Client Letters 2020

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  • From: Fr. Pat
  • Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2020
  • To: Milanka
  • Subject: From Fr. Pat

Hey Milanka,

Once things are lifted and tours can continue please let me know if you need a priest to cover for a tour, wherever it may be.

If your pilgrims are brave enough to venture forth away from home sooner than later, I would be honored to care for their eternal souls, I’ll even pay my way to help your employees and guides.

Your ministry has changed and improved my priesthood and I owe you everything.  Other than my prayers  which are a given, if you need anything AT ALL from me, let me know.

 

Peace be with you.

  • From: Mike Brown
  • Sent: Thursday, April 9, 2020
  • To: Milanka
  • Subject: Glorious Easter

Glorious Easter. May the Lord shed his gracious blessings and mercy upon you and the 206 tours family. You all have worked hard in your ministry of bringing others to Christ, His Mother, the Saints and all Holy Ones through the pilgrimage experience.

May God shine brightly upon you.

Mike Brown

  • From: Mary Ann Dantuono
  • Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2020
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Thank you | Pilgrimage with Fr. Steve Pietrowski | Fatima and Lourdes | March 2 to 14, 2020 Thank you
  • Tour 2

 

A note to say thank you for a wonderful pilgrimage in very difficult times. 

“Our God had done wonderful things for us.  Holy is His name.”

 

Dear Bika and all at 206 Tours,

We have just about caught our breaths after our wonderful trip to Fatima and Lourdes and our abrupt departure from Lourdes to New York (JFK). We have voluntarily self-quarantined for 14 days to make sure that we were not exposed to any virus germs and do not wish to expose others. So far, we are healthy.

This is our fifth pilgrimage and our fourth with 206. You are consistently fantastic! Not only did we enjoy visiting beautiful, sacred sites, with an exceptional spiritual guide and delightful tour guide, but when faced with the threat of Covid-19 changes in travel options –within three hours of an international announcement– you created a safe option for our group of 44. We were home within 17 hours. That is an amazing accomplishment for which we and our families are very grateful.

Our trip was wonderful.  We choose to travel on a pilgrimage to explore not only the holy, the beauty and the good on earth, but also deepen our relationship with God.  Our companions on this journey were delightful people and we were privileged to share this experience with them. The pace of this pilgrimage gave us the opportunity to explore as well as pray and reflect.  Three nights in Fatima began a journey through Portugal and Spain that was both holy, beautiful and good.  Experiencing the blessings of Fatima through Eucharist, Rosary and the Stations of the Cross enriched our Lent. Santarem was a unique story and powerful experience of the Eucharist at St. Stephen’s. It certainly poses that no matter what bad intentions we may have, the Eucharist propels us to good. Visiting Santiago de Compostela and enjoying a three mile walk along the “way” of the pilgrims was moving and opened another method of prayer to us.  Learning more about St. Teresa of Avila while visiting Alba de Tormes and Avila opened our hearts to a woman of intelligence, courage and spiritual depth.  The sacred spaces of St. Teresa were awe inspiring to say the least.  Unfortunately, that day we had an hour for lunch and the restaurant we selected failed to serve us in time. (It was opposite the main gate in Avila, lost the name.) We enjoyed the beautiful cities of Salamanca and Burgos, the cathedrals and the food.  The birthplace of St. Ignatius Loyola was amazing and inspiring.  Mass in the Chapel of Conversion was a powerful experience. St. Ignatius’ passion was palpable.  We arrived in Lourdes in the late afternoon. It was providential that we explored the shrine on our own and then later that evening returned to pray the rosary with our group in the grotto.  It was a deeply peaceful experience as another group processed with candles and hymns in the plaza.  Since our visit ended there we promised ourselves another visit in a sans pandemic time.

Once again, we offer much gratitude for a memorable experience and for your care, concern, and action because of Covid-19.  We are looking forward to booking our next pilgrimage with 206, the Danube River Cruise Pilgrimage in 2021, which will hopefully be a healthier time in our world.

With gratitude and blessings for all,

MaryAnn & Mike

 

  • From: Sherry Thompson
  • Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • To: Danielle Gutilla
  • Subject: Good Morning From Gulf Breeze/Becky
  • Tour 111

Good morning everyone.

Our tour of the Holy Land was wonderful and an unforgettable experience.  I enjoyed meeting and spending time with you. Take care.

Sherry Thompson

  • From: Katie Roman
  • Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • To: Danielle Gutilla
  • Subject: Good Morning From Gulf Breeze/Becky

My Dad and I had such a great time with you guys. I loved looking through people’s pictures on the Google Drive yesterday- it brought back many fun memories! If you guys need any help with the photos or Google Drive, let me know. I’m happy to help!

We are feeling great since returning home. Lots of time spent between his house and mine, and we’ve even gotten to see some Fr. Scott and some others from our group for wine nights and dinner. Hey, atleast we are all in this together, right?? I’m sure we will be fine.. Hope you guys are doing well!

Katie

  • From: Joe Lagarde
  • Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • To: Danielle Gutilla
  • Subject: Good Morning From Gulf Breeze/Becky

It was a fantastic experience, Annie and I enjoyed being with you all.

By the way, are any of you self quarantined?

All the best and hope to see you in the hood soon.

Annie and Joe

  • From: Rebecca Schultz
  • Sent: Monday, March 16, 2020
  • To: Danielle Guttilla
  • Subject: Good Morning From Gulf Breeze/Becky

We made it and thanks to all of you, this was the best of the best trips.

Rest and we shall chat later.

To Jesus thru Mary in all that we do.

Becky Schultz

  • From: Rebecca Schultz
  • Sent: Monday, March 16, 2020
  • To: Danielle Gutilla
  • Subject: Good Morning From Gulf Breeze/Becky

It was a great trip.  Thank you very much for putting it together!

Mary Gattuso

  • From: Daniels William
  • Sent: Monday, March 16, 2020
  • To: Danielle Gutilla
  • Subject: Good Morning From Gulf Breeze/Becky Good Morning From Gulf Breeze/Becky

Dear All,

I cannot tell you what a great blessing this pilgrimage was and continues to be. It was a delight to be with you, pray with you, laugh with you, joke with you, and truly enjoy the presence of Our Lord and Blessed Mother on this holy journey. I do hope we can get together soon.

God love and keep you all.

Daniels William

  • From: Daniels William
  • Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2020
  • To: Danielle Gutilla
  • Subject: Our Holy Land Pilgrimage
  • Tour 111

Dear Danielle,

I must tell you, despite all that is happening in the world with this Covid-19 pandemic, that our pilgrimage to the Holy Land was filled with so many great blessings.  I truly will never be the same.

206 is, in my experience, the best of all travel companies—because the aim and focus is to bring others to love God more deeply.  This is why 206 is successful.  Milanka’s love for and trust in God has made her mission fruitful and a means of sanctity for many.

Majd Barham is a great blessing to 206.  I have forged many new friendships and I thank all of you for providing the means for this to happen.  God love you all.

Danielle, please, May I have a list of contact information of all the pilgrims on this trip with me.  I received a list in my past trip.  I would be most grateful.  Please tell Milanka not to forget me in the future.

 

God love and keep you all.

Most Sincerely Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Our Blessed Mother,

Rev. William Scott Daniels, O.P.

P.S.  Oh, and thank you for the xxl sweater.  I am most grateful!

  • From: Fr. Brian Mahoney
  • Sent: Friday, March 13, 2020
  • To: Cara Camden
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land with Fr. Brian Mahoney | Mar 1, 2020 – Mar 10, 2020
  • Tour 111

It was an amazing Pilgrimage even with all of the difficulties presented by the virus it was awesome.  Usama was an amazing guide who helped us to experience the Holy Land in a deeper and more profound way.  The group truly appreciated his insights, knowledge and faith.  We were truly blessed to have him lead us in this endeavor.

In Christ,

Fr. Brian

  • From: Donna Ottaviano-Britt
  • Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2020
  • To: Web
  • Subject: For us, Jesus came brilliantly to life
  • Tour 111

Published March 12, 2020: https://catholicstarherald.org/for-us-jesus-came-brilliantly-to-life

A spiritual journey to the land of Jesus — South Jersey Catholics pose for a photo, with the city of Jerusalem behind them, during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land last month. “I cannot testify on behalf of each pilgrim in our group but I dare suggest that each one of us on the pilgrimage encountered the Lord as we prayed at the sacred sanctuaries in Israel which are associated with Him,” Bishop Dennis Sullivan wrote in his column this week.

Last Sunday’s Gospel told us the story of the Transfiguration. If we place ourselves in that narrative and imagine experiencing it as Peter, James and John did, we come to understand why Peter reacted the way he did. Jesus, along with Elijah and Moses, really rocked Peter’s world.

Every Christian should know and share the kerygma — the proclamation of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus — because it is the Good News. It should be a story we are passionate about, know its details and be joyful in its telling!

Fifty-six Catholics from the Diocese of Camden recently made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They are pictured on a boat in the Sea of Galilee.

During the recent Diocese of Camden Pilgrimage led by Bishop Dennis Sullivan and Father Robert Hughes, Vicar General, I traveled with my husband and 54 pilgrims to walk (and ride a bus) for nine days, literally “walking” the kerygma, a real life chance to be in the Gospel stories we know so well. We never quite got used to being in the same places as Jesus, Mary and the Apostles.

All the locations of the stories told in the Gospels — Jesus’ life and his miracles — are here to see and to touch. Mass was celebrated every day in these magnificent churches built upon these holy places. Though the pilgrims were together, each was walking his/her own personal journey with Jesus. He comes brilliantly to life in the Holy Land.

Every person had a number of experiences each held near and dear to their hearts. They brought these experiences home with them, changed by them.

As we waited in the airport for a delayed return to the U.S., we chatted about what moved us on this trip. A pilgrim who has traveled the world, yet never to Israel, is Rita Travaglione Wood from Christ the Redeemer in Atco. When asked about her most moving moment or her favorite place, she said she could not do it. “I want to really know what Jesus did between 12 and 30 now. How did Joseph meet Mary? Scripture is so much more powerful now … and I did love the peace of being on the Sea of Galilee, “ Wood shared.

Father Raymond Gormley, pastor of the Parish of the Incarnation in Mantua, said he was moved by the Mass celebrated at the Holy Sepulchre. In the early hours of this same day, Father led the pilgrims in the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) through the streets of Jerusalem before Mass here. This is the place where Jesus was crucified and buried. The area of the tomb is surrounded by an “edicule” and when Mass is celebrated, all the priests enter for the consecration.

On this day, Bishop Sullivan was the celebrant for the 6:30 a.m. Mass. At consecration, the priests enter the edicule. “Watching and hearing bishop say, ‘This is the Lamb of God’ at the tomb of the risen Christ, with the risen Jesus in my hand was an amazing moment,” Father Gormley said. He also loved being in the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter— where Jesus made breakfast for the Apostles after his resurrection.

We had a chance to visit Cana, the place of Jesus’ first miracle at the behest of his mother. All the married couples had the opportunity to renew wedding vows with Father Gormley presiding. My husband, Joe Britt, said it was powerful to be in Cana because Jesus and Mary were here, and we were now surrounded by our fellow pilgrims as witnesses. There were many important places and moments, but this one holds special meaning because “I was committing myself to my wife and to Christ,” he said.

We visited the Benedictine Church of the Dormition — a church built on the place tradition tells us Mary “fell asleep” and then was assumed into heaven. We sang Marian hymns around a life-sized image of the “sleeping” Mary statue. There was a beautiful mosaic on the ceiling depicting Jesus holding a baby girl in his arms over the sleeping (adult) Mary. The baby girl represents Mary’s soul, we learned, and it moved pilgrims in deep and powerful ways.

Joseph Biegalski, from Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Newfield, said, “Her dormition was a very different way to think about Mary. I had always assumed she was awake, alive. It feels more holy to me she was assumed this way — sleeping,” he said

Deacon Joe Kane and his wife Trish, of Holy Family Parish, Sewell, were on their second pilgrimage. Their first pilgrimage, six years ago, was almost overwhelming. Trish said a pilgrim to the Holy Land learns how much proof is available to a world continually denying Jesus.

As for me, I admit I am changed by the experience. So many places moved me, and some to the point of putting a little “dust in my eye” as my husband likes to say when no one should think you are crying.

I thought, going into this pilgrimage, that this trip to the Holy Land would be a one-time experience. I did not think I would ever consider another pilgrimage. But, that is changed now, too. I was open to what Jesus would gift me on this trip. The blessings are abundant.

Donna Ottaviano-Britt

Director of Discipleship and Leadership, Diocese of Camden

  • From: Carol O'Neill
  • Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020
  • To: Series Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain & Lourdes | Feb 26, 2020 – Mar 6, 2020
  • Tour 37

Thank you for this tour and the wonderful Tour Guide (Christina). We had a wonderful pilgrimage. For me it was the best yet of the three 206 Tours we have been on. I am partial to Marian Shrines and the message Our Lady has for us. This tour had two of such shrines. It has made me closer to her and her Son and hopefully a better person who is on a journey just like all others on this tour.

I think it was also helpful this time because of the time of year because the tour was smaller and we got to interact more with others on it, to include the tour guide and Fr. Lew our spiritual advisor. Both were outstanding! We are considering going on this tour again in the future.

Even though there was quite a bit of rain, it did not dampen any of our trip. We were there for a purpose – to learn better what our purpose was to continue our life’s journey. We thank-you for this and other tours.

God bless you all,

Carol

 

  • From: Irma Rerich
  • Sent: Monday, March 2, 2020
  • To: Bika
  • Subject: THANK YOU ! Holy Land with God’s Embrace Ministries | Jan 25 – Feb 3,2020
  • Tour 111

Good afternoon Bika,

Let me begin by letting you know that my experience in the Holy Land was amazing! I do not know what my expectations were, but it was over and beyond anything I imagined. Thank you and 206 Tours for making this Pilgrimage a success. I am still trying to process everything I experienced. Every detail of the pilgrimage was planned and executed perfectly.

In addition to the remarkable and rememberable sites, Sa’id is an absolutely amazing Tour Guide. His sincerity and knowledge of “the Holy Land’ are amazing. His deep understanding of Catholic history and his faith was evident throughout the pilgrimage.  Mufeed well I can not explain his awesome ability to get in and out of the “small” roads and parking spaces. WOW! Sa’id and Mufeed were truly a blessing to us every day and in every way possible.

I have spoken to several of our Pilgrims and they are still in awe of the wonderful journey we were blessed to experience together.\

It was a true blessing to have 206 Tours as our Pilgrimage Tour Company.

Thank You Thank You!

 

May you always find yourself in God’s Loving Embrace,

Irma Rerich

  • From: David Milecki
  • Sent: Sunday, March 1, 2020
  • To: Bika
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land and Optional Post Tour to Rome with Fr Robert Hughes | | Feb 13, 2020 – Feb 22, 2020
  • Tour 111

Bika,

I want to thank you and 206 Tours for a wonderful Pilgrimage. It was incredible. It EXCEEDED my expectations. And it’s exploded my faith. The biggest compliment I can give you is that I’m telling everyone about it and recommending that they use you. I hope to do this again and you’re the only company I’ll deal with. I was thoroughly impressed by your company and completely taken by the Holy Land.

I need to bring one thing to your attention. Our tour guide in the Holy Land, Rami, was very special. For me he made the trip extra special with all the knowledge that he shared with us that I never knew about. But most importantly, he went out of his way to look out for me. I have a hard time walking and was usually at the back of the group lagging behind.

Rami was the “Good Shepard” who went after the one, me. As an example, I was not able to do the Stations of the Cross due to the cobble stones and going up and down. So I decided to skip that portion and stay at the hotel. But Rami knew how important it was for me to see the Holy Sepulchre. So he had the bus come back to get me and take me as close as possible. He guided me the whole way there, being patient with me as even that walk was extremely hard for me. He offered his arm to assist me over the more difficult parts. He was totally committed to getting me to the place that was so important to me. Then to top it off he guided me back to the bus. Everywhere we went he’d give his evaluation of the terrain so that I could decide my involvement. He was always on target.

As I initially stated, I was extremely impressed with the quality Pilgrimage that you provided us. But when you add this high level character employee that Rami is, it just puts you over the top.  If you have a “Good Shepard” or “Good Samaritan” award, Rami definitely deserves it.

I will not only recommend your trips to others but will sing your praises to all who will listen. If I can get over my current physical handicap, I promise you, we will be on future Pilgrimages. You have a customer for life.

 

Thanks and God Bless,

Dave Milecki

 

  • From: Jennifer Mcgaughran
  • Sent: Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • To: Series Tours
  • Subject: Jordan and the Holy Land – January 3-15, 2020
  • Tour 158

To all at 206 Tours,

Each day, my mother and I think back on how much we enjoyed out tour of Jordan and the Holy Land with 206 Tours January 3-15th, 2020.  With each Gospel we hear and each Terra Sancta News we watch, we realize how beautiful our trip was and besides a couple of days of rain, was perfect.

Our guide in Jordan, Ra’ed Haddad was extraordinary. He was knowledgeable, faithful and mostly fun. He made ancient history come alive and made me want to return to Jordan.    Everyone at the landmark Hotel in Amman was friendly and pleasant.

Fr. Piotr Janas, our Spiritual Director inspired us each morning with the Morning Prayer. I never said morning prayer before but have done so every day since the trip. His gentle manner and faithfulness was an example to us all.  We enjoyed his company so much we are considering going on his next 206 Tour pilgrimage to Mexico City. Anyone who has the privilege to go on a tour with him will not be disappointed.

It was a pleasure to run into Pat McKenna in Jerusalem.  He noticed our 206 bags and we had a lovely chat.  He is a great representative for your company.

The daily Masses in biblical settings were a highlight. I had the honor to read at Mass in the chapel in the Garden of Gethsemane. The size of the tour was perfect; it was small enough to get to know everyone and the small size made getting around easier.  It was a power beyond 206 Tours that compiled such a cohesive group; everyone got along. Nobody was late, everyone respectful –truly a wonderful set of people.

I would recommend 206 tours to anyone and hope to travel with you again.

Jennifer and Ann Morison

  • From: Arline Uhl
  • Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2020
  • To: Piernha Marc
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to France with Father Paul Buchanan and Our Lady of Grace Parish | February 12, 2020 – Feb 20, 2020
  • Tour 5

Hi Piernha,

I hope this email finds you well.

Our pilgrimage to France and Lourdes was wonderful – Quico, our guide was terrific! He went out of his way in every way he could. There was not a single request that he did not try to somehow meet. For me, this was especially important as I have different dietary needs that, although communicated to the company at the time of registration, somehow got lost. But, Quico, as soon as he became aware of this situation, did all he could to ensure that those restrictions were met and I was taken care of.

Thank you for assigning him to our group; his sense of humor was greatly valued, as was his knowledge and willingness to share not only himself, but his faith as well.

In Christ,

Arline Uhl

  • From: DW
  • Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2020
  • To: Natasha
  • Subject: Countdown to your Holy Land Pilgrimage ….
  • Tour 111

Hi Natasha,

We returned a week ago and have finally recovered from the jet lag.  This Pilgrimage was just great!  Our group was very tight – most of us were from the same parish and were already a pretty close group, having gone to bible study together and such.  I cannot say enough good things about our guide and our driver.  We could not have asked for anything better!  When we went on the same Pilgrimage 4 years ago we had different guide and thought he was great, but now we had even better team.  The adjective that was used routinely about them was “AMAZING!”

The Pilgrimage was great, and we all grew our faith through the experience.

 

Blessings,

DW

  • From: Theresa Annucci
  • Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2020
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: The Holy Land with Fr Robert Hughes – February 2020
  • Tour 111

Hello Bika,

Just wanted to say THANK YOU for the most amazing, inspiring, and emotional pilgrimage!!  Everything was wonderful from our flights, hotels, food and of course our driver Yassa and our wonderful, knowledgeable and very personable guide GIOVANNI!  It truly was the most wonderful pilgrimage we could have imagined. We did not know what to expect, but those 10 days walking in the footsteps of Jesus were just so inspiring!!  206 Tours was extremely attentive and accommodating to all our Pilgrims.  I certainly will recommend 206 Tours to all my family and friends.

 

Thank you so much!

Theresa and Steve Annucci 

  • From: Dennis Bolestridge
  • Sent: Monday, February 24, 2020
  • To: Series Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Shrines of Italy | 96 | Feb 10, 2020 – Feb 19, 2020
  • Tour 96

To whom it may concern;

 

My family and I just completed a “Shrines of Italy” tour with 206 tours and it was much more that we expected. The tour guide, Deborah, was a sweet heart, conscientious, informative, considerate, patient, and a real pleasure to be with. She supplied so much interesting background on the basilicas and saints that made the tour that much more interesting and complete. Our Spiritual Director, Father Mychal, directed us to a more close and spiritual relationship with our Lord guiding us through numerous prayers and increasing our faith. Also, his great personality, compassion, and humor made the time that much more enjoyable and fun. And, not to forget our driver, Mario, was a real pleasure always with a big smile waiting for us and especially while trying to communicate with him in Italian and he with us in English. I also, cannot forget to mention, the delicious food served at all of the hotels. All together I would HIGHLY recommend and ENCOURAGE anyone to use 206 tours for a pilgrimage. This tour really touched our lives in all ways, spiritually, emotionally and fulfilling our desires as a family. They really know how to take care of their clients. May God Bless you always.

 

Sincerely,

Dennis Bolestridge

Deerfield Beach, FL

  • From: Helayne
  • Sent: Monday, February 24, 2020
  • To: Natasha Tosic
  • Subject: THANK YOU!!

Dearest Natasha,

 

What can we say? Unbelievable, a Spiritual Renewal and deeply moving. Thank you for arranging and coordinating everything. Sa’id was the very best….extremely knowledgeable and funny, and he went out of his way to make all of us happy.  Also, Re’it was the best driver. He was courteous, prompt and mostly, kept us all safe. Our group got along so well and we were all friends by the end of Day 1 ; we enjoyed each other’s company and only wish you were there to share it with us. We will highly recommend 206 Tours and look forward to more travel with you in the future.

 

With an abundance of Blessings and Thanks,

Helayne

  • From: Ken Wislocky
  • Sent: Monday, February 24, 2020
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land with Fr Robert Hughes | Feb 13, 2020
  • Tour 111

My wife, daughter and I had an incredible experience on our just completed Holy Land tour. Our guide, Giovanni, was just amazing and so knowledgeable. He brought the various Holy place sites alive with not only the biblical events but the history of places and regions we visited. I particularly enjoyed when he read sections of the Scripture passages for the particular places we visited. I can’t begin to list everything that impressed me the most but probably my top three were the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee,  visiting the garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives and developing a new understanding of the actual places where Jesus spent his life, such as Capernaum.

I highly recommend 206 Tours to everyone.

Ken Wislocky 

  • From: Fr. Michal Czyzewski
  • Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2020
  • To: Series Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land & the Shrines of Italy | 118 | Feb 2, 2020 – Feb 19, 2020
  • Tour 118

I am so grateful and bless that God provided me with the opportunity to be the spiritual guide for our pilgrimage to the Holy Land & the Shrines of Italy. It was great to start the New Year 2020, by traveling with pilgrims to a place filled with the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  During this blessed time, I prayed for the intentions of Corpus Christi Church and St. Stanislaus Church in Buffalo, the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit, to which I belong, and for my family and friends. I had a wonderful time on this pilgrimage and I hope that I will always have fond memories of the trip.

When we discussed the highlights of our pilgrimage, it seems almost unanimous the Mass in the Holy Tomb in Jerusalem. For me this was the most wonderful moment in my life. One more time , thank you for a wonderful pilgrimage.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the pilgrims for the time we spent together praying, sharing meals, and building memories and to the organizers who took care of us every step of the way. I would also like to extend my thanks to our tour guide for his professionalism, care, and knowledge, which he showed our entire group. In closing, I would like to encourage all priests, religious, and lay people who have not yet been to this holy place to visit as soon as possible.

Fr. Michal

  • From: Rick Ijams
  • Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2020
  • To: Milanka
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land
  • Tour 111

Thanks!  It was an amazing pilgrimage!  I’d like to give Shafiq a big shout out…best guide we’ve ever had on a tour by far!

 

God bless you,

Richard 

  • From: Al
  • Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2020
  • To: Liz Shea
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to The Holy Land with Fr. Michael Stalla | TB020120 | Feb 1, 2020 – Feb 10, 2020
  • Tour 111

Hi Liz,

Thanks!  Other than the rainy weather in Jerusalem during the last few days, it was a great trip.  Hussam was a fantastic tour guide.  He was very knowledgeable in the history of each place we visited, provided insight to the current situation in Israel and the West Bank, and most importantly was able to connect each site to relevant gospel passages.  Thanks for making sure we had a Christian tour guide.  This made the trip a real pilgrimage.

As part of our trip packet, each traveler received the Final Confirmation Booklet specific to our pilgrimage, outlining plans for each day.  Mine was well used, getting mangled during the trip.  🙂  Do you have an electronic version that you could email me?

Thanks,

Al Falcione

  • From: Elizabeth Zagar
  • Sent: Sunday, February 9, 2020
  • To: 206 Tours
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to the Holy Land – January 25, 2020
  • Tour 111

Hello Bika,

First and foremost, I would like to say I had the best trip ever.  My life is changed by this trip.  I will never be the same.  The places we visited were the most important places Jesus visited and was in during His life and death and resurrection.  It meant the world to me to be in those same places.  I was so emotionally moved by the places selected by 206 Tours.

I also want to greatly compliment Sa’id, our tour leader.  He was amazing!!  His knowledge of the history of Israel and the surrounding countries and the life of Jesus and the people of the time of Jesus was absolutely astounding.  He completely added to our trip by helping us understand what happened to Jesus and where, etc.  And he also gave us information on the current condition in Israel and its people at the present time.  He was friendly and so smart.  We all loved him.  He taught us so much.  I would highly recommend him to anyone taking a tour of the Holy Land.  His choice of hotels and restaurants was wonderful.

We were very pleased with the accommodations and the food selected for us during our stay as well.

I would highly recommend 206 tours to anyone planning a Catholic pilgrimage  I would also consider traveling again with 206 Tours in the future.  I am very pleased with the service provided.

Sincerely,

Liz Zagar

  • From: Pat and Bill Johnson
  • Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
  • To: Bika Miltner
  • Subject: Thank You For An Absolutely Life Changing Holy Land Pilgrimage
  • Tour 111

Dear Bika,

We are simply at a loss for words in how to express our deepest appreciation for the Holy Land Pilgrimage organized by 206 Tours for our St. Mary Help of Christians parish.  From our first contact with 206 Tours through the conclusion of our pilgrimage, the level of care and service that we received was more than outstanding and far exceeded even our highest expectations.

Absolutely every detail of our entire pilgrimage was carefully and skillfully planned and executed to perfection.  Without exception, every pilgrim in our group felt the same way — that we could not have chosen a better and more spiritually connected company to work with in making this pilgrimage.  Of course, the accommodations at the Leonardo Plaza in Tiberius and the Notre Dame in Jerusalem were impeccable.  And the many thoughtful touches that were included for us were both pleasant surprises and also served to deepen the personal significance of our pilgrimage.  But most important of all, the guide that you arranged for our group – Habib – was far more than just a wonderful guide.  His deep personal understanding of the Catholic history, theological significance, and biblical insight regarding all the Holy sites of our visit was fully evident throughout our pilgrimage.  Moreover, he thoroughly and seamlessly complemented the spiritual leadership of our our pastor.  He was truly a blessing to us every day and in every possible way.

Let me simply share with you a portion of a note that I received from our parish’s religious education director, who was one of our pilgrims:  “This trip was more than amazing. Awesome in the original sense of the word. No words can describe.”   She certainly captured the feeling that all of our pilgrims brought home with them.

 

May God richly bless you and your family, and all of your colleagues at 206 Tours!

Pat and Bill Johnson

 

  • From: Bonnie
  • Sent: Friday, January 17, 2020
  • To: Cara Camden
  • Subject: Naming people

Hi Cara,

I just read the general welcome home email from 206 tours and it says naming people is appreciated. Therefore here is my analysis by name:

Fr. Frank Pizzarelli – our spiritual director, Menachim – our tour escort, Raul (spelling?) our bus driver, and the three other tour escorts from the other buses: Patrick, Sr. Magdalit, and Rizek, were all amazing and a wealth of information. They were always motivated and exuded joy and  enthusiasm, reflecting that they thoroughly enjoy their job! Raul showed care and concern for us on the bus,  far exceeding my expectations for a tour bus driver,  and he was an exceptional driver as well. I felt very safe traveling with him and I felt our belongings were well cared for in the bus under his watch. Menachim, in addition to bring an incredible resource of Judeo-Christian history, went above and beyond in making two adolescent pilgrims on our bus feel special and included. Sr. Magdalit grabbed the hearts of everyone on the tour – she is truly the hands and feet of Christ,  in addition to bring a wealth of information and a bundle  of positive energy.  Rizek, is  a phenomenal source of knowledge,  a scholar,  and gentleman. Patrick, a caring professional and also a gentleman, worked tirelessly to make sure everything ran smoothly, that all questions as concerns were answered, and that all were safe and accounted for. Last, but definitely not least, Fr. Frank, and the HIMS and Her were an incredible spiritual gift to the pilgrimage, rekindling the faith of the pilgrims daily,  and the main reason I signed up for the tour in the first place!  I will, and already have told others, that if they are considering a religious pilgrimage, 206 tours is the only way to go. But I guess that word is already out there, because,  when I mentioned as such today in my Catholic discussion group, one woman in the group said that she has been on several pilgrimages with 206 tours and wouldn’t consider any other tour group, as 206 is fantastic. I hope this feedback is helpful.

Peace,

Bonnie 🙂

 

  • From: Jolanta Morys
  • Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2020
  • To: Natasha Tosic
  • Subject: Review for Tour#111: Dec 26 – Jan 04, 2020
  • Tour 111

We attended the Holy Land pilgrimage that follows in the footsteps of Jesus. Our guide was Shafik, and he was incredible. He possesses a deep understanding of history, theology, language, and culture, constantly conveying knowledge in a manner that is accessible and enjoyable. Shafik’s love of the Holy Land is evident in his excitement and joyous spirit, and he does his best to share it with you. The bus driver, Adel, was always at the right time and place to pick us up. Each day’s activities were very well planned out, and Shafik obviously put a lot of work into the preparation. He navigated us through the inns-and-outs of the Holy City, regularly giving us tips to make our trip enjoyable. I could not have imagined a more immersive experience in the Holy Land than was given to us by Shafik.

The tour was immaculately organized!  Great hotels and meals!

Highly recommend the tour and our guide!

Jolanta, Marian Monica and Adam Morys

  • From: Fr. Jonathan Wallis
  • Sent: Thursday, January 9, 2020
  • To: Key Accounts
  • Subject: Italy Pilgrimage with St. Joseph Seminary Dec 30, 2019 – Jan 7, 2020
  • Tour 96

Thank you for a wonderful tour. This was my fifth pilgrimage as a priest and my first with 206 Tours. I was very impressed with Alex and our local guides. On previous tours, there was a lot of up-selling and time spend in tourist gift shops. The guides also spent a lot of time taking about how little money they made. There was none of that on this tour. There was great attention to details, like the ear bud that fit over the ear, the seamless luggage transfers, ease of check-in and out of hotels, the quality of the bus and how well Alex shared travel information and daily schedules. The New Year’s Eve dinner was a huge success. It was very elaborate and set a positive tone for the rest of the tour. Doing this for the group made all the members, but especially the non-seminarians feel that they were getting a lot for the price of the tour. I am not on social media, but I’m already sharing with my priest friends my positive experience.

  • From: Randy Bethancourt
  • Sent: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
  • To: Key Accounts
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Rome with St. Joseph Seminary | Dec 30, 2019 – Jan 7, 2020
  • Tour 97

206 Tours gets an A++++++

I expected and anticipated a great experience, but to my great satisfaction, you exceeded all expectations.

Some of my observations:
1). Your company is very organized;
2). You communicate with your customers very well;
3). You follow through with any request;
4). You are very knowledgeable;
5). Your tour guide (ours was Alassandro) are excellent – knowledgeable, professional, willing to help and gave me “I have your back” comfort;
6). You anticipate and get ready for the next thing to come (always one step ahead”)
7). The hotels are excellent;
8). You offer the tour at a reasonable price — very reasonable.

I, obviously, was very impressed with your company.

  • From: John Lutz
  • Sent: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
  • To: Milanka
  • Subject: Overdue Praise

Dear Milanka Lachman,

This is a long, overdue praise (#420107 Tour 55 May 9-25, 2016 Marian Shrines: Portugal, Spain and France for John & Carolyn Lutz) in which you personally telephoned me to assure the two-part Pilgrimage would indeed take place with more personal and rewarding spiritual attention thanks to your staff’s efforts immediately after the Brussel’s bombing which resulted in large numbers of Tour 55 members cancelling! Praise to you, your well-trained staff, Priests Father Grytner and Father Lee, tour escorts Juan Carlos nad Alessandro G., bus drivers, local information specialists and the hotel choices and their staffs!

As I approach 75 years of age, I whole-heartily state, without reservations, this tour was the best-ever that we have experienced in our lifetime. We have reflected upon it since 2016 and have ‘spread-the-word’ to relatives, friends and neighbors alike. It indeed has had an uplifting, positive affect upon our religious well-being, and, for this I sincerely thank you and 206 Tours.

Although our funds are limited, we are currently saving for trips to Medjugorje and Ireland perhaps in 2021 or 2022. My wife’s ancestors come from eastern Europe and, perhaps too, this could be on our plate after 2022 God-willing. . . .

Milanka, thank you for servicing our needs back in 2016 and providing our best-ever vacation experience. God bless you!

  • From: Randy Bethancourt
  • Sent: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
  • To: Key Accounts
  • Subject: Pilgrimage to Rome with St. Joseph Seminary | Dec 30, 2019 – Jan 7, 2020
  • Tour 97

206 Tours gets an A++++++

 

I expected and anticipated a great experience, but to my great satisfaction, you exceeded all expectations.

 

Some of my observations:

 

1). Your company is very organized;

2). You communicate with your customers very well;

3). You follow through with any request;

4). You are very knowledgeable;

5). Your tour guide (ours was Alassandro) are excellent – knowledgeable, professional, willing to help and gave me “I have your back” comfort;

6). You anticipate and get ready for the next thing to come (always one step ahead”)

7). The hotels are excellent;

8). You offer the tour at a reasonable price — very reasonable .

 

I, obviously, was very impressed with your company.

 

Thanks !

Randy L. Bethancourt