Client Letters & Testimonials - 206 Tours - Catholic Pilgrimages

Client Letters
Testimonials, Pilgrimage Experiences, What our clients say about 206 Tours

  • From: Stephanie
  • Sent: Friday, June 15, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: The Holy Land | May 27 - June 5, 2018
  • Tour 111

First and foremost, I must state this was seriously the absolute best time of my life to date. I have honestly never been happier and 206 Tours has definitely exceeded any and all expectations I had for my spiritual pilgrimage. I couldn’t give a better review!!! I’m Chaldean Catholic and have had a very strong relationship with God ever since I can remember. This trip literally meant so much to me, it’s actually quite hard to put my feelings into words. Funny part is, I’m a writer, too! I’m almost never at a loss for words! :) This trip definitely impacted my life for the better and walking the path where Jesus walked made me feel even closer to Him when I didn’t even think it was possible. The Lord has been in my heart and mind each day of my entire life, yet I still couldn’t get enough of my time in Israel and I cannot wait to go back in January 2019. I’ve been wanting to go to visit the Holy Land since I was a small child, but after I lost my dad due to a massive heart attack 4 years ago, it felt fitting that now was the right time for me. The spiritual/Christian mission trips I’ve taken aboard since his passing were to help others so this trip was more about helping myself. It has been quite a difficult road since his death given it was out of nowhere and unexpected. He was only 58-years-old and coming from a family of four daughters, we were all daddy’s little girls. I was just fine in life after his passing, but it was my heart that hurt day in and day out. It still feels like yesterday to be honest. I miss him terribly. In fact, this last fall/winter was the most difficult time for me during my mourning. It’s weird, but I think this past Christmas I was finally able to find comfort and get some closure. 2018 is the year for healing, hence my reasoning for booking this trip as a present to myself for my 33rd birthday – the age of Christ in honor of what He’s done for me. As you can notice, I was very close with my dad and loved him very much so without rambling too much further, this trip just meant so much. Without Jesus in my heart, I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through it all. With His strength and love, I was able to continue forward and be there to support my sisters and mother during our darkest hours. No matter how hard life can be (especially in private moments), a friend once told me, it takes a strong person to get through it all, but an even stronger person to smile while doing it. That stuck with me as I never failed to smile every day since. In fact, God taught me through this sad time, and through the people He sent in my life, that no matter what life will throw at us, we'll always be okay with Him in ours hearts and we never have to feel alone again. My heart is so full that my only wish now is for everyone to have a life as lucky as mine. Where they can wake up one day and say, “I really don’t need anything more,” and actually mean it. This is exactly how I feel. Booking this spiritual journey was also meant to show my gratitude and appreciation for what the Lord has given me and to thank Him in a different way for filling me up with all the love He has given us before our even existence. Most importantly, I wanted to thank Him for mending my broken heart and never leaving my side.

I made so many long-lasting relationships on this pilgrimage, whether it was the folks on the tour or the people I met along the way. Everyone felt like family to me. Especially our tour guide, Shafik Khbeis. He was absolutely amazing! I’ve done quite a lot of traveling for such a young person and been on many tours before, but never had a guide as great as Shafik. Please continue to use him as his hard work and knowledge is the main reason why I’ll be using 206 Tours again. Folks like him deserve all the credit in the world as I listened and overheard some of the other tour guides at places we visited and they didn’t even come close to being as wonderful as Shafik. Of course, the food and amenities were nothing shy of first class, the hotels were amazing, we visited everywhere we were supposed to (and had time to do even more), but what made it perfect was having a such a strong, spiritual, knowledgable and kind tour guide like him. Father Joseph was also an amazing person. So glad he joined us. We've actually made plans to visit one another when I go to New York towards the end of July. I already made plans to visit my friend and it just so happens Father Joe is only 10 minutes away. My friend and I will be treating him to brunch after that Sunday's late morning mass. Given I went on this tour alone, I really bonded with Father Joe and Shafik and felt privileged to be at their side. I learned so much from them. I couldn’t rate their friendship and service high enough!

You made my trip an experience of a lifetime and I’ll never forget one moment of it. I wanted to write more about our day to day travels on what we did, but it’s better for someone to simply experience it all on their own. 206 Tours truly deepened my faith as you folks really know how to give a pilgrim the best understanding when traveling to the Holy Land. Even though I was far far away, I never felt closer to home. 5 stars 100% and I’ll definitely be booking more 206 Tours in the near future! May God Bless you and yours today, forever and always. Thank you so much!!!

  • From: Rev. Andre Antao, PhD
  • Sent: Monday, May 28, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Holy Land & Medjugorje | May 6 - 19, 2018
  • Tour 112

We consider ourselves fortunate to have chosen 206 tours this summer, as we picked this only because we wanted to travel in May and we also wanted to go with a Catholic tour.

My wife and I went to the Holy Land and Medugorje this past May 2018 (from May 6 to May 19).

206 made our visits to the holy sites unforgettable, from the excellent tour guides, Shafiq and Dragan; the gentle guiding hand of our spiritual director Father John Cavanaugh; the able maneuvering and helpful hand of tour driver Ahmed; the 4 to 5 star accommodations at the Dan in Tel Aviv, the Leonardo in Tiberias, the Pontifical Institute of Notre Dame in Jerusalem (which was an easy walk to the church of the Holy Sepulchre), and the Grace Hotel in Medugorje (which we highly recommend not only for its food and congenial staff but also for its close proximity, just one minute’s walk to St. James Church); scrumptious and delicious food at the hotels; unforgettable taste of the local cuisine for our lunches in Israel. It was great that all three meals were taken care of there. Apart from the appetizing food, the dinners and the lunches contributed to the camaraderie among us in the tour.

We found ourselves fortunate to have holy masses held in at the sites where Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, St. Elizabeth once were. The scriptural and historical dimensions were clearly explained to us by Shafiq. We cannot say enough about Shafiq. He is outstanding. That he carefully planned our itinerary for each day, and also made sure that those who had physical disabilities could still enjoy and catch up at each site while dealing with the crowds at the Church of the Nativity or the steep climb up Ein Karem to the Church of St. John the Baptist were not lost to us. Another unique touch by Shafiq was when we were at the Israel Museum where we viewed the model of the ancient city of Jerusalem. While other tour groups were being shown the model from ground level, Shafiq had us take a flight up the steps view the 1:50 model, unhindered, while he expounded on each section (NSEW) via Whisper from below. Shafiq and Fr. Cavanaugh also arranged for us to have a dawn visit to the church of the Holy Sepulchre so that we could venerate Christ’s fragrant burial slab and the Golgotha to ourselves, culminating in a private mass inside Christ’s tomb. There were only 25 of us, so each of us were able to take turns kissing the Lord’s tomb. The same private mass in Gethsemane was accorded to us, enabling us in the tour to take our time kissing and venerating the rock of agony where Jesus spent his final hours of prayer before his arrest. The wine and cheese welcome proffered by Shafiq and Ahmed while enjoying the panoramic view of Jerusalem and the seated dinner at the top of the Notre Dame hotel were nice, heartfelt touches. Personal highlights for us: the sailing on the sea of Galilee on a calm, cool morning; visiting the house of Caiaphas where the Lord was lowered by tethers to his dungeon; the renewal of our marriage vows at Cana.

Speaking of which, we are still waiting for our marriage certificate from there because we were among those who did not get the marriage renewal certificate on our last day.

Medugorje was a peaceful, spiritually rejuvenating and filling experience. We arrived via Split and left via Dubrovnik, and took our 2 hour drive up the mountains on a rainy night on our first night. Instead of Slavenka who was tied up with an ongoing 206 group as our tour guide, we got Slava on our first half day, who gave us a brief background of Medugorje and its surrounding villages and took us to the church, the statue of the Risen Christ and the burial place of Fr. Slavko Barbaric. Our official tour guide for the rest of our stay was Dragan. On our first night, Dragan met us at 9:30 in the evening. None of the visionaries were present but one could feel the presence of Our Blessed Mother here. Of note was Grace Hotel’s close proximity to the Church of St. James, the Statue of the Risen Christ and Adoration Chapel so that we could walk there without the need for a cab daily and get there in less than two minutes. The food there was great, as well as, the staff. Request booking at the Grace Hotel instead of the Pension. Dragan was congenial and very knowledgeable about the history of the area, which tied in with the visions, the difficulties encountered by the visionaries and the town, and the eventual growth of the town. He also took us to a nearby town where we saw the most spectacular cascading waterfalls, the Mother’s Village and St. Francis Garden founded by Fr. Slavko where mothers and their children fled during the war, the Cenacolo, a must-visit, and the castle of Patrick and Nancy Latta where we listened to Patrick’s indelible testimony of conversion.

All this being said, a few minor glitches regarding our Medugorje trip: at the airport in Rome we were charged $88 by Croatian Airlines for both of our suitcases which were certainly within weight limits. We know this to be a fact because they were weighed at the airport in Tel Aviv.

  • From: Fr. John Cavanaugh
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Jordan & The Holy Land | May 2 - 15, 2018
  • Tour 158

Thank you for the opportunity to go back to the Holy Land. It always fills me with awe when I walk in the land of our Lord.

First, both the guide and driver on each side of the Jordan river (Israel/Jordan) were excellent. Both drivers’ ability to navigate through very congested streets and get us safely to our destination, is itself, a minor miracle. Both of the guides knew their stuff, I was amazed at how they could explain where and what happened at various sites. Our safety passing through this trouble land was paramount to them. I never felt vulnerable, especially being there on the 70th anniversary of the state of Israel, and an unexpected military confrontation right over our heads. To me I got a deeper understanding of the arguments from both sides.

As far as accommodations, I enjoyed them all. We had two people with canes and walking issues. I would recommend a statement about the length of walking, even if it is already in the information, I would recommend the statement be posted more graphically. There were some issues with this problem, but the guides were on top of the situation and were able to get us all together for the next adventure.

  • From: Guido Gockel
  • Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: El Camino - The Way of St. James - Spain
  • Tour 70

Just yesterday I returned from Spain where - thanks to 206 Tours - I had a wonderful experience walking the Camino, unencumbered by material worries. 206 Tours as always had it beautifully organized. The walk of the Camino was for me a wonderful life experience and confrontation with myself in the light of the Lord “how is the Way”. I experienced his nearness and companionship in those who went with me on the Camino. The experience will surely be reflected in my ministry as I preach God’s Word.

  • From: Michael and Christy Vaissade
  • Sent: May 17, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
  • Tour 111
  • (Posted on FaceBook, while on the last day of pilgrimage to the Holy Land)

Well, we made it home safe and sound from the holiest place on earth!

We would just like to thank Milanka Lachman, the founder of 206 tours, for a truly unforgettable and awesome experience. So much goes into planning a pilgrimage..206 meticulously cared for every detail with so much professionalism, thoughtfulness and love. I normally don’t promote things very often but 206 tours has their pilgrimages dialed in on every level. All of us recognized very early on how blessed we were to be with 206. So if you’re considering making a pilgrimage to the holy land or any of the other Catholic sites, give yourself the best and go with 206 tours! Check out their upcoming pilgrimages on their link below!

www.206tours.com

  • From: Lizbeth Contreras
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Poland: In the Footsteps of St. John Paul II & St. Faustina
  • Tour 168

Hi Vanessa,

Thanks a lot for putting together this pilgrimage. I enjoyed it a lot, and so did the group I joined. All the visits to the shrines were done on schedule, and the masses couldn't be more beautiful in those blessed shrines. The tour guide and driver in Poland are real professional people. The bus was always on time to pick up or drop us from or to the hotel. The hotels were cleaned and of good quality. All the personnel treated us well. Also, I loved the location of the hotels, always close to the main attractions. We were blessed to have in our group Msgr. Leslie Ivers and two deacons. On top of all these blessings, the weather was perfect, always sunny and warm. I would like to give a special thanks to Chris at 206 Tours, for helping me with all the changes that made it possible to join this pilgrimage.

  • From: Jean Power
  • Sent: Monday, May 14, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Rome, Assisi, Siena and Florence
  • Tour 98

Dear Caterina and Staff at 206 Tours,

I would like to thank you so much for all the arrangements 206 Tours provided that made our trip to Rome, Assisi, Siena and Florence (April 8–17) such a blessed and wonderful experience. The pilgrimage was excellent. Father McBrien and Father Tom Pettei provided a very special spiritual dimension to our trip with daily Mass and additional spiritual and travel guidance in Rome, Assisi and Florence.

The hotels were excellent. All the rooms I had were a good size and well appointed. The staff every place was courteous and helpful. The Michelangelo was a perfect spot, so close to the Vatican that it made exploring that area of Rome very easy. The breakfasts at the hotel were spectacular, as were the breakfasts at all the hotels.

Dinners were very good. The bus ride the first night in Rome to dinner seemed a long trip to go for a meal, but it was an elegant and excellent dinner. At the second’s night’s dinner, the restaurant was a bit noisy and crowded, but the dinner was OK. The third night’s meal in Rome (a walk from the hotel to the Papa Rex), was an excellent meal.

The Giotto in Assisi was very nice, and convenient for sightseeing in Assisi, but the room numberings were a little crazy. Also the hotel only gave out one room key so if two were sharing a room, that presented a problem if one got back early and had to wait until the roommate returned to enter the room. The breakfasts and dinners at the Giotto were excellent, very nice feasts for both meals each day.

The Adler Cavalieri was another fine hotel. The breakfasts were excellent and they even gave us a box meal for the early morning bus ride back to the airport. The only problem there was that the internet connection was a little sketchy. The two restaurants in Florence that we walked to and ate at, were very good. It was very convenient to only have to walk right across the street for our meal that first night in Florence when we were all tired after a long day.

All the tour guides (in Rome, Assisi, Siena and Florence) were excellent. I can't believe all the spectacular sites and art I saw in each city. The guides gave fine explanations and insights every place we went. Paola also did a fine job taking care of us and keeping us on track. She was friendly and pleasant to be with, and answered all our questions.

This is the first time I have ever been on a pilgrimage or a tour. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, and I’m so glad I was able to go, and that you provided a first class, exceptional experience all the way.

  • From: Mary Condit
  • Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2018
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Medjugorje | April 29 - May 7, 2018
  • Tour 1

Dear 206,

This was my 13th time in Medjugorje and 206 has never disappointed me in any of the pilgrimages I’ve had the blessing to go on. Ivan is a marvelous host and Ivanka is the best guide, bar none. I attended with my daughter, Sister Teresa, and she spread her message of peace and love just by being there. It seemed people were drawn to her for some reason. I’ll include a few pics.

Hello! I wanted to take a moment to write and thank 206 Tours for arranging a phenomenal pilgrimage to Medjugorje for my mother and I! And especially I want to thank you for placing us under the care of Slavenka who really is amazing! We were so blessed by our time there and everything was perfect! Thank you again and may God continue to bless everyone there at 206. Thank you for doing what you do!

Hi Diane,

My mom and I are happy and blessed that we signed up for this pilgrimage. Everything went well and beyond our expectations. This pilgrimage helped us know and understand more about the lives of the saints that we encountered. Stefanie, Piernha, and Jon were very helpful in answering all our questions, and in making arrangements and bookings. Massimo (not sure if I spelled his name right) was a great driver and always greets us with a smile. Federica, our tour escort, is outstanding. We appreciate all her hard work. She is very approachable, well organized and took great care of us, especially my mom.

Fr. Jose Del Toro, our Spiritual Director, is wonderful. He is funny, intelligent and easy to be with. We were very touched by his personal testimony and inspired by his homilies. Moreover, he says mass from the heart and has great reverence in celebrating the Eucharist. The local guides were also great and we also enjoyed the company of the pilgrims who were with us. We also highly appreciate the birthday surprise for mom on the first day of our pilgrimage. Thank you to 206 Tours and looking forward to traveling with you again in the future.

Vanessa,

Sorry for the delayed response. Wow - this pilgrimage was SO much more than I ever expected and I believe the reason primarily was our tour guide Shafik K. His ability to weave together the biblical, historical, theological, archaeological, and political strands of knowledge was most impressive. When I say biblical, I don't mean just giving us the right scripture for the right excursion, but he was able to show how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament time and time again by comparing and contrasting the new with the old and did it with passion. We had an incredible time.

As you know I am an ordained Deacon in our Parish, Holy Name of Jesus, and I believe this pilgrimage will greatly enhance my Proclamation of the Gospel and especially preaching on the Gospel message at our Sunday and weekday Mass Celebrations. I was deeply touched at several of the sites we visited. When we crossed the Sea of Galilee in the boat, the visit to Caparnaum with Mass, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre with Mass, the Church of Transfiguration with Mass were just a few that were most memorable.


I wanted you to know how much we appreciate having Jack as our guide. He is exceedingly considerate, conscientious, punctual, extremely knowledgeable, faithful and spiritual, giving 110%, always trying to do his best for the group. I cannot imagine our trip without him. His years of experience clearly show through in his dedication for his work. Thanks so much for having him available for us.

I am back home after staying in France few days visiting family after the Fatima, Lourdes, Lisieux, pilgrimage. I enjoyed it very much with the exception of the weather. Sometimes being the “spiritual leader’ of an activity makes the participation to that activity a bit difficult. Fortunately, this pilgrimage was for me a positive spiritual time in ways that I did not expect.

For example, I realized that St Theresa of the child Jesus had to overcome quite a few “psychological’ difficulties before becoming a saint, and that will help me in my ministry as hospital chaplain I was very happy to be with Quico as a guide, he did a very good job, making my work easier, being very attentive to the needs of the people and very helpful. The material aspects, transportation accommodation, meals; were very good.

It was my first experience of being a spiritual leader with a 206 Tours Pilgrimage, and I’ll volunteer my services next year for another pilgrimage, possibly the “El Camino”. I did not realize the challenge posed by pilgrims leaving after Lourdes, some being in the group only for Lourdes, and some others arriving only in Paris.

Congratulations to the people behind the scene who organize the “logistics’ of the pilgrimage.

I wish to thank all of you at 206 tours for enabling me to see and do wonderful things and meet marvelous people in the last four years. 206 tours has greatly increased my spiritual life, and I am grateful. When I stop to think about the beautiful and holy places where I have been honored to say at Holy Mass, I am overwhelmed with awe and gratitude. All of you at 206 tours have made those experiences possible. The tour guides, like the tours they guide are amazing.

Thank you again for all that you have done for me and my family over the last several years.

My husband and I just returned from the Shrines of Italy tour, April 16-25, 2018. What an amazing trip with so many wonderful sacred sights we saw in this journey. This tour surpassed our expectations. It was a life changing experience that deepened our faith. 206 tours you are the best pilgrimage tour company with very knowledgeable personnel and great customer service. Our tour guide Federica was magnificent, very knowledgeable and organized. She made sure to meet all our needs. We want to thank Federica for helping us get our luggage that was lost in transit to Rome. We enjoyed every minute of our trip even though we got our luggage two days before the end of our trip. Thank you Federica.. Our spiritual director Fr. Jose Del Toro was wonderful, his homilies were very inspirational as were all his personal stories and insights. He made this trip very enjoyable, we can't wait to travel with him again. To our fellow pilgrims whose personal stories and journeys helped us grow in our faith, thank you for a wonderful time.

Greetings in the Lord!

Our pilgrimage to Shrines of Italy was fantastic and a true blessing! I have been spiritual leader in many pilgrimages and by far 206 was the best! Our tour guide, Federica, was excellent, organized and kept everything on time. You must keep her! I cannot think of a single thing that went wrong. The trip was well organized and flawless. They even added a quick side trip when we had extra time. For my part it was a privilege to minister in many shrines to such fine pilgrims we had. We are already emailing each other since we miss each other and hoping we travel together soon. Thank you 206 Tours and I hope to travel again with you soon.

Chris,

I am home now and just want to thank you for our 206 Tour. Everything went very well.

Father Carroll is fantastic and his tours are the best. He puts so much effort into the planning and while we are gone with his Spiritual Direction. We all love Alessandro. He is the very best. We had him on our trip to France. He goes above and beyond to make it all run smoothly.

My 5 days alone in Rome went very well also. The Best Western I selected was so convenient to Metro couple blocks and also a very nice church I could stop in any time. Vatican was 10 -15 minute walk max. My arranged driver was there way ahead and I made the connection in Paris with no time to spare. That was the scariest part.

We all had a good time. Everyone was so happy, our happiness and satisfaction must be almost 100%. Many even commented that they need to spread the words of happiness to everyone in their parishes and that they would regret if they missed this trip (their Hesitations: conflict in Israel shown on TV, afraid of not being able to walk.) Interestingly, those who worried for not being able to walk (aging) were those who always walked in front of the group)

We all love this pilgrimage for so many reasons: nice hotel, good food, transportation, scheduling, but the most pleasant factor is our Tour Guide. Thanks so much for finding this angel for us; She has everything we need: faith, knowledge, friendship, love, patience, kindness, understanding. We can name all that made the trip so lovely, so touching. Thanks God that we all love it so much

I’m home! Thank you 206 Tours and all the awesome, prayerful, and devout pilgrims I journeyed with for your most generous hospitality and especially your friendship! This was a life changing pilgrimage for many and I’m privileged to have been apart of it.

Thank you for giving me the possibility to be a spiritual leader for the pilgrimage to Jordan & The Holy Land Apr 5 - 20, 2018. This was my message to all who take a part in this pilgrimage. I have a great appreciation for all who made this pilgrimage possible, our outstanding tour guides in Jordan and Israel and for all who participated. I have seen their joy and willingness to learn more about the Life of Jesus Christ, and experience the deep spiritual insight.

Hello,

The pilgrimage was good and refreshing since it gave us the opportunity to share time and experiences with other catholics that share your views and beliefs.The group was very cohesive and happy.

Vic ( tour director) and Peter( driver) were attentive and courteous and went out of their way to answer questions. Vic made sure that our needs were taken care of and that the schedule was followed.

The negative experience - Hotels air conditioners not working ( Mercure and Occidental Praha) which is usually not bad since we opened the windows. However, the rooms were next to noisy busy streets which made sleeping a challenge. * 206 Tours is truly sorry for this inconvenience. We are pleading with all hotels to turn on their A/C’s earlier in season. (FYI: most wait till Mid May)

Dear 206 Tours,

We so very much appreciated our pilgrimage. The two priests, Father Dariusz and Father Peter were both deeply inspiring and radiated holiness. The guides were very knowledgeable and accommodating! The drivers were great and kind and cheerful. The arrangement of the tour was outstanding. We appreciated what seemed some attempt to make it a chronological tour in terms of beginning with the old testament in Jordan then moving to Israel and our Lords birth and baptism and then agony and death and Resurrection. The accommodations were perfect. Thank you for providing not a TOUR but a HOLY Pilgrimage to the HOLY Land, including masses daily, rosaries daily, morning and evening prayer with the Magnificat! The site of the masses were incredible....all on holy ground. Thank you so much.

Dear Vanessa,

I could hardly wait to tell you how much we LOVED our Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Lisieux and Paris. The tour definitely gave us a new outlook at the world of Christianity. The candlelight procession at Lourdes showed us that we are just tiny grains of sand in Jesus’s plan. We looked around and thought - this all started with just TWELVE and now we are among millions. It taught us to trust in God, as Jesus trusted his twelve Apostles.

The travel, the hotels, the meals...What can we say - we came home refreshed instead of harried. There is not one thing that did not meet our expectations. In fact, the entire tour exceeded our expectations so vastly, that it is hard for us to believe that we were part of this pilgrimage.

One solid thought - You know the old saying, “don’t leave home without it’? Well, we will NEVER leave home again without our Quico! Oh my goodness - this man came straight from God. We know it for sure - he has certainly found his calling. His sense of humor and attention to every single tiny detail was astonishing. You have one amazing man on your staff. And, I am sure your entire staff probably emulates every thing that Quico represents for 206 Tours.

If it is at all possible, could you send us a few of your Tour Catalogs - we have several couples who are quite interested in taking this spiritual journey.

Dear 206 Tours,

What an amazing tour with Father Donald Calloway, his parents, and fellow pilgrims. I have never been to Mexico City but it was truly inspiring. Thank you for making it possible by your amazing company and all it does to make travelers happy. Thank you also for the fruit basket. What an amazing surprise. I told his mom, Mrs. Calloway, that I definitely plan to go to Rome and Malta with them next year. The Mexico City trip will be the third one with your company that my cousin Adella and I have taken. She is also interested in going with me next year to Rome and Malta. She’s already started putting away money for the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play. We both want to go there as well. Special thanks to our tour guide, Roberto, who was so kind and helpful. He really went out of his way to make sure to leave it taken care of. Also to our amazing driver Ricardo, who was always helping us get off the bus safely and getting to and from where we need it to be. Roberto always had a nice smile and was very respectful.

Again thank you for being an amazing tour company. We will definitely let others know about it.

What a tour. We were truly blessed in finding 206.

We are much more spiritual after the tour and read the Magnificat daily. We have also incorporated the rosary into our daily prayers. We also met wonderful people from across the USA and Canada. But the tour would not have been as good without our tour guide Shafiq. He was super. Spiritual, historical, cultural, he brought the Holy Land alive. I can't say enough about him. We have been on many tours throughout Europe but he was THE BEST. Fr. Peter was another highlight of the tour. At first I thought he was too serious, but after warming up to him I found him very knowledgeable and holy. Loved praying with him. We found the tour to be very inspiring and worthwhile.

Dan Panorama - OK

Leonardo Plaza - OK

Notre Dame - needs work. Rooms were subpar. But the chapel is beautiful and if I had to do it again, I’d choose Notre Dame.

Lunches were great. Eating in local restaurants enabled us to sample the cuisine. Bus and driver - George - very good Added bonus was the greeting at the Tel Aviv airport. Being escorted through passport control and customs was a nice touch.

A Spirit-filled Experience:

The Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain and Lourdes was one of the best I have had. It goes beyond presenting historical narratives to the pilgrims. It gives the pilgrims the opportunity to be more absorbed in the spiritual devotion the different sites represent. I was deeply touched with the various Marian devotions that take place continuously at the different sites. In my view, this Pilgrimage is not merely passive learning of the histories behind the events. It is more active and involving in the devotions that characterize and put into practice the messages of our Lady in the various apparitions.

I found the daily rosary and Eucharistic processions particularly remarkable and spiritually enriching. I believe it’s something I will like to incorporate in my ministry with parishioners on a regular basis. How can one not notice the love and care shown to the sick and the weak in Lourdes. A true example of how to make the word of God come alive in the lives of the people. Overall, the Pilgrimage, the extra sites, the selection of hotels and the professionalism of the 206 tour guides exceeded my expectations. Looking forward to the next. God bless you.

We enjoyed our tour very much. I especially liked our priest (Fr. Paciorek) and our tour guides (Yousef H. in Jordan and Shafiq K. in Israel). Fr. Paciorek and Shafiq especially impressed me with their spirituality and made me want to try to change and be more like them.

I also especially appreciated Shafiq's suggestions for where to buy gifts and what things to be careful about. We have no experience with how and where to purchase gifts, and he helped us a great deal in this area too.

I really appreciated being met at the airport very late on our arrival even though our flight from Paris was delayed more than an hour. And I was glad you arranged for us to stay at such nice hotels with wonderful meals after each day.

I especially liked your focus on the spiritual aspects of the pilgrimage, and I liked not having to worry about anything. We are not experienced travelers and your program was just right for us.

My wife also especially liked the camels (see pic attached).

Good Morning Alexandra,

I want to take a moment to express my satisfaction with the 206 tours to Mexico with Fr Richard Beuther; it was a positive experience in every way. The scheduling, accommodation, places we visited, restaurants etc. Hope I can travel again with this company in the near future.

This was our first pilgrimage and we thank God for this great blessing! Thank you for your excellent organization! With Fr. Neil Bakker celebrating mass inside the Holy Tomb was an awe-filled experience that we will treasure forever. Thankful too for our excellent and courteous driver, Mahmoud and our tour guide, Madj who's professionalism and absolute mastery of Biblical knowledge, history and geography was phenomenal! We have shared our experience with our friends and recommended 206 Tours.

With God's grace, we will be able to go on another pilgrimage in the near future.

This was our first pilgrimage and we thank God for this great blessing! Thank you for your excellent organization! With Fr. Neil Bakker celebrating mass inside the Holy Tomb was an awe-filled experience that we will treasure forever. Thankful too for our excellent and courteous driver, Mahmoud and our tour guide, Madj who's professionalism and absolute mastery of Biblical knowledge, history and geography was phenomenal! We have shared our experience with our friends and recommended 206 Tours.

With God's grace, we will be able to go on another pilgrimage in the near future.

Elise, In response to Matthew’s request for feedback – all I can say is THANK YOU 206 for a pilgrimage I will never forget! All of the arrangements – flights, hotels, restaurants, bus (gold), driver (George), guide (George is outstanding), priest (Fr. Johnny is an amazing spiritual guide), schedules and shrines - were perfect. Your hard work made it possible for us to focus on the reason we were all there – to encounter Him – and forget about everything else. I’m already considering my next pilgrimage with 206. Although I will not be going to Italy with Matthew in March of 2019, I am definitely interested in a future pilgrimage with St. Paul Center to Poland.

Thank you again for everything! God bless everyone at 206 Tours.

Dear Elise, Patrick, and All:

Jim and I have been meaning to send a note of thanks for the outstanding pilgrimage we took recently to Jordan and Israel with Matthew Leonard. From beginning to end it was everything we could have hoped for. As this was our fourth trip with 206 Tours, we were able to relax completely trusting that every detail was covered.

Being met by a guide at the airport in Amman was reassuring and set the tone for the whole trip indcating the care we would receive. I know that flights are not always the easiest part of the trip to manage but just so you know, after a long day of travel arriving in the early evening made for a perfect transition to our new time zone.

The Hotels in both countries were quite comfortable and the meals we enjoyed including the lunch restaurants were mostly delicious. If I had to pick my favorite lunch place in Israel it would have to be our St. Patrick day meal at Pasha's. Their specialty dish was beautifully presented and the cake they made for the occasion was unique and full of flavor. Although the St. Peter's fish restaurant in Galilee was delicious as well. I can't honestly say which hotel restaurant we enjoyed more, the variety of our culinary experiences left us delighted.

The Jordan portion of the trip was fascinating and educational as I know less about Jordan’s history, landscape, religion and political concerns than I do about Israel. The contrast between the two countries was dramatic in my eyes. The guide we had in Jordan, Yousef, was enlightening, hospitable and he had a pleasant, unique way of presenting information to us. He may have missed his calling in drama or as a poet. He was passionate, entertaining at times, and did quite a good job of remembering our names!

Many people have asked, upon our return, our favorite memory or if we had an "aha" moment. I cannot say that I have any one favorite moment. The joy and adventure associated with travel is always exciting but the moments that have meant the most to me as I reflect on the trip are those times spent in Mass at the chapels/altars built upon the grounds where Jesus walked, preached, healed, and died. The exquisite beauty of the churches and the remembrance of Jesus' work at each location made for several very Holy moments. To pray with new friends, brothers and sisters in the faith, at Mass in such places, to name few, as Mt. Nebo, the Church of the Annunciation, the Mt. of Transfiguration, the Rock of Agony in Gethsemane and most amazing of all the Church of the Holy Sepluchre (where Jesus was actually buried and rose again!!!) was such an incredible gift. It makes my heart swell with joy even now as I consider it. Also impactful were the times we could simply wander a bit and contemplate the history of the grounds upon which we walked and those that walked before us. Of course I would be negligent if I did not mention the truly beautiful experience of making new friends, getting to know their stories, laughing with and praying with them as we shared this momentous journey together.

Many of those Holy moments mentioned above would have been impossible without the wonderful priests who accompanied us on the tour. Fathers Peter and Johnny were such a blessing. These Holy men of God gave freely, and generously, of themselves. In their own unique styles they preached with impassioned hearts, they prayed with us the Rosary and the Divine Mercy prayers, they heard our heart-felt confessions, they challenged us with the scriptures and they took time to answer many questions concerning Catholic theology and the Word of God. We were drawn to them as moths to a flame, seeking their instruction and hoping to glean a little bit of their Holiness and joy of the Lord.

Now if it all sounds too good to be true I am not quite done yet, I have two more people I must commend: Matthew Leonard and George our guide in Israel. First Matthew, our "Lay" spiritual director for this trip . . . he has a heart on fire for the Lord, a deep understanding of scripture and the ability to clarify and simplify it. His lectures were enthusiastic and deeply grounded in the Word and the additional information he shared at many of the sites, enriched our comprehension of the people and places we were visiting. He is a flame that burns so bright for our Lord that one just wants to stand next to him to catch his warmth that we too might pass it along to others. His contribution to the trip was much appreciated! "Family," what a treasure.

Finally, George, our guide, I cannot say enough about the depth of knowledge he shared with us, his diplomatic personality, his kindness and patience, and his fabulous ability to keep us on schedule, on task and safe as we navigated the sites, sounds and scents of Israel. With grace he shared much about the "5th Gospel" (the gospel of the land), which was enhanced by his theological studies, biblical history degree, and archaeological experience. For us, the "story of the land" enriched the New Testament and opened the scriptures to new understanding and insights of Jesus' work. In addition, he shared many other items of interest to us concerning Israel's politics, economics and religions. What a wonderful human being doing godly work! Rami was the guide for the other bus and although we did not spend as much time with him, he too seemed to be an excellent, well-informed and approachable guide.

Before I conclude, I must say how much it meant to both of us that 206 Tours remembered my husband's birthday (and others on the trip) as well as a couple's anniversary. A cake and recognition of their special days was a lovely touch. It reflects very well the thoughtful, personal care of your agency. It may seem like a minor thing but I assure you it is not. To have birthdays and anniversaries remembered lifted the spirits of all of us on the tour as we celebrated each other as "family."

Dear 206 Tours,

Elise, everything was awesome! It was well run, very inspiring, and with great priests and tour guides.

Hi Caterina & Colleagues,

Alan and I would like to thank you and 206 Tours for having arranged for us such an amazing pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The timing was perfect as we walked where Jesus walked during the Lenten season. The Tour took us to places where it all happened: from the Annunciation to the birth of Our Lord, through His Ministry, His Passion and finally, His crucifixion and glorious Resurrection. We spent time with other wonderful pilgrims and felt so blessed. We appreciate the kind and inspirational lectures by Matthew and really value the guidance and spiritual presence of Fr. Peter Dugandzic and Fr. Johnny Mendonca. Indeed, we felt like a very happy and inspired family!

The Holy Land with Matthew Leonard is our second pilgrimage with 206 Tours. Everything ran smoothly. I would like to thank Catherina and Patrick especially for ensuring that we could check in as early as 9am at Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv after an overnight flight from Hong Kong. Now, We are ready to join another pilgrimage and are considering the tour to Poland and Medjugorje. Please let us know the upcoming schedule for the rest of 2018 and 2019.

God Bless.

Dear Alexandra,

Had a great time, 206 tours is the best I've travelled with. Roberto our tour guide is knowedgeable and so patient with us. I'll travel with 206 tours again and will highly recommend it to my friends. From the moment we arrived at the airport, to the hotel, and every day schedule was perfect. Enjoyed the trip very much. Thank you so much for reimbursing our baggage feed.

Dear Alexandra,

Thank you very much for your immediate response. I had a very good experience with your tour company. Our tour guide is very accommodating. It was a great moving spiritual experience to be in the shrine. Overall it was excellent. I hope to be in one of your tours in the future. God bless.

Hi Caterina,

I wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had on our pilgrimage. It was a transformative experience that I will never forget. Thank you for all your effort in making it such a success for us. Your hard work and enthusiasm is much appreciated.

I would like to thank you and your team for a great experience on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Everyone did an amazing job pulling the tour together. I don't think it could have been any better. Thanks again.

Hi Caterina,

Thank you for your note. My husband and I are so grateful for our 206 Tour we completed to the Holy Land with Matthew Leonard. I am now thinking of coordinating a trip next year for my local Catholic Community.

Hi 206 Tours Staff,

I offer you all a most Blessed Easter Season. God Bless you all and your families!

I also wish to thank you all for the greatest and most inspiring trip I have ever taken. Well organized, knowledgeable guides, great accommodations in all ways, very informative, and well planned. Thank You!!!

P.S. Best Wishes for your future! God Bless your work!!!

Hi Caterina,

I just wanted to say thank you… Thank you for everything 206 Tours has done for that amazing pilgrimage. I, myself, could not have imagined how well it went. Not only spiritually, but everything that your Tour company did to make it so smooth, it was just beyond anything I could’ve dreamed up.The company was fantastic, Father Peter and Father Johnny – Wow, what amazing men, not to mention our Guides: Rami and George so full of information. And, very personable all of them to be surrounded by those men was beyond, very good choices! As for the pilgrims, Wow - I met some amazing people, and will stay in touch forever. Last but not least, thank you to you Caterina - you were always there to answer any questions I had and I appreciate that - as too Robert and Monica. We wish you and your families a very blessed Easter. Take care, God bless.

I wanted to thank you for a great trip to Israel. It was much better than I had anticipated and the organization was awesome. It is safe and I want to thank you for your help in the trip. There were times that I felt a bit uneasy but that comes with the different culture and people. I have many great memories.

Hi Vanessa!

The trip was fantastic!

Slavanka was fun, nice, welcoming & understanding. I love Mary and her messages and love what is going on in Medjugore. I hesitated going because I am not Catholic & feared what others on the trip would think. I am so glad I put my fears aside and went with 206. Everyone was kind and understanding.

I've had so many people ask me about this trip and I urge them to go see for themselves. I will recommend 206 as a team who supports the thought that Mother Mary is for all.

Thank you again.

Good Morning Linda,

I wanted to write to you and all the wonderful people at 206 to applaud you.

This pilgrimage was our first with 206 and it certainly won’t be our last. Anthony and I had the most wonderful time - where do I begin... we were blessed to be with Father Peter and Father Johnny, Rami and George and, of course, Matthew Leonard. We were thankful to our bus drivers who kept us all safe and got us from point to point. And our fellow pilgrims were a joy and blessing to be with!

The itinerary and our access to churches and shrines was amazing - the timing was impeccable and our guides were obviously well connected and couldn’t have been more accommodating.

Linda - 206 Tours is a very special, dedicated and wonderful company. You should all be proud to be such an integral part of this beautiful business.

Anthony and I look forward to having dinner together with you and Pat. Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter!

Dear 206 Tours,

Thank you so much. I am so very happy with 206 Tours. Our Tour Escort Federika is the best Tour Escort ever.

Also very good Tour guides. Very good Spiritual Director. The driver Mauricio was also very professional.

I have travelled with different tour companies for many years and I am recommending 206 Tours to others.

Dear Caterina,

There are no words to express how I am feeling at the end of such an amazing tour in the Holy Land! Everything here is so beautiful. 206 Tours is absolutely amazing! They have gone above and beyond all of our expectations. You have thought of everything that added to the experience for us. From group pictures, rosaries, crosses, the best hotels, lunches around the Holy Land. The tour guides, Remi and George, were second to none and amazing. The knowledge they have on everything is beyond incredible, they are so friendly and helpful. We just loved them both.

Our two priests Father Johnny and Father Peter were sent just for us, they were great!

Having Matthew Leonard with us brought it altogether. His talks, presence, and his visits were amazing and tied everything together. 206 Tours will be the only tour company I will use for my tours. I will tell everyone I know that they are the best.

Thank you once again 206 for everything, what a great experience!

Dear 206 Tours,

Another 206 Tours pilgrimage has exceeded our expectations! This was our second pilgrimage to the Holy Land with 206 Tours. Carol and I both agree this was exceptional because our tour escort, Majd Barham, related well to everyone in the group and Fr. Neil Bakker provided spiritually uplifting homilies.

We were very impressed with Majd and his knowledge of all the sites we visited. We have participated in other 206 Tours pilgrimages and believe Majd met the high standards we have observed in all other tour escorts. He did an outstanding job and it was obvious he was well prepared to share his knowledge with us.

We look foreword to our next pilgrimage with 206 Tours.

Dear 206 Tours,

I would like to thank you. It was a most blessed and wonderful pilgrimage. The experience is one I will always remember. Your consideration of the places to visit and the comfort of your pilgrims was outstanding. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Majd as our guide was the best. I can”t say enough good things about him. I have added him and his family to my daily prayer list. He is a very special young man and most knowledgeable. He was always there for us to answer our questions or to help us with any need we had. I hope our good God blesses him always. Our driver for this pilgrimage was great, always helpful and extremely pleasant. It seems you hire very special people.

If I ever have the good fortune of going on another pilgrimage you may be assured I will call 206. I will recommend your services to everybody.

God bless all of you and thank you again.

Dear 206 Tours,

Juanita and I were surprised that Mexico had so much to offer. We enjoyed the religious sites the daily mass and the prayers on the bus. The bus driver was a very good driver and the tour guide and his son were excellent. We were brought to the best restaurants with beautiful views. All in all, my wife and I were very pleased with the pilgrimage and in the future we will plan other trips with you.

Dear 206 Tours,

This was our third 206 Pilgrimage. All were inspiring, but the Holy Land contains the heart of Catholicism. The Tour Escort, Majd, enriched our Pilgrimage with much information and spiritual attention to the many sites. His knowledge of Scripture is extensive.

Fr. Neil celebrated Mass with homilies that encouraged us. The accommodations in all the hotels were very good. The farewell dinner was excellent.

206 Tours has helped us in our spiritual journey.

I had a great spiritual journey.
Our spiritual guide Father Mendonca was great. We never wasted time and taking all the opportunities to say the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. We offered Mass everyday. I also had great pilgrims in the group. Our Tour Guide Javier and his son Javier were also great, very accommodating and always was looking out for us. Assisting us even to our last day. They made sure we were safe even assisted us at the airport. Over all knowing Our Lady of Guadalupe is a great opportunity.

Dear 206 Tours,

We just finished our pilgrimage and still in Tel Aviv relaxing and reflecting our experience. I can tell you right now that it has been a life changing perspective for me and my husband. We thank God for allowing us to discover your website and inviting us to know him and our faith better. It was the best gift for our 30th wedding anniversary. We were put into this tour with strangers and we came out of it with many special friends. Thank you dearly.

Dear Milanka and Bika,

Again, we had a blessed and wonderful pilgrimage, thanks to 206 Tours! Everyone was in awe at the blessings that flowed!

Jack Halis, as always, was a gift to us pilgrims! He is a good and holy man and he gives his all! All of the pilgrims loved Jack! What is not to love?!!!! He radiates the love of the Lord in all he does!

Our driver, Gassan, was a joy too! I have never seen such a talented driver! He truly is an expert driver. And, he is so much fun! He too was loved by all!

We are hoping to go again next year with Father Brian. When the decision is made I will contact you.

Thank you for all you do!

Thank you and your team for making the pilgrimage to Guadalupe a blessing and a great success. It was a spiritual and prayerful experience. I enjoyed every moment of the journey. The group of 17 pilgrims were a delight to be with and the tour guide Javier is an experienced and a very gentle kind person. He was very good to the group, EXCELLENT. Everyone in the group had a blessed pilgrimage, thanks to you and all at 206 for making it possible.

Chris,

So many things to tell you about the trip. We loved having Sa'id and Nazeeh. They were fabulous! So glad we didn't run into the Holy Sepulchre closing. That would have devastated us. I'm sure that's been a problem for 206.

We had the two trips to the ER in Jerusalem and 206 did an outstanding job in making sure everything was handled. It was quite an experience. Tamara went on the first one and came to see how Fr. Don was doing on the second trip there. It was good to know we were in good hands all the way around. Sa'id made sure we got to and from the ER and appreciated his efforts so much. He went above and beyond!!!! He drove us in his car to Saint Joseph's Hospital. More to tell you at a later time on that.

Jordan was spectacular too! We would like to do that again. This morning was a funeral for an employee here at All Saints. She'd been with us about 10 years. I just got back from the luncheon. So much to say and have to get caught up. Thanks for replacing the battery. I was so shocked to see that they had taken it in Germany. So much for Frankfort. Beautiful airport, by the way.

Dear 206 Tours,

It was my first time on a pilgrimage with 206 Tours and I am very impressed. You must work hard on putting a pilgrimage together and scheduling all the activities, hotels and transportation from airport to hotels, to shrines and viewing sites of a region. This past week I have nothing but praise for our trip to Guadalupe. From the driver to the guide who was very well informed of the area and shrines that we visited, it was very well scheduled and we really enjoyed our tour.

I would recommend 206 Tours to anybody who wants to go on a pilgrimage. Thank you for the fine job that you do. If I have the chance to go on another pilgrimage in the near future, I know where I can find the right company and the right people to organize my trip. Thank you again and God bless you for the fine work that you do.

Dear 206 Tours,

Thank you very much for inviting me to be the Spiritual Director, this week, of your Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Everything went very well because of our preparations. The flights on United Airlines, all left a little ahead of time and arrived early at the destinations. I am glad that you had asked for a seat with space for my knees. I was always in the 10th row on the aisle, which was perfect. The hotel Galeria (only one “l”) Plaza, where I stayed last time, was very comfortable and their meals were great. The personnel were very kind and helpful. I appreciated that they gave us two 1/4 liter bottles of water each day.

The guide, Javier G. greeted us at the airport, assisted by his son, Jr. They were both with us all the time during our tours, They were both helping us on and off the bus. His explanations and suggestions were very good. They were not assigned to bring our group of five, to airport. We arrived at the airport and they were there. They assisted us to the registration and to our gates. The one who came with the van disappeared.

The pilgrims were all wonderful. friendly and religious. One, Michael Powel, is a priest from the diocese of Joliette, He concelebrate with me and I offered him to be the main celebrant the last day and he did so very reverently and gave a good homely . He even taught us to sing a hymn in Spanish, and had copies for everyone.

I appreciate the itinerary of the pilgrimage and the locations of the Masses. Every place was ready for us. A change had to be made because the new Archbishop of Mexico City was being installed, on our last day, in the new shrine, in Guadalupe. We could not have Mass next door. We were taken to the church of the fifth apparition, where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego’s sick uncle. That is a most beautiful church, however the acoustics are not good. There is a bad echo. The sacristan showed us historic photos. I had never been there and think it should be included.

We were able to return to the main Shrine to visit the areas we had not had time on our first day. We were also there to see the clock in the bell tower with animators of the four apparitions, after the bells had rung noon. We could also hear the beautiful choir for the Archbishop’s installation which was aired outside. As we were ready to leave for lunch, we witnessed the recessional procession with priests, dozens of bishops and finally the new Archbishop Carlos.

The van we had for our visits, was perfect for a small group. It enough seats and very large windows. The driver was also very helpful and always smiling.

I enjoyed celebrating Mass at the Holy Family church, where the remains, of Blessed Miguel Augutin Pro, are venerated. It was September 3rd, the feast of St. Blais. I asked for the sacristan for two candles. He said he did not have any. At the end of Mass, he brought me two. I was able to bless the throats, including other people who were praying at the shrine. There is a small museum next door to the church. It has the whole story of Fr. Pro with photos of his execution and the relics of what he was wearing and we could see the bullet holes in his coat. They even have the large banner with flew in front of St.Peter’s, in Rome, when he was beatified.

Again, I am very grateful to all of you for inviting me to be the chaplain of this pilgrimage. I was afraid I could not make it because of my new artificial knee. But I was able to go everywhere. except climbing the Pyramid of the Sun, which I did in 1970. I also thank you for your most generous stipend. I feel this is not necessary, because to be able to go to visit such special places is a great gift in itself. However, this past year, I have had to replace my television , stove and automobile. The stipend will help me pay part of those bills.

Muchissimas gracias.

Dear 206 Tours,

We wanted to express our gratitude to your team for the fantastic trip to the Holy Land with Scott Hahn. Your staff was very efficient and always helpful. Your team worked so well together and enabled everyone to have a memorable experience.

Our guide for the blue bus, Saffiq, provided insightful information to properly visit the sites of such religious and historical importance. He kept our large group together and always prepared us for what we were about to see. I appreciated his sharing personal experiences of growing up near our Lord’s tomb. We could sense his genuine pride for the State of Israel as well as his strong commitment to sharing the Catholic faith. His ability to offer comparison between the Aramaic and Hebrew language was amazing! Lastly, we appreciated his time in looking out for our daughter with food allergies. Despite being allergic to several items commonly found in Israeli cuisine, we were able to enjoy the trip without a reaction.

Thank you again for such an impactful and unforgettable experience. We are sharing your company information with many friends who have expressed interest in this pilgrimage. We would highly recommend your tour company and will look forward to our next trip with 206.

Dear Diane,

Robert & I have been back from our amazing, wonderful pilgrimage a week now. Words truly are insufficient to describe the beauty & depth of this experience! When one is given the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Jesus & hear the scriptures from the Bible while being in the place where they took place is incredibly moving & life changing. The daily mass readings come so much more alive & real. Robert & I have continued saying the rosary together as we did on this journey with our fellow pilgrims. Fr. Liam Quinlan was wonderful as was our amazing guide Rizak Nazi. Thank you 206 for the great job you all do to make it possible for people like us to have such a spirit filled journey enhancing our Catholic faith. We are already looking at Classical Italy as our next journey with you. Rome, Assisi & the other sights of Italy are places we’ve wanted to go, also the opportunities for daily mass & the rosary make help to make this a pilgrimage not just a tour. This is what we love about this company.

Dear 206 Tours,

Still getting over some jet lag here, but wanted to write as soon as I could. Our trip to the Holy Land was amazing. I had hoped to see churches, relics, and to have all those places in the Bible become real to me. And so it happened. One of my most memorable times was walking the Via Dolorosa at 6 AM. It was still dark, and raining a little...and as we walked we could hear the Muslim call to prayer. What a sacred moment! I could go on and on about so many more. But I am also writing to commend our tour guide, Shafiq.

I have been part of several tour groups - it is my preferred way to travel because you can learn so much. Our tour guide, Shafiq, was by far the best tour guide I have ever had. Not only did he get us from place to place comfortably and take us to great lunch places, he was incredibly knowledgeable.

I have taken several classes in Biblical studies, and he taught me so many things I did not know. When we visited the model of Jerusalem at the museum, I was amazed as I listened to Shafiq tell us all about what life was like then. All those places in the Bible, laid out in front of me! Shafiq answered every one of my questions, and I had quite a few! He even recommended some books when I asked where I could get some additional resources.

He kept a sense of humor, even when one of our group decided to go off exploring a cave. Shafiq was in charge, and we just sat back and enjoyed the bus ride. That's how I love to vacation! He was also very nice when people complained about what I considered stupid little things - He made sure everyone was comfortable.

If I or any friends ever return to the Holy Land, I will recommend 206 Tours and Shafiq. I wouldn't do it any other way.

Dear Liz,

The pilgrimage changed my life. Very emotional and spiritual times, especially on the Sea of Gallilee and at Gethsemane. Sister Magdalit shared some of her deeply moving experiences, making herself vulnerable to feeling them again. It was so powerful.

I find myself saying the rosary as I walk along, or humming one of the songs we sang as we walked or rode from place to place, feeling the very emotions I felt in Israel.

Since being home I have experienced two (so far) very powerful things. One, my skin condition has improved beyond belief. I saw my dermatologist, who prescribed a simple ointment, and I am healing! I have been plagued by this for many, many years, and it is healing.

Second, a volunteer position in the NICU (neonatal ICU) at Doernbecher Hospital for Children (part of Oregon Health Sciences University) has been offered to me. Last fall I was told the wait list was over two years, and to pursue another avenue. I knew I wanted to cuddle and hold the babies born drug addicted and with other congenital problems. I was called to it, and now here it is.

There will be more revealed, I know, but I wanted to share these with you. I know they are a result of my experiences in the Holy Land, of becoming closer to Jesus and Mother Mary, of doing my best to walk the walk.

I've been blessed.

Dear Liz,

In reflecting upon my experience of the Holy Land with 206 Tours, I remain in absolute awe of how exceptionally executed the whole tour was! Everything from time management, to all the details regarding transportation, hotels, meals, the detailed pre-tour advice and instructions (which I am very glad I paid attention to- especially the advice to carry a full change of clothes in carry-on; I actually carried 2 days worth and extra undies- which got me through my luggage glitch! ??) The tour guides were incredible-not only so very knowledgeable of the land and the holy sites but also POWERFUL witnesses to their faith. It was an added benefit to the tour to have guides from the Christian quarter of Jerusalem and such strong Catholic men of faith. I will remember Shafiq and his compadres with great fondness. I credit Nadi and Sam for their diligence and insistence in getting my luggage to me on day 3 of the tour when the Israeli baggage claim people told me I would have to wait yet another day because of the Sabbath. I gave Nadi the phone number of the driver who was to deliver my luggage, and, voila-I had my baggage that night. So kudos to him and Sam! They all were wondrously polite, compassionate, cheerful, and gracious to all of us pilgrims. If ever they were tired, frustrated or in any way humanly vulnerable to any negative demonstration, they certainly didn't show it! Everyone seemed 100% dedicated to giving us a positive and exceptional experience.

The materials presented both before the tour and during the tour were hugely helpful. I am grateful to have a daily record of the itineraries of each day. I had hoped to journal during the trip but found the days so packed with activity that I collapsed into bed each night without doing so. With the itineraries and FB posts and pictures, I can organize my own pictures and still create a journal.

The 206 backpack and the pouch were so helpful in keeping materials organized. I am also grateful for the books, pamphlets, the olive wood rosary, the Jerusalem cross pin, the little olivewood chalice, the pictures-such beautiful mementos of the trip! And such gifts! I love the priests who accompanied us, especially Fr. Nowak, on my own Blue Bus. What a beautiful, gentle soul- he emanates such holiness! I loved his lead in our prayers on the bus! EVERY day and evening brought me such powerful spiritual, intellectual, and emotional experiences- along with such wonderful social connections that I hope to continue. I was SO impressed to have been welcomed by such dignitaries at the evening at the Pontifical Institute , Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center and to be treated to the lovely concert. Hearing the Our Father and so many traditional Christmas carols sung in Our Lord's language of Aramaic was profoundly moving. What a beautiful, talented soloist! The rooftop send-off was the icing on the cake of a most memorable tour! And, of course, there is Dr. Hahn and Kimberly- the primary reason I signed up. As a convert to the faith, it has largely been through many of Dr. Hahn's books that I have gained the most insights into the beauty, wisdom and truth of the Catholic faith. It was a complete joy to witness first-hand his fervor for scriptural studies as well as his and Kimberly's own witness of faith.

Liz, you are so privileged to work with folks who DELIVER such excellence! It must be wonderful to work with such a beautiful soul as Milanka Lachman. She is gracious, charming yet diligent in ensuring a memorable, powerful experience for her pilgrims. I am amazed at how few issues there seemed to be-given the magnitude of the tour. Thank YOU for your part in the tour, Liz. I will remember your smiling face- you never seemed to be without a smile, the entire tour! And, that, too is witness to a beautiful faith.

Blessings to you, your family and all of your 206 Tours family.

Hi Liz,

Thank you very much to 206 Tour office staff, Milanka, Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn, all the guides, drivers, priests and fellow Pilgrims who made this trip a very memorable one. It is truly a blessing to be able to experience the words in the Bible come alive and to walk where jesus walked. Without 206 tours and everyone, it will not be the same. Thank you for your prayers. We will pray for everyone and may God bless everyone for the rest of our lives.

Thanks Liz,

We thoroughly enjoyed the trip – one of the best pilgrimages that we experienced. Just wish my retention was better. There was so much to see and soak in but my memory seemed to fail me; now that I look back. Guess it means I just need to plan another trip in the future. Job well done!

Dear Liz,

It was a superlative experience. What struck me most was the search of spirituality and prayer from all the participants. It was my first experience as a Spiritual Director; the very many previous ones were as a biblical guide. I couldn't express myself fully but I understand the pilgrims were pleased with the inputs. As for the pilgrimages I prefer, Holy Land is the pilgrimage that electrifies me.

Dear Liz,

It was such a great pilgrimage. I am so glad you were with us.

Dear Liz,

WOW!! What an experience ! I was so moved by each day's events. I had been struggling with forgiveness and through this pilgrimage and prayer I have found peace. For this I thank God for all his graces. Nadi was exceptional. What knowledge and patience he exhibited. Father Scott was a gift! His humor and faith we're powerful! I have been a fan of Scott Hahan since early on in my conversion. I have been a Catholic for 6 years and they have been the happiest days of my life . God is truly good. I pray that I am worthy of his mercies.

Thanks Liz!

It was awesome! I am telling everyone to book!!!

Dear Liz,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know what a wonderful time I had on the pilgrimage last week. It was so lovely to meet you and I hope we will see each other soon. I am sure you are happy to get back home to your family - I know how much work must go on behind the scenes and both you and Patrick executed everything with such grace.

Hi 206 Tours,

Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land with 206 Tours was a wonderful experience and an outstanding tour. Our spiritual leader, Father Johnny Mendonca, was superb. He was warm and knowledgeable and he took an interest in each individual pilgrim. He brought great insight to the Scriptures and related their true meanings to the pilgrimage. He made all the difference in making this trip into a true pilgrimage for me and my family.

Our tour guide, Rami, had a great attitude, was engaging, patient and interested in leading our tour. His historical knowledge was just phenomenal. He took time to explain as much as possible at each site and answered all of our questions. Hearing about the Samaritans and the Dead Sea Scrolls and why people were buried around the walls of the old city of Jerusalem – all of these and more nuggets of information – were just so interesting. I just wish we could remember everything he had to say!

The itinerary was very comprehensive and we feel we were taken to all of the Holy Sites, as well as fascinating historical places. Jerusalem was fantastic! We especially enjoyed the peace and beauty of Galilee. The sites were wonderful and the drive through the countryside relaxing, informative and so enjoyable.

The accommodations were excellent. Starting with being met at the airport in Tel Aviv; the Dan Panorama right on the Mediterranean; our wonderful driver, John, and his comfortable bus; the hotel on the banks of the Sea of Galilee - the Leonardo Plaza – the boat ride and the fabulous Notre Dame in Jerusalem. Great attention to detail was evident everywhere we went. All the arrangements were made and executed with such professionalism. We had good food everywhere we went, the brochures provided were helpful and informative and the ‘whisperers’ were absolutely essential.

206 Tours,

I just returned from a Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima and Lourdes, along with our Pastor Fr. Piotr. This trip was most inspiring/rewarding! Our escort, Ivan, was wonderful – very informative of not only the sites and people involved in the apparitions, but also of the Catholic faith. Our hotel accommodations and meals were very good, the pilgrimage was packed with a spiritual agenda. If there was any negative, it would be returning to Florida via Houston! That made for a long flight back and of course we were unable to return to Fl. for two additional days.

To 206 Tours and/or Whom It May Concern,

I have been a world traveler for over a decade. My experience with many travel agencies have been good and bad. 206 Tours travel agency has been one of the most appropriate and/or perfect accommodators on every trip that I have used them. With everything from the flight to the limo pick up to the hotel accommodations. On this particular trip through 206 Tours, The inn keepers at La Infinita Rural Boutique, Fernando and Lucia, were the most hospitable I’ve ever had and gave my stay with them a warmth I’ve never received before. Fernando and Lucia, the inn keepers, received me at the front door with the most quaint, historical, cottage like atmosphere. When I stepped out of my vehicle, I was greeted as with a spiritual energy that the inn keepers possessed. When I went through the front door, it was breathtaking. The age of the building, the walls, ceiling, and floor, arrangements of the furniture: it was like walking into the past. The rooms are up a staircase lit by candlelight. Going into my room, it was clean and accommodating. Setting my luggage down, I was shown the bathroom and the balcony off my bedroom. The landscape and visual from my balcony was so beautiful and breathtaking. I could view the mountain sides, it was like walking back in time.

After settling in, I was asked if I was hungry and of course I was accommodated. The food was exquisite and fresh, if you are into grass fed meats, a non GMO meal is what you get. The crockery was so suitable to the meal that was served. Attached is 2 pictures of the table setting and crockery that I was blessed to enjoy each and every meal. They then showed me around the inn and I was taken out to the back into a courtyard where I experienced the most indescribable feeling of contentment. Seeing all the old buildings from the courtyard, I realized right next door was this most beautiful Catholic Church that is a definite must see. Attached is a picture of the inside Altar and golden Tabernacle. After waking up the next morning, I couldn’t get over how clean the air there is and I live out in the country in the Midwest. I’ve never felt so refreshed. I was immediately greeted by the inn keeper with this most incredible breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the day. I was visited often by the inn keepers. I toured the village of Carmona and it is something I will never forget. Right now I am dictating this letter to my secretary and I am holding back the tears. La Infinita Rural Boutique attached itself giving me an ability to find my inner self and walk back in time. I went there specifically to visit Garabandal to visit the pines and explore the history of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions from the 60’s. The Catholic spiritual make up of Carmona was almost stronger than Garabandal. Garabandal is 17 minutes away comfortably in an easy to get cab and/or a ride from the inn keeper. The view on the way is worth it. I have to say I’m glad I did not stay in Garabandal, it’s just too congested. I realized if I went to Garabandal without staying in Carmona, my trip would have not been fulfilled with a complete spiritual cleansing as I fully intended from the beginning.

As I have been to Medjugorje 4 times to seek the same spiritual cleansing and my feeling in the spiritual sense is “I can’t wait to go back to La Infinita Rural Boutique to visit the inn keepers and stay and enjoy the surrounding areas of the village of Carmona” Which I am planning to go back once a year in which I will be contacting 206 tours each and every time. Attached is a photo of me enjoying the beauty Carmona has to offer. Because of 206 tours, going to Carmona and Garabandal was so accommodating. My deepest regard and thanks to your perfect accommodations for the air flight, hotel accommodations, and tour guide which was also part of my pilgrimage in Garabandal. I would highly recommend if anyone wants to visit Garabandal, you must stay at La Infinita Rural Boutique. You will never experience anything like it. 206 Tours, La Infinita Rural Boutique, Fernando and Lucia, I love you all.