Pilgrimage to the Holy Sites of Italy

Starting in 2019, the West Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Sites of Italy has immersed our students in a lived experience of their education and faith, preparing them for the next stage of their lives. Over the course of nine days, students and chaperones visited the eternal city of Rome, walked the streets of Assisi and attended a Papal Audience with the Holy Father. Along the way, they toured holy sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Basilicas of St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi, the Catacombs and the Vatican Museums while enjoying the best Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.

Sign-ups for our 2022 pilgrimage are now closed. dates for our 2023 trip will be posted here once they are announced. For more information, please Contact WC parent Jeanne Walch at jeannewalch@gmail.com.

Sample Itinerary


​​​​​​​Saturday

  • Depart Grand Rapids for Rome

Sunday

  • Land in Rome
  • Angelus with Pope Francis
  • Mass at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist of the Florentines
  • Explore Rome


​​​​​​​Monday

  • Scala Coeli (where St. Paul was imprisoned in Rome)
  • Tre Fontane (where St. Paul was beheaded; in 2019, West Catholic pilgrims had the rare opportunity to touch the pillar on which he was beheaded as part of their veneration)
  • St. Paul Outside the Walls
  • Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (home to relics of the true cross, crown of thorns, nails of the crucifixion, the Holy Sepulcher and St. Thomas the Apostle)
  • Sancta Scala (steps from Pontius Pilate's praetorium where Jesus walked and bled on his way to judgment)
  • St. John Lateran


​​​​​​​Tuesday

  • Mass in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica
  • The cupola of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Tour and exploration of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Vatican Museum
  • Sistine Chapel


​​​​​​​Wednesday

  • Mass in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Papal Audience with Pope Francis
  • Sant'Andrea delle Fratte (Church of the Miraculous Medal)
  • Spanish Steps
  • Chiesa di Sant' Ignazio di Loyola
  • Pantheon
  • Sancta Maria ad Martyres (St. Mary and the Martyrs)
  • Piazza Novona
  • Sant'Agnese in Agone


​​​​​​​Thursday

  • Mass in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica
  • Orvieto (including the magnificent Il' Duomo)
  • The Dying City of Civita
  • Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in Assisi (including the Portiuncula of St. Francis of Assisi)


​​​​​​​Friday

  • Mass on the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Tour of the Basilicas of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare (includes the Cross of St. Dominic)
  • St. Francis of Assisi's home
  • Eremo (St. Francis' mountain-top hermitage)


​​​​​​​Saturday

  • Catacombs
  • San Sebastiano fuori le mura
  • Our Lady of the Plants (Quo Vadis Church)
  • Colosseum
  • Forum
  • Final visit to St. Peter's Square


​​​​​​​Sunday

  • Mass at Santa Maria delle Grazie alle Fornaci fuori Porta Cavalleggeri
  • Depart Rome for Grand Rapids