Pilgrimage to EWTN
and Ave Maria Grotto
5 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
This Pilgrimage to Birmingham features a full day at EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) . . . Plus a visit to The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament . . . as well as Ave Maria Grotto where a young Benedictine Monk carved famous scenes of the Christian World in miniature.
We are happy to accommodate Groups who want to add a night or two, or further customize their trip.
StarrGroups Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Starr Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tour Managers are available
Whatever you want, StarrGroups will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
Day 1 – Birmingham, AL
On arrival in Birmingham you check into your hotel the Drury Inn, for a four night stay. This evening take advantage of Drury’s “5:30 Kickback” and enjoy free food and drink. A rotating menu is served every evening from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. “Kickback” also serves a variety of free cold beverages.
Day 2 – Early Morning Mass & Tour – Lunch at Whistle Stop Café – Afternoon at EWTN & Live Show
This full day at EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) starts early with the EWTN’s televised Mass and Rosary. Through the morning you will meet some of your favorite EWTN hosts, hear from EWTN leaders about the networks vision for the future.
Lunch is included today at the Whistle Stop Café. Set as the iconic café in the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, the Whistle Stop Café got its humble start in the little town of Juliette, Georgia. When filming was done, the restaurant remained open and still serves classic southern dishes and of course, Fried Green Tomatoes, everyday!
In the afternoon take a guided tour of the studio and facility, visit the Adoration Gift Shop, then attend: a Healing Service, Rosary with the Friars, Divine Office and Benediction. This evening you enjoy a catered dinner on the grounds before joining an exclusive audience and witnessing the broadcast of the ETWN Live Show with Fr Mitch Pacwa. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Visit the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament – Mass, Confession & Shine Tours – Ave Maria Grotto
This peaceful day of retreat begins at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, AL. The Shrine was built by Mother Angelica, a Poor Clare Nun, in response to the Child Jesus’ request that she build Him a “Temple.” Here, the Poor Clare Nuns keep a constant prayer vigil before the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. They invite people from all walks of life and faith to see what the Lord has accomplished here and join them in prayer.
The Shrine consists of: Cloistered monastery, beautiful Upper and Lower Churches, replica of the Shroud of Turin, Stations of the Cross, religious statues and paintings, near life-sized Nativity scene and Castle which houses the Gift Shop. You will spend the morning entire morning here. There is time to celebrate Mass, give confession and tour the Shrine.
This afternoon, visit the Ave Maria Grotto, where you enjoy at The Retreat Center on arrival. Then have time for Mass before touring the sculpture gardens.
Following lunch your afternoon is spent touring The Ave Maria Grotto, home to the fruitful labor of Brother Joseph Zoettl, OSB. Br. Joseph was a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey. Originally from Landschutt, Bavaria-Germany, a young Br. Joseph found himself headed to America to pursue monastic life at Alabama’s only Benedictine Abbey. Little did anyone know that this young Bavarian would end up leaving the abbey its greatest legacy and in an incredibly humble way. Since 1934, people from around the world visit the Ave Maria Grotto to see famous parts of the world in miniature. The former abbey quarry is now the 4 acre park that the Grotto and surrounding miniatures rest upon.
From Monteserrat to St. Peter’s Basilica, guests can enjoy this labor of love and hopefully go away realizing how small acts of love, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can be fruitful for years to come. Return to the Drury Birmingham. Dinner is on own. (B)
Day 4 – Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – 16th Street Baptist Church – Kelly Ingram Park – Vulcan Park
This morning begins at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the focal point of the Civil Rights District. Here richly detailed exhibits reveal slices of black and white life from the late 1800’s to the present. A series of galleries tells the stories of daily life for African-Americans in Alabama and the nation, and how it differed dramatically from the lives that white people took for granted.
Just across the street from the Civil Rights Institute is the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. A National Historic Landmark, the church was the site of a dynamite bombing in 1963 that killed four young African-American Girls: Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae. (Tour as available)
Visit adjacent Kelly Ingram Park where a life-size sculpture faces the church and captures the spirited nature of the young girls killed in the bombing. This historic park served as a congregating area for demonstrations in the early 1960’s, including the ones in which police dogs and fire hoses were turned on marchers by Birmingham police. The park has a free cell phone tour that guides visitors through the tumultuous events of 1963.
Grab lunch on your own on the same block at Green Acres Café, serving up some of the best catfish and fried green tomatoes in town.
This afternoon visit Vulcan Park. Vulcan is the world’s largest cast iron statue; made of 100,000 pounds of iron and 56 feet tall, he stands at the top of Red Mountain overlooking the city of Birmingham. But Vulcan is more than just a statue—Vulcan Park and Museum features spectacular views of Birmingham, an interactive comprehensive history museum that examines Vulcan and Birmingham’s story. Dinner is on your own this evening. (B)
Day 5 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home. (B)