Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
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DeSales students make European summer pilgrimage
the Inland Register
(From the July 5, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)
Students from DeSales High School, Walla Walla, traveled on a pilgrimage to Europe last month, accompanied by parents and other adults. (IR photo from Michael Scheel)
In June, 30 students and 14 parents and adult leaders from DeSales High School, Walla Walla, traveled on an educational tour throughout London, Paris, and parts of Italy.
The trip was designed both to visit historical sites and to be a religious pilgrimage. The group received a special blessing from Father Tim Hays, pastor of Assumption Parish, Walla Walla, before departing.
After bussing to Seattle and catching four different combinations of flights, the whole group reunited in London, where they witnessed the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and visited the Tower of London, the Parliament buildings, and St. Paul Cathedral.
The tour continued in Paris and the Palace of Versailles, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Louvre Museum, and the Eiffel Tower.
From Paris, the tour continued via night train to Venice, where St. Mark Cathedral was the main attraction.
En route to Rome, the group stopped in Florence, Pisa, and Assisi.
The tour was designed to finish in and highlight Rome.
While in Rome they visited historical hotspots like the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and the Vatican Museums. The major focus in Rome was St. Peter Basilica, the tombs of St. Peter and Pope John Paul II, St. Paul’s (Outside the Walls) and the tomb of St. Paul, and a visit to the catacombs, where thousands of Christian martyrs and numerous popes were buried.
DeSales teacher Michael Scheel coordinated the pilgrimage. Of the four trips he has led to Europe, this was by far the best, he said. “The kids were very well behaved and cooperative. We become like one huge family on our trip. We had some struggles with losing luggage, one student was pick-pocketed, and a pair of adults got lost in Florence, but it all worked out in the end.”
He said, “What I have learned through traveling, especially with kids, is that nothing ever goes perfectly and you have to be flexible and enjoy the journey.”
Students who participated in the European pilgrimage were Lindsey Boyer, Vanessa Cummins, Jaclyn Daltoso, Kevin Deccio, Danielle Fazzari, Cory Gall, James Graves, Lauren Hanson, Kelsey Hart, Nick Hazeltine, Zack Hitchcock, Derek Kerwin, Karissa Konen, Nick Konen, Tim Kotnour, Stephanie Lemons, Ryan Lindgren, Ryan Moberg, Marcella Perez, Alyssa Rohde, Keith Shelton, Nicole Sherman, Nathan Solomon, Kingmond Tang, Megan Tompkins, Hannah Wentz, Richie Westphal, Kyla Williams, and Mary Grace Wolpert. Adult leaders included Suzan Fazzari, Tonya Scheel, and Catherine Wolpert.