Client Letters 2014

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  • From: Kevin
  • Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2014
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Jordan and Israel 2014 200


I wanted to provide feedback for our recent 206 Tours Pilgrimage to Jordan and Israel, which turned out to be just as wonderful, if not better than the tour we took four years ago. In particular, though, our family would like to relate how much we appreciated Father Michael Gauvreau as our spiritual guide. He was so personable and informative that we all felt he made our trip so much better than we could have imagined. We cannot emphasize enough how much we enjoyed Father Gauvreau on our pilgrimage, and we can only recommend to 206 Tours to consider Father Gauvreau as the spiritual guide for future tours.

Also, our guide in Jordan, Omar, as well as our guide for Israel, Sammi, and Driver, Issa, provided us with excellent religious and historical information on all of our visits to the various sites. Again, they all exceeded our expectations. We will most certainly consider 206 Tours as our #1 option for any pilgrimage we take in the future. Thank you so much for providing these wonderful people and also a fantastic experience.

Best regards,

Kevin, Bill, Rick, and Deborah

  • From: Fr. Jay
  • Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & Paris: August 3-15, 2014. 20142

Dear Donna,

Thank you for your kind message and my sincere apologies for the long delay in responding. As soon as I returned from the pilgrimage, the seminary school year began. In as much as we had one less priest to help us this year, the workload increased. Now that the semester has ended, I have some time to reply.

It was a privilege and a delight to serve with 206 Tours for a third time, always in collaboration with Javier Gomez. He is the consummate pilgrimage guide. We were fortunate to meet his lovely wife and two children when we passed through Salamanca. Javier is so pleasant and accommodating. One person arrived early, decided to go touring on her own, and so was not present when we took a tour of Fatima, but Javier was in contact with her. A gentleman who was with us for the pilgrimage is the nephew of a Dominican friar who sculpted the statue of the Madonna which stands over the main entrance to the old basilica in Fatima. When we arrived to Lourdes, some of the pilgrims who had flown in to join us arrived without their luggage. Because of Javier’s intervention, they had it within a short period of time. He arranged for a lovely outdoor picnic lunch overlooking Albe de Torres in Spain. Several of the pilgrims have remained in contact with me, so I know that the pilgrimage was significant, and perhaps we could say, even life changing for some of them. Even a couple I had not heard from and who had been with us on the Santiago de Compstela hiking pilgrimage of 2012 renewed their contact.

I look forward to working with 206 Tours again during the summer of 2015 and hopefully again in collaboration with Javier Gomez. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as a Spiritual Director on these pilgrimages. They have been a blessing in my life. Kind regards to Rinda and Milanka. Blessings for a joyful Christmas.


Fr. Jay, OP

  • From: Terri Gastellum
  • Sent: Monday, December 8, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Elizabeth Celenza & Fr. Alonzo | Medjugorje & Italy | October 29-November 9, 2014 20143

Dear Amanda,

I just wanted to tell you that I had a wonderful pilgrimage. Words cannot describe what it meant to me! This was my first pilgrimage. My husband asked what I wanted for my 60th birthday over a year ago. I told him that I really wanted to go on a pilgrimage. Months passed and my dear friend shared that she was going on a pilgrimage and wanted me to go with her. I told my husband and without blinking an eye, he said, “You’re going!”

The guides were great! Vincenzo, our tour guide in Italy was so knowledgeable and friendly. He did have some issues with our group about staying together. But, he was very kind and patient. I learned so much about the Catholic Church and the history of the land and the early Christians. It was amazing for Fr. Alonzo to get the opportunity to celebrate Mass in such beautiful churches, basilicas and even St. Peter’s!!

I was very happy that the last leg of our pilgrimage was Rome and then Medjugorje. The spirituality of the pilgrimage grew as we traveled from Naples, to Sorrento, Pompeii, Monte Cassino, Assisi, etc. My only regret is that I would have loved to stay a day or two longer in Medjugorje. Since it rained the two days we were there, we did not get to climb Cross Mountain. Slavica, our tour guide in Medjugorje, was apologetic for the inclement weather, but made it up to us by taking us to Patrick and Nancy Latta’s “Castle” and then to see the Divine Mercy Chapel which has the miraculous image of Jesus and a first class relic of St. Faustina. Both places were very special. Slavica was also very knowledgeable and kind.

I would highly recommend 206 Tours to anyone interested in making a Catholic spiritual pilgrimage. Thank you so much for your work. God bless.

Terri Gastellum, Tucson, AZ

  • From: Deborah Tonnes
  • Sent: Friday, November 28, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Thank you! 20144

Hi Donna,

I just returned from a 206 Tours pilgrimage to the Holy Land under the spiritual guidance of Father Edward Murphy. The trip was fantastic in both a spiritual and a historical perspective, bringing the Scriptures alive in a way I could never have imagined!

Our guide, Mahir, was excellent! He accommodated our group in every way possible and always made sure to set our expectations properly in advance of visiting all sights. Mahir has a deep and thorough understanding of the region, both past and present, and he willingly shared that information with our group of inquisitive pilgrims.

In addition, Father Murphy brought a spiritual intensity to the journey, ensuring we made prayerful consideration of each and every aspect of the pilgrimage. He was a great blessing to the group!

This is not my first 206 Tours pilgrimage, but each trip seems to outdo the other! Providential–? Perhaps!!
Thank you for making this pilgrimage to the Holy Land possible!

Wishing you many blessings through Christ and Our Lady,

Deborah Tonnes

Psalm 34:8
8 O taste and see that The Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

  • From: Bl. Marie Catherine Aspirancy
  • Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: feedback on recent pilgrimage 20145

To Whom It May Concern:

I wish to express my comments on a job well done by our guide Sleiman Rabadi during our recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

He was very knowledgeable. The people commented that they were really happy that he spoke the language very well using even Spanish idioms. He also had to speak in English which is twice the work! They said he had a special charisma for working with people. They enjoyed his good humor. He demonstrated a lot of patience working with our group leader. He was punctual, courteous, and well mannered. It was great that he pointed out the important locations at each site. Like when you took us to the tomb first at the Holy Sepulcher.

The experience as a whole with 206 tours was wonderful!

God bless,
Sr. Mary Mother of Hope

  • From: Jeffrey Samick
  • Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Italy Pilgrimage | October 31-November 9, 2014 20146

Hi Amanda,

I want to tell you this Pilgrimage was everything and more. It was a such a once in a life time experience and I was very happy the way 206 tours put this together. The accommodations were just fine and our tour leader Javier was outstanding. He went above and beyond for all of us. I hope you use him often.

Thank you and may God Bless your continued work in these pilgrimages.
Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Jeff Samick

  • From: Christina Cronin
  • Sent: Friday, November 14, 2014
  • To: Jennifer Norris
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land: November 2-11, 2014 20147

Finally settling down after a wonderful trip. Everything was great from the hotels, the food and the itinerary. Each day had just enough and it was very meaningful to visit the different sites and so special to have Mass at these different places. Our priest Fr. Michael was very good and gave lovely homilies. He was very easy to talk to during the trip. Our guide, Rami, was excellent and extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The bus driver Hasam did a good job driving the bus and we always felt safe. It was especially nice to have such a small group as we all bonded together. It was a trip of a lifetime for me and especially special to do it with my son, Kevin. I would highly recommend 206 Tours.

Christina Cronin

  • From: Fr. Mike
  • Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2014
  • To: Jennifer Norris
  • Subject: The Holy Land: November 2-11, 2014 20148

Dear Jennifer Norris,

Thank you very much for your email message. First of all, may I express my gratitude to all members of 206 Tours. I together with other 15 members of the pilgrimage to Holy Land from November 2-11, 2014 really enjoyed , refreshed, rejuvenated and began to relive the gospel messages walking through the footsteps of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have a lot to tell you about your tours. You all maintain a good Catholic spirit in not only your communication but you have expressed it in reality. We were well received by your team at the Tel Aviv airport, gave us good food and accommodation, led by a very qualified, well knowledgeable and Catholic spirited guide Ramy and good driver Hassam. They were really a true star for us. In between, appeared your representative Tamara who surprised me at the Hotel Dan. Ramy even came with us to Tel Aviv airport as we returned back home to give us security. He is really an asset for you. In short, you have well qualified staff. I really fell in love with your tour group. I promise to promote other people of my area to approach your company for the Holy Land or other pilgrimages. I wish to be again a spiritual director of any group in the future. I would certainly come to your office and will see you all personally to express my appreciation. I have lot of pictures taken at the time of our pilgrimage. I will post it as I get some free time. Please extend my appreciation for all the staff of your 206 Tours.

Thanking you again and wishing you all success in your ministry

In union of prayers

Father Michael

  • From: Chester Paschke
  • Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2014
  • To: Jennifer Norris
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Guadalupe & Mexico City 20149

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you ever so much for the follow up contact. I’m honored in your asking for input…

Let me begin by simply saying that our experience with 206 Tours and the planned pilgrimage November 5-10 to Guadeloupe and Mexico City can be summed up in two words, ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT! I’ll be a bit more specific and with all that I say, you can imagine prefacing each of my comments with the word Excellent…

We’ve (my wife of over 49 years) traveled with several other tour companies in the past, some great and some mediocre. I must say that 206 Tours has trumped them all!

I’d be remiss not acknowledging your ever so great customer service person Melissa. She is an absolute asset to your company. I tend (she can attest) to ask a lot of questions about whatever. From the very onset when I first called 206 Tours, Melissa was the one I connected with and from that point on she stood by with the very many answers I’d asked for. She is a very genuine person, a true customer service person to the last degree. Please pass on to her our deep appreciation.

While on our last trip, we learned from several in our group that they’d used 206 Tours in the past and were in fact “sold” on 206 Tours. We’re now in that category as well.

I also want to mention that our compliments go out also to Roberto, the guide on our tour. He was fantastic. Our driver Gonzales was equally fantastic…let me include a ground services driver (private owned transportation working with the tour) Carlos that did a great job in getting us from the airport to the hotel and back.

Jennifer- let me also make mention of the great hotel you selected for our stay. The Galeria Plaza is great! The staff at this property is courteous- very accommodating. The food there was great! All other incidentals on this tour such as the dinner (that we certainly didn’t expect) away from the hotel was absolutely the finest.

Where I think 206 Tours stands out the best is the “customer service contact” you provide. As mentioned, we’ve experienced other tour services but always with lack of contact to include phone or email contacts often ignored. 206 Tours on the other hand was from the day of our initial contact right through even getting an email on the day of return always there for us….EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERICE…!

Jennifer…I could go on and on, but again in two words from a very satisfied couple with the 206 Tours services…ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT!

Chet Paschke- Grand Forks, ND

  • From: Leopoldo Basilico
  • Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Medjugorje, Lourdes & Fatima | October 2014 201410

Amanda, we wanted to send you a word of thanks for the marvelous tour you prepared for us, the transfers were flawless, the hotels excellent and overall the guides were extremely professional, polite and dedicated to our desires and wishes. Not one single error. Again, thank you and continue the great work you do, we will certainly keep you as first choice for future trips!


  • From: Maricor Gonzalez
  • Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain & Lourdes 201411

I am so blessed to have experienced a Pilgrimage through 206 Tours. I have enjoyed myself with the presence of my co-Pilgrims which Alessandro referred to as FAMILY ❤. I am looking forward to go to another Pilgrimage through 206 Tours. I can’t thank them. Fr. Stephen ( our Spiritual Director ); Alessandro Gaj ( Tour Escort ) & Miguel ( our Driver ).


  • From: Keith Ronck
  • Sent: Friday, October 31, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: The Holy Land: October 20-28,2014 201412


You asked for my thoughts on my Holy Land pilgrimage. It was amazing. Like any other story, the story of Christ is about specific people, places, times and events. It was so wonderful to walk the places Christ walked and see the sights he saw, to learn more about the events that happened 2000 years ago and to gain insight into the culture and life of Jesus, Apostles and other biblical figures. Sami, our tour guide, was an amazing source of information. He has truly helped the Bible and times of Christ to come alive for me. We were blessed to have 3 delightful, caring priests to provide prayer and spiritual direction throughout our pilgrimage. And, finally, I left the tour with 26 new friends—friends who are strong in their faith and spiritual life.

Thank you to Tour 206 for your part in making this an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Keith Ronck

  • From: John Greene
  • Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Guadalupe & Mexico City Pilgrimage 201413

Dear Yaritza,

Christine Strachan and Joanne Stindl returned home on Wednesday and enjoyed all their travels immensely.
Thank you so much for your assistance with the Pilgrimage. Everything went very smoothly and without a single hitch.

Kindest regards,


  • From: Father Steve
  • Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: The Holy Land: October 19-28, 2014! 201414

Donna—-the pilgrimage was awesome!
206 covered every detail and I am grateful. Our guide, Sami Tawil, was simply outstanding in every way. He truly made the pilgrimage for us all. THANK you for giving us Sami.

Father Steve

  • From: Rhonda Kvidt
  • Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2014
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land: October 19-28, 2014 201415

Dear Donna,
I had the most wonderful experience in the Holy Land and met and prayed with such faith filled people. I am so happy I went on this pilgrimage and would recommend 206 Tours to my family and friends, in fact I have. I also want to say thank you to Fr. Lefor for being Spritual Director. He was wonderful, but I am partial because he is my local Priest. I was very happy to be able to experience this pilgrimage with him. I want to, especially, give the highest praise for Sami our tour guide. He was so informative on the history of our Catholic Faith. He was so passionate about his faith, and his desire to teach and explain was wonderful. He was always open to our questions, and his sense of humor made all of us feel at ease, as well as helping all of us enjoy each other. He was always so well organized, and we never had to question about where and what we were going to doing. I truly believe, after speaking with others that felt the same, that Sami was a large reason we had such positive experience. I am looking forward to trying 206 Tours again for more pilgrimages in the future. Thank you for the most spiritual experience I have had.

– Rhonda

  • From: Fr. Anthony
  • Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
  • To: Stefanie Mayer
  • Subject: Italy 201416

I returned from the Shrines of Italy Pilgrimage on Thursday, Oct 23. All went well, except I think I may have undertaken too much!! 🙂 The most important comment I want to make is to highly compliment two persons particularly and 206 Tours in general. Our escort was Sylvia: out of a possible five stars, she should receive six or eight. She was excellent all along the pilgrimage as she tried to take care of every need of every person. But nothing will compare with how far she went out of her way for me at the airport. We left Assisi in plenty of time to make our flights, mine being the earliest. But along the autostrada we encountered a serious accident involving two semis. It took two hours to get around it, with the result that when we arrived at Fiumicino I was too late for my flight. Sylvia stuck with me all the way and worked very closely with the Alitalia Agent representing United Airlines who herself worked very hard to arrange a flight and seating on the next days flight. Both were marvelous!! Once the flight was confirmed, Xavier, of 206 Tours, [who is the second person I wish to compliment highly] arranged an overnight at a nearby hotel and even some Euros to tide me over. I think all of the stress I might have felt was literally taken on by Sylvia [who was close to losing her own flight to Lisbon] and by Xavier who put me at ease. I am very grateful to these two dedicated members of your team and to 206 Tours.
Thank you very much,

Fr. Anthony

  • From: Rev. Robert
  • Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Italy Pilgrimage | October 13-26, 2014 201417

As promised – here are my thoughts regarding the recent pilgrimage.
I believe that you will find that all who participated were quite well pleased with the service that 206Tours provided beforehand (I consistently hear good things about the quality of service received). The two women from New Mexico were surprised…because they had booked their tour through some other tour company in New Orleans…so the only issue they had was the late arrival of documents. Again – consistent compliments and high praise for 206.

Thank you for Mathilde and Piero…they were amazing to work with throughout the tour. I’m sure Silvia and Mauro were nice…but “my bus” certainly received the better pair. I would work with Mathilde and Piero again any time. Piero drove superbly and was both friendly and helpful. Mathilde went beyond what most guides do in meeting the needs of the group and responded with kindness to the many annoying (and repeated) questions that came. Her knowledge of the sites visited, the connections between them and our Catholic faith was above average…and her command of Italian and English was appreciated.

The overall plan of the tour was excellent in terms of the cities and sites visited. The use of Lufthansa over USAirways (which others on the tour flew) caused only two issues (Lufthansa is a beautiful airline with excellent service) – the transfer in Frankfurt is very difficult for older folks…the distance and the secondary security screening are tough – especially when exhausted from the long-haul flight; and the late arrival in Rome means that an entire day is lost…since the Roman historical sites (i.e. Pantheon, Colosseum, Forum, etc…) are not visited on tour…others in the group who arrived early in the day were able to see those sites which highlighted what those who arrived late missed. The return from Venice was much more pleasant…though Lufthansa ran into electrical issues leaving the plane without entertainment for more than half of the flight.

The hotels were excellent. The Michelangelo and the Starhotel in Florence were beautiful. The hotels in San Giovanni and Mestre were just fine…and everyone thanks 206 for placing us at the DeiPriori in Assisi…the location was very much appreciated.

The breakfasts at all of the hotels was excellent. The dinners were as well…more salads were requested…and less fish (or at least a warning that fish will be served so that an alternative can be prepared). I happened to like the fish that was served.

The picinic lunch on the way to Montecassino was a huge hit. It was universally well received and very much appreciated…the group could not believe the hospitality shown. The lunch in Padua was also appreciated…though at that point the walk was a bit difficult for some…especially given the walking that needed to be done later to and from the shrines…Americans just need to learn to walk more. The seafood risotto was excellent…as was the Prosecco…again the fish was delicious (secondo me) but about a third wouldn’t eat it because it was “looking” at them.

The local guides – again, thank you, thank you, thank you. We had excellent local guides – the guides in Assisi, Siena, Pisa, Florence and Venice were outstanding…I would recommend them to anyone. They paced their tours mindful of those less able and provided a rich history and experience for all. The only guide I would not recommend again was Donato in Rome. He was a pleasant man…who may have had a bad day (he seemed to have a serious cold), but his English was rough and some of his information was off. Again – I don’t mean to criticize the poor guy…but he was the weakest of the local guides. In Loreto, the guide was adequate…but I would suggest that a guide is NOT needed there. With the amount of time available the group would have preferred to simply visit the Basilica and pray…as well as have time to look around the piazza. The view from the Palazzo Episcopale is nice…but other than that, Mathilde had provided all of the information required while we approached Loreto.

The only other suggestion in terms of the tour would be to think about combining Siena and Pisa and allowing a rest day in Assisi. I know that visiting those two cities in one day would make for a tremendously long day…but the hours on the bus back and forth is significant…and universally everyone wanted more time in Assisi.

All said – the Lord blessed us with spectacular weather – sun nearly every day…a few clouds when needed (i.e. general audience)…a breeze when too hot…no breeze when chilly. A shower at night to clear the air…and only one brief shower in Assisi that rained itself out before we finished our breakfast. The 27 of us on Mathilde’s bus would rate the tour a 9.99 out of 10…simply because nothing’s perfect and it gives us the desire to return again to get it right! LOL.

Again – thanks for putting up with me…and for making it so easy.

God bless,
Father Robert

  • From: Fr. Charles
  • Sent: Monday, October 27, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 201418

Dear Rinda,
Greetings from Jerusalem!
It’s 8:30 p.m. Monday Jerusalem time. Your time in NY is 2:30 p.m. Our pilgrimage is over. It was a very successful pilgrimage. Everything went well. Sami the tour guide and Imad the bus driver did very well in making our pilgrimage enjoyable and fruitful. There were two other priests with us: Fr. Jason and Fr. Steve. I want to thank you and 206 Tours for the wonderful opportunity for me to be spiritual director of this pilgrimage. Throughout the pilgrimage everyone felt safe and secure in Israel. I’m sorry that some in the U.S. mistakenly think that they are not safe in the Holy Land. We never had the slightest concern during our travels in the Holy Land. Thank you for making my stay comfortable and enjoyable in the Holy Land. Blessings on all the good work you do and hoping to be part of 206 Tours in the future.

Warm regards & prayers,
Father Charles

  • From: Joan and Sara Claypoole
  • Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Shrines of Italy: October 13-22, 2014! 201419

Donna, the pilgrimage exceeded our dreams. The tour guides (Matilda and Sylvia) were knowledgeable and sensitive to needs of each pilgrim. We were assigned to Sylvia’s group and enjoyed her presence, her love of being a tour guide, and ability to balance effectively and patiently the needs of us elders with access to elevators at certain churches. She is definitely a keeper for 206 Tours. The guides at the various places of the tour knew their history of the locale, the special features of the churches and liked doing the task at hand. This group of guides should continue to serve 206 Tours itinerary. Your tour service will be recommended to friends and family. We truly have beautiful memories and received much graces from this spiritual journey.

With appreciation,

Joan and Sara Claypoole

  • From: Theresa Armstrong
  • Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Holy Land with Fr. Thomas | October 13-23, 2014 201420

The most wonderful trip and the best guide and driver ever!!!!!


  • From: Laura Keas
  • Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2014
  • To: Melissa Mulligan
  • Subject: Pilgrimage Inquiry 201421

Good morning!
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a totally rewarding experience. I’ll give you a few specifics of how Alessandro went "above and beyond" anything anyone could expect from a guide.

1. We were visiting a museum that didn’t accept credit cards (in the gift shop). I had some Euro with me, and a credit card for my shopping. My spend didn’t exceed my Euro, so I didn’t have a problem. I asked Alessandro if he knew whether or not the gift shop at next stop accepted credit cards. His reply was (as he touched the breast pocket of his jacket), "I have money. What do you need?" I assured him that I didn’t need any money, but he asked more than once, and I believe he would have been willing to make a loan. 🙂 I would have never expected him to do that! It was a very nice, thoughtful gesture.

2. My sister and I have had an annual "sister trip" for several years, and the pilgrimage was our trip this year. She experienced a few "out of the ordinary" events on this trip. We had enjoyed lunch and were on our way to Burgos. She was sleeping on the back row of the motorcoach. Suddenly, she sat up and asked, "Did you check the safe (at the hotel in Salamanca)?" I told her that I did and that I got my wallet and iPad out of it, reminding her that I had asked her for the combination. She said, "I didn’t." Oh, no! Alessandro to the rescue! He made phone calls, and in no time was reporting to her that her travel wallet (with her Passport, Euro, and USD), which was still in the safe, had been retrieved and would be delivered to the hotel in Burgos "by 8:30 tomorrow morning." What a relief! Alessandro handled all of the details.

3. At our stop in Paris, my sister’s luggage was delivered to an empty guest room. After several reports that it was missing (from my sister and me), the clerk suggested that if it wasn’t in a tour group member’s room, perhaps it didn’t make the trip. Again, Alessandro was on top of the situation. He checked with the hotel in Nevers to confirm that it wasn’t left behind, and we believe that he insisted that the hotel staff check beyond the rooms of the 206 Tours group. Her bag was located in an empty guest room (room 507, we were in 107). He came to dinner with the good news! It was quite a relief. The suitcase contained her clothes, everything that she had purchased on the trip, her camera . . . you name it, it was in there!

I’m sure there was more, but those are a few examples that come to mind. Alessandro was always pleasant and smiling. My next guide will have big shoes to fill!

Father Stephen was also a pleasure to have accompany our group on the pilgrimage. He made (what appeared to be) an extra effort to spend some time with everyone at meals or other times for conversation. He was extremely nice.

It was simply a joy experiencing the pilgrimage with our entire "family." As I mentioned before, I believe this will replace cruising as my preferred way to spend vacation time. Rewarding, fulfilling, satisfying . . . a most worthwhile experience.

And, your package was another example of how your organization makes the experience the most it can be . . . and then some.

Laura Keas

  • From: Renee DePietro
  • Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Italy 201422

It was a wonderful trip! Jesus our guide was great. He was a wonderful leader and friend. All of the sights we saw were incredible. I would highly recommend 206 tours and Jesus as a guide.

Thank you!


  • From: bernard schmit
  • Sent: Monday, October 13, 2014
  • To: Jennifer Norris
  • Subject: 201423

We absolutely enjoyed our 15 day All Italy Shrines tour even if it tasked us physically at our ages (80 and 84) We tended to be the tail end of the group most of the time, even trailing the wheel chair. I believe you should caution anyone over 70 from taking two weeks tour as we did. A word about our guide Matilda. Her love, caring and assistance was greatly appreciated. She is truly an able assistant to our guardian angles.

Thank you
Paquita and Bernard

  • From: Fr. Williams
  • Sent: Thursday, October 9, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Italy - September 26-October 3, 2014 201424

Dear Yaritza,

Thank you so very much for all of your work and effort given to ensuring that our pilgrimage would be as smooth and memorable as it was. The places we visited are very dear to me, and I was hoping that the experience of the pilgrims I would be leading would give them a similar experience and affection for these places. My expectations were met and exceeded. The obvious care that 206 Tours gave in planning and arranging for everything, from the guides to the locations for Masses, made this pilgrimage one that none of us will ever forget. Based on comments from my parishioners who were with us, they had a similar experience.

A great deal of the success of the pilgrimage was due to our guide, Jesus Vivas. He was unfailingly patient with all of us, making sure that the itinerary was followed, and working to smooth out any problems as soon as possible. I was especially impressed with the care he gave to all of us. To be honest, a few of the pilgrims had trouble listening to directions (even after being told 2 or 3 times), and even when they still would get into trouble after all that, Jesus still worked things out smoothly. His servant’s heart was appreciated by all of us- 206 Tours is very lucky to have him.
I would also like to thank you, Yatitza, for all of your work to ensure a smooth trip. I realize that I had several special requests, but you worked hard to make sure that as many of them could be met as possible. Please know that your work resulted in all of us having a truly spiritual experience in our time in Italy. You were also in my prayers during our travels, since I knew that, without you, the trip might not have even happened.

Thank you again, and thanks to 206 Tours, for all of your work for our pilgrimage. Should I ever plan another pilgrimage, please know that you will be the first ones I contact. God bless,

Fr. Williams

  • From: Arlene Robbins
  • Sent: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
  • To: sales
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain and Lourdes Sept. 23-Oct. 2 201425

I wanted to compliment you on the above pilgrimage. I was on it and have to say it was so well organized and ran smoothly and the accommodations were super. And I must say the one thing that made the trip so extra special was our tour guide Vanessa T. She was the best ever, very knowledgeable about every aspect of the trip, very professional and a real pleasure to be around. I cannot say enough about how special she was and is. Thank you for a wonderful trip.

Arlene Robbins

  • From: Eileen Helm Weaver
  • Sent: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain and Lourdes 201426

The trip was fabulous in every way. The flights, hotel, food, tour guide, weather, the people that we met, and of course the wonderful spiritual experience. I can’t say enough about it. We are all on a “high”. I would highly recommend 206 Tours. Vanessa was fantastic!! Thank you for putting us in touch with this group.

Eileen Helm Weaver, Ed.D.

  • From: Naomi Tambornini
  • Sent: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
  • To: Stefanie Meyer
  • Subject: Lourdes & Medjugorje 201427

Dear Stephanie,

Thank you for all your help. It was a wonderful pilgrimage. Charlie was fine God kept him well and no problems, but I appreciate your giving me the medical information.

Also I do not know who to contact but we wanted to make sure your company knows that the tour guides
Vanessa Teixeira and Slavenka Jelavic are absolutely wonderful and caring tour guides. The priests Fr. Charles & Fr. Billy are also excellent . Thank you for helping us set up this pilgrimage for our greatgrandson and thank you all for your prayers. Keep praying!

God Bless you and all those you love.

Naomi Tambornini

  • From: Kathy Whitcher
  • Sent: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Prague, Salzburg, Vienna & Budapest: September 15-24, 2014! 201428

Our pilgrimage was wonderful!!! We enjoyed every single day to the utmost. Our small group really bonded together (including the guide and driver) and Fr. John was a great spiritual leader. We can’t thank you enough for providing these Catholic pilgrimages for us. This was our third one and we hope to travel with again soon.

God bless and have your best day ever,

Kathy Whitcher

  • From: Mary
  • Sent: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: El Camino- Spain: September 12-22, 2014! 201429

Hello Donna,

The pilgrimage experience could not have been better! Juan Carlos, David, Father Diaz…all are outstanding in their care and service to us. I dare to say this pilgrimage was more than I expected and for me, it was better than the Rome pilgrimage!! Each hotel, each albergue …everything was outstanding!

I did run into difficulty with my knee and Juan Carlos provided extraordinary support and encouragement. He help me gain confidence in effort to continue the "walking".

The pilgrimage was like receiving "scripture radiation". In trying to think of a way to describe it I thought of an analogy in the attempt to explain. When a person gets radiation therapy, they don’t "feel" anything. The course of treatment is determined, and it’s 10 days of "el camino"! Starting every day with Mass and each day, as I walked in the rays, something was happening, but I didn’t "feel it". After I got home I realized not much has changed in the world, but somehow my view had changed. One most noticeable change, before I went on the Pilgrimage I almost always listened to music while walking, and now I walk in silence, because it gives me the opportunity to take in my surroundings. It’s almost like I took a time release capsule for "serenity" awhile ago and it’s slowly settling in.

The one thing that always caught me by surprise were the country churches/chapels. More than once we passed by the "church" or asked where it was only to find the "dirty looking cinder block" or white washed storage building held within the doors the most beautiful altars, the statues, the paintings, the mosaics..breathtaking.

And the Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral. the Botafumeiro, it’s awesome to be Catholic!

Blessings to you and all Staff at 206 Tours


I wish I was more expert at posting pictures, but unfortunately I’m not. Hopefully Ileana will share some of her photos.

  • From: Tony Gonzalez
  • Sent: Monday, October 6, 2014
  • To: Sammie Gough
  • Subject: Pilgrimage To Holy Land 201430

I wish to thank 206 Tours for a wonderful Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was awesome!!!
I have learned a lot spiritually. Our guide, Usama Salman was the best. He was very
knowledgeable about the history of the Holy Land. Fr. Jim: thank you for
celebrating daily Mass, renewed our vows in Cana and also you have nice voice when
you sung at the Church of St. Anne renowned for its remarkable acoustics and
reverberating echoes.

Our driver, Issam, who drove us safely to our destination no problem.
My fellow pilgrims were all nice and friendly. Definitely I would recommend
206 Tours to my friends and relatives.

Thank you & God Bless,

Jose Gonzalez
The Holy Land-Sept. 8-16, 2014

  • From: Joe Miranda
  • Sent: Friday, October 3, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany & Switzerland on September 15-26, 2014 201431

Hi Donna,
As expected, the pilgrimage went very well. Fr. Damien did an excellent job of guiding us spiritually throughout this journey. It was also a blessing that Fr. Leo was with us. Almar Otjes, our guide is the best guide in the Netherlands.
Again, my next pilgrimage will be with 206 tours and perhaps also with Fr. Damien.


Joe Miranda

  • From: Maureen Robinson
  • Sent: Friday, October 3, 2014
  • To: Fr. M
  • Subject: Re: Italia!!!!!!!!! 201433

Dear Father , I can’t thank you enough for welcoming me into the group I had an awesome time, great people speaking for myself I couldn’t have pick a more special group to go on such a journey with & yes "206" did an EXCELLENT job of planning our Pilgrimage I will be sure to let them know. Thank you Fr. M it was my pleasure to meet you & be part of you Family of Pilgrims . Hope to see you again soon. I gained a lot of knowledge and know it will be a blessing in my life thank you again….

God Bless you always,

Love Maureen Robinson

  • From: "Fr. M"
  • Sent: Thursday, October 2, 2014
  • To:
  • Subject: Italia!!!!!!!!! 201432

Dear Fellow Pilgrims (brothers & sisters), I truly give thanks to God and to all of you for making this pilgrimage one of the most unforgettable moments & memories to last a lifetime. We became a family!!! Not every group is that blessed. As we grew closer to God and to each other, I smiled, thinking that we were truly “walking w/ God”.

I received 2 notes that I must share: 1) “Fr. M you were right! 206 Tours was the best”!! 2) “Fr. M :Thank you for an awesome experience of a lifetime! We will have it as a special memory forever”! Wow…that says it all. Thank you!

Milanka Lackman is the president (owner) of 206 Tours. Out of her generosity, she arranged for us to stay in the Hotel Danieli in Venieza!! All of the Mass locations, tickets to the Papal visit, Vatican museums, etc. were aranged by 206 Tours (Liz Shea and Natasha) We owe them many thanks & praise. They are the “unsung heroes”!

Martin J. Bancroft

  • From: Don Buenviaje
  • Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
  • To: Jennifer Norris
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes Paris & All Italian Shrines 201434


This is my second pilgrimage in less than a year with 206Tours. My first one was last November in Israel & Rome. I think that explains enough how satisfied I am with 206. One thing that stands out with regards to the whole experience was having spiritual guidance of a priest. The celebration of daily Mass made a difference in our daily activities. I would like to give credit to the tour guides as well. Jesus Garcia, our guide in Portugal, Spain & France was awesome. He’s very courteous, accommodating and thoughtful. He went above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction. Matilde, our guide in Italy was informative, knowledgeable and very professional. She made sure we get the itinerary completed on time. I can’t wait for my next pilgrimage with 206Tours again. God bless and safe journeys!!!

Don Buenviaje
Stockton, California

  • From: Milagros Zosa
  • Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany & Switzerland 201435

Hi Donna,

I had a great time in my trip to Netherlands, Belgium, Germany & switzerland. I enjoyed the whole trip our group was fabulous, ten people plus 2 priests (Fr. Damien, & Fr. Leo) Our tour guide Almar Otjes (Dutch) is so great (Bart) our driver is also a good driver & Nice. These two deserves an excellent job to be recommended. So polite & helpful. Especially to me both are so patience waiting for me because I had some knee problem that I could hardly walk.
So with Fr. Damien, he has so much patience to wait for me and I admired him for doing that.

And thank you so much for allowing me to join the tour inspite my knee problem. Hopefully to join another 206 pilgrimage tour in the future .

Mila Zosa

  • From: Fr. Leo
  • Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany & Switzerland 201436

Hi Donna,

The pilgrimage went extremely well. We were blessed to have a fine chaplain, Fr. Damian, and an able guide, Almar. Both did as well as anyone could have asked.

Overall the experience was wonderful and gave even more than I had hoped. Everyone on the trip (including myself) had been on a 206 pilgrimage before and therefore knew that all would go well, as it did. I would recommend your company for a trip before any other one I have ever traveled with.

Keep up the fine work!

Fr. Leo

  • From: Doug Postler
  • Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Holy Land & Rome 201437

Dear Donna and the whole 206 Tours team,

Sorry to be a little slow with this response, but please know that words cannot express how completely pleased Robin and I were with the whole Holy Land and Rome Pilgrimage through 206 Tours. We feel especially blessed to have found this wonderful Catholic service on the internet and we returned from the pilgrimage spiritually enriched.

From the initial contact when we were thinking about a pilgrimage this past January right through our arrival home after the pilgrimage, 206 Tours was spot on, providing impeccable access and service. We could not be more pleased.
This was our first venture to Europe and our first pilgrimage, so we were very apprehensive and had many concerns, especially knowing only our native language. There was a bit of a tense moment in Tel Aviv when we arrived at a very crowded airport at baggage claim and did not see the 206 Tours sign, but we found our contact and were in the very best of hands from that moment on. Our guide in the Holy Land, Usama Salman, was outstanding and really brought the Fifth Gospel, that of visiting the actual sites, to life for us. Usama and our Spiritual Director, Father Jim Conover, were a brilliant team. Usama’s keen local knowledge enabled our group to enjoy exceptional access to all the sites noted in the promotional brochure and more. Usama made slight variations in the proposed itinerary to make each day’s adventure that much more enjoyable. Father Jim was a perfect Spiritual Director. He celebrated Mass, including some challenging and inspirational homilies, at some very blessed venues and he offered a memorable Reconciliation Service in the Garden of Gethsemane, always involving those on the pilgrimage, but never being in the least bit confrontational.
Robin and I appreciated Usama’s tip for those on the pilgrimage to be extra vigilant at certain times, but we never felt in the least bit threatened or uncomfortable. It was also great to have our same driver, Issam, along the whole time. We were able to leave items on the very comfortable bus with internet access and Issam provided a great service by making chilled, bottled water available at a very reasonable price. Issam treated us like family.

Lodging and meals at the Dan Panorama (Tel Aviv), the Nof Ginosar (Tiberias), and the Dan Jerusalem (Jerusalem) were all very good.

Robin and I, along with three others , traveled on to Rome to join other pilgrims, some of whom were just starting and others on a continued pilgrimage. Our Rome guide, Matilde Mendes, personally met us and others at the airport and escorted us to the hotel, the Viscone Palace. While Matilde was an excellent guide, a good communicator and one who made us feel comfortable, it was a great service that 206 Tours provided a special local guide, Tatianna, who was great for the four basilica tour, the Sistine Chapel, and the catacombs of St. Callixtus along the Appian Way. Father Stephen Imbarrato provided a wonderful service at our Spiritual Director. Robin and I were sorry that we had only two days to spend with this group, as our formal pilgrimage ended in Rome. Once again, though, 206 Tours came through by adjusting our return flight so we could enjoy four more days in Rome.

Robin and I were fortunate to have an association with the Patrons of the Vatican Arts. Matilde was very accommodating when we inquired about going off with that group and then re-joining the pilgrimage group. We were also very impressed when Matilde told the group that 206 Tours preferred to use local restaurants, rather than the hotel, for dinner service. These venues were very charming and provided exceptionally good food.

In short, were would not hesitate to use the wonderful service provided by 206 Tours if and when we plan our next pilgrimage. 206 Tours didn’t miss a detail. We found the pre-trip packet to be very informative and useful.
God bless you and 206 tours for helping Catholics grow in their faith.

Doug Postler

P.S. Robin tried to send a daily update to her friends on Facebook. It would have been a very nice extra service if there could have been a daily blurb sent to us, so we could have copied and pasted some of that information and included some of our own pictures. Just a thought.

  • From: Fr. Diaz
  • Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: El Camino- Spain: September 12-22, 2014! 201438

Dear Donna,

I am Fr. Diaz. I was the spiritual director of the Sept 12-22 El Camino Pilgrimage. I enjoyed it very much. It was a great experience for me personally and well as for all the pilgrims who participated. I would like to let you know that I have been the Spiritual Director of many of your pilgrimages in the last 10 years. I have met many people and tour guides over the years. However, I would like to say that Juan Carlos Tejeda, our tour guide, did an outstanding job. He was very professional in the way he guided our tour. He was also very knowledgeable and patience with everyone.

I also would like to express my gratitude to all of you at 206tours for allowing be to participate in this pilgrimage.
Should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Fr Diaz

  • From: Dr. Bobby Sebastian
  • Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Guadalupe & Mexico City 2014 201

Dear Ms. Strucic,

Thanks for arranging the Mexico City & Guadalupe trip. I had a very nice pilgrimage. I thank Fr. Mariusz Olbrys for bringing my stuff along. Although Air France pilots had gone on strike, the hotel concierge & business desk at Galleria Plaza Reforma hotel were very helpful to me. I was put on code sharing flight AeroMexico to Paris & thereafter to Etihad airways for my return flight to Abu Dhabi & i reached home as planned earlier. The guide Mr. Roberto is an asset to 206 tours & he was very calm, patient & professional in guiding the group throughout the tour.

I look forward to doing the Ireland Pilgrimage to Knock (Tour 202) with 206 tours from June 11-20 in 2015. I’ll keep in touch with you in the near future for the same.

Thanks & Regards,
Dr. Bobby Sebastian

  • From: Lorraine Czarniak
  • Sent: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & Paris: July 4-15, 2014 201439

I had a wonderful time on the pilgrimage. It has made a big difference in my patience level with myself and parents – I’m a Director of Religious Ed. The other pilgrims were so prayerful and thoughtful that I continue to go back there in my mind to relax and remember how many truly spiritual people there are. Jesus Vivas was a wonderful guide – knowledgeable, organized, spiritual, and very kind. He made life so much easier for each of us as small dietary and medical issues occurred. Give him my thanks again, if you speak to him. Fr. McCartney I see all the time – he is in a neighboring parish. He’s a great priest. One of the members of our group – Paul – placed some Youtubes on-line and I passed the links on to your office as soon as I got back and saw this message. Personally, I’m not the best photographer and mostly just absorbed the atmosphere. Since returning, I find that many of my acquaintances here at St. Mary’s have also taken your tours – all glowing reports. I will certainly plan to go on another pilgrimage through your company in the future. I have already recommended 206 Tours to others. May Almighty God continue to bless you and your personnel for the many ways you help people to renew their spiritual lives and enjoy a European vacation.

Peace in Christ
Lorraine Czarniak

  • From: Mercedes Saldutti
  • Sent: Monday, September 8, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Pilgrimage with Ivan Dragicevic, August 24-September 1 201440

Thank you! We had a wonderful time. Everything was perfect!!!!


  • From: Scott DesOrmeaux
  • Sent: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: The Holy Land: August 3-12, 2014! 201441

Dear Donna,

WOW! What an experience to the Holy Land. Even with discord in the country I never felt in danger and was amazed at how our guide kept in touch with your office and the sites we visited. Our Guide Jack was excellent! He was knowledgeable in every area, and I have learned a great deal from him that will improve the quality and content of my homilies. And Joe our bus driver was impressive to say the least. How he was able to get around those small streets is beyond me, and how kept the bus in great condition was a sign to me of commitment of his service to 206 Tours.
There were three sites that touched me profoundly; Mount of Olives with Mass at the rock of Gethsemane, Church of the Nativity, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. To experience Jesus in the Eucharist at these sight – well as I told the pilgrims – blew my mind and soul. How privileged I was to walk in the footsteps of Jesus! Then to have the 206 Tours office people come and visit us what was over the top! My since gratitude to Gabriel and all at your office in the Holy Land!

I look forward to doing more pilgrimages with 206 Tours for your company is professional, and looks after its pilgrims.

In His Service,
Fr. Scott DesOrmeaux

  • From: Mary Cusack
  • Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic, Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & Paris: August 4-15, 2014. 201442

Dear Milanka and Donna,

This was my first pilgrimage out of the USA and I was unsure which company to travel with but knew I wanted to travel with a Catholic group and attend daily Mass – I had no other expectation but traveled with an open mind and heart. The experience with 206tours was life changing, faith affirming. At each site, I was reminded that our Catholic faith is rich in history, celebrated universally and unmatched by any other. It was a blessing to be called to join other special pilgrims to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes and Paris.

We were a small group who prayed together, for each other, in daily private Masses led by Fr Jay Harrington, a learned man who greeted each of us with humility and kindness, in some of the most sacred chapels and basilicas. He taught us simple prayers. His daily meditations were to the point yet profound. In every sense of the word, Fr Jay is a man of God, who helps heal souls and hearts.

Our escort, Javier Gomez, is phenomenal. His knowledge of the historical significance of each sacred site we visited is exhausting and far-reaching. My faith is enriched by the passion, reverence, joy and humor he brought with each explanation. Javier is generous, quick to share his favorite places for lunch, lunch on a river and Spanish hot chocolate!

My more memorable experiences include:
• Santarem, Portugal – site of the oldest Eucharistic miracle
• Fatima, Portugal – attending Mass at the Chapel of Apparitions where Fr Jay offered Mass and where I was honored to lead a decade of the rosary with him; leaving personal intentions with Our Lady in the Chapel
• Loyola, Spain – the birthplace of St. Ignatius, attending a private memorial Mass for my husband led by Fr Jay in the Chapel of Conversion, in St. Ignatius’ family home. I asked Javier if I could purchase flowers for the altar – a simple request I thought – which turned out to be more demanding that I realized. Javier was unstoppable in his efforts to secure the flowers – which he did – after finally calling ahead to our next hotel and negotiating with the hotel to secure the flowers from the local florist even though the florist was closed – Javier continually repeated, “nothing is impossible”.
• Lourdes, France – Singing in the international choir during the Healing Service in the Basilica of St. Pius X (Underground Basilica part of Sanctuary of Our Lady) and again during the evening candle-light rosary procession at the Rosary Basilica where I was honored to read a meditation for a decade of the rosary.
• Lisieux, France – attending private Mass led by Fr. Jay at the Basilica of St Therese the Little Flower. It was here on the Feast of St Maximillian Kolbe, the vigil of the Assumption, that Fr. Jay consecrated me and two other women in our group to Our Lady as we completed our Marian Consecration in accordance with “33 Days to Morning Glory” (Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book).

Although this sounds like a cliché, truly there are no words to describe this pilgrimage and the people I have come to love. It was surreal. I am thankful for my journey, meeting new friends looking to renew their faith and the kindness and generosity of Fr. Jay and Javier. I hope to see my new friends on another pilgrimage.

God’s peace and blessings,
Mary Cusack

  • From: Steve Orr
  • Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & The Shrines of Italy 201443

Great trip packed full of special holy sites including the very exceptional Holy Shrines of Fatima and Lourdes and The Eucharistic Miracle sites of Santarem, Lanciano and Siena. Loved that we partook in Holy Mass every day at some of the most spectacular holy sites in the world, e.g., the Grotto at Massabielle in Lourdes, a side altar where Saint John Paul II was buried at St. Peter’s Basilica and in front of the altar where the Miracle of Lanciano is exposed, just to name a few. The days were very busy and the touring surprisingly vigorous if one partook in ALL opportunities, e.g., Stations of the Cross in Lourdes(steep hills) and San Giovanni Rotando( hills). The priests were fabulous. Fr. James Oberle( Portugal, Spain, France), homilies were brilliant. Msgr. Brian McNamara (Italy) helped organize the group and offered helpful and inspirational homilies. The people on both parts of the tour were delightful. The guides, Jesus and Ines, were great. The hotels were fine, the best being Hotel Moderne in Lourdes. Dinner the first nite in Rome at Spaccio Pasta was not that good.

All the best,
Steve Orr

*206 Tours is no longer working with Spacio Pasta Restaurant

  • From: Denise Cabeza
  • Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Poland: In the Footsteps of Saint John Paul II & St. Faustina on July 27-August 4, 2014. 201444

Hi Donna:

As always, 206 has delivered!! We had an unforgettable trip to Poland following the footsteps of Saint John Paul II and St. Faustina on July 27, 2014. It was a blessing to have Father Carlos Rodrigues not only as our Spiritual Director but as a guardian angel and a good friend. We loved him! Our Tour Guide, Agnes, was caring, friendly and very knowledgeable. The driver took good care of us! The hotels were modern, clean and comfortable; the meals were all excellent. We walked a lot! I will say an average of 3 miles a day and it was very hot (upper 80’s) but we received many blessings in exchange and we met wonderful people and made good friends.

Thanks again for an unforgettable pilgrimage!

Many Blessings,

Denise and Guillermo Cabeza

  • From: Marjory LeFevre
  • Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & Rome with Fr. Romane St. Vil 201445

I just came back from a pilgrimage with 207 Tours on June 29- July 10. I had the best time of my life and want to take the time to thank the staff and especially Alex or Alejandro who was our guide during that time.


  • From: Rebecca Marsh
  • Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & The Shrines of Italy: June 8-25, 2014! 201446


I cannot thank 206 Tours enough for arranging a beautiful pilgrimage. I have wanted to go to Europe since I was a little girl, and that feeling has only deepened after years of reading about the saints and teaching high school history. The trip was on many levels a dream come true. From the beginning, I found the staff members helpful and friendly, even arranging a special layover for me to visit a friend and helping plan extra days beyond the tour itinerary for me to visit Paris, Normandy and Lisieux. I appreciated that 206 took care of every detail on the trip, so I was free to pray in these beautiful places without having to worry about meals, transportation or other arrangements. The trip deeply enriched my spiritual life and created memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I would recommend 206 Tours to anybody.

I would like to express my appreciation for Jesus (our tour guide through Fatima, Spain and Lourdes) and Ines (our guide in Italy). They took care of every detail and arranged many special experiences for us in each location.
I attached some pictures from one of my favorite places on earth (Lourdes) and it is ok with me if you wish to use them.

Thank you again,

  • From: James Parrish
  • Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2014
  • To: sales , groups
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Fr. Calloway 201447

To all at 206 Tours,

My wife and I would like to thank all those that made our trip possible. It was an AMAZING and life changing experience. Everything was so well planned out and our guides were absolutely incredible. We were with Javier and he was so helpful, entertaining and the information he shared with us was just amazing. On this trip you just cant help but grow in your faith. We will forever look back on this trip as a highlight in our lives and this trip was very rewarding for us as we are starting into our marriage.

Thank You and God Bless,
James and Michelle Parrish

  • From: Teresa and Hugh McDermott
  • Sent: Monday, July 7, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: 206 Pilgrimage tour to Lourdes 201448

Dear Donna,

Well what a wonderful tour. We will never forget it! The Director Xavier and Father James Starbuck the spiritual director and the drivers were all excellent, very respectful, kind and helpful. We were looked after very well. The very early start to go to Pau airport from Lourdes to go onto Nevers was hard, but I suppose it can’t be helped in order to keep up with the schedule of the tour. Well done!

Thank you so much.
God Bless

Teresa and Hugh McDermott

  • From: Alie Hoang
  • Sent: Wednesday, July 2, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Rome & Medjugorje: June 16-24, 2014 201449


Just want to let you know that we had a wonderful time. Everything went very smoothly – the flights, hotels, tours, etc. We just want to thank you for making this trip a wonderful experience for us. We just hope we will have an opportunity to go back to Medjugorje someday. And when we do, we sure will use 206 Tours again!

Thank you,
Alie Hoang

  • From: Michael Elanjimattathil
  • Sent: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: June 8-17, 2014 201450

Dear Rosalie and 206 Staff,
I want thank you all for your hard work to make our pilgrimage a great one. It was an awesome trip and really a spiritual experience. We were 42 people from all over USA and even three people from Australia but we felt as one family. Our tour guide Said and our driver were exceptional. They did a wonderful job. The Hotels were excellent and food was fabulous. There is no complaint but an eternally grateful heart for all the hard work you all did to make our pilgrimage a wonderful experience. This was my 4th trip with 206 and every trip was very good and indeed this was the best. Thank you so much. I am looking forward to make another trip with 206 during the coming year may be to Guadalupe.

Yours in Christ
Fr. Michael Elan, cmi

  • From: Nila D
  • Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Ireland: June 11-20, 2014 201451

Hi Rosalie,
I really enjoyed my trip to Ireland. It’s beautiful & peaceful! Everything was superb – the tour guide (Greg), homily of Fr. Eagan, the group, nice weather, hotels, food, the day-to-day itinerary (w/ some stops in Blue Flag Beach, St. Brigid’s wells, etc.) & the Irish people (esp. the Irish Dance Show) & the fact that we were blessed to see & meditate @ Our Lady of Knock.

Thank you very much to 206 Tours & staff!!!

God bless,


  • From: Woods, Nancy
  • Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Ireland: June 11-20, 2014 201452

Hi, Rosalie!

Our trip to Ireland was SPECTACULAR!!!!!! This was exceptionally well planned and our tour guide – Greg Noonan – was outstanding. He went out of his way to facilitate an extraordinary experience for us. Our priest was likewise outstanding.
This has been our 3rd pilgrimage with 206 tours…..we think you are the best!


Nancy Woods, PhD, MPH, RN

  • From: Linda Bell
  • Sent: Monday, June 23, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: RE: Welcome Back! Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Fr. Calloway, June 11-19, 2014 201453

Good afternoon,

I do not know where to begin , I have been on a high since this journey was started, friends from church are amazed to see such glow and happiness shine forth.

To me I believe God had planned this for me and who can say no to God. From the minute your packet arrived to me, I was in awe, then when finally arrived in Rome the reality of this dream came true, I was so amazed at how well things went each step of the way, how hard every one worked to make this a dream me true. Javier picked us up at the airport, and oh how the fear of being lost in a strange place finally evaporated from my thoughts, then to arrive at this fabulous hotel and such grand service. Had a lovely dinner that evening , then the fun began the next morning and each succeeding day, Alex was just so perfect and made each of us feel special, ( wish I could have taken him home) Father Calloway made each day special with daily Mass and rosary. Momma Calloway was so special also as I had heard the Conversion story 3 times and to me she is an angel, sent to help us all keep the faith .

My sister would have loved to have traveled on this special journey with me, but that was not in Gods plan at this time. Do hope to make another journey and it will be only done with Tour 206. My heart is filled with such peace and happiness and as I close my eyes I can visualize some of the glorious places our Alex took us on. You are blessed to have him on your staff, please be good to him.

I do not know how to sent pictures with this sorry, but I am sure you shall receive many as I have seen plenty coming thru.

May God bless you for making a dream come true for me.


Linda Bell

  • From: Deolinda Ramirez
  • Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic @
  • Subject: The Holy Land: June 9-17, 2014! 201454

Hi Donna,

My husband cancelled, I ended up traveling and joining this pilgrimage by myself, I had a fabulous time.

Our tour guide Said Mereibe was fantastic, personable, informative and funny, we all wanted to adopt him as part of our family, the same goes for Father Michael Elan.

The hotel accommodations and meals where excellent, our bus driver a pleasure and he managed the bus with skill and ease through the tight streets, I never felt unsafe nor doubted his ability.
The tour group was great, I felt that I was traveling with my own family.

I have been mentioning 206 Tours to all my friends, family and colleagues, I look forward and will definitely book other pilgrimages with your company in the future.

Warm Regards,

  • From: Ann McNeal
  • Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014
  • To: Piernha Marc
  • Subject: El Camino -The Way of St. James – Santiago de Compostela 201455

Dear Piernha,

I am writing to thank you for the wonderful pilgrimage I recently completed with 206 Tours, the Way of St. James—el Camino. The tour was very well planned, with excellent travel arrangements, accomodations and food.
Our tour guide, Juan Carlos, was invaluable. He was very attentive, enthusiastic, a great source of information, and made sure we were well taken care of at all times. The bus driver, David, was excellent. Father Jeff was wonderful. He walked alongside us, celebrated Mass every day and gave us inspiring sermons to think about along the Way. Our group was comprised of people from all over the USA and it was a beautiful mix. We laughed, we prayed, and we learned about ourselves and about St. James. Thank you and 206 Tours for a truly marvelous pilgrimage. God bless you.

Ann McNeal

  • From: Susan Banks
  • Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2014
  • To: Chris Wright
  • Subject: Italy and Medjugorje 201456

Dear Chris,
Well, I’m not sure I can put into words how much this trip meant to me.
From an organizational point of view, everything worked like clockwork. I was most impressed with the feeling that we were not rushed but still kept on schedule. Having the Catholic perspective of Rome, Assisi, Siena and Casia was very meaningful. I have been on other “tourist tours” and they don’t compare, for me, because of the attention given to the influence of the Church on History as was explained by our Guides.

Speaking of our Guides, they were OUTSTANDING! Simona’s knowledge of Art, History and Faith was remarkable. She explained everything with such passion and enthusiasm we were all enthralled. I wish I had a recording of everything to refresh my memory, there was so much information. Slevenka was also full of passion and enthusiasm. She has laughter in her voice and exudes an infectious joy. Every aspect of Medjugorje was special. I had the right balance of time to myself for reflection and prayer, and time with the group to share experiences. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as my family and friends can tell since I’ve been home, it was a moving and uplifting experience that I will treasure and relive in my memories forever.

My faith is strengthened, my prayers are deepened, I have a new circle of faith friends, and a renewed sense of God’s Love and Peace, what more could you ask for from a pilgrimage.

I will recommend 206 tours to anyone looking for a pilgrimage, and I hope I will get to go on another one soon.

Thank you,

  • From: Sean White
  • Sent: Monday, June 9, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Medjugorje : April 28-May 6, 2014 201457

Hello Donna!
I want to send a big "Thank You!" to 206 Tours! This was my 3rd trip to Medjugorje and the best one by…far! We were scheduled to stay at a home and a guide I didn’t know from my 2 previous trips. The guide who met us in Split…Snjezana..(since her name is hard to pronounce she said we could call her "Snow White")..surprised us as we made the ride to Medjugorje. She said that we would be "staying w/ Ivan…the visionary!". Our group was caught off guard when she said that. I said to Snjezana …"Can you repeat that?" She did…"You will be staying w/ Ivan, the visionary!" I asked her "All week?" She said "Yes!’ Our little group was so shocked and filled w/ joy! When I scheduled this trip, I was only hoping to attend Mirjana’s public apparition on May 2nd. Suddenly…I was to be a guest of Ivan Dragicevic. Ivan…was a wonderful host! He was normal as can be. In the end, our group was about 28 people. We had 2 priests (Fr. Glenn from N.Y. and a Polish priest on his 1st trip…and…his previous parish was..Kibeho…in Africa!). When I planned this trip I never expected any of this to happen.

Thank You 206 Tours!
Thank you to our guides….Ivanka, Slavenka & Snjezana!
I could go on and on but that’s enough for now.

Sean White

  • From: Art Irving
  • Sent: Thursday, June 5, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: 10 Day Holy Land Pligrimage - January 2014 201458

Dear Milanka:

All of a sudden, we’re approaching the half way point of 2014! Memories of our January pilgrimage to the Holy Land continue to provide a fresh source of happiness, inspiration and renewal. Thank you, so very much and thanks to your wonderful staff, to Dr. Hahn and his family and of course, thanks to the holy priests who helped guide us through our time in Israel. From start to finish, our tour of the Holy Land was a special gift and blessing that will be cherished forever. 206 Tours’ organization and oversight of our pilgrimage, for approximately 180 people, from all over the world, was exceptional. Each day, you transported 180 pilgrims to different sites throughout the Holy Land, in addition to transporting us to and from our hotels. We were fed three sumptuous meals, each day and were provided with first-rate accommodations throughout our journey. Dr. Hahn’s evening lectures provided the ideal ending to each wondrous day. We could go on and on, recounting what a glorious 10 days we had, walking in the footsteps of where Our Lord lived, died and was resurrected (We’ve seen those places, all of them, how extraordinary!) but with brevity in mind, allow us, once again, to offer you, your staff and the good & kind people of Israel, especially our Christian brothers and sisters, our prayers and most sincere thanks and gratitude.

Art & Robin Irving

  • From: Irene Connor
  • Sent: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: All Italian Shrines: May 19- June 1, 2014 2014 208

Hi Rosalie,

We had a very wonderful time. Blessings every day. We had the best tour guide, Javier. He took amazing care of us…we felt like his family. He took care of every detail, and if anyone in the group needed anything, he was right on it, whether it was running to the pharmacy for a heat rash on someone’s leg, or helping with the family with the wheelchair , he was there for us.

Probably the main complaint we had was the nights spent at the Hotel Gran Paradiso, in San Giovanni. I know we were supposed to be at 4 star hotels, and this hotel “looked” like one from the outside, but the quality of this Hotel definitely fell short of a 4 star hotel. When we got in the room, we found only one large towel for our shower, and I was traveling with my husband. He went down for another towel and the front desk acted almost annoyed that we were requesting another towel. The towels were such poor quality AND we actually had holes in ours. It was terrible. The showers were so tiny, that you could hardly move in them, and the enclosures were so poor quality, that water would run outside, onto the floor. The food was pretty terrible as well…and so I just had some fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Dinner wasn’t anything to write home about. So if there was any way to improve on that hotel, you should.

The only other complaint we had was not having free WIFI at the last 2 places, in Florence and Padua. We had 4 children at home (we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary) and needed to keep in touch with them, and we feel that the price of our tour should cover that price as well, even if the hotel doesn’t offer it for free.

So to wrap this up, you have a real treasure in Javier, as an employee. He gives it his all and should be commended. Look for another place in San Giovanni, and try to get free Wi-Fi for everyone on the tour.

Thank you for asking how our trip was, and encouraging both positive and negative feedback.
We are fine with you using any photos.

God Bless,

  • From: Renate Young
  • Sent: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land & Rome: May 11-23, 2014 201459

Dear Rosalie,

We want to express our sincere gratitude for organizing the pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome. The overwhelming feeling of walking where Jesus walked will last a lifetime, and the bonds of friendship formed added to the incredible experience. All the meals in Israel kept us well nourished; we particularly liked the friendly staff at the restaurant in Bethlehem. We are grateful for Fr. Peter’s inspiring homilies and for the opportunity to participate at his Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Said was an excellent, patient tour guide who also explained the plight of the Christians in his land. We wish him well! To be in St, Peter’s Square on a Wednesday was a highlight, well worth the wait to see and hear the Pope. Everything from the wonderful accommodations to the sites visited exceeded our expectations. The only problem we had was missing our connecting flight at Dulles due to a delay from leaving Rome. Thank you again, 206 Tours, for helping make this journey a reality for us and for the attention to all the many details that made this truly the trip of a lifetime.

Kind regards,
Renate & Rick Young

  • From: Jan Pestka
  • Sent: Monday, June 2, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: The Holy Land: April 22- May 1,2014. 201460

I would recommend 206 tours to anyone wishing to experience a true spiritual journey Everything met or exceeded my expectations (accommodations/dining/travel) Sami was exceptional! He was so well informed about everything. His knowledge of the scripture astounded even the most well versed on the tour. His knowledge of the Country over centuries witha all it’s intricacies – without being political- very informative although I’m sure difficult – was amazing as well He made each site so much more important because we were so well prepared on the history Chapter and verse regarding Jesus’ path to that particular site. No one went to a site uninformed He is a true asset to your company and I personally feel your suggested tip rate is way below the value of your employee Our driver – can’t say enough about what a great driver he is – and in such conjestion – and such a kind gentle soul. Again, his tip seemed well below his value It was very fast paced No time to waste ( as you stated in your brochure) which – given the volume of tourists- difficult to capture photos of this memorable experience Fortunately, it was such a wonderful group of people that one or two exceptional photographers have said they will share their photos Father David was a perfect spiritual leader and performed his duties well . He was very well liked But as I said the trip was well planned
The guide Exceptional The Experience: priceless

Thank you,
Jan Pestka

  • From: Julie Gregory
  • Sent: Monday, June 2, 2014
  • To: Melissa Mulligan
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Fr. Peter Dugandzic May 12-20, 2014‏ 201461


This was my first pilgrimage and I loved it. As I expected it to be a dream come true!, I walked in the footsteps of our Lord. Did I? Yes, yes I did with a wonderful people that God put together through Tour 206.

Special thanks to Fr. Peter Dugandzic, he with the grace of God made our journey very unique, each reflection, each homily during Masses and prayers still are alive and will be a constant reminder of The Lord has Risen!

Said our guide was very knowledgeable and patience, which I particularly thanks him.

Finally I would like to give thanks to Tour 206 for this wonderful trip and I am looking to return at some future time.

Gloria ( Julie ) Gregory,
Seattle, WA
Julie Gregory

  • From: Giovanni Anbar
  • Sent: Sunday, June 1, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Medjugorje: May 29-27, 2014 201462

Dearest 206 Tours,

I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to all 206 staff, beginning with Milanka who was my inspiration to this pilgrimage, to Patrick who was so caring in every detail, to you Rosalie for your great organization. Our pilgrimage to Medjugorje could not be better. Medjugorje is like no other place on earth!! I didn’t have great expectations and didn’t know what to expect, but the moment you get there you feel the presence of our blessed Mother and real Peace in your heart. The pilgrimage would not be as good as it was without my colleague Slavenka, as some of our group fellows named her "the worlds’ best guide". Not to forget Marinko and his dearest family (our hosts). At his house you feel home with lots of love, generosity and faith. I would also like to thank our spiritual director and the whole group that accepted us from the first day to be part of the family although we came from the other side of the world ( from the holy land)!! To all 206 Staff, keep your faith with the best work ever. To all who would like to go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje or any other place in the world, do not think twice of joining 206 pilgrimages.


Giovanni & Huda

  • From: John & Christine Gwizdak
  • Sent: Friday, May 30, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to All Italian Shrines: April 22- May 14, 2014 201463

We had a wonderful pilgrimage thanks to Matilde, Fr. Damien and our bus driver Giovanni, we can’t say enough good things about their knowledge, help and care to make our trip very memorable.

Our fellow pilgrims were also part of having a wonderful pilgrimage, the whole group seemed to fit together so well!
The hotels were great,the food we had was generally ok.

The breakfasts were great as they had a great variety.

We have a suggestion for the dinners served:
It would be better if we were offered choices. Just 2 or 3 choices for the main course would have made the dining experience of our pilgrimage even better.

Overall the price of the pilgrimage was very reasonable.
Thanks for a GREAT pilgrimage!!

John and Christine Gwizdak

  • From: Dawn Korynta
  • Sent: Friday, May 30, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Medjugorje & Post-Tour to Dubrovnik: May 19-28, 2014 201464

This was the greatest trip I have yet experienced in my life. The trip I always wanted to have. When we arrived at our destination at Medjugorje we were treated like we were coming home, embraced and welcomed by our hosts,Marinko and their family, greeted by Slavenka our guide and interpreter and educated every step of the way. They will be forever in my prayers for appreciation for all that they shared with us and taught us. They remind me of "heavenly guides" to help clarify our existence and give reason and purpose for what we see and what we believe.
I have always wanted to take trips that don’t show us the inside of restaurant that pivot in the sky and all the "great"accomplishments of man, but to actually see how people live and breathe and work. This was a very special gift in this trip, we were able to be a part of history, of witnessing what is happening and to learn from it with the hopes that we can share with others our experiences. I can’t say enough about Slavenka and Marinko and their family, they will be forever in my heart and I will forever be grateful to them for sharing their lives with us. This has to be a once in a lifetime experience, but I would be very willing to take another trip with you to test out that theory-Ireland would be nice.

Thank you and may the Good Lord bless you.

Dawn Korynta

  • From: Dave Summy
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Re: Welcome Back from your Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain & Lourdes with Dr. Scott Hahn 201465


Thank you and all of the folks at 206 Tours for organizing such a wonderful tour. My wife and I were blessed by so many things we saw and experienced that if would be difficult to pick even a few. Most of all, I would like to acknowledge our tour guide/leader, Javier Gomez. His spirituality, humor, and overall friendliness – not to mention his attentiveness to individuals’ needs – was extraordinary. He is a gem, as was Alessandro (?) in the other bus who we only got to know briefly.

We will highly recommend 206 Tours to our friends who wish to make a pilgrimage in the future, and we hope to join you again!

Dwight and Nancy Summy

  • From: Christine Camp
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Re: Welcome Back from your Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain & Lourdes with Dr. Scott Hahn 201466

The trip was absolutely fabulous! Everything was top notch. My only suggestion would be to factor in dietary restrictions when people sign up for the tours. My sister and I don’t eat certain meats, and they were served on the trip. I must say that Alex and Javier made certain that my sister and I were taken care of with alternatives once they became aware of our restrictions. However, it would have made it easier for the restaurants at the beginning of the tour so they didn’t make food that went to waste. Otherwise, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my first trip to Europe. Looking forward to the Holy Land tour with 206 next year!!

Christine Camp

  • From: Dan Furtado
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Way of St. James- El Camino- Spain: May 12-21, 2014! 201467

Thank you, Donna,

This was an inspiring pilgrimage. 206 Tours did an outstanding job. Our tour guide, Juan Carlos and bus driver, David, provided excellent support. Joan Carlos offered excellent advice, history and stories of the El Camino. Our Priest, Fr Jeffrey, was excellent. Thank you.


Dan Furtado

  • From: Mayre Hammond
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • To: Melissa Mulligan
  • Subject: Ireland with Fr. Timothy Joyce | May 12, 2014 201468

Our tour guide and driver Owen was the best. His knowledge of Irish history and culture is surpassed by none. He has a great wit and ability to engage people and make them feel at home. Suggestion: Spend less time driving through Limerick and more time in the charming village of Adare.

Mayre Hammond

  • From: Susan Trausch
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • To: Melissa Mulligan
  • Subject: Feedback! | Pilgrimage to Ireland with Father Timothy Joyce | May 12, 2014 201469

Hi Melissa…Thanks for your note and for all your work getting us over and back. The trip was just terrific. Owen Flynn, our guide/bus driver was absolutely fabulous. He gave us a rolling history lesson and it was never boring because he has a great sense of humor. He’s also a mechanical wizard and stayed up until nearly midnight one night fixing the broken air conditioning on the bus. Keep him on your A-List for tour guides. He’s the best!

This was my first trip to Ireland (John’s third) and we definitely want to go back. If I could have changed anything about the trip it would have been to spend more time at each stop — the schedule was jam-packed and I felt a bit rushed going from place to place. BUT I can’t think of anything I would have given up! All in all a fine introduction to this beautiful, spiritual country.

The best to you!

Susan (and John)

  • From: Mary Johnston
  • Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman; Liz Shea; Natasha Tosic
  • Subject: Ireland 201470

Where to start? It can all be said in two words "Philip Duffy". He is excellent and that really doesn’t say enough. I can’t say enough good about Philip. By the end of this trip, I had several people telling me about the trips they want to take with me. That is because of Philip. He is 206 to them. I have never had this many people express to me that they want to travel again and give me the destination of their trip! We had one gentlemen get sick one day and he and his wife stayed at the hotel. He told his wife how to contact the doctor, then checked back with the hotel a couple of times to make sure they were OK. This is just one of the very small ways he took care of us every day.When we had the room problem, he said he would give up his room, he could find a place to stay. He never hesitated. It was like that all the time, he was always there for us. His knowledge is incredible. We learned so much! He also has a great sense of humor. We laughed till we cried. He told us the first day that there would be a limerick contest. He reminded us often, asking how we were coming with our limericks. I would never go back to Ireland unless you could guarantee me that I would have Philip for our guide. I would even change the dates of our trip to get him. Repeat business is the name of the game for both of us. I do this because it is my passion, I love making people come alive with their faith. Philip not only did that, he just made people come alive! You were just a better person for having spent time with him. Normally it is a place, a church, or something like that that touches me on pilgrimage. This time it was Philip that touched me.

Prayers to all,


  • From: Elizabeth Schnitzler
  • Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc; Stefanie Meyer
  • Subject: Rome pilgrimage 201471

Dear Rinda and Stefanie,

What an unforgettable trip to Rome for the Canonization of Saint John Paul II and St. John XXIII! Gaia did an amazing job as our guide especially as we visited the various shrines in Italy. She was sweet, informative, thoughtful, and always cheerful as she assisted us in moving through the crowds with her "happy feet". I felt compelled to share this photo of her just as she was preparing to drop off several of us in Rome to cue up for the overnight vigil to make our way to St. Peter’s Square for the Canonization Mass. One of our fellow pilgrims, Lilian, took this photograph of Gaia holding up her umbrella at around 7:30 p.m. She left that umbrella with three of us. It helped us on more than one occasion as we made our way through unbelievable crowds to finally arrive at the square at 7:30 a.m. Thank you Rinda and Stephanie for your professionalism in booking this pilgrimage.


  • From: Steve Tankersley
  • Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Welcome Home! | Pilgrimage to Jordan & The Holy Land: May 8-20, 2014! 201474

Donna – the trip was wonderful and Jihon and Sayed are excellent guides. They know the history and geography as one would expect but they are also very warm and engaging individuals. I particularly appreciated their willingness to share with us some of the realities of day to day life in cultures so different from our own.

Fr. Peter is a wonderful pastor who seemed ready to engage with everyone of us in an insightful way. His homilies were point on and added meaning to the particular spaces which we shared!
"He is truly risen!

Steve Tankersley MD

  • From: Barb Davis
  • Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Way of St. James- El Camino- Spain: May 12-21, 2014! 201472

Dear Donna, The trip was wonderful! Juan Carlos and David were very professional , helpful and caring on our trip. I felt that the mix of people who shared the Camino with us was very special , a gift. The accommodations were good and thoughtful, particularly the beautiful chapels where we participated in Mass with Father Jeff, who was key in making our journey very unique. It was a great experience and I would highly recommend 206 Tours.

Thank you,
Barbara Davis

  • From: teri beinlich
  • Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: pilgrimage to Camino 201473

Hi Donna,

I just wanted to quickly send an email to let you know how much I enjoyed my recent Camino trip! I think the people are who can make or break any group trip and our group, led by Juan Carlos Tejeda, was fabulous! His knowledge of history, patience with the group, encouragement along the way, and great sense of humor were a few of the attributes he brought to the trip. I will highly recommend this pilgrimage to friends and strangers alike….and pray they get Juan Carlos as a guide!


Teri Beinlich

  • From: Ernie & Poy Dacpano
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes and Paris: May 8-20, 2014 201475

Dear Rosalie,

Thank you so much for arranging our pilgrimage. It was our first time to use 206 Tours and Ernie and I were so impressed that we will definitely use your company in our next pilgrimage and recommend it to our parish.
We had our personal prayer time in Fatima and Lourdes and it was a great spiritual experience. Fr. Jim Starbuck was an awesome spiritual director and Javier, our tour guide, treated our group as his family. He is very knowledgeable and goes out of his way to help us. God has blessed us with wonderful weather the whole time.
Thank you again and God bless 206 Tours and your staff.

Ernie and Poy Dacpano

  • From: Najette Abraham
  • Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Marian of the Immaculate Conception Pilgrimage to Italy & the Canonization of Saint John Paul II 201476

Good morning Amanda,
I have taken some time to reply to your email as I am still absorbing the effects of the tremendous experiences of the pilgrimage. The days spent in Rome were spirit filled under the guidance of Fr Jim McCormack – his gentle spirit, patience and good nature sure went a long way to keeping the group focused on what we there for.

Our guide Javier and the guides for the other groups were the epitome of efficiency – they responded to all situations in a positive manner at all times. The Hotel Ponte Sisto was comfortable to say the least with personnel who slipped into the background and serviced all that was required. They were patient and understanding. In my case, I omitted to advise you that I was a special diet as I am not only gluten-free but also a pescetarian. I am usually very flexible and have whatever else is on the menu. This only came to light at dinner the first evening when I refused the pasta and chicken but this did not faze the staff – they promptly returned to the kitchen and in no time returned with a meal of gluten-free pasta, fish and vegetables. What impressed is that they adjusted the menu for three of us who were in the same position every night without any reminders necessary.

206 Tours through Amanda Fortunato was an excellent resource for a pilgrimage. Having been on others with other groups, I can say that you impress with your knowledge and efficiency. We knew what was required from day one and we were guided on every step of the way to ensure that we were ready for departure. Thank you!

We had some wonderful experiences with some wonderful people and you are right – April 27th in St Peter’s will live in my mind forever! The fulfillment of a promise I made to our beloved JP2 when he died – a dream come true!
Incidentally, I tried to tag you in the photos I am posting but could not.

Last but not least, my daughter wants to know what are the criteria required for becoming a tour guide with 206 Tours as she is thinking of doing so. Please advise.

Once again, my thanks for all your assistance and regards,


  • From: Peter Dugandzic
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Pictures from Galilee 2014 207

Jesus is Risen!

Here are some shots from today. The group was in Capernaum, Church of the Multiplication, and on the Sea of Galilee. Thus far, everything is going well. It appears the group is having a great time and really taking in the graces. As I mentioned to you previously, I am making some observations and will share them with you at some point. Thanks for the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and be assured of my prayers.

Peace and Joy,

Fr. Peter

  • From: Lily Ayala
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Jordan & The Holy Land: April 19-May 1, 2014 201477

Dear Donna,

We loved the trip! So much to take in and it was all wonderful.

Fr. David was a wonderful spiritual director. I am going to look into the tour he is leading next year to Poland.
Special kudos to our two tour guides – Soulaiman in Jordan and Sami in Israel. I do not know how you found them but they are spectacular. Their knowledge of the sights and the faith was inspiring. They are very different personalities but both were excellent. Soulaiman was very thoughtful with every detail – he helped everyone off the bus, made suggestions as to what would be best, gave us time at the sights, and was very informative. He is a truly generous soul and great person.

Sami was extremely knowledgeable and was good about keeping the large group moving since there was so much to see. His knowledge of the Bible is extensive and he was very informative about the sights, political issues, etc. My only suggestions with Sami might be to be more clear about setting time available at each sight. I know it was a large group he was juggling but saying "10 minutes at the entrance" is different than saying "10:45 at the entrance so that we can leave for the next sight".

The hotels were all good (Petra and Tel Aviv hotels were excellent) except for the hotel in Amman. They had the heat on and it was very hot. There was no way to adjust the temperature. My hotel door did not lock properly either. It was a little dirty as well. The booklet "Know Before You Go" was excellent and had all the perfect information. I felt perfectly prepared. My only suggestion might be to note on the "shorts" that they are only to be worn at the Dead Sea, Petra, Jerash, or the hotels. You clearly stated it in the booklet that we would be visiting holy sites on a daily basis but I am afraid some of the men just didn’t get it and then had a challenging time entering churches. It is a lot more conservative there (not a bad thing) and people are used to going to church here in America in shorts (not a great thing but that is another story…).

Also, you might want to clarify for people that they need to bring the Magnificat on a daily basis since we will be reading from it, along with the booklet with the prayers. Everything you sent was wonderful but I think some people didn’t realize we would be praying the rosary daily on the bus and saying morning prayers. (Again, there was a reason you sent it but I guess people didn’t understand we would be using these on a daily basis and were trying to travel light.)

This was my first real tour (I normally plan my own travel) and I loved 206 Tours. Fr. Pay Kibby from St. Stephen’s Church in Nashville highly recommended your company (they traveled with you in November last year) and I was not disappointed. Everything was great!

Thank you!
Lily Ayala Berlyn

  • From: Valerie Sistare
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
  • To: Linda Antonelle
  • Subject: thank you 201478

Hi Linda, Sandra and Yaritza,

Exceptional!! A true blessing!!! Awesome!!! How do you describe a pilgrimage that leaves you in awe? It will take weeks to take it all in and ponder all that we saw.

Thank you for all your hard work in planning and organizing our recent pilgrimage to the Italian Shrines. Thank you to all the 206 staff that helped make our pilgrimage a reality. You left no detail undone. Everything was well thought out and beyond our expectations. The flights, the transportation from airport to Assisi and throughout our pilgrimage was timely and stress free. Our bus driver, Mario, was excellent and tried to make the drop offs convenient.

Linda, your suggestions to make our trip so spiritual and spectacular were so appreciated. Ending our pilgrimage in Rome was such a beautiful send off back to home. You made it so easy for me to organize this trip–you gave me total support with everything.

Milanka, thank you for your kindness and wanting this trip to be special for us.

Jesus, our tour guide is a true gentleman and became part of “our family” immediately! His concern and caring for all of us was very evident. He anticipated our needs and made sure they were met. When someone needed an arm to lean on to walk or a taxi because they were tired–he was there. He is a true joy and a very spiritual man. His knowledge made our trip more memorable and his humor made it all the more fun. He is a true gem. I told him he’s a missionary bringing others to Christ and he is in every sense of the word.

The local tour guides that you secured for us were amazing. We learned so much and they seemed to enjoy what they were doing, which makes it all the more pleasurable.

The hotels were excellent in Assisi, Hotel Giotto, and Rome, Il Cantico–definitely 4 stars!! They were kind and courteous and very welcoming. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. The views were breathtaking. One of the nicest gifts we received was having a chapel in the Il Cantico Hotel in Rome with the Blessed Sacrament. Oh, what a gift to be able to go quietly and pray and contemplate what Our Lord was trying to show us.

The hotel in San Giovanni Rotundo was also very nice, however the staff at times were not as welcoming. The food at the hotels was excellent. A very nice variety and the breakfasts with plenty of choices.

We were blessed to have brought our 2 priests with us, Fr Raymond Suriani and Fr Brian Sistare (my son). The chapels and churches where they celebrated Mass every day for us was like a little piece of heaven. When I first saw the list, I couldn’t believe we were so blessed. I will never forget the morning in Rome when our pastor, Fr Ray celebrated Mass at St John Paul II altar. We have been asking him to intercede for our pastor to be healed of his Parkinson’s disease for the last couple of years. When Fr turned around to bless all of us he was facing St Pius X altar–the name of our parish. There were so many blessings along the way– I call them kisses from God.

There were so many moments that were emotional, Mary’s house, seeing Padre Pio, the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano and to actually be in the presence of the Holy Father! I keep asking myself–did this all really happen?
Thank you, Thank you , Thank you!!

Our group was so pleased with the pilgrimage–it was so nice to hear how happy they were that they chose this pilgrimage to go on. It was easy to enter into the pilgrimage and detach a bit from the world because all our necessities were being taken care of. How proud I am to be part of the 206 family.

Please know that I will keep you all in my prayers. There are not enough words to express the gratitude I feel for all of you at 206 tours. Thank you for all the souls that you are helping to get to know Christ and our Mother Mary.

God bless,

  • From: Gloria Hebert
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
  • To: sales
  • Subject: Italy 201479

To 206 Tours:
We just returned from Italy after a fantastic pilgrimage. Our leader, Val Sistare was and untiring, caring and above all, a beautiful individual. Our guide, Jesus, was always on the spot with all the assistance we needed and beyond. The expected nice pilgrimage turned out to be superior to any tour I’ve ever been on, and I commend you for providing us with a memora ble time..and gratefully, I say thanks….

Gloria Hebert

  • From: Tony & Joy Angelelli
  • Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc
  • Subject: Re: Welcome Home! Pilgrimage to Italy and the Canonization of Saint John Paul II and John XXIII 201480


Joy and I have pretty much recovered from our almost two weeks in Bisenti, Abruzzo and Rome. Thanks for the opportunity to give you some feedback. First, we want to offer our highest commendation for Mitilde Mendes. She was a dedicated, passionate worker and leader on behalf of our entire pilgrimage group. Her heroic efforts to secure a wheelchair for Joy made our pilgrimage agenda possible for her. We thought we had a wheelchair lined up (it was at the airports) but that was not the case in Rome. Matilde worked until she found one and secured it for Joy for the duration of our Rome stay. Matilde also worked very hard to get our group as close to the Vatican as we could possibly get for the Canonization. We encountered a solid wall of people, and we were fortunate that she found a space for us in a garden outside the Castle of the Angels. We were. as you would expect, disappointed that we did not get inside the Vatican walls, but we heard the Canonization and we could see a screen about a hundred yards away. We planted the American flag and were able to stay together, including Joy in her wheelchair. I do not think that Rome did a very good job of providing nearly enough screens and nearly enough restrooms for this event.

Father Eugene was exceptional also. He opted to stay with our group when he could have gone into the Vatican for the Canonization. When I thanked him for his contribution, he told me that he had not done anything. What he did was to be himself to greatly add to our experience.

Rome was pretty much chaos for the Canonization weekend. I’ll bet that the first Woodstock was something like Rome for this event. Adding a million people, even to a city like Rome, presents a nearly insurmountable problem.

Joy and I were most likely spoiled by the “real” Italian, mostly homemade food that we had the week before we got to Rome. That being said, the commercial Italian food that we had at the evening meals for the first three days in Rome was just OK. The Hotel Alpi food was fine and the Monday evening party was great. We got back to the hotel from the party a little before midnight and we had a 3:30 wake-up call to catch our early plane, so that was an adventure in itself.

Overall, this was a trip of a lifetime and it was one that we shall never forget. I took about 300 pictures and I put them up on the site for anyone who gave me their email address. I got feedback from only three of twenty people, so I can’t be sure if the others got the message or not — some of their writing was hard to figure out.

Thank you, 206 Tours, for a job well done!!!

Tony ((& Joy) Angelelli

  • From: Catherine (Cathy) Dolfi
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Marian of the Immaculate Conception Pilgrimage to Italy & Canonization of Saint John Paul II and John XXIII 201481

Hi, Amanda! Incredible! Indescribable! Since I came home, I’ve been contemplating how to adequately thank you and the staff at 206 Tours for the wonderful, extraordinary experiences I had during the pilgrimage to Rome for the canonizations of our new Saints Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II the Great! The joy and peace of God’s love that I experienced throughout this pilgrimage was wonderful!

• Thank you to all the people at 206 Tours who worked behind the scenes to plan, prepare, and facilitate our special pilgrimage to Rome for this historic and unprecedented event in the Life of Holy Mother Church!

• Thank you to our great tour guides, Javier & Jose. Without their help, I would not have been able to negotiate the multitudes, or been so close to see Our Holy Father (not to mention finding my way to and from the hotel) ! They did everything in their power to ensure our incredible journey went smoothly, without obstacles or inconveniences. And both were professional, knowledgeable, courteous and "spontaneously fun" throughout!

• Thank you, Amanda, for giving me the opportunity to share my pilgrimage experience with such a wonderful roommate! We got along really well, and found we shared a lot in common! Trusting in the Divine Mercy, and through your intuitive efforts, we became friends as soon as we met and it was a pleasure to be with her on the pilgrimage!

• However, thank you seems so inadequate to express my gratitude to our Marian spiritual director, Father Jim McCormack, for all he did for everyone in our pilgrim family. His devotion to and love of The Divine Mercy and Our Lady were reflected in his untiring efforts to help us all encounter Our Lord Jesus in our hearts and souls. The words of a priest are meant to console and inspire a soul on its spiritual pilgrimage to Our Heavenly Father’s Home. Father Jim accomplished this and much more with his incredible kindness and light.

Each day as I reflect on those 5 days in Rome, new happy, memories come to mind – each with their own special experiences! And so, THANK YOU to everyone at 206 Tours for a beautiful and incredible pilgrimage! Your professionalism and dedications to the needs and comforts of your pilgrims is commendable!

May the Peace of The Divine Mercy bless you all and remain with you always!

Mrs. Catherine (Cathy) Dolfi

  • From: Jesus Ortiz
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Italy and the Canonization of Saint John Paul II and John XXIII and Poland 201482

What an experience! My wife and I have the time of our live. This pilgrimage was so special and spiritual.
Even thou our flight had to turned back after two hours flying because of some air conditioning difficulties, which ended up staying overnight in Newark. Natasha was very patience and kind when I called at 1:00 a.m. to notify about the flight situation. She called me back to check on us. We arrived on Saturday morning at 3:30 a.m. and 206 Tour’s lady (I feel bad, I forgot her name) was waiting for us at the gate to take us to the hotel. We arrived to the hotel around 4:30 a.m. to wake up and be ready for breakfast by 6:30am. After that our dream come true started.

We got to meet Milanka at the special party for all the people that attend the canonization. That was very nice and we had so much fun with the opera singer.

Every single place was so special, the group of people which from strangers we grew as family in such of short time. Gaia made it an awesome experience all the time. She gave us a big surprise at the St. Francis Cathedral in Siena. We were able to see and basically touch the Eucharistic miracle, something that we weren’t expected. Our spiritual director, Fr. Barry was touched by the experience! Giovanni drove us everywhere in the safest way! I was very impress the way he parked the bus, boy you need good skills to do that.

Jesús Ortiz

  • From: Harris, Penelope J MAJ
  • Sent: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Italy and the Canonization of Saint John Paul II and John XXIII 201483

Ms Rinda,

Thank you kindly for the note.

The trip was perfect. Padre Diego was the ideal spiritual guide for our group. I was amazed at how it seemed the whole communion of saints came down from heaven to join us for the canonization process, making it truly a divinely merciful Sunday. Going to these Holy places, where Padre Pio said Mass, Mary received the Annunciation, St Michael consecrated the cave, St Peter’s w/ all the saints buried there, Seeing the cross where Padre Pio and Francis received their stigmata, praying at the saints tombs, all these places where the sanctity is tangible, gave me new appreciation for the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist present is what makes these places most Holy, it is what the saints point to, to worship God’s presence and remember it is He who comes in communion with us through the Eucharist, and though we revere all we have participated in, I have been continually humbled to know it is our God who deigns to come down from His throne in heaven for the sole reason of being one with us. We are indeed a pilgrim people. Amen.

Thank you kindly,

Penelope Harris MD

  • From: Rock Regalado
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Italy and the Canonization of Saint John Paul II and John XXIII 201484

Hello Rinda,

Truly a Blessing being there in Rome with you, Milanka and all the 206 family. I want to thank you especially for your professionalism and guidance which made it so much more manageable on my end. I wish I could visit all the shrines and holy places with you guys.

Father Ernest was so in the clouds during and after the Canonization, I think he is still floating around Saint John XXlll, Miramar, Florida. He would like to thank you as well.

Have a Blessed Day, Month and Year!

Warm Regards,
Rocky Regalado

  • From: Sam Tovar
  • Sent: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Italy and the Canonization of Saint John Paul II and John XXIII 201485

Hi Rinda,
We really had a blessed time for the entirety of our stay in Rome and with 206 tours. There was a glitch with the wheelchair at the airport for my mother when we were leaving Rome, but that was entirely out of 206’s hands and fell back to problems with the airport itself! That was just God having us trust more in him! Which we did and everything worked out!!

But back to the goodness! We had an amazing pilgrimage- Father Dan was beyond wonderful! He truly is amazing and we all can be more like him in his actions and deeds! We also loved our fellow pilgrims and our guide! It was an amazing journey and we can’t thank 206 enough for allowing us to experience such a life and world changing event!!! Thank you 206!!!

God bless and well wishes,

Samantha Tovar and Nancy Carlin

  • From: Patrick Pannell
  • Sent: Monday, May 5, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Medjugorje Mini- Stay: March 27-April 1, 2014. 201486


We really haven’t the words to express our appreciation for the opportunity to visit Medjugorje as provided by 206Tours. It was a holy and blessed experience. It was well organized, conducted and guided. Though we took only a four day tour, we felt we experienced a "little bit of Heaven" in a small Croatian village. Everyone we interacted with was helpful and polite. Thank you again for the opportunity and we will certainly recommend 206Tours.

We can’t end this missive without expressing our gratitude to our guide, Slavenka. Though we arrived a couple of days later than most of our group, she went out of her way the help us "catch-up" especially with the spiritual. Her presentations were a masterful blend of her knowledge of the history of the area and a long association with the apparitions. A wonderful guide and a wonderful Christian.

Thank you and 206Tours again.

Blessings in Christ’s name,

Patrick and Mary Lou Pannell

  • From: Sandy Scheiner
  • Sent: Friday, May 2, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Pilgramage for Cannonization 201487

Dear Milanka,

It was a delight to meet you at our special celebration dinner last Monday night. Jim and I had a wonderful first trip to Roma because of 206 tours. Jesus our guide was knowledgeable and very thoughtful to our needs. I have attached the photo(s) you requested. The only problem we encountered was on our return flight; it was canceled from NY-Kennedy to PHL. We look forward to our next 206 tour.

With gratitude,
Sandy & Jim Scheiner

  • From: Greg Terrebonne
  • Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
  • To: Patrick McKenna
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn (March 9 - 19, 2014) 201489

Dear Milanka and Patrick:

Sorry it has taken so long to give you my feedback but, as a retired person, I am very busy! So here it is:
206 Tours—you have a lot of clout! To be able to get us into the Vatican Gardens to pray the Rosary, see where Pope Emeritus Benedict lives, see where Pope Francis lives, the rosaries we received, the words of greeting from the Cardinal, to be at the Grotto where Pope Emeritus Benedict prays the rosary daily! Wow! When Yaritza told me that y’all would try to make it up to us for Pope Francis’ audience being cancelled, my first thought was, “yea, right. How do you make up for that?” But you did in a huge way! We can go to Rome next Wednesday and see Pope Francis but we may never have a chance to go where you took us (unless it is with 206 Tours)! The entire staff worked tirelessly to make our pilgrimage the best. All the questions were answered, the requests were met, and the genuine caring and concern for each of us was evident. Peggy and I were on Alessandro’s bus and he was tremendous in his willingness, hard work, and dedication to all of us on his bus. And I am sure that Gaia and Javier V did the same. That was obvious just from our few associations we had with them. Javier G., on the ground, really worked hard to make sure that everything was set up ahead of us. Patrick, you and Yaritza were always there to handle any problem that came up at the moment. Milanka, your constant concern for all of the pilgrims, and your dedication to every one of us was overwhelming. I observed you as you made sure that you talked to and spent some time with all the pilgrims. All of you are tremendous assets to 206 Tours!

The three priests were outstanding. We had Father Peter on our bus. His knowledge, explanations, care, and concern impressed Peggy and I very much. We enjoyed, also, the time we spent with Father Gil and Father Gockel. All the Masses and homilies were inspiring and instructional.

I was particularly impressed with the little “extras” that were provided to us: the showing of the videos before we arrived at places such as Padre Pio, Lanciano, Loreto, St. Francis, etc.; the handouts on the bus such as the prayer and novena cards containing a relic of Padre Pio, etc.; and the history and narrative given by Alessandro of each place we visited. The time we were able to spend with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn and their talks were inspiring.

I thought that on some days, lunch took too long and too much food was served. I heard several people also say the same. But maybe there is a reason. Maybe when you ask a restaurant to provide food and staff for 140+ people, you may have to guarantee the restaurant a certain amount of revenue, therefore a certain amount of food. Also, if you could let everyone know how many courses of food are being served, it would help some of us to “pace” ourselves. And sometimes this was done. I was not happy with my flight arrangements. I was scheduled to fly on United from New Orleans to Dulles, then to Zurich (with a 5 hour layover), then to Rome. On the return, it was Rome to Zurich, then to Chicago, then to New Orleans, arriving at 10:00pm. So, I asked for, and received a refund of the air portion, $1109.00 each.

So, next year Peggy and I and our daughter’s in-laws will go to the Holy Land with 206 Tours and probably take another pilgrimage before the end of 2015. Thanks again for making our pilgrimage such a memorable and inspiring event.

Greg and Peggy Terrebonne

  • From: Julie Christensen
  • Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Fr. Dominic Thomas Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy: March 24-April 2, 2014! 201490

Donna, We enjoyed our 206 Tour very much. Father Tom was very personable and enlightening. Grateful to have him since Fr. Dominic could not be there. Also our tour guide Simona went above and beyond when we needed help with questions regarding several aspects of additional time my husband and I would be spending in Italy. Thank you.

Julie Christensen

  • From: Fred Hormuth
  • Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Shrines of Italy 201491

WOW!!! Our trip was more than we expected. I didn’t think one could pack that much in in a day. Our driver and guide in Israel were fantastic. Both Sammie and Hassim were super, and worked well together. I am still on info overload. I don’t know why Our Lord had to do everything on a mountaintop….never in a valley. Personally, I wasn’t prepared for all the walking…uphill! Our Italy experience with Simona and Fr. Tom was special indeed. A trip to remember. Many thanks to 206 tours for an unforgettable time.

Fred Hormuth

  • From: Marie Fonslow
  • Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Fr. Dominic Thomas Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy: March 24-April 2, 2014! 201492

Dear Donna,
First of all, let me say that Simona was a great guide! Some of our group had been on another 206 tour with Father Tom who substituted for our Father Dominic, so there was a connection there. Our group grew to 38 for 3 days in Rome, and 18 for the rest of the pilgrimage. Now we’re trying to decide our next 206 pilgrimage! Thanks to Piernha, Rosalie and all who helped me put this pilgrimage together.Wishing 206 a blessed Lenten and Easter Season. Marie


  • From: Rolley Bateman
  • Sent: Monday, April 7, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Fr. Brian Grady | Italy | March 22-31, 2014 201493

Hi Amanda,
We are so glad that we jumped at, what seemed the slightest chance to pick up and go to Italy, with only a matter of 3 days to get ready. While we were contemplating a later trip in the fall, everything seemed to fall in and out of place and then suddenly it happened. God made it all possible. The one thing that remains in our hearts from the beginning to the end of the trip, and beyond is God’s will for us. This pilgrimage was wonderful, spiritual, and overpowering at times with the beauty of Italy. Through it all, the best part was the closeness and strengthening of our marriage! Who ever thought we would be standing in St. Peter’s Square or having Mass at the side chapel where Pope John Paul II is entombed or staring up at the paintings in the Sistine Chapel. What a gift for our souls!

We above all want to acknowledge and thank Father Grady, who spiritually enlightened us, Marcie who was so devoted in coordinating the last minute details, Amanda from 206 Tours who made arrangements at the eleventh hour, and especially the intercession of St. Scholastica. From the very beginning and throughout this journey we were welcomed and treated like family. We were where God wanted us to be – to meet, pray, enjoy nature, eat and interact with people of all ages. And to discover that this family is just one town away! We truly felt that we belonged in joining this group, because everyone was so spiritually connected in bringing us closer to God.

Rolley & Marianne Bateman

Woodstock, IL

  • From: Terence O'Connor
  • Sent: Saturday, April 5, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Spain with Fr. Gregory Cappuccino | March 16 - 28, 2014 201494

It is my pleasure to write and tell you and 206 tours how pleased I am with my recent pilgrimage to Spain with Father Greg Cappuccino. Although we got off to a very sad start with the death of Father Tony Pascual, we were able to find peace and comfort in the fact that Our Lord had called him home. We continued to take his spirit with us on the journey as people of faith. We were able to enjoy the tour with love peace and much laughter.

I cannot begin to put into words how great Jesus our guide was. He is by far the best I have ever had the pleasure of touring with!!! There was nothing he was not able or willing to do for our group. His care and concern were beyond the scope of his responsibilities. He is so rich so with experience, knowledge and obviously deeply spiritual. You said you were sending us with your best and that is so true. 206 tours is so blessed to have a man like him, He is a prince among men . This Man is working a real ministry.

Or Bus driver, Miguel Angel, ( Pachi ) is one of the finest true gentleman I have ever met.
He is so calm, polite and respectful. We felt so safe with his driving. His appearance is impeccable, always so neat and clean. He was always on time with the bus and really is outstanding with maneuvering that large vehicle through those very narrow and tricky streets. He handled all our luggage with care and always greeted us with a good morning and a smile. Again, I cannot say enough about him either. I would love to go back to Spain and say hello to both of them. If I make another trip with 206 I could only hope to have them both again.

I have traveled all over the world including 2 pilgrimages to the Holy Land with 206 tours before. I count this recent tour as one of the very best and most rewarding. I was more in need of this spiritual journey than I knew. It blew me away. Spiritually I feel so refreshed and renewed. I have promised myself that I will continue to hold onto and grow with it. I will go back to Spain! I may even do the Camino if I get myself in shape first. I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful journey 206 has provided me with. I am so glad that there is a religious tour company in this secular world we live in. God Bless all of you and may your rewards be even greater than mine.

With love and Gratitude
Terence G. O’Connor (Terry)

  • From: Kevin Quinn
  • Sent: Friday, April 4, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Tour to Fatima, Lourdes and Medjugorje 201495

We want to tell you that our trip from March 13 thru 26 far exceeded any expectations that we had. Our guide, Matilda, was one of the most knowledgable and personable guides that I have ever had the pleasure to travel with. Every stop on our way was outstanding. It was capped by our experience in Medjugorje. Having been awed by this place when we were there in 2005, I was afraid I would be disappointed this time. I was definitely wrong. Having Dragan as our personal guide was the greatest surprise. He was constantly trying to please up and we got to see things that we missed last time and we never imagined we would see. We are still trying to process all the blessings that God bestowed on us during this trip. We will definitely recommend 206 Tours to any of our friends and family planning a pilgrimage.

Kevin and Jennifer Quinn

  • From: M. yolene
  • Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Lourdes, Paris, Nevers & Lisieux: March 18-25, 2014. 201496

Dear Donna,
Joseph and I had the most woderfull time. Our tour guide Matilda is the best. We met a group of very nice people which made the pilgrimage more memorable. The day after my coming home, I called 206 tours to congradulate you. My son Joseph had the opportunity to serve Mass with Fr. Brian in all the churches we visited. He will cherished the memories for ever.

Thank you,

M. yolene

  • From: GE
  • Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Welcome Home! | Pilgrimage to The Holy Land: March 16-25, 2014! 201497

Dear Donna,

I truly believe that the Holy Spirit gifted our family in finding 206 Tours in the Internet standing out amongst various tour companies handling pilgrimages to the Holy Land. We are so blessed to have made the right decision to choose your company. Thank you for a spiritual journey like no other!

My husband, and our sons Ernie & Joe are all appreciative & grateful to you all at your company for the wonderful & memorable experience of being able to walk in the footsteps of Jesus in His Holy Land. The itinerary was more than what we could have desired & most of all our Tour guide Sami Tawil was a true professional , his knowledge of not only Biblical history but also of the geographical, political, and cultural histories of the regions and the country as a whole were amazing. We were not only spiritually enriched by being pilgrims but we also got educated beyond that. We felt safe with Hasam’s driving & kindness. Sami became our tireless guardian throughout our pilgrimage with his perfect logistics!

As the case in all tours, time is of the essence & we had to adhere to a strict timetable not leaving much extra time for prayers and browsing in shops, which we understand, because otherwise we won’t be able to achieve our goal of reaching the holy sites we came to see and experience, which is the main reason for our pilgrimage!

Everything was excellent your company chose great hotel accommodations for us, delicious meals in abundance, efficiently managed transfers from the airport to the hotel & vice-versa including luggage handling.

Thank you for all these, and also for your travel packages which were so efficiently done, all of what you did for us before & during our trip eased any anxieties that might have otherwise naturally occur.

We wish to thank Milanka, Liz, Rosalie, Sandra, Melissa, Piernha, Rinda and everyone who had a hand in making our pilgrimage to the Holy Land the success it was for our family and fellow pilgrims!

We will definitely spread the word to family, friends and relatives about your unique company, which is more of a ministry in nature than a mere travel company, taking people to the Holy Land and other holy sites around the world!
Wishing you all continued success in what you do and a blessed Lent and Happy Easter!

God bless!

Galicano, Carmencita, Ernie and Joe Evangelista

  • From: Marianne Mickalowski
  • Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014
  • To: Stefanie Meyer
  • Subject: Tour 96 - March 24, 2014 201498

Richard & I just returned from the Shrines of Italy tour. I would like to express my deepest appreciation and thanks to your company. This tour exceeded our expectations on the 3 key levels:

1) Simona our tour guide was very professional and knowledgeable on the customs, history and culture of the various regions of Italy along with sense of humor.
2) Father Thomas Ganley enlightened and awoke our spiritual soul to the joys of God. Two Masses were extremely spiritual that touched my soul : the Catacombs & Lanciano.
3) Our group was not that of strangers but more like a family looking out for another.

I would highly recommend 206 Tours to anyone who is considering a sojourn abroad.

Thank you again
Marianne Mickalowski

  • From: Paulette Fischer
  • Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman; Patrick McKenna; Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy 201499

Dear Friends in Christ,

The pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy has left an indelible imprint on my mind, heart and soul. What a spiritually enriching way to observe Lent! It was truly an incredible experience. I am very grateful to all of you, as well as to our priests and guides for making it so.

When my sister and I signed up for the pilgrimage, we were unfamiliar with your tour company. Scott Hahn and Kimberly Hahn were the drawing cards. Although we had some reservations, we felt the Hahn’s stamp of approval was a good quality indicator. We were not disappointed.
The pilgrimage and your attentiveness to every little detail and to each individual and their needs far exceeded our expectations. The places we visited, our accomodations, the meals, the travel accomodations, the staff involvement were all exceptional. We would definitely give 206 Tours a five star rating.

It was obvious that your staff, the spiritual advisors, the guides and even the bus drivers were committed to seeing that everything went smoothly and was a positive cultural and spiritual experience for the pilgrims.

It was amazing how your organization kept such a large group flowing smoothly. The feeling was that of "family" rather than of a "large group".

I’m still processing the things I saw, heard, and felt on the pilgrimage and will be for some time. If you were to ask me what should be changed to improve the experience, my reply would be nothing.

It was a pleasure to have you as traveling companions on my long journey toward holiness. God bless you for your dedication, passion, energy and love for the Lord. May you be blessed as He has blessed us through you. I hope our paths cross again.


Paulette Fischer
South Dakota Pilgrim

  • From: Ganley, Rev. Thomas
  • Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy: March 24-April 2, 2014! 2014100

Dear Donna:

Just to let yu know all went well with our trip..
The pilgrims were very happy and Simona our tour guide was THE BEST EVER !!!…
Everybody was happy overall and said that she was so good in all that she taught us re the spots we visited and they even said I did a great job too..they were very good to me…
Im ready and able to go again in the future to any trips that yu may need me…yu are all so good to me as well…im happy to be a 206 Chaplain…but maybe now sometime after July-Dec….
Bye for now.

And thanks for having trust in me…

Fr. Tom Ganley

  • From: Ernie Evangelista
  • Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land: March 16-25, 2014! 2014101

Hi Donna,
Thanks to 206 Tours and your staff for organizing a terrific Holy Land pilgrimage for my parents, brother and me. Your team was so patient and flexible as they responded to the many questions we had as newbie pilgrims.

As far as the trip itself, it’s the people who made it such a great and memorable travel experience:

1) Sami and Hasim our tour guide and driver. Sami was flexible with our itinerary, so if we were running late and had to miss a site, he worked it into another day. And Hasim’s skillful driving and willingness to help and pitch in when needed made all of us feel that much more secure.

2) The hotel staff at each of our lodging locations were friendly, courteous and helpful. I’d like to single out Ralph at the Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv who checked me into my room Monday morning, March 17. Since I arrived ahead of the tour group, it felt good to get settled in after a few days of independent travel.

3) Fr. Dean and our fellow pilgrims looked out for each other.

Now, I understand why some of the pilgrims we met had been on other 206 trips before! We’ll definitely keep you in mind in future travel planning.

Best regards and keep up your fantastic work!
Ernie Evangelista

  • From: Joanne
  • Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Fr. Brian Grady | Italy | March 22-31, 2014 2014102

The trip was absolutely terrific. I can’t imagine it being any better. The bus driver and Javier were great. I would not think twice about going on another 206 spiritual sponsored trip. I am so very thankful to be included in this trip.


  • From: Olmo, Junne A
  • Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Milanka and Junne at Farewell Canonization 2014 Dinner 201488

Hi Milanka!

Hope all is well and you made it back safely from Rome.

I just wanted to let you know you are doing a remarkable job with 206 Tours! I am so happy I somehow stumbled across this wonderful website!

I attached our picture above, what a wonderful evening! This was a once in a lifetime event and I am glad you allowed all of us to be a part of it!

God bless you and your family and I am already looking forward to my next pilgrimage.

Take care!


Junne A. Olmo

  • From: Fr. Guido
  • Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Email to all with whom I have pilgrimed in 2013 including those on the recent pilgrimage to Shrines of Italy 2014104

Dear Fellow Pilgrims,

Greetings from New York!

In the past year I was privileged to accompany you on various pilgrimages with 206 Tours, and last week I returned from another pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Scott and Kimberley Hahn that was also organized by 206 Tours.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working with 206 Tours and, in all honesty, it would be hard to find an agency that is focused so much on serving people on their journeys of faith. Milanka and her husband Charlie have been so good to me. She and her staff, many of whom I have met, are dedicated to this service fulfilling their vocation in life.  I have come to love them very much.

2013 Was for me a year of discernment, finding out what God has in store for me.  Just having turned seventy, I feel still full of energy to serve the Lord full-time. Accompanying pilgrimages as a spiritual director unfortunately can only be a part-time service, for at my ages you cannot travel non-stop without paying a heavy toll physically. In May I visited my former diocese where I served from 1969 to 1977 and from 1990 to 1997.  Some priests, religious and lay people were asking me to come back, and in this I felt a call from the Lord.  After due consideration I wrote the newly appointed bishop, who spontaneously wrote back to me saying “welcome back home!”  My religious superior is very enthused as it gives the Mill Hill Missionaries an opportunity to return to the diocese that was founded by our fellow Mill Hillers, and as there will be a possibility to recruit new members there. (In the two neighboring dioceses there are still a few members, and new recruits.)

I feel as excited and am happy to go not knowing as yet what my precise task will be. So when I came back last Sunday from the Shrines of Italy pilgrimage I immediately began to take organize things so that I can close my apartment in New York, sell or give away almost all that I have, so that I can leave for Europe on April 30th, and after spending some time with my siblings and relatives there, I hope to go to Miri on June 1st.

Although I am very happy to take upon my self this new assignment it is not without emotion that I leave my friends here in the US, in particular the 206 Family. But you know, heaven is not first of all a place, it is relationships. Relationships built in and with the Spirit – and that is where heaven is – will continue and endure.  Isn’t it true that even if one hasn’t seen a friend for many years, the moment you meet again you feel you still were together yesterday? Our sinful body cannot see this, blinded as it is by our present limitations.  It is in this spirit that I am still united with you all.  Let us pray for one another that we may be faithful in what the Lord calls us to in this life.

It has been wonderful to have been with you, and hopefully we will stay in touch.  Like all priests, who pray their daily breviary prayers, I will continue to pray for you, and if ever there is a need, please don’t hesitate to ask or contact me.

For those who are near or in New York, I would love to see you if there is a chance.  Feel free to call me.

Take care, much love to you all and God bless!

Fr. Guido

  • From: Carol Braun
  • Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Guadalupe & Mexico City 2014103


Mary Ellen and I had a great time, the hotel was wonderful, the tour was all we could have wanted – Roberto did a fantastic job as our tour director – he was so very good at making sure everyone had a chance to see or do what they wanted – when we asked to spend more time in one location he made that happened. I have already passed along the tour name to friends saying I would be happy to recommend your company. Thanks to everyone.

Carol & Mary Ellen

  • From: Deacon Paul and Lorraine
  • Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2014
  • To: Patrick McKenna
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn (March 9 - 19, 2014) 2014105

Dear Patrick, Milanka, Yaritza, and the entire 206 staff,

Words cannot express how we feel about this wonderful pilgrimage. We were fed daily in body, mind, and spirit.
Our bodies were fed daily at wonderful hotels and restaurants. We do not know how you do it for the price we paid. We are sure it is a lot of work and prayer behind the scenes.

Our minds were fed by the lectures each evening by Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn. No matter how late it was we did not want the talks to end. Their knowledge of the Bible and their conversion story is a blessing to the Catholic Church.
And of course our spirit was fed daily by Prayer and the beautiful Liturgies celebrated by three great Priests.
We thank our Priests, guides, and 206 for this wonderful experience.

Until we meet again,

Deacon Paul and Lorraine

  • From: Evangelista
  • Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
  • To: Melissa Mulligan
  • Subject: Holy Land Pilgrimage 2014106

No other trip like it, your company is the best! We have been on other trips before with other companies but none compare. The guide Sammy knows the Holy Land upside down, historical, biblical, regional he was perfect, his patience and ability to handle the logistics was amazing. The tour schedule was to the letter. The experience was like nothing else ever. The group was wonderful. Perfect pilgrim family. If we could guarantee Sammy she would love to brag about him. The hotels were first class all the way, every need was taken care of.


  • From: Fr. Brian
  • Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
  • To: Rinda Kanidinc
  • Subject: Fatima, Spain, Lourdes and Paris - March 2014 2014107

Dear Rinda,

I just got back from my pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes, and Paris. I can’t put into words how great an experience it was. The tour guides, the drivers, the hotels, and the food were outstanding. Everything went off without a hitch.
Thank you for an experience of a lifetime.

Again, many, many thanks for the pilgrimage of a lifetime.

Father Brian

  • From: Mary Barrios
  • Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
  • To: Patrick McKenna
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn (March 9 - 19, 2014) 2014108

I am so blessed to have been a part of the beautiful pilgrimage. 206 Tours is the best! All the accommodations were very nice, the bus tours guides were outstanding in meeting all of our needs. Alessandro was our guide and he did an amazing job. Being able to pray the rosary in the papal gardens was one of many spiritual encounters with our Lord. Thank you for making this a most memorable experience. I will definitely recommend 206 Tours to family and friends.

Mary Barrios

  • From: Gracie Rocha
  • Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
  • To: Patrick McKenna
  • Subject: The Shrines of Italy with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn (March 9 - 19, 2014) 2014109

Patrick and 206 Staff,

To quote your words "It was an incredible pilgrimage, and we are so happy that God wanted us all to be together." One night at our dinner table we made the comment that the whole trip felt like a retreat. So yes, it was a God thing.
It was such a spiritual journey filled with joy and aha moments that I cannot think of anything negative. Maybe the amount of food made our Catholic Guilt surface, but everything was wonderful. I appreciated the whole staff because it was obvious that there was much work put into the planning and carrying out of all the activities. You always had the pilgrims’ well being in mind. And probably very little rest!

It was also very moving to see that all the guides and staff participated in all of our prayer time, rosary, and Mass. This shows the great level of faith and commitment to our faith and a beautiful example to the rest of us.
Last the people we met from all over were amazing and with such faith. Our 130 should be evangelizing to another group of people.

Thank you for a wonderful experience,

To all the guides, Javier, Javier, Alessandro, Gaia, Yaritza, you, and Milanka again it was a incredible journey. You will be in my prayers as you continue to bring more people to through other faith-filled experience.

Gracie (Maria Rocha)

  • From: Bond, Joseph A
  • Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Dr. Scott Hahn and Kimberly Hahn - Pilgrimage to Italy 2014110


I am sure you have heard this many times before, but let me tell you that this trip, because of your company and the Lord’s blessings was one of the most extraordinary experiences of our entire life. The travel, the food, the lodging, but especially the tours and the spiritual directors were amazing. Mitzi couldn’t say enough good things about the entire experience, and the peace she felt at all of the shrines. It couldn’t have been planned any better from the Shrine selections, the tour guides, and especially the bus pick-ups. But more than that, you and your crew have a child like purity that could only be portrayed by people who are truly doing this as a vocation for GOD, and not a job. Thanks again for all of your help and guidance along the way and may God continue to bless you and yours as you continue your journey through life.

In Christs Love, Grazie again,

Joe & Mitzi Bond

  • From: Abel Rodriguez
  • Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
  • To:
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Dr. Scott Hahn 2014111

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

By these means, I would like to share my reflection on our recent tour “Shrines of Italy” we shared with Dr. Scott Hahn, his family and you all. Overall, it was an amazing and extraordinary experience to remember forever; sharing our life with you all and the magnificent Class-A service we received from our tour guides, leaders and all the 206 Tours staff.

I, cannot stop thinking and reminiscing about Father Peter’s first homily when he proposed to us to “Encounter Christ” through the pilgrimage we were about to embark. In all the places we visited, through the Shrines of Italy tour, we experienced and witnessed the live changing experiences of the many Saints, as they encountered God in their own lives; i.e. St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Catherine, St. Francis, St. Benedict, St. Claire, Padre Pio, etc, etc… The lives of these Saint’s teach us by example how they encountered Christ, a lesson how we too can find Christ in our own lives following in their footsteps; what amazing examples of true faith.

It is now that we are back home with our family and friends that this personal encounter with Christ actually begins, as we witnessed the life changing experiences the Saints had in their own home towns and with their families and acquaintances. It is here now, in our homes that we can begin to experience that true encounter with Christ, our God, as we ask how we can truly serve Him and accept his will in our own lives. An acceptance that, should manifest in us a sense of peace as we learn from our Lord how to serve and help build His Church bigger, stronger and more stable in the years to come; an acceptance to carry out Jesus’ mission. The same mission he entrusted to our brothers, the Apostles; a mission that implanted in them a vocation to catholicize the entire world. If only 12 persons did so much to change the direction of the world; then think – how much could millions of Catholics today do to influence the world in the right path of justice, peace, hope and love.

May we continue to pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit and may the lives of the Saints encourage us to follow in their footsteps so we may witness to others the love God has for us all.


  • From: David Goehrke
  • Sent: Monday, March 24, 2014
  • To: Patrick McKenna
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Italy with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn (March 9 - 19, 2014) 2014112

Hi Patrick,

I felt the tour was excellent. Gaia, Father, and the entire 206 staff were inspiring, supportive and accommodating. Nothing was left to chance. Marco, our tour guide in Rome was excellent too. I don’t want to forget Pietro and the safety he provided us on our journey. I could not ask for a more complete pilgrimage as it relates to Rome, the Vatican, San Giovanni and Assisi. The knowledge shared by everyone was truly a gift, and access to things like the Papal Gardens created a lifelong memory. Funny as it may sound, the only thing I would change is to do a little less. A little more time to reflect on the beauty we encountered, and talk about all the wonderful things we did with our travel partners would be great. The hospitality was tremendous, but the over-abundance of food left many worried about waste. I understand this may be a cultural component, but it was unfortunate to have to leave some of the meals abruptly due to scheduling when so much work went into preparing them for the guests. A little more time to get special remembrances for loved ones especially at the Vatican would be great too. Thanks to everyone for a trip that I will remember forever.

God Bless You,

  • From: Bobbie Guerra
  • Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Thank you!!! (Pilgrimage to Italy with Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn) 2014113

What a blessing and a joy to finally meet you in person and to be with you for 10 days "Walking towards God” in Italy. I thank God for that special bond we have. We will meet again that’s for sure. Hugs and prayers from Texas to you and to all of your precious family. If there is anything I can ever do for you just let me know.

Mary, Gracie and I returned to church today-Everyone wanted to hear everything about the Pilgrimage. Father Juan Carlos our pastor was asking me so many questions and he saw the joy, humility and excitement as we shared our pilgrimage experience. He asked about St.Padre Pio and all the Saints we honored. He was thrilled that we were able to walk through the gardens in the steps of the Popes. He was touched when I told him that everyone- even the bus drivers were Catholic and that they joined us in our meals. (that did not happen in the Holy Land – the bus driver never came in and the tour owner and guides always sat together -they never sat amongst us). I am sure that we will have a Marion tour with 206tours at some point. People are thirsting for it and now it’s 3 of us -not just me who have been blessed by a Spirit filled 206 pilgrimage and can push for that to happen.

Where do I start? …. At church earlier today I gave my friend a choice of a St Benedict medal or St Padre Pio medal and told her the stories of each. She said that she would give her husband the St Benedict medal. I just got off the phone with her. She said the minute the medal entered the house that positive things were happening. It wasn’t trouble between them but with people outside the family. I told her it was her faith and devotion and prayer to St Benedict that are encompassed in that medal along with the Monks blessing. God is so good.

What an amazing Spirit filled Pilgrimage!!! Every minute, every day was giving glory to God. Amazing. Thank you for being God’s servant and then using your skills to give us such a life changing experience. None of us will be the same. Your love and devotion to Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother is infectious and such an example for all of us. You, Javier and all your staff worked tirelessly for so many months behind the scenes getting ready to "Walk with Us towards God" in the Shrines of Italy. Amazing!!

Javier mentioned to me on the Pilgrimage how much he wanted to be the guide instead of behind the scenes overall organizer. It was obvious that both you and he have your flock and you delegated and trained them well and they follow your example. Please, Please know that your heart, faith, love and devotion radiated through Alessandro, Gaia, Javier V., Patrick and Yaritza. They worked so hard but it looked so effortless because they worked with such compassion and love for the Lord. They watched over us but yet fully participated in all the Masses, prayers etc and did not ever seem preoccupied. (That did not happen with a different tour company that we took to the Holy Land).
For me It was another Life changing moment in my life that effected me deeply. My heart was so moved by the candlelight rosary in the footsteps of the Popes. Unbelievable and so humbling as we prayed together. I can still hear our many voices and accents praying the rosary as one body just as we did in Lourdes. St. Padre Pio’s Shrine, and the Stations of the Cross were amazing and so humbling. Every minute of everyday was amazing! Lanciano touched me deeply because my conversion began in Santarem. The Priests were so different, and had messages of exactly what we needed to hear. They all did a fantastic job and I was able to share time with each of them.

Every day I am blessed with a remembrance of a little piece of how my heart was touched from either Fatima/Lourdes, the Holy Land, and now the Shrines of Italy. I am so Blessed.

Thank you for using all your God given talents to touch our hearts forever. Everything was perfect and as God had meant it to be. Thank you!!!!!!! Pray for me and I will for you. I retire at the end of May. I have been asking God what He wants me to do. No real answer yet but I’m listening. I will work part-time freelance interpreting for the Deaf. I plan to volunteer also – just not sure where yet.

All my love and may God Bless you and your family and shower you all with His grace, Totus Tuus!

Your Sister In Christ,


  • From: j. Pelland
  • Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Scott Hahn and Kimberly Hahn - Pilgrimage to Italy 2014114

Hi Milanka!

Thank you so much for a truly wonderful and inspiring pilgrimage to the shrines of Italy. It was a truly blessed time. It will take me weeks of prayer and meditation to discover just what God wished me to do as a result of od what I have seen and learned over the past two weeks. You and your team were nothing short of phenomenal in your organization of this pilgrimage. You have touched me and I have grown.

You and your team are in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you very close to him as you continue in your ministry of Christian education through travel and prayer. You can be sure that that I will certainly recommend your company to my friends and acquaintances looking for a good honest, catholic company offering pilgrimages to suit all their needs. I was so impressed with the quality of accomodations, meals and travel!

Thanks again. I look forward to travelling with you once again.

May God bless you and make His face to shine upon you now and forever.
Jules & Sharron Pelland

  • From: Serena Postar
  • Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Guadalupe & Mexico City: March 5-March 10,2014 2014115

Dear Donna,

I had a very nice journey to Mexico, and I would love to go back if the future allows me to do so. We had a very nice hotel and the places we visited were so lovely. The Churches were just “wow”, really fascinating.. especially the Our Lady of Ocotlan Church, I have never seen a Church that was all decorated with fresh flowers from the entrance, all the way up to the altar…so many flowers, and different kinds. I am so grateful that my dream came true to visit the Our Lady of Guadalupe because I was able to lector at the Shrine. Our chapel was directly center to the altar of Our Lady, same with my seat. For me, this was marvelous. On Sunday, it was so busy but at the end of the Mass, I was able to sing “Our Lady of Guadalupe” and it was the best gift to Our Lady. We sang the song again on Monday during our transfer to the airport for our return flight. When it was time to check-in for our return flight, as we were waiting to departure, I was in priority boarding and all of a sudden, my name was called to let me know that I was upgraded! Of all the people waiting in line, I was so happy and believe it was my reward from the Blessed Mother for singing Her song. So that was my most blessed journey to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If He permits, I look forward to joining another pilgrimage. I was so happy with our nice tour guide and driver. God bless and looking forward to hear from you soon.

Yours in Christ Jesus,
Serena Postar

  • From: Julie Schlesinger
  • Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014
  • To: Donna Strucic
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Guadalupe & Mexico City: May 5 - May 10, 2014 2014116

The tour was wonderful, especially the tour guide Roberto. He was outstanding and explained everything very nicely. He was very knowledgable and nice.

Thank you,

Julie Schlesinger

  • From: Mike Guadagno
  • Sent: Wednesday, March 5, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: January 13-21, 2014 2014117

Dear Rosalie,

I just wanted to let you know that our pilgrimage to the Holy Land with 206 Tours was truly amazing. We had a small group of 10 plus Father Ezra and Waleed the tour guide. Although it was Father’s and Waleed’s first time traveling with 206 Tours, they did an excellent job of spiritual direction with loads of biblical and historical information. The pilgrimage went very smoothly and we all had a great time. The hotels were first class as was the food, and we were grateful for Waleed’s knowledge and expertise wherever we went. My wife Geri and I normally never take tours when we travel, but we have recommended this one to most of our friends and family. Thank you.

I’ve included a photo of our group near the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem.
Mike Guadagno

  • From: Fr. David
  • Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Fr. Robert Hughes | Holy Land | Feb 2014 2014118

Dear Amanda,

Once again, my trip to the Holy Land through 206 Tours was an absolute delight. Other than the initial problems we had with weather and airline problems, there was nothing unpleasant about this experience.

This is the 2nd time I’ve been on tour with Fr. Hughes, and both trips have met any expectation I could have had for them. What was especially appreciated this time, however, was the free time we had on Sunday for 7 of us to go back into the Old City of Jerusalem.

Once again, the hotels were clean and spacious, the food consistently good, and the pace of the touring did not burden most of us. I think it would be safe to say that my friend also enjoyed his first trip to the Holy Land, and we are both looking to return at some future time.

Fr. Dave

  • From: Melissa Dela Cruz
  • Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014
  • To: Amanda Fortunato
  • Subject: Fr. Robert Hughes | Holy Land | Feb 2014 2014119

Dear Amanda,

Thank you very much for arranging my Holy Land trip and for all your patience with me.Despite the delays due to the weather, the whole trip was wonderful. I feel blessed and privileged to have been with Fr Hughes’ group. Everyone was very nice and welcoming. I would love to join the Holy Land Pilgrimage in 2016 that Fr Hughes mention. God willing and if it is in His plan.

Sami our tour guide and Joe our driver are very nice, too. It will be nice to have both of them again in 2016. Hotel accommodations and foods were wonderful, too.

I cannot put my experience into words but it was very life changing and enlightening. Hopefully, I will be able to return to the Holy Land.

Take care and God bless.

  • From: Gene and Carol Janecka
  • Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe & Mexico City with Dr. Scott Hahn 2014120

Dear Yaritza:
The Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was very well planned and I enjoyed it immensly. All the tour guides were very competent and explained the events and history very well. The Priests were fantastic and very spiritual, and I always enjoy listening to Dr. Hahn. I was sorry Kimberly could not make it, but also being a grandmother, I totally understood her decision. Hopefully, another Pilgrimage will be planned soon with her being able to join. I was disappointed about not being able to go to Pubelo, but again, maybe next time. It was also a pleasure to meet you.
Girls, keep up the good work! It is worth all the trouble you sometimes encounter. God Bless You All! I will readily recommend you to my friends.

Thank You So Much,
Carol Janecka

  • From: Maria Mikula
  • Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2014
  • To: Rosalie DeFilippo
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: February 9-18, 2014 2014 203

Dear Rosalie,

My Trip to the Holy Land was the best trip I have taken in my life. I have traveled with 206 tours twice. Once to Lourdes France, Fatima Portugal, and Garabandal Spain; and once to the Holy Land. By far these are the two best trips I have taken. I have traveled to Italy, Medjugoria, Poland, Bosnia, Austria, Venezuela, Puerto Rico etc….. But the best two tours, were by far the ones with 206 tours. Wallid, our tour guide in the Holy Land was so knowledgeable about the history and artifacts we saw, that he brought them to life for us. He was beyond patient with us and answered all our questions. If I ever travel to the Holy Land again I would have to request him as our tour guide, because he was the best tour guide we have ever had. Thank You for the best and Holiest trip ever. Attached find a group picture taken at the steps outside of the Holy Sepulcher church.

Maria L. Mikula

  • From: Hughes, Rev. Robert
  • Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014
  • To: 'Amanda Fortunato'
  • Subject: Camden Diocese - Holy Land, Feb 2014 2014121

The hotels were fantastic. The Ein Gev provided easy access to the holy sites and the individual cabins were ample. People were surprised to find two rooms…many at first thought that two people were expected to share the tiny room off of the entry…until they turned left into the main cabin and found two more beds. The service was great and the included tipping made everyone much more comfortable. The Dan Jerusalem was beautiful and the service was likewise superb. The breakfast and dinner buffets at both places were top-notched and I doubt anyone went hungry.

The restaurants for lunch were very good and we had a variety of meals…if anything, I think there was too much food at lunch…but that is part of middle east hospitality.

Our driver and guide (Joe and Sami) were excellent. Joe was safe and courteous…his bus was clean and comfortable. Sami was knowledgeable and faithful – his information made the pilgrimage more like a retreat for all (including us priests). He integrated the history of the sites with Scriptures and Theology in a way that allowed everyone to connect to the place and their own faith.

Despite the USAirways troubles on departure…the return flight went without a hitch and the service was excellent.
Thank you for handling our account.

God bless,
Father Hughes

  • From: David Andrews
  • Sent: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
  • To: Sandra Lippold
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Fr. Wayne Dawson 2014122

What a spectacular trip. Got off to a rocky start with cancellation of our flight from JFK to Tel Aviv, but thanks to Avriham Baldwin of Delta Airlines at JFK we were rescheduled on El Al with no damage but a slight delay. Once in Israel our tour progressed seamlessly.

Our guide, Rimon Makhlouf was a walking encyclopedia, without doubt the best guide I have ever encountered. That man knew his Bible and the history behind it, and brought it to life in each of the places we visited.

This tour is highly recommended and looking forward to the next.

Dave Andrews

  • From: jann bonner
  • Sent: Monday, February 3, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Holy Land 2014123

To all the 206 team a big thank you for organizing the best pilgrimage ever. There was absolutely nothing to fault, truly amazing and wonderful ub every way. Could you please pass on our big thanks also to Scott & Kimberley Hahn, they were both amazing. We truly loved your after dinner talks Scott – opening up the scriptures for us in an amazing way. We also loved your beautiful boys, what a credit they are to both of you. To Kimberley thank you for your wisdom and your beautiful warmth.

Thank you so much to all of you for a truly wonderful pilgrimage.

Jann & Steve Bonner (the Aussies)

  • From: Shelley Benson
  • Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Holy Land with Dr. Scott Hahn - Thank you, thank you! 2014 204

Hello Milanka,

It’s been a week since our return from a most memorable pilgrimage to the Holy Land and I am still on that mountain top high. You called it right when you said that the events and experiences will slowly reveal itself to you when you settle back home. During my morning devotions, during Mass, during prayers, I reflect back on the pilgrimage and say, “I WAS THERE!” It then hits me how profound the experience was to be following Jesus’ footsteps in his ministry, leading up to the crucifixion. There is nothing like experiencing it first hand to bring the Gospels alive. I also want to let you know that our farewell dinner at the Franciscan parish was the best way to end the tour! It was just delightful to be in a parish community center, with Rimone and Giovanni’s parish priest, the young boy who played the guitar, the girls who danced, the whole roasted lamb…it was church at it’s best. We could’ve have been in any parish in any part of the world, and if felt like family, it felt like home. I loved every minute of that last dinner. People were hugging, taking photos, exchanging contact info, It really was something very special. Milanka, thank you for the work and ministry you do in organizing wonderful pilgrimages around the world for faith seekers everywhere. Jon and I hope to be on another one in the near future. You have truly responded to God’s calling for this ministry. We’ll stay in touch.

God bless you!

  • From: Melanie McCain
  • Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
  • To: Sandra Lippold
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Dr. Scott Hahn 2014124

BEST…BEST…trip of my lifetime!!! I can think of nothing to improve this remarkable trip. I am grateful beyond words for the experience of my tifetime. I am already planning to go back next year.

Melanie McCain

  • From: Dee Maass
  • Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014
  • To: Linda Antonelle ,Liz Shea ,Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: our experience 2014125

Dear 206 team,

My husband and I were on the recent Bourland pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was incredibly impressive how many details had to be attended to. You obviously are blessed people. The Holy Spirit must have to work overtime for you to keep everything running so smoothly. The accommodations were very good to excellent everywhere you booked our party.

As you know Fred and Lorine are professional, knowledgeable, dependable and personally involved keeping our spiritual needs in the forefront. We could not imagine you have any guides to top them!!. Add Fr. Angelo’s wonderful personality and spiritual guidance as well as Issam Salayameh’s expertise and we had a perfect experience. Even the rain and snow did not put a damper on our enthusiasm because the trade-off was easy access to all the Holy Places. Issam certainly had a challenge getting us out of Jerusalem through the snow but not surprisingly he did a masterful job while keeping his good nature. Of course Fr. Kibby was prayerfully there for all of us.

Mass will never be the same, we look forward to hearing the readings and gospels…it is brand new again!
We will always hold you and our escorts as the epitome in a pilgrimage experience.

God bless all your future endeavors,
Dee and Herman Maass

  • From: Lourdes "Odette" Bondoc
  • Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Holy Land with Dr. Scott Hahn, January 4-14, 2014 2014126

Dear Milanka,

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for doing a great job and spreading the love for Jesus and his Mother Mary throughout the world. For me, to be able to join the group at almost the very last minute was a miracle, what I had prayed for (a healing journey), as I expected it to be and a dream come true!

I have attached a few photos I took during our “walk where Jesus walked” and I am looking forward to joining some of the other pilgrimages in the near future.

With love and prayers,
Lourdes “Odette” Bondoc (Filipino lady on the Red Bus)

  • From: Jose Grigio
  • Sent: Friday, January 17, 2014
  • To: Milanka Lachman
  • Subject: Grigio's post stay: Holy Land with Dr. Scott Hahn, January 4-14, 2014 2014 205

Dear Milanka,

Our Pilgrimage was so great that words cannot do justice to thank you for all that you afforded us. Everything was perfect. Even considering that we had a very big group there was no problem at all. We also would like to congratulate you and your 206 Team for the professionalism and kindness.

Yours in Christ,
Deacon Jose / Norma Grigio


  • From: Carl Calderone
  • Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
  • To: Yaritza Rodriguez
  • Subject: Recent Pilgrimage to Holy Land with Scott Hahn 2014127

Dear Yaritza, Milanka and staff,

Robin and I are writing to thank you so much for the wonderful experience we had with you and your company in the Holy Land. Words fail to describe the spiritual graces we received but the practical facts of the trip were nothing short of outstanding. We’ve traveled a great deal and the experiences have always been wonderful, but you all set the new standard for excellence! From logistics to quality guides and great food, you covered it all and in the most professional way.

Specifically, our guide Jack was absolutely superb! Not only was he knowledgeable beyond belief, he was warm and witty and spiritually solid as well as passionate about the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. In short we found him inspiring and frankly we know the trip wouldn’t have been the same without him. I don’t know what you’re paying him, but it couldn’t possibly be enough for all he brings to the table.

Thank you seems anemic for expressing gratitude for so great a gift as you all have given us but we do thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. Because of the experience we had, we’re certain not only to use 206 again for our next pilgrimage, but we’ll be recommending you all to all of our friends and family.

Thank you so much,

Carl and Robin Calderone