:00 p.m. on December 12th.

There is also television coverage on Univision, not only in the area, but in many cities throughout the U.S.

You can check their website here

Or learn more about the Shrine here.

 

 

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