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2023 Origins of Franciscan Spirituality Tour Program

June 02, 2023 @ 8:00 AM CT - June 13, 2023 @ 5:00 PM CT

Meet Sts. Francis and Clare of Assisi, Br. Leo, Br. Elias, Cimabue, Giotto, St. Bonaventure, the Spirituals, Bl Ludovica, S. Angela of Foligno, Bl. John Duns Scotus, Santa Juana de la Cruz Vasquez Gutierrez, and many others


  • Experience key cities and shrines that have been the backdrop for the Gospel lives of Francis, Clare and their early companion.
  • Learn about significant people, devotions, images and places that continue to animate and inspire contemporary peoples.


This 12 day study tourgrimage is sponsored by the John Duns Scotus Chair of Franciscan Spirituality in combination with the Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry department of the Catholic Theological Union provides students/auditors with a survey of the spirituality arising from the movement/family begun by Francis and Clare of Assisi in the thirteenth century.


A study tourgrimage is a combination of tourism and pilgrimage taken as an academic course. We will need to balance being students, tourists and pilgrims  in the Franciscan holy places of central Italy.


Professor Friar Gilberto Cavazos-González, OFM of the Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry Department will be leading the tour. He will be assisted by Austrian Biblical Professor Friar David Volgger, OFM of the Pontificia Università Antonianum (Rome).


Please inquire ASAP as space is limited. COURSE REGISTRATION DEADLINE: April 12, 2023




Base Trip Cost: $2,400

Single Room Supplement: $400

Price includes shared accommodations, half pension (breakfast plus 1 meal) in Rome, full pension (breakfast plus 2 meals) in Assisi, train/bus fares, museum tickets. Cost does not include airfare. You will need to make your own travel arrangements. Plan on arriving before noon on June 2 and leaving anytime on June 14.


Course Cost: 

For Credit: $1,452 or

For Audit: $338

This course counts as either a Church History or Christian Spirituality course. It may be used for the MDiv, MAM, MAPS, MA, CE and DMin programs as well as the Certificate in Franciscan Spirituality. All participants need to take part A (SH4002a / SH5002a) during the May term. (1.5 credits). Enrollment is restricted to 15 students (Including up to 5 auditors).


For more information  Contact Dr. Gilberto Cavazos-González, OFM





Prerequisite Course: SH4002a / SH5002a Origins of Franciscan Spirituality, Part A (May 2023)
Synchronous event: Sometime in May, we will gather at CTU and on Zoom to get to know each other and prepare for the trip. You will need to arrive in Rome on your own and be checked into the Domus Helena by the start of the Tourgrimage (Study and Prayer Tour).



SH4002b / SH5002b Origins of Franciscan Spirituality, Part B (June 2-13, 2023) 

We will gather in Rome around 3 pm on June 2 to begin our 12 days together visiting significant Franciscan spiritual and historical sites in central Italy. Daily tours provide participants with an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Francis, Clare and their early companions.

While in Rome we will go to San Giovanni in Laterano to see the famous statue of Francis holding up the Cathedral of Rome and Mater et Caput of Christianity . We will also see the Franciscan mosaics in the Apse of the Cathedral. While in Rome we will also visit other places important to the Franciscan Tradition of the 1st , 2nd and 3 rd Orders.



Assisi is the birthplace of both Francis and Clare of Assisi, however the birthplace of the Franciscan family is the little town of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the valley outside Assisi. It is the place where the first brothers came to be with Francis, where Clare abandoned her first-class life to join the second class brothers in living the Gospel. From here the Gospel way of life reached out even to secular Christians who wanted to follow the simplicity of
Francis and Clare by becoming their brothers and sister in penance.


One hour from Rome, we find the town of Rieti, where Pope Honorius III resided surrounded by mountains. It was in these mountains that Francis and the friars would go for their hermitage experiences or prayer and recollection before going to preach the Gospel. These old hermitages are now the shrines of Fonte Colombo where Francis wrote the Rule for the Second Class Brothers (Fratrum Minorum), La Foresta where Francis taught a young friar the need to eat, Greccio where Francis reenacted the poverty of Jesus’s birth at the Christmas Mass and Poggio Bustone where Francis experienced God’s profound mercy.


14 June: You are free to return to your homes.
N.B. Itinerary is subject to change.

Besides reviewing the origins of the Franciscan Way of Life, special attention will be given to the priorities of Franciscan-Clarian life:
1) Having a Contemplative Vision of Reality
2) Being Minors with a Preferential Option for Poverty
3) Being Missioned in Eucharistic Communion
4) Being Brothers and Sisters in Universal Fellowship
5) Having an On-going Formation in the Sign of the Cross
The tourgrimage will visit several of the shrines dedicated to the memory of the original members of the three orders of the Franciscan family. Therefore, the course will take place in Rome, Assisi, Mount La Verna and the Rieti Valley.

Pilgrimages and Study tours are wonderful ways to experience the spirituality, history and art of our Franciscan tradition. For this reason, we have prepared an itinerary to assist us in getting the most out of our time in Italy. What follows is our proposed itinerary of lectures and site visits. We will try to follow this itinerary as much as possible, but it is subject to change because of weather and changes in museum and Church schedules.