The Diocese’s first Catholic cruise with Bishop Kevin Vann and Bishop Tim Freyer last summer was so successful that the Diocese is planning an even bigger annual bishops’ pilgrimage cruise in 2018.

Last July, Bishop Vann, Bishop Freyer and a group of 207 parishioners departed Long Beach for a brief weekend cruise to Ensenada, Mexico where Mass was celebrated in a cathedral in Santuario and parishioners were given the opportunity to work directly with orphans by bringing them clothing, shoes and school supplies. On the cruise ship, confessions were offered and a Mass was celebrated. Parishioners were also treated to a pleasant surprise.

“Bishop Vann did two piano concerts,” said Ron Adcock, owner of Travel of Orange, the official travel agency for the diocese. “A lot of people didn’t know he even played the piano and he sang some show tunes in the beginning and then he went into sacred music and talked about his upbringing as a child playing the piano and how he likes to do it to minister to people.”

Bishop Tim Freyer will lead the Second Annual Bishops’ Pilgrimage Cruise that kicks off with a Vatican pre-trip on land that departs LAX Airport on July 22, 2018 and arrives in Rome on July 23. The Diocesan Choir and several priests from throughout the Diocese will also participate in the pilgrimage. After arrival in Rome, pilgrims will be immersed in two days of spiritual renewal in Imperial Rome, Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel. Parishioners will also have the opportunity to be a part of the papal audience with the pope.

On July 26, pilgrims will set sail on the brand new two-month-old Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas cruise ship.

“This is the largest passenger cruise ship in the world,” said Adcock. “The ship is really a destination in itself. It’s spectacular. You can zip line, it has an ice skating rink; it has 10 pools, 8 water slides, surf and boogie board simulators, aqua theater, a fireworks show at night. The activities are limitless.”

Full story at OC Catholic.