Discovering Sacred Beauty: A Pilgrimage to Venice

September 27–October 7, 2018

A contemplative, eleven-day journey through one the most beautiful parts of Italy—Venice & Padua—and the sacred beauty that has inspired people across the centuries


  • Four (4) days in Padua, home of St. Anthony
  • Live in the Casa Pellegrino, Padua
  • Visits to the Basilica of St. Anthony, plus churches, gardens, sacred and historical sites, museums, and art
  • Botantical Gardens (oldest in Europe), Palazzo Ragione, Church of the Eremitani, Scrovegi Chapel, Sanctuaries of both St. Anthony and St. Leopoldo Mandic / Church of St. Croce and more
  • Six (6) days in Venice and surrounding islands
  • Live in Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli, Venice
  • St. Mark’s Square
  • Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs
  • Grand Canal by private water tour
  • Island of St. Francis del Deserto
  • Island of Burano
  • Private tour of the Jewish Ghetto
  • Benedictine Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore
  • St. Mark’s Basilica
  • La Fenice Opera House (optional)
  • Venetian artists who create the masks for the pre-Lenten festival of Carnaval

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce our newest spiritual journey: nine (9) nights and ten (10) days to discover and experience the Sacred Beauty of Venice & Padua, Italy—a country that is synonymous with beauty and life.

Venice is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in all history. The citizens of this island constructed the Most Serene Republic of Venice, a city so unusual in location, style, and living that no other exists to rival it. This man-made set of islands seem to float in a sea of dazzling blue in the Venetian Lagoon (the Venetto). Over time, some of the most extraordinary churches, basilicas, chapels, gardens, monasteries were built. Artists from around the world traveled to Venice to paint, sculpt, and adorn these magnificent religious venues. The historic Jewish Ghetto housed thousands of Jewish religious. Smaller communities of Muslims and Buddhists found homes here as well. In this rich spiritual mix, inspired masons, architects, painters, and poets added buildings, music, and writing that thrill the world to this day. We will take a contemplative look at this most unusual city.

Our journey begins in nearby Padua, the historic home of St. Anthony. In a city of gardens, art, churches, and beauty, we will celebrate this saint who is revered by millions around the world. Here, Anthony, one of the earliest Franciscans, personally selected by St. Francis to be the preacher and teacher of the new order of Franciscan friars, astonished followers of Jesus with his visionary preaching and devotion to the poor. This gentle man inspired an out-flowing of sacred art and prayer. It is here in Padua that we will pause to ponder how St. Anthony and the Franciscan friars found their faith.

Venice and Padua will anchor our pilgrimage. Once again, we will lodge in two beautiful and historic sites: In Venice, we live at Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli, the ancient monastery featuring three cloisters from the 8th Century and one from the 15 Century, now featuring modern private rooms, gathering places, a chapel, and spacious garden grounds. Just off the water and in splendid quiet, we make Venezia our home. In Padua, we reside at Casa de Pellegrino, a beautiful baroque antique building with private rooms and all modern conveniences, across from the Basilica of St. Anthony.

This is a special invitation to all those who are drawn to the light and landscape of Italy. It is a chance to explore the spiritual, religious life, and culture of Venice and Padua. Whether this is your first or return visit to the Venice region, we invite you to experience these ancient and historic cities in a new and sacred way. As always, the pilgrimage will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Our past experience suggests that it is good to discern, make an early decision, and register, which leaves ample time to schedule finances and travel. We are happy to answer any questions that may help your planning and decision to register, so feel free to contact us.

On this website, you will find all the details, including itinerary, fees and payments, and bios about your pilgrim leaders.

We will again offer a payment plan for those who request it. We look forward to hearing from you!

With Warm Blessings and hopes to see you in Italy in 2018,



Christopher McCauley
Spiritual Director & Teacher, Retreat Leader & Host of International Pilgrimages

Next Steps

Review the Itinerary for Venice (2018) >