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Pilgrimages » by Theme » Footsteps of a Saint

Footsteps of a Saint

Footsteps of St. Ignatius + Fatima Dates: Apr 19th (Wed) to Apr 30th (Sun) 2023 Registration for this tour is now closed. Details »



Footsteps of St. Ignatius

in association with the



Join EC (Evangelical Catholic) and Mater Dei, on this amazing pilgrimage following the early footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. A most beautiful pilgrimage visiting some of the famous sites in St. Ignatius’ life, like Loyola, Pamplona, Monserrat, Manresa, Arevalo and Salamanca. In our travels across Spain, we will also visit memorable sites like Barcelona, Logroño, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Burgos, Segovia, Fatima, Santarem and Lisbon.


The pilgrimage will also be making 2 visits to famous and beautiful Marian Shrines and a Eucharistic Miracle! 


1. Shrine/Co-Cathedral/Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, site of Mary's visitation to St. James, the Apostle (brother of St. John and son of Zebedee) where the encouraged the Saint to persevere on his task to evangelize Spain. This is the first ever recorded apparition (a bilocation to be exact) of the Virgin Mary (40 AD).


2. Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, site of Mary's apparitions as Our Lady of the Rosary, to St. Jacinta, St. Francisco and the late Sister Lucia (who’s work for her canonization cause is under way). These series of apparitions happened in 1917 in Portugal, and were preceded by 3 apparitions of the Angel of Portugal in 1916.


3. Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem, where our Lord has remained in the Blessed Sacrament since the year 1247! A dramatic marriage story precedes the event of this miracle in this little town in Portugal.


Enjoy the amazing natural beauty of the rocky mountains of Cataluña, the foothills of the Pyrenees, and the Rioja Wine Region! See the amazing historical cities of Segovia, Salamanca and Lisbon.


Pilgrimage no longer available!





Themes: Marian Pilgrimages, Fatima and Portugal, Footsteps of a Saint Locations: Portugal, Spain
Camino de Santiago (The Way) + Lourdes & other Marian Shrines Dates: Jul 24th (Mon) to Aug 5th (Sat) 2023 Details and Registration Form »



Camino de Santiago, The Way

 with the

The Most Reverend, Donald Hying, Bishop of Madison

as part of the celebrations of the

75th Anniversary of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin

(Postponed pilgrimage due to covid)

Join us on this amazing pilgrimage following the footsteps of the Apostle St. James the Greater, evangelizer of Spain, brother of St. John the Evangelist, son of Zebedee. One of the most spectacular journeys you'll ever experience!  Our pilgrimage will be walking the famous Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) across Spain, the second oldest pilgrimage route in Christendom.

Bonus! The pilgrimage will be making 3 brief visits to amazingly beautiful Marian Shrines! Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, site of the apparitions of The Immaculate Conception to St. Bernadette! Shrine of the Virgin of Torreciudad, sitting on the foothills of the Aragonian Pyrenees, and site of many conversion miracles. Shrine/Co-Cathedral/Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, site of Mary's visitation to St. James, the first ever recorded apparition (a bilocation to be exact) of Mary (40 AD).   

During the first days of the pilgrimage there will be sporadic walking across Spain, but the last 100 kilometers (66 miles approximately) of the itinerary will be on foot for those who wish to obtain the coveted pilgrimage certificate of The Camino, given by the Diocese of Santiago de Compostela. If you are not concerned about receiving the Camino Certificate, then walking on the Camino is not compulsory.

Visit the following locations: In France, Lourdes and the French Pyrenees. In Spain: Spanish Pyrenees, Torreciudad, El Pilar in Zaragoza (where Mary appeared to St. James),  Logroño, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Rioja Wine Region, Burgos, Ponferrada, Sarria, Portomarin  Palas del Rey, Arzua, O Pedrouzo, Santiago de Compostela, Finisterre (Land's End) or Fisterra, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Enjoy the natural beauty of the Camino! Join us! This pilgrimage will provide many opportunities for deep prayer and conversation with God along the Way.

For more details it is best to read the brochure! Click on the yellow button on the upper right side of this box.

LIMITED TO ONE BUS! (scroll down to see notes below)



* Bishop Donald Hying, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, WI

* Fr. Steve Brunner, Priest of the Diocese of Madison, WI


Pilgrimage Director: Juan Landa

Tour Director: Cesar Higueras 

Departure city: Chicago O'Hare Airport *Optional airport bus transfers from Madison, WI to Chicago O'Hare are offered (see registration - page #5 and 6 of brochure - click yellow button above right)


Registrations temporarily closed until more space can be confirmed. We have obtained extra space but are waiting on news from one hotel. 

We encourage you to send your registration anyway!






NOTE 1: This pilgrimage is limited to one bus only. Hurry and register now to avoid disappointment later on! 

NOTE 2: This pilgrimage is expected to sell out before its registration deadline (April 14, 2023) 

NOTE 3: Pilgrims who wish to complete this pilgrimage in its entirety, in order to receive the certificate from Diocese of Santiago de Compostela, should know that there is an excessive amount of walking required (from 2 to 22 miles a day). However, there are options for those who wish to avoid excessive walking. Pilgrims may opt to walk portions of "The Way" some days and relax on others. Those who wish to do this, will not qualify for the Diocesan Certificate (we remind here that the certificate should not be the reason for joining this pilgrimage), but in any case, those pilgrims who choose not to walk "The Way", should at least be able to walk between 2 to 3 miles a day, which is typical of any tour. 

NOTE 4: In case one or both of our Chaplains become unable to participate, the pilgrimage will continue to operate and every effort will be made to obtain a substitute Priest(s).

Themes: Marian Pilgrimages, St. Josemaria Escriva, Camino De Santiago (Road of St. James), Lourdes and France, Footsteps of a Saint Locations: France, Spain
Shrines of Our Blessed Mother Dates: Aug 7th (Mon) to Aug 18th (Fri) 2023 Details and Registration Form »



Shrines of Our Blessed Mother

France, Spain & Portugal


One of the most amazing Marian pilgrimages you'll ever experience!  


Visit the following Marian Shrines: Lourdes, France; Fatima, Portugal; Torreciudad, Spain; El Pilar, Spain; Sonsoles, Spain; Almudena, Spain!  In addition to these magnificent places, visit Madrid, Lisbon, Barbastro, Zaragoza, Lisbon, Avila (and its amazing medieval Walls), Segovia (with its imposing Alcazar Castle and massive Roman Aqueduct).  Many of these places are Patrimonies of Humanity!  Also pray before the incorrupt remains of St. John of the Cross (not exposed).  Learn about the Saints like St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Josemaria Escriva, Saint Jacinta, Saint Francisco, St. Anthony of Padua, and so much more (we have surprises)!  We also witness a Eucharistic Miracle in Santarem, Portugal! For more details it is best to read the brochure! Click on the yellow button on the upper right side of this box.


Spiritual Director:  Fr. Sam Martin, from the Diocese of LaCrosse, WI 

Tour Director(s): Juan Landa  

Departure city: Chicago, O'Hare (Bus available from Wausau to Chicago)


Possibility of extra airline space for a small additional cost. Remaining seats can disappear at any moment now!

We encourage you to send your registration immediately!


Themes: Marian Pilgrimages, St. Josemaria Escriva, Lourdes, Fatima and the Shrines of Our Blessed Mother, Carmelite Spirituality, Lourdes and France, Fatima and Portugal, Footsteps of a Saint Locations: France, Portugal, Spain
EMERALD FAITH - A Pilgrimage to Ireland Dates: Sep 5th (Tue) to Sep 16th (Sat) 2023 Registration for this tour is now closed. Details »




Emerald Faith!

with the Diocese of Marquette, MI

Come see for yourself why people fall in love with Ireland! Join us on this most memorable pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle. Learn about the heroic life of St. Patrick, and the firm love for God of the Irish Saints! Enjoy the unequaled natural beauty of one of the most beautiful countries in the planet, as you learn about the resiliency of its people in the midst of its troubled history.

"One of the most complete and faithful Irish Pilgrimages" 

Visit MonasterboyceDroghedaHill of Slane, Downpatrick, Belfast, Giant's Causeway, Armagh, Sligo - Mass RockMarian Shrine of KnockWestport, Croagh Patrick, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park, Galway City, Cong (The Quiet Man), Lough Corrib Cruise*Cliffs of Moher, River Shannon Crossing, Tralee, Ring of Kerry, Rock of Cashel, Dublin and more!

As with all of Mater Dei's pilgrimages, a top-notch spiritual program complements the itinerary with daily Mass, rosary, chaplet of Divine Mercy, doctrinal talks and meditations.  

Our Irish Pilgrimages also come with lots of fun, with Irish story telling, singing, great camaraderie, fish and chips, a pint or two, Irish music and more! Come experience Ireland the Mater Dei way! Join us on this Mater Dei Catholic Pilgrimage to Ireland this September 5th!


Airport Departure: Chicago's O'Hare Airport: Non-stop via Aer Lingus. Other cities may be available for an add-on price.

CHAPLAIN: Fr. Corey Litzner (Pastor of the Baraga Catholic Community, Diocese of Marquette) 

SPECIAL ESCORTS: Deacon Steve & Jackie Gretzinger (Deacon of the Diocese of Marquette, MI)

TOUR DIRECTOR: Juan Landa (I.B.M. - Irish-by-Marriage) 


Pilgrimage registration is temporarily closed!

More space is being requested.

Send in your registration today to join the wait-list!



* Please pray for the spiritual success of this pilgrimage!!

Themes: Irish Pilgrimages, Footsteps of a Saint Location: Ireland
St. Therese & The Shrines of France Dates: Sep 15th (Fri) to Sep 26th (Tue) 2023 Details and Registration Form »



The Shrines of France

Join Mater Dei Tours on an amazing and beautiful pilgrimage through some of France's most beautiful shrines! This pilgrimage features several special visits like  Lisieux, home of St. Therese of Lisieux. The pilgrims will also visit important sites of historical and cultural interest like Omaha Beach, the most dangerous D-Day invasion landing area where many brave Americans lost their lives in defense of liberty, and the liberation of France and most of the rest of Europe. Visit the American Cemetery to pay our respects and pray for the souls of these American "martyrs for freedom".

Travel across the Normandy region to visit the uniquely spectacular Mont Saint Michel, a place that is sure to leave you with a memorable impression!  Travel to Nevers to witness one of the most beautiful "incorruptibles"St. Bernadette, the peasant girl that conversed with The Immaculate Conception!  Pray at the site where Jesus of the Sacred Heart, appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, in Paray Le Monial, also the site of her tomb. See the rectory of the Patron Saint of Parish Priests, St. John Vianney, and pray at the parish church where his incorrupt remains are entombed in a glass coffin. The travel to the famous Marian Shrine of Lourdes, where we learn about the apparitions of the Immaculate Conception to St. Bernadette, and walk the Lourdes of Bernadette.


Enjoy a ride on the famous TGV train to Paris where the group will have an opportunity to see the incorrupt St. Catherine Laboure at the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, where Mary gave young Catherine, the mission of the Miraculous Medal. An unforgettable tour of Paris with special inclusions awaits you! There is much more! But it is easier to read the brochure! Just click on the yellow brochure button above/right for more information.


Departure Airport: Airfare included from Phoenix, AZ.  Also available out of Chicago O'Hare, IL for additional $150. Other departure cities may be available for an add-on fee.


Spiritual Director/Chaplain: Fr. John Clote, Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Tempe, AZ.


Tour Director: Juan Landa, President and founder of Mater Dei Catholic Pilgrimages!


Come join us for this unforgettable and unique pilgrimage that is sure to leave a mark on your soul!


This pilgrimage is closing soon!

(Register now before our space is gone! Expected to sell out at any moment!)



 Vous verra-t-on en France? 

Themes: Marian Pilgrimages, Lourdes and France, Footsteps of a Saint Location: France
Inspiring Italy Dates: Oct 27th (Fri) to Nov 7th (Tue) 2023 Details and Registration Form »


Italia Miracolosa

"Miraculous Italy"


Join us on this amazing and beautiful pilgrimage to Italy visiting unforgettable places like Rome, Assisi (land of St. Francis and St. Clare), Orvieto (Eucharistic Miracle of Orvieto), Siena (St. Catherine and Eucharistic Miracle of Siena), Cascia (St. Rita and Eucharistic Miracle of Cascia) and unforgettable Lanciano (oldest Eucharistic Miracle of the Church)!  Also visits to Manopello (Veronica's Veil), the beautiful areas of Abruzzo as well as the Adriatic Coast and so much more!

As with all Mater Dei pilgrimages to Italy, a top-notch visit of Rome and Vatican City is planned!  Remember that the most amazing gift of a Plenary Indulgence is offered to those pilgrims (meeting all the traditional requirements) who visit the 4 Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome.

CHAPLAINS: Fr. Greg Ihm (Dir. Office of Worship; Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Bloomington; St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Cassville; St. John Parish, Patch Grove, and St. Mary Help of Christians Parish, Glen Haven) & Fr. Andrew Showers, Roman Catholic Priest  from the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. Also Deacon Todd Burud Permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Madison

TOUR DIRECTOR: Juan Landa, Mater Dei's president.

DEPARTURE CITIES: Chicago O'Hare International Airport - Other airports may be available. Please call for possible add-on price. Optional Bus available from Wisconsin to O'Hare Airport. 

Register now before space disappears!



Only 1 bus!

Themes: Rome, Vatican, and the Holy Father, St. John Paul the Great, Pope Francis, Footsteps of a Saint Location: Italy
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