They wanted to see Rome for the first time — visit some ancient churches, tour the Vatican, see the catacombs, attend an audience with Pope Benedict XVI.
Instead, American pilgrims in Rome today with The Catholic Traveler find themselves in the Eternal City in a truly historic moment.
Little did these pilgrims know as they planned the trip almost a year ago that they would land in Rome during such a momentous occasion.
Mountain Butorac, owner and operator of The Catholic Traveler, a unique Catholic tour company, remarks on the sheer providence of being in Rome during these weeks, “When we arrange tours, anything can happen. We obviously had no idea that when we arranged this trip the Pope would resign and, in these particular days, we would be witnessing this kind of history for the Catholic Church and the world, but it’s an incredible opportunity for these pilgrims to be experiencing this.”
Butorac will be in Rome through Palm Sunday leading two back-to-back groups with Lino Rulli of Sirius/XM’s Catholic Channel. His groups will likely experience the white smoke and attend the installation Mass of the new Pope.
Butorac adds, “All my trips are about the groups. I’ve experienced Rome many times, but when I bring a group, I am seeing everything again for the first time. This trip, we are all experiencing this for the first time. It’s very emotional for all of us.”