Following are some samples of comments we have received from past pilgrims. If you would like to share your thoughts on your pilgrimage, simply click here and we will be delighted to add your comments!
NOTE TO OUR SITE VISITORS: We have received so many positive responses that we are running behind in updating this section. Thank you for your patience!
(Most Recent First)
NOTE TO OUR SITE VISITOR: We have received so many positive responses that we are running a little behind in updating this section! Thank you for your patience!
I felt very comfortable with everything this trip was; rooms were clean, food was super, Dennis and Juan were very courteous and caring. I liked the 2 young priests. I wouldn’t change anything. I appreciated the meal with the (local) family, thank you so much. Elaine- Sartell, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
Thanks to Dennis and Juan for their unending kindness and consideration for everyone. They and the Fathers made the pilgrimage perfect. If I ever do another pilgrimage it will be with Mater Dei. Steve and Rita- Pequot Lakes, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
No complaints about any of the trip. Many lifetime memories were made- you were always ready to deal with any changes that needed to be made with no hesitation. Friendly staff and that made it fun also. Mass prayers and rosary have taken on a whole new meaning. It is apparent that all of you enjoy what you are doing and are good at it. I feel blessed to have been a part of this pilgrimage. Thank you! Pat (Holy Land February 2014)
Thank you many times over. My memories of the pilgrimage are made more special because of your caring leadership. God bless you for what you do. Barbara- Brainerd, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
No matter how many tours/pilgrimages I go on, I don’t believe anything could excel this one I was on with you! God Bless you. Freddie- Baxter, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
I am an art teacher who exercises imaginations for a living & short of going on a pilgrimage with Pope Francis, I cannot imagine a better experience in the Holy Land than was just awarded me through the Intercession of St. Joseph + Holy Land Saints Dream Team”, Mater Dei Tours, Juan, Nadi, Issam and Father. Beth- Fifty Lakes, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
I was a little apprehensive about going out of the country to this region. I never once felt unsafe the whole trip. Everyone made me feel at ease. I only wish the buses would have had bathrooms. We spent too much time waiting to use the public ones. Otherwise, it was a fantastic experience. A very spiritual journey. Thank you all so very much! Yvette- Detroit Lakes MN (Holy Land February 2014)
Trip was very well organized and all our tour guides were very knowledgeable. Would highly recommend and would not hesitate to travel with you again. Thank you! Paul- Crosslake, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
So much packed into 9 days. Tiring. Impressed with the care and patience given to the pilgrims. Dennis and Juan added so much to the experience. And, Directors that can start songs! Thanks. (Holy Land February 2014)
I don’t think it could’ve been better. Juan & Dennis are so very good at what they do! Annette-Brainerd, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
I appreciate all of the places we saw! So much to see and experience…Although shopping was the least of my priorities. Overall, a fantastic pilgrimage, wonderful! Guides, drivers, directors, food, and hotels were great! Thanks you!! I will have a new view when I read the Bible!! (Holy Land February 2014)
We know that the spiritual preparation & the daily prayers provided by Juan and Dennis are what truly made the pilgrimage so memorable and life-changing. It was not merely a tour, but an encounter with Jesus and our mother, Mary. We are so grateful!!vMay God bless you as you continue to lead others closer to Christ. Deacon Jim- Crosby, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
We are still reflecting on this very special trip – I will treasure the experiences forever. It has certainly made my spiritual being grow and I’m talking about it to others. Love, Love the trip! Thank you so much. Liz-Brainerd, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
Wonderful! (…) What a blessing! Sylvia- Pillager, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
Juan, Dennis and the Mater Dei staff did an exceptional job with such a large group. The spiritual aspects; Mass, readings, prayers, etc., were most helpful in encountering Christ and the Holy Family in so many wonderful places. Thank you. Constance- Fairbault, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
Everything was wonderful. It was a life changing experience for me. I have already told 2 other parties about it that are interested. God bless you both for all you do to bring others to Christ. In the Holy Land the presence of Christ was everywhere! Many, many thanks. Hope- Baxter, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
A life changing experience – Spiritually rich – Juan especially along with priests – Really appreciated the efforts to make the trip special for everyone. 90 is too many even tho I understand why it was planned that way. You are all amazing and filled with the Holy Spirit. Patricia- Fort Ripley, MN (Holy Land February 2014)
I am still wrapping my head around one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. As a world traveler Mater Dei exceeded any expectations I had. It was delightful to focus on the pilgrimage and have someone else handle the details. George, Dennis and Yasser communicated seamlessly and we had minimal waits for any type of transportation. It was spectacular planning, even when having to juggle the individual events. George was amazing – a font of information and a skilled and efficient guide. Dennis was top notch He made you laugh and was never above helping anyone out. His service and charity to everyone was inspiring and performed with infinite love and care and anchored deep in his Catholic Faith. The guides were invaluable and it was quickly obvious that Dennis and George work very well together. It wasn’t their job, it was a joy and their mission as they both educated and made the story of God come alive, like fathers caring for us on every level. Thank you so much. Mike and Nancy (Holy Land February 2014)
It’s hard to put in words just what a wonder-full experience this was. Thank you for all the extras that were so unexpected – the rosaries to use throughout the pilgrimage, the holy card w/the list of the masses, the farewell dinner. Thank you! All you do bring God’s blessings to so many people! Gerri- Littleton CO (Holy Land January 2014)
I was very impressed with the organization especially the great spiritual part of the trip. Laura (Holy Land January 2014)
I treasure the whole pilgrimage it was well planned. Thank you. Harry, Morrison, CO (Holy Land January 2014)
Dennis was very professional and a perfect leader on this journey. His friendly and positive attitude was most appreciated. If I had a chance to do this again, I would most certainly consider Mater Dei as my 1st choice because of the care that was taken to assure my safety, my peace of mind and my commitment to this pilgrimage. The planning of this trip was a high priority and you certainly met my high expectations. Thank you for this fabulous experience. Helene- Denver, CO (Holy Land January 2014)
We have talked to other people who have gone on Holy Land Tours and the one with Mater Dei seems to be the best. We recommend Mater Dei Tours. Stacie and Phil- Denver, CO (Holy Land January 2014)
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the pilgrimage. Thank you for being so nice. I will never forget Dennis, George and Fr. Jim. Consuelo- Ft. Worth, TX (Holy Land November 2013)
George was excellent; Great jokes and very knowledgeable. Phil-Hastings, MN (Holy Land November 2013)
The pilgrimage was amazing and I fell very blessed to have been on it. Especially, Dennis, George and Yasser, as well as the people on the pilgrimage. It was a wonderful life changing experience. Thank you so much and God Bless. (Holy Land November 2013)
Incredible experience! I felt as though the Holy Spirit was with us every step of the way. Everything came together so well. Excellent pilgrimage director, excellent tour escort, great group of people, awesome experiences at Mass and other visits. This pilgrimage was everything I hoped for and so much more! Jean- Stillwater, MN (Holy Land November 2013)
Truly, I have not one negative comment – and I have been on many other tours. I would highly recommend Mater Dei Tours to everyone! The price was unbeatable! Maryann- Hastings, MN (Holy Land November 2013)
Dennis and George are exceptionally good! Thank you for being so welcoming and giving me such an unforgettable experience, getting to know Jesus, His family, His friends. The trip was spiritually transforming and in such wonderful company w/such great accommodations and most of all with 2 exceptional guides. Many Thanks. Isabel- Fairfield, CT (Holy Land November 2013)
I truly enjoyed the trip, but felt in overload. I must go back again. Much more to absorb. I told my friends that if they would ever want to go to Israel, I would go back and I would Recommend Mater Dei Tours. Vinnie- Indian Head Park, IL (Holy Land November 2013)
The pilgrimage was the very BEST time of my life – because I was where Jesus was –where He was born a, lived and died. I tell everyone about the trip. I highly recommend everyone to take Mater Dei Tours. Thank you so much for wanting to give a truly rewarding and spiritual Catholic experience. Peggy- Hastings, MN (Holy Land November 2013)
I learned more from in these 11 days from everyone involved than I ever realized in my 57 years as a Christian. Your knowledge and wonderful perception is remarkable. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my wonderful journey to Israel…at least once… Thank you!! Diane- DForest, WI (Holy Land October 2013)
I truly found this pilgrimage inspiring. The history of our religion was/is awesome. Mass has more meaning now. I still feel the emotions I experienced while on this trip. My thanks to all who made this happen. Our travel mates were also great. Diane- DeForest, WI (Holy Land October 2013
Thanks for a wonderful trip. Yes, we will definitely consider another pilgrimage with you. Can’t thank you enough for the kindness to our grandchildren and our children. Their faith has grown. May God continue to bless you. Roger and Nancy- DeForest, WI (Holy Land October 2013)
Juan, Thank you! Thank you! This pilgrimage was beyond the best experience we had in our travels. You and George are such examples to us. We too must evangelize by our words & faith. It was so beautiful to attend Mass at all the Holy places of Our Lord. We felt so blessed to be able to participate in the rosary, Mass & Stations of the Cross. We can’t say enough about our trip to our family and friends. Matt and Judy- Naperville, IL (Holy Land October 2013)
Thank you for a trip of a lifetime. Every day I give thanks to God for the prayerful and learning experience. Juan, you were certainly chosen by God to do His will by giving so many of us a chance to know, love and serve Him more. God Bless you and your family. Sue- Minocqua, MN (Holy Land October 2013)
George was irreplaceable & you can’t pay him enough. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime & thank you for giving our _the opportunity to serve Mass. That was an incredible experience for him. Onalaska, MN (Holy Land October 2013)
Excellent communication & organization by Juan, before, during & after the pilgrimage. Amazing direction by George during the pilgrimage. His knowledge and “inside track” to all the Holy Land sites made for a trouble free experience. Thanks again! Jerry and Jane- Deforest, WI (Holy Land October 2013)
It was my 1st trip outside the US and I feel I picked the best trip to go on. It was so organized and everyone was great. Very happy with my choice! Thank you very much. Catherine- Morrisville, WI (Holy Land October 2013)
Thank you Juan! You are an inspiration of faith to us all! Christopher- DeForest, WI (Holy Land October 2013)
Dear Juan, Please (know) of the great satisfaction and joy we experienced on the Holy Land pilgrimage. We appreciate the time and efforts! This trip will impact the rest of our lives. Words cannot express properly our appreciation; just know that what you do matters. God Bless you and your family. Love Tim & Ann- Medina, MN (Holy Land, January 2013)
It was a great trip; very special. You and George and Fr. Rocky made the Holy Land very special. Joe- Chaska, MN MN (Holy Land, January 2013)
I loved the number of individuals on the trip – This trip was everything and more than we anticipated. A pilgrimage (which was our first) that will change us forever. Thanks. Tim- Long Lake, MN (Holy Land, January 2013)
Great job with renewal of vows at Cana!! Even though this was my 3rd visit, I still saw new things & enjoyed sorting things out in my brain. Great Pilgrimage! Kathy- Chanhassen, MN (Holy Land, January 2013)
We were fed. The hotels were beautiful, comfortable and accommodating. It was a nice balance of meals in tourist attraction places, as well as, just slipping into local culture for meals. I like that you made every effort to support Christians in the Holy Land and encouraged us as well in our shopping to do the same. The 24 hour chapel and daily adoration at Notre Dame made me very happy. Private Mass at Holy sites was truly a gift and high point of each day. What a gift! Jane- Mt. Prospect, IL (Holy Land, January 2013)
Fantastic job! I’m not sure how we were privileged enough to see and experience all the holy sites, but I’m eternally grateful. Anonymous- Minneapolis, MN (Holy Land, January 2013)
Thank you for the wonderful tour ... Juan, George, Hassan and Father Rocky took good care of us. Everyone in our group was kind, friendly and helpful. This trip was a pure gift from God. I pray that God will bless your work abundantly. Donna- Des Plaines, IL (Holy Land, January 2013)
This trip was a trip of a life-time. I will never be the same. The spiritual aspect of this trip was a trip of the heart! I have never been on other trips with other directors – this is by far the most reflective & prayerful – I loved it… food, hotels, etc. made us pampered weary pilgrims. This trip made the gospels and Jesus life 3D. Thanks and God Bless your work! Prayers, Kathy- Kimberly, WI (Holy Land, November 2012)
This tour went above and beyond all of my expectations. Excellent guides! Wonderful food! Beautiful accommodations! Incredible locations for Mass! Spiritually life-changing based on information gained and the times & places experienced! One of the greatest gifts God has given me. Thank you for being wonderful stewards! God Bless, Shelly- River Falls, WI (Holy Land, November 2012)
Particularly enjoyed the surprise visits to convents, the holy cards & the loaves and fishes medallion. I was surprised at how well everyone got along & wonder if every one of your pilgrimages attract such wonderful people. I intend to find out! It will take some time to save up for another trip, but I am targeting Poland in a few years. Juan you were excellent! Can’t imagine a pilgrimage without you! The trip ran smoothly...I got lucky to be paired up with Linda; she and a few others will be lifelong friends. Michelle- Schererville, IN (Holy Land, November 2012)
I consider any pilgrimage conducted by Mater Dei outstanding and a wonderful religious experience. Our Holy Land pilgrimage brought a better understanding of what Jesus endured for us! Thank you again. My prayers for continued success. Carol- Dodgeville, WI (Holy Land, November 2012)
The pilgrimage was great. I hope to go on more of them. I could not go on a non-Catholic tour after going with Mater Dei. It would only be a tour. I would miss Mass and all our prayers. I wish I could have recorded Gabriel’s talk to us; he really touched my heart. George was a great guide. Mater Dei Tours is very special. Please keep up the good work. Carol- Willowbrook, IL (Holy Land, November 2012)
The trip made us feel like a family instead of individual tourists. Tom&Kathleen- Jefferson, WI (Holy Land, November 2012)
Juan, Thank you so much for a wonderful trip. You & George made the trip so memorable for me. God bless you and George. I will see you again. Irene- Lombard, IL (Holy Land, November 2012)
The Holy Land pilgrimage was outstanding. The trip will always be in my memory. Land of Jesus, beautiful desert country, people, holy sites… I am most grateful to you, Juan. Thank you, Fran- Oak Lawn, IL (Holy Land, November 2012)
I had a wonderful trip with many memories. Thank you and George for putting your hearts into what you do. I will keep you and your team in my prayers. I plan to enter the Franciscans on the 16th of February. God Bless, Matt- Mt Prospect, IL (Holy Land, November 2012)
How Blessed I feel for having been a part of the Mater Dei Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and inspiring Leadership. My spiritual life has been re-invigorated. - Arlette - Naperville IL (Holy Land Nov 2012)
We would like to thank you for making our visit to the Holy Land beautiful, Blessed, and peaceful. We never felt so happy. George and Juan are the best. We feel that money cannot buy what we experienced. - Teresita - Lake Forest IL (Holy Land Nov 2012)
We Loved Dennis and Gabrielle and we enjoyed the whole group. - Mary - Oakdale, MN (Italy Nov 2012)
We couldn’t be happier w/Dennis. We never had to worry about a thing and he has a fun personality and sense of humor! - Matt & Nancy - Burnsville,MN (Holy Land Oct 2012)
The whole Pilgrimage was beyond my expectations. George and Dennis made the trip very worthwhile, with their knowledge of the area, the Bible and the Catholic religion. It was a trip of a lifetime! Very organized. - Catherine - Juneau, WI (Holy Land Oct 2012)
This Holy Land trip was the trip of a lifetime. It has changed our lives in so many ways, from daily rosary to daily Mass. We need to help all Catholics to visit the land of Jesus. We pinch ourselves to think we actually sailed on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus sailed. Thanks to all the staff of Mater Dei and Twin Cities Pilgrims. - Bernie & Sherry - Lakeville, MN (Holy Land Oct 2012)
Thank you, Dennis and Juan for your detailed planning of our amazing pilgrimage. It was a whirlwind tour, but I don’t know what I’d want you to delete. A little more time to shop perhapsJ and time to reflect & journal would be nice. We were too tired at night and fell into bed! Most of all I AM SO GRATEFUL! Patricia- Lake City, MN (Shrines of Our Blessed Mother, October 2012) ~ Note from Mater Dei: We appreciate this comment regarding this particular pilgrimage. Shrines of Our Blessed Mother is a Mater Dei exclusive pilgrimage which covers extensive geography starting in Lourdes, France, continuing to Spain to visit Torreciudad, El Pilar (Zaragoza), Alcala, Madrid, Avila, Segovia, then to Portugal to visit Fatima, Santarem Eucharistic Miracle and Lisbon. Then fly back to France to visit Paris. We would love to produce this pilgrimage with more time to pray and reflect than the one we already allot, but to cover this vast geography in 12 days (including the flights) it’s quite a task! Otherwise the trip would be longer and it would cost too much making it unaffordable. Mater Dei offers this year pilgrimages with Lourdes and other shrines nearby, as well as Fatima and other shrines nearby.
I have been raving about our trip to all! The sights were sooo beautiful & spiritual! The group and tour leaders were fun and flexible!! Extremely organized, and the sights and “Stops” well paced. Hugs & thanks to you both, Dennis and Juan.!! Anonymous- (Shrines of Our Blessed Mother, October 2012)
I am your new outside salesperson and will continue to tell all to whom I encounter that your tour is “The Best Ever” God Bless you for being there for us to enlighten our faith so that we may profess to others. - Ann - Eau Claire, WI (Shrines of the Blessed Mother Oct 2012)
I do not think enough good things can be said about how well organized this pilgrimage was. We hope our pictures can capture not only the sites we visited but also the spirit that was alive in this pilgrimage. You will not be disappointed if you decide to go on a pilgrimage with Mater Dei Tours. - Risty and Audrey - Naperville IL (St. Josemaria, Our Lady and the Streets of Madrid Sep 2012)
Thank you for a most wonderful and fruitful experience. Megan- Chicago, IL (St. Josemaria, our Lady and the Streets of Madrid, September 2012)
Excellent overall! The prayers, reflections, education about the shrines, saints and Catholic faith – GREAT! More time needed at Midland. Less at the border store coming back. Less at Peshtigo Museum. More availability and time at gift shops. An excellent, faith filled pilgrimage. Reasonable in price. I will recommend Mater Dei to others. Gloria- Stevens Point, WI) ~ Note from Mater Dei: We appreciate this comment regarding less time at the border store. Pilgrims wanted to get rid of their Canadian Dollars and this was their last chance. In future pilgrimages we will definitely spend another day in Midland, Ontario. We are trying to figure out what to eliminate because spending another day in Midland would make the trip 13 days long and most people do not have so much time available. (Shrines of USA & Canada August 2012)
It was my first pilgrimage and especially enjoyed the spiritual aspect of the trip. - Constance - Galena, IL (Shrines of USA & Canada August 2012)
This was our 3rd pilgrimage w/Mater Dei Tours & Juan and found that they all have been outstanding in complete satisfaction, enjoyment, and spiritual growth. It encourages us to want to plan another pilgrimage. We always feel so well cared for and comfortable with Juan’s excellent planning of all the details. This tour has the added spiritual graces of Fr. Diego, Fr. Rocky, and Bishop Ricken. How blessed we were & so grateful for this pilgrimage & all its blessings. - Joe and Susan - Plymouth, WI (Shrines of USA & Canada August 2012)
It was a fantastic trip/pilgrimage. We not only enriched our experience of “holy ground” places , but saw the wonders of creation (Niagra Falls) and learned more of French History and English Culture in Canada. I felt it was such a grace to see and pray at sites of saints and apparitions. - Barb - Campbells Port, WI (Shrines of USA & Canada August 2012)
Juan, you led the best tour Bob and I have ever traveled with. - Robert & Bridget - Little Canada, MN (Shrines of USA & Canada August 2012)
It was a marvelous pilgrimage. I wouldn’t travel w/anyone else! - Kathleen - McFarland, WI (Shrines of USA & Canada August 2012)
I feel protected and “More Catholic” with every trip I’ve taken with Mater Dei Tours. The people connected with the tours were always helpful, compassionate, and responsive to individual needs. - Patricia - Chicago, IL (Shrines of USA & Canada August 2012)
I am very grateful to God who gave me this opportunity to be a part of this group on this pilgrimage. I am also grateful to Fr. Pish, Dennis, Guillermo and Paco (driver) who organized the pilgrimage and who made it an awesome experience. - Bruno - St. Paul, MN (Our Lady of Guadalupe Aug 2012)
It would be very good to organize this every year for the Seminary. Thank you so much, one and all. The pilgrimage was a very blessed opportunity! I learned so much about Our Lady of Guadalupe. I didn’t know much before, but I have definitely increased my devotion to and appreciation for Our Lady. I look forward to more pilgrimages with Mater Dei. - Tyler - St. Paul, MN (Our Lady of Guadalupe Aug 2012)
Mater Dei was the best tour service I have ever experienced. Great accommodations, the guides were informative and a joy to be with. I would recommend Mater Dei Tours to anyone considering any pilgrimages, especially with Dennis, whose knowledge- but most of all his great faith and love for Our Lady – was inspiring and made it enjoyable. - Robert - St. Paul, MN (Our Lady of Guadalupe Aug 2012)
We experienced many wonderful things. - James - St. Paul, MN (Our Lady of Guadalupe Aug 2012)
The Pilgrimage was everything I dreamed it would be and more. The blessing to have every day be as good as or better than the day before was a gift from the Lord. Juan, thanks for making this a once in a lifetime experience. - Walter - (Italy Feb 2012)
I was very impressed w/the spiritual programs. Wonderful! Juan was an excellent director, making sure that the trip was truly a spiritual pilgrimage and not just a sightseeing event. - Anonymous (Italy Feb 2012)
This was my 4th pilgrimage. All were fantastic, but this trip to Italy was the best so far. Thank you, Juan, Fr. Greg, Bishop Morlino all the staff that helped to put it together. Thanks to my fellow Pilgrims-It was a great trip! - Joyce - Wheaton, IL (Italy Feb 2012)
Juan’s apostolate is God’s way of sending His message of love, peace, and good will to men. The journey is full of God’s many graces..”Ask and you shall receive…Seek and you shall find”. The pilgrims followed with joy, faith, time and truly the pilgrimage was leisure, pleasure, culture, & eye-opener to God’s bounty all over the world. - Franco and Llyn (Italy Feb 2012)
A wonderful Pilgrimage. Thanks so much. - Dawn - Niles, IL (Italy Feb 2012)
The trip was fantastic beyond words! - Bryan and Lexi - Waunakee, WI (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
We were very pleased with every aspect of the pilgrimage & especially getting our Shell. It was a great experience. - Ray and Sheri - Lancaster, WI (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
Trip resulted in a spiritual awakening for both of us. Juan exceeded all expectations. Hope we can make another trip. - James - Waunakee, WI (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
There were so many special events it was hard to describe the masses, the Cana renewal, the Holy Sepulchre procession, the audience with the Auxiliary Bishop, the surprises! The fine company of so many good pilgrims. - Don & Nancy - Waunakee, WI (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
Great trip, great companions, great leaders and guide! I always recommend this Holy Land trip highly. - Sue - Waunakee, WI (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
The Pilgrimage was great, and gave a good report to all my friends and family. Thanks so much for all you did. - Joanne - Waunakee, WI (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
Not sure what I expected, but experience was outstanding. I will never forget this trip. - Bonnie - Waunakee, WI (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
We feel blessed we were both able to make this trip together. You said, “your life will never be the same” and we believe it. - Anonymous (Holy Land- Nov 2011)
The trip was an outstanding experience. - Carole - Chicago, IL (Holy Land- Oct 2011)
The whole pilgrimage was an experience beyond compare. We had tome to experience what we were seeing. I learned so much & appreciate my Catholicism even more. Mater Dei is definitely the tour/pilgrimage group to travel with. - Karen - Grays Lake, IL (Holy Land- Oct 2011)
Wonderful Experience – Would recommend to all I know if they wanted a spiritual-perfect experience and an opportunity to be with informed leaders who love what they are doing. - Bob & Maureen - Clarendon Hills, IL (Holy Land- Oct 2011)
Dennis, you and Juan are truly a gift. We loved every minute of the pilgrimage and we got Mass every day! - Myles and Patricia - Clarendon Hills, IL (Holy Land- Oct 2011)
This pilgrimage surpassed my expectations. This was due to the Pilgrimage director, Juan and Father Showalter. Both were very prayerful, personable, and holy. - Diane - Powell, WY (Carmelite Oct 2011)
This pilgrimage covered so many places & each was so special. We had time to pray, relax, & soak things in by going to Mass, adoration, stations or the rosary. It strengthened my vocation and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect pilgrimage to Carmel. God is good. He is amazing! - Marie - Arlington, VA (Carmelite Oct 2011)
I had a wonderful experience on this pilgrimage. It was well organized and well planned out. The highlights of the trip were the visit to Lisieux, Avila and Fatima and all the prayers and meditations at these sacred places made it even more beautiful. - Miriam - San Gabriel, CA (Carmelite Oct 2011)
This was my first trip outside the US and I knew it would be good because Mary Cummings spoke very highly of Juan and Mater Dei Tours. However, you succeeded all my expectations. I was overwhelmed by everything. The beautiful faith of Juan and everyone on the trip was so inspiring for me. My faith has grown much stronger as a result of all my fellow pilgrims and all that we experienced. I can’t conceive that it could have been any better. - Joel - Cody, WY (Carmelite Oct 2011)
Dennis, you go above and beyond to make sure everyone is taken care of. - Karen - Bismarck, ND (Ireland Sept 2011)
This my 1st pilgrimage was much more than I ever had anticipated. I was not excited about going to the Shrine of Knock – concerned it would be to commercialized. As I entered the old church I went to the altar railing and knelt before the Statue of Mary and asked “Why am I here?” Quiet then a voice, thought, feeling I didn’t know what to call it. You are here to pray for all the women in your life. Let me tell you that took my breath away, and I did pray. - Sandra - St. Paul, MN (Ireland Sept 2011)
This truly was the trip of a lifetime to the homeland of my Irish wife. God Bless you in your ministry to His faithful. - Jim - North St. Paul,MN (Ireland Sept 2011)
I liked having a priest travel with us. I enjoyed every minute of it. Everyone was nice and helpful. Thank you Fr. Rocky, Juan. - Rose - Portage, WI (The Marian Route- Sep 2011 –RR)
A fine group of cultivated fervent persons. Aside from being blessedly exhausted, I was inspired. - Joe - Chicago, IL (The Marian Route- Sep 2011 –RR)
The Marian Route pilgrimage exceeded anything I had expected? Fr. Rocky and Juan were exemplary in leading us both in the spiritual and temporal realms. Specifically for me, Juan went above and beyond in assisting me with individual travel plans following the scheduled pilgrimage. Thank you and god Bless. - Mary - Willmington, IL (The Marian Route- Sep 2011 –RR)
This pilgrimage was everything I wanted and more. I’ve written a detailed travel log and am waiting for photos before printing it. I want to re-live it again when I can’t travel anymore. I would have another pilgrimage w/ Fr. Rocky. - Kathleen - McFarland, WI (The Marian Route- Sep 2011 –RR)
The pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe was truly exceptional & I have recommended it to our friends and family. Everyone involved was outstanding. The beauty of the people and the churches has made this a lasting memory & we feel truly blessed. - Siobahn - Seattle, WA (Our Lady of Guadalupe- Jul 2011)
This trip exceeded my expectations. There were so many blessings and little miracles. At one point when I thought I was separated and lost I prayed to the Our Lady of Guadalupe and asked for help. I heard my nickname being called out. I looked up and saw my sister across the Basilica with the group and I went to them. My sister said she never called out my name. I remembered that Our Lady used Juan Diego’s nickname (Juanito). An example of the blessings we experienced, especially the witness to how devoted the Mexican people are. - Belinda - Bellevue, WA (Our Lady of Guadalupe- Jul 2011
All the staff were wonderful and holy people. I recommend this to anyone! - Terry - Raytown, MO (Our Lady of Guadalupe- Jul 2011)
More than I expected! - Carol - DePere, WI (Our Lady of Guadalupe- Jul 2011)
Thanks Juan for another outstanding faith experience! My heart is with Mary. - Teresa - Merrimac, WI (Our Lady of Guadalupe- Jul 2011)
- "Juan's handling of the volcano's tour disruption was outstanding! He never lost his cool (Iceland Volcano crisis which closed all airports in Europe), even after answering the same questions repeatedly. The man has the patience of a saint. A person's true character reveals itself under stress and Juan's true character truly shone. Thanks for another "trip of a lifetime"! "Mater Dei has spoiled us for anyone else"
- The Burke's from Minnesota (France & Italy April 2010)
What a wonderful experience! Compatible people, very nice accommodations, good food. I especially liked your prayer to Our Lady. Juan, Drew and Father Seraphim were a great combination! A good mix of prayer, reflection and information about our sites.
Thank you for a memorable experience!
- Jeanne from Houston, Texas (France & Italy April 2010)
Thank you for all the hand work behind the scenes so we can enjoy the travels with less stress. Also thanks for helping us to prepare for the sites spiritually through prayer and education about the saint's life prior to the visit.
- The Steffen's from Iowa (France & Italy April 2010)
I had no idea what to expect, it was our 1st Pilgrimage. It was so much more than I had hoped for. We are both changed because of the experience. I have told everyone about you and your tours, we can't wait to go again. The friends we made will be lifelong. Your devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Church are commendable. Your ability to remain calm was amazing (Iceland Volcano crisis which closed all airports in Europe). Thanks for a trip of a lifetime.
- The Boyers from Texas (France & Italy April 2010)
Thank you very much for a wonderful trip!
- Luba from Chicago (France & Italy April 2010)
I have wonderful memories of the holy places we visited and the people on the pilgrimage. I will keep Mater Dei and its pilgrims in my prayers.
- Dawn from Niles, Iowa (France & Italy April 2010)
The "Year of the Priest" Pilgrimage Tour was a remarkable experience. You went far beyond the call of duty, especially with us to arrange all the different flights home never losing confidence or good spirits despite the frustrations of the situation (Iceland Volcano Crisis which closed all airports in Europe). I cannot imagine a better tour guide or a better travel company. May you continue to prosper in life, and Mary's loving graces continue to protect your travels.
- Barbara from Chicago (France & Italy April 2010)
My spiritual life is changed for the better! I am so grateful. I have been able to do so many ministries since I am back. I am so blessed to have been able to do this pilgrimage.
- Kathy from Savage, Minnesota (France & Italy April 2010)
The more one goes on the Catholic pilgrimages the faith becomes stronger-more renewal. Making lasting friendships & going with Mater Dei feels like a big happy family in Christ. It's so nice to be with so many people who share your Catholic faith.
- from Milwaukee, WI (France & Italy April 2010)
Juan, this was the best Tour yet; you shined like the sun when the going got tough (Iceland Volcano crisis which closed all airports in Europe) and performed many miracles through our prayers and petitions. I know it took a lot of extra work to get us through those last five days; but as always you remained calm and steady. I praise you for your expertise in the travel industry.
- Maralyn from Waukegan, IL (France & Italy April 2010)
I recommend Mater Dei Pilgrimages to those who care to discuss my travels.
- Clare from Palos Heights, IL (France & Italy April 2010)
We are saving for our next trip with Mater Dei Tours.
- Mary & Megan from Grayslake, IL (France & Italy April 2010)
I am very blessed you came into my life. God's providence is awesome. We pilgrims get all the benefits because of your hard work and unceasing prayers. May God bless you with the business of mission and go with you wherever you go with His blessings and grace.
- Elizabeth from West Chicago (Fatima & Portugal, December 2009)
It was a pleasure to experience this trip with you and Fr. Kubiciki. You are obviously a man of great faith. I feel some of that rubbed off on me and the group.
- Mary from Wisconsin Dells, WI (Fatima & Portugal, December 2009)
I wish I could do it all over again. My pictures turned out beautiful and I share them with everyone. It was all a dream – I loved every minute of it. It was an experience I will never forget.
- Dianne from West Bend, WI (Fatima & Portugal, December 2009)
The pace of the trip was not too taxing, even for a 73 yr. old man. The pilgrimage was an excellent preparation for Christmas.
- J. Lamkin from Minnesota (Fatima & Portugal, December 2009)
This was our 4th tour, 2 pilgrimages to Holy Land and this one to Rome. We took an Alaskan tour also. I have to say this was the best. The spiritual aspect was wonderful. You made sure we saw everything we wanted to see. The info before and during the trip were the best. You made sure we didn't have many questions. We are very happy to recommend you to our friends. Have mentioned you to our pastor.
- The Garcias from Victoria, TX (Rome at Leisure, November 2009)
The pilgrimage was "Life Altering" for all three of us. We will never be the same.
- Terrie from Anchorage AK (Rome at Leisure, November 2009)
Nice to be with others who are also growing spiritually? Scripture means so much more.
I really enjoyed the families.
- Emma from Boscobel, WI (Rome at Leisure, November 2009)
I so enjoyed our trip and felt so blessed to be a part of it. It has been a blessing to me and my faith in many ways.
- Nicole from Sun Prairie, WI (Rome at Leisure, November 2009)
The masses in all of the beautiful churches, the prayers, etc. are what make this pilgrimage so special and meaningful.
- Barbara from Madison, WI (Rome at Leisure, November 2009)
The entire trip was wonderful. You are very accommodating. Your spiritual guidance was great.
- The Stolas from Illinois (Rome at Leisure, November 2009)
Everyone was great, helpful, pleasant and great examples of our faith.
- Robert from Oshkosh, WI (Eternal Italy, June 2009)
This was a once in a lifetime trip to Italy for us, so we wanted it to be special. Our expectations were surely met and we both were very happy. We never expected to see Pope Benedict at so close a distance. That was a wonderful surprise.
- Bill from Ontario, WI (Eternal Italy, June 2009)
I don't see how this wonderful experience could have been improved.
- Clare (Eternal Italy, June 2009)
The pilgrimage was a once in a lifetime experience. If God is willing, hopefully I will be able to go on another one!
- Cindy from Austin, TX (Eternal Italy, June 2009)
Mater Dei Tours are very professional with everything very organized. It's also nice to know that everyone gets along and are also having fun besides experiencing a beautiful, spiritual trip.
- Espe from Milwaukee, WI (Eternal Italy, June 2009)
I know I was called by God to take this pilgrimage. "God-incidents" occurred all through the preparation and the trip. God's purpose for this trip was for me to "see" Padre Pio and to bring back "hope" to my invalid dad and mom who has been caring for him for 24 years. I brought "Hope" back and strengthened my own Catholic faith. Thank you for making this trip possible.
- Mary from Westmont, IL (Eternal Italy, June 2009, Year of St. Paul with St. Padre Pio's body exposition)
Thank you for the great spiritual experience. I'm a different person because of it.
- Mary from Mineral Point, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
Thanks Juan! Everything was awesome. You did an excellent job and I would travel with you again-in face I hope to! It was a trip I'll never forget!
- Shaun from Oregon, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
Our group was a terrific and fine bunch of people from the South Central and South Western part of Wisconsin. The young members on the pilgrimage were truly kind to the special needs persons on the trip. This was a most rewarding and religious tour.
- Rita from Dodgeville, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
This pilgrimage has deepened my faith and made it more real. I am overwhelmed and so thankful for the blessings the Lord has given me many of which I experienced on this Pilgrimage. Climbing the Holy Stairs on my knees allowed me to experience a little of what our Lord went through. May I never forget that experience!
- (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
As you know I was the only one on the trip that was not a Catholic. I was treated wonderfully and had a good time. It was a very special trip. Thank you so much!
- Virginia from Mineral Point, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
Would not have changed anything-as first timers in Europe we were delighted w all the accommodations, arrangements and guided tours. Juan was a great spiritual guide, making this trip a pilgrimage, not just a trip! Excellent!
- The Roger's from Wisconsin (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
It was an incredible experience. I feel blessed that I was fortunate to be a part of this pilgrimage. I was actually sitting in St. Peter's Basilica taking part in the special mass for the deacons. God bless you, Excellent work!
- Cathy from Darlington, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
I would like to thank you for all your efforts in getting us on the pilgrimage. It was such a wonderful experience and I can't believe I was able to experience Rome-the ordination was certainly the highlight for me.
- Carol from Dodgeville, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
It was a trip of a lifetime! We can't thank you enough for all you did to make it a very moving, spiritual, and carefree pilgrimage.
- The Ihms from Lancaster, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
Thank you for such a wonderful experience, it couldn't have been any better. Everything went very smoothly, if any plans did change last minute, the group was unaware of it, because of your calmness and organization. Thank you so much!
- The Winters from Lancaster, WI (Rome, Assisi & Siena, October 2009 - Diaconate Ordinations)
My first pilgrimage was so awesome, more than I could have ever dreamed of-so much history, information, and beauty. I brought home so many memories; I just can't believe we were so blessed to be able to make it. It was beautiful with the weather cooperating and making new friends. We were truly blessed. Thanks be to God.
- The Cruz's from Powell, WY (Holy Land, November 2009)
The pilgrimage was amazing thanks to George. What a well educated man in his ministry and so kind and thoughtful. George made the pilgrimage a memorable experience. Dennis was great too and helped us to be comfortable and well taken care of. You are fortunate to have him as one of your Pilgrimage Directors.
- The Franzmeier's from Minnesota (Holy Land, November 2009)
I will never forget my pilgrimage as I read my bible and picture in my mind the holy places I visited. Dennis was right-reading the scripture is now so very moving and emotional for me. My faith is stronger and I am more at peace. Thank you for all your efforts in making this pilgrimage so special.
- Barbara from Albertville, MN (Holy Land, November 2009)
It was a very memorable experience for us. Your team did an excellent job and George is a dedicated Catholic and wanted us to share his religion and his home country. He was intense, very informative, yet easy to be with. I will recommend your group, especially to all those who have known and inquired about our trip.
- The Henseler's from WI (Holy Land, November 2009)
This was a wonderfully experience; would not have wanted to be in Israel any other way or with any other company or group; would recommend this to anyone.
- Frank from Green Bay, WI (Holy Land, November 2009)
This exceeded all our expectations-we have wanted to go for ten years and it was never possible. God called us to this pilgrimage. God bless you in your work, with a deep appreciation and grateful hearts.
- BG from Saint Paul, MN (Holy Land, November 2009)
This was truly a pilgrimage of a lifetime! We consider ourselves richly blessed to follow in the footsteps of our Lord. We will continue to pray for you and your travel ministry. Shalom!
- The Dickhausen's from Minnesota (Holy Land, November 2009)
This was a profound trip I can not say enough. This is a trip of a lifetime. Thank you!
- Mary from Saint Paul, MN (Holy Land, November 2009)
Meeting others with the same faith and touring together was a real blessing, lots of new friends!
- Chuck from Green Bay, WI (Holy Land, November 2009)
This Holy Land pilgrimage has given us more knowledge about our faith, and has definitely brought us closer to it in the life of Jesus. Oftentimes tears come to my eyes during Mass, Stations of the Cross, or just praying the rosary. It was a very spiritual journey. Thank you again.
- The Funseth's from North Dakota (Holy Land, February 2009)
Our pilgrimage was outstanding; we feel so blesses that we were able to attend. When readings are read at Mass, now we think "we were there", and Lent has a different meaning also. You make these pilgrimages so faith filled- they're life changing. Thank you so much.
- The Haag's from Illinois (Holy Land, February 2009)
We want to thank you for arranging a wonderful and very spiritual pilgrimage. It was everything I expected and more. I've experienced a closeness to Christ that will remain with me until the ed. Thank you!
- Jan from Cambridge, WI (Eternal Rome, November 2009)
Luca was always friendly, upbeat, and so very knowledgeable!
- Karen from Cambridge, WI (Eternal Rome, November 2009)
Thank you for a most wonderful pilgrimage. I never in all my days on this earth would have ever thought that I would ever go to Rome.
- Bernadette from Cambridge, WI (Eternal Rome, November 2009)
Tour is excellent!-for Catholics and non-Catholics, for apostolic purposes-to make them aware that there is only one true Church that is founded by Jesus Christ-the Roman Catholic Church.
- R.E from Rosebud, South Dakota (Eternal Rome, November 2009)
I always dreamed of visiting the Holy Land and walking where Jesus walked. I am totally awed by this pilgrimage. I now read my Bible with new eyes-all of a sudden it's in Technicolor 3D! Thanks to all of you-especially Dennis & George!
- Diane (Holy Land, November 2008)
We were very pleased with the entire experience, and going to the Holy Land as a spiritual pilgrimage is the only way to go in our opinion. We learned so much about our faith, and the spiritual feelings and peace are still with us. Thank you for offering this to us!
- The Collins (Holy Land, November 2008)
George is very knowledgeable about the Bible, and made sure that we saw all the important sites. He worked very hard for us.
- Ruben from Westmont, IL (Holy Land, November 2008)
This pilgrimage was one of the highlights of my life!
- The Luther's from WI (Holy Land, November 2008)
Keep doing what you're doing-it works!
- Joyce from Wheaton, IL (Shrines of Our Blessed Mother - France, Spain & Portugal - October 2008)
God bless Mater Dei Tours! So much better than I could have hoped for!
- Annette from Pittsburg, PA (Shrines of Our Blessed Mother - France, Spain & Portugal - October 2008)
What can I say other than how grateful I am? Upon return my foot was healed so that all the pain was gone and I did not need joint replacement surgery.
Thank you Blessed Mother!
- The Schmitt's from WI (Shrines of Our Blessed Mother - France, Spain & Portugal - October 2008)
Excellent!! From now on our Holy Masses, rosaries, "talking with God", are full of deeper understanding-never the same.
- Thaddeus from Pittsburgh, PA (Holy Land, October 2008)
We were blessed to be able to go to the Holy Land. It was great meeting Catholics from all over the USA. We are family!
- The Gerold's from TX (Holy Land, October 2008)
I can't find the words to express my appreciation and gratitude and amazement for the exceptional experience you provided for us. From start to finish, and everything in between, the pilgrimage was special. It is apparent that Juan, Dennis and George do what they do for the love of God and to help others know and love Him better.
- Cathryn from Austin, TX (Holy Land, October 2008)
This was an incredible experience for spiritual nourishment, Catholic family bonding and international travel. Mater Dei provides a wonderful worry-free and spiritually rich trip.
- Joe from Appleton, WI (Holy Land, October 2008)
Our pilgrimage was a memorable spiritual journey, more than I ever anticipated. I was able to encounter Jesus in the land where he lived and taught.
- Sharon from Fort Worth, TX (Holy Land, October 2008)
This pilgrimage was amazing. It was more than we ever dreamed of. This experience brought us both so much closer to the truth by actually visiting the sites were Our Holy Mother appeared.
- The Knier's from Wisconsin (Lourdes, Lisieux and a Touch of France, May 2008)
Seeing the real image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and knowing it was heave sent, left me in total awe! How do you describe the love of this heavenly gift for all time!
- The Volkman's from Illinois (Our Lady of Guadalupe, March 2008)
I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that gave me the gift to visit the Holy Land with true Catholic believers. They all will have a place in my heart.
- Dianna from Williams Bay, WI (Holy Land, November 2007)
It was a wonderful group and I have many fond memories from our trip. I wish I could go back-and will someday.
- Nina from Chicago, IL (Holy Land, November 2007)
This trip stands out as the most memorable one I have ever taken. Juan and Domenico obviously worked very hard to please a wide variety of folks. Their combined experience and connections were priceless. Thank you so much for the memories.
- (Eternal Italy, November 2007)
I felt I was seeing Jesus every time someone stepped up to push my wheelchair.
- Kathleen from McFarland, WI (Eternal Italy, November 2007)
The spiritual mood and guidance throughout the tour was very uplifting and motivating to further our spiritual journey. I would love to join another pilgrimage!
Sharon from Fort Worth, TX (Eternal Italy, November 2007)
I have taken many tours throughout the years and I consider this tour to be the greatest! Our tour guides were excellent and I never felt like I had an insecure moment in our eleven days of traveling together.
- Mary from Mineral Point, WI (Inspiring Italy, November 2005)
An unforgettable trip! I was somewhat skeptical of a pilgrimage tour at first since I had never been on this type. I was pleasantly surprised-the spiritual aspect was so meaningful.
- Mary from Mineral Point, WI (Inspiring Italy, November 2005)
Thank you for the precious time and hours of putting together a wonderful Pilgrimage of the Marian Shrines. I know you always have the highest goal, our spiritual enrichment in your planning. I will always keep these spiritual experiences close to my heart.
- Barbara from Eastman, WI (Shrines of Our Blessed Mother - France, Spain & Portugal - October 2007)
I had a wonderful experience and Our Sweet Mother is healing me and my family in many ways.
- Teresa from Wheeling, IL (Shrines of Our Blessed Mother - France, Spain & Portugal - October 2008)
You provided an excellent spiritual program, great meals and hotels, and excellent guides. WE plan to take many future trips with your travel company.
- The Wopat's from Wisconsin (Our Lady of Guadalupe, February 2007)
My first pilgrimage and it was an experience of a lifetime. I was reluctant to do a "tour". I can't think of any way to have improved my experience. I am eternally grateful.
- Dennis (Our Lady of Guadalupe, February 2007)
Again, Mater Dei Tours has come through with a wonderful pilgrimage. It was like having an extended family reunion-meeting members like you, seeking spiritual strengthening.
- (Our Lady of Guadalupe, February 2007)
This was my first pilgrimage but not my last. Every journey should be relevant to our Faith as we pilgrimage to our final destination of eternal life with Our Father. The path is much easier and fulfilling spent with Relevant Journeys/ Mater Dei Tours.
- Dennis & Marybeth (Our Lady of Guadalupe, February 2007)
Dear Juan, Muchas gracias x 100 !!! We can't begin to tell you what an awesome pilgrimage this has been. The inspiration, care, knowledge, faith & love you have shared, we will always cherish. We will pray for you, Erin & Relevant Journeys and hope to join you again in the future.
- Susan, Bryan & Mary
Thank you for that unforgettable trip to Italy. That was a trip of a lifetime for me.
We just wanted to thank you for helping us to have a wonderful pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. You and your company did so much for all of us. We thoroughly enjoyed everything. We hope we will be able to be a part of your other tours in the future.
- Tony & Mary Jane
Dear Juan, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you did to make this a wonderful trip an experience I will remember forever. You were always there to guide us, to explain what we didn't understand and were always patient with everyone. The masses at all those beautiful churches was overwhelming.
Dear Juan, The pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine was beautiful and faith filled. Your guidance, leadership and inspiring words were commendable and wonderful. Thank you!
Juan, our trip was a magnificent adventure. Thank you so much for your efforts.
- Colleen and Howard from Missouri
Juan and Erin,
A note to say thank you for the pictures and the mailing directory. Mom and I are still raving about the trip, even if we sometimes have a hard time remembering names ...
We will surely pass on to future travelers your web information.
- Beth from Washington D.C.
Juan, just a short note to tell you how much I appreciate your coordinating our trip to Lourdes and Rome. It was simply a wonderful ..... hassle free trip. We did not have a single problem. Thanks again Juan.
- Norm from Wisconsin
I had a wonderful trip. The canonization and related events were awesome! Everything went smoothly and I had no problems, whatsoever. I liked the location of the hotel, since it was so close to the train station and St.Mary Major. In spite of the large number of pilgrims, Rome was easy to navigate. Thank you for all your help. Best regards,
- Len from Wisconsin
Many thanks for your outstanding work in arranging and conducting this tour (canonization tour) I am much in your debt. May god abundantly bless you & your family & all of your professional endeavors. Gratefully & with warm regards,
- Roland from Illinois
Thank you for a wonderful, holy and inspiring trip.
- Eileen from Wisconsin
God bless you, Juan. thank you so much for all your efforts in making my trip to see Our Lady of Guadalupe such a very special experience. Keep up your wonderful work.
- Eileen H.