Buying paintings from the
artist in St.-Paul de Vence

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pil-grim
1. one who journeys in foreign lands; wayfarer
2. one who travels to a shrine or holy place as a devotee

The following is a schedule for men and women journeying to France as pilgrims led by Valerie Bell and Karen Mains. Our intention is to open the eyes of our souls through a dialogue stimulated by the arts. We will walk slowly, learn to attend to beauty every day, and share in-depth dialogue along the way. Lectures will be short. Our prayer is that you will find the freedom to explore our common life in Christ and to rediscover the artist within. Consequently, we are not traveling as tourists but as spiritual explorers. We will teach you how to "read" great art and then how to use those same viewing exercises to develop a contemplative prayer practice for the soul.

The French people guide us
to delightful discoveries.

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Our pilgrimage will begin in Paris, wind to Avignon in Provence, then end in Nice on the Mediterranean Coast. We will study the work of Corot, Millet, van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and Chagall.

  • Museums in Paris: The Louvre; The Musée D'Orsay; the Musée Picasso; the Musée Cluny
  • The Cathedral of Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle in Paris
  • a side trip to hear the famed Malcolm Miller lecture at Chartres.
  • Travel to the walled city of Avignon, where we will explore the Palace of the Popes. Enter into a guided exercise of silence; consider the meaning of the broken bridge.
  • Tour the countryside of Provence; visit Les Baux, the ancient fortification of the Grimaldi family, stop at a winery, explore Arles, the city where van Gogh attempted to establish his “Studio of the South.”
  • Travel to Nice, where we will visit the glorious Musée Chagall and the Matisee Musée
  • Visit St.-Paul de Vence, a classic perched medieval village that is now a artist's colony with a distinctive French flair. Here we will also visit the spectacular Maeght Foundation.

Moments to think, to listen,
to be, and to receive.

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  • Sharing morning and evening prayers together
  • The contemplative journey: learning that seeing takes time
  • Viewing God with the eyes of the artist (and vice-versa)
  • Introduction to the complexities of the French national personality
  • Catherine of Sienna: Prophetic advisor to popes
  • Picasso and Matisse: A "creatovogenic society."
  • Chagall: The most religious of artists
  • A morning for group spiritual direction
  • Lectio divina: introduction to the deep study of the Word

"Happy are the people whose strength is in you! Whose hearts are set on the pilgrim's way! Psalm 84:5

The joy of the journey: new friends,
new places, new understandings.

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The land fee for the 10-day October 24- November 4, 2008 Pilgrimage to france is $2,592.

The fee due on registering for the France Pilgrimage is due April 1, 2008 and is half the land fee of $1,296. This fee reserves your place on the pilgrimage on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be returned should you cancel, unless you or Hungry Souls can find another pilgrim to take your place. The remaining balance of $1,296 is due August 1, 2008..

The airfare group rate from Chicago is an additional $700-$750 (depending upon the final charge from the airlines.) We have reserved a group fare for 10 people flying from Chicago. If you want to fly from Chicago with Hungry Souls, make your air reservation with our travel desk as soon as possible (Phone: 800-828-9625, ext 209). A $100 airfare deposit will reserve your seat. The full airfare balance must also be paid by August 1, 2008. No deviations (staying longer in Europe) are allowed by the airlines for a group of this size.

Hungry Souls will provide vans into Paris for passengers on the Chicago to Paris flight. For those arriving on their own, depending upon your arrival time, we will provide explicit instructions as to how to reach the hotel, then meet us at the Louvre where we will be having our first gathering (jet-lagged or not!)

Land Tour Cost Includes:

  • Lodging in 3 and 4 star hotels, with breakfast included.
  • One community meal in all three cities.
  • Museum fees
  • Land travel expenses by public transportation; metro passes, rail travel, vans.
  • Baggage-handling at hotels.
  • The services of guides and teachers

Not Included in the Land Tour Costs Are:

  • International air fare
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Departure taxes
  • Taxi fees and gratuities
  • Extra meals besides breakfast and the community meals
  • Optional travel insurance

You can register for the October 2008 Pilgrimage to France on-line. Click on the MAKE A RESERVATION button. Trip inquiries can be emailed to Karen Mains Karen@hungry-souls.com (Phone 1-800-828-9625 ext. 209) or Valerie Bell valeriebell@comcast.net. You can pay your half-land fee by charge card or with a check made out to Hungry Souls and mailed to Box 30, Wheaton, IL 60189.

France Highlights

Itinerary & Schedule
October 24-November 4, 2008

Friday Oct. 24 (Day 0)
Leave the States for Paris.

Saturday Oct. 25 (Day 1)
Arrive in Paris, take transportation to Hotel Rochester Champs Elysees, drop off luggage, meet with the group for a short self-guided tour at the grand lady - the Louvre Museum - which is a few walking blocks from our hotel, catch light lunch in the Museum cafes. Learn how to take the metro, either go on a walking tour on Îsle de la Cité or crash in your room for a short nap. Evening prayers as a group, late dinner, do the city if you have the energy.

Sunday Oct. 26 (Day 2)
Breakfast in the hotel, walk to Notre Dame for morning mass, metro to Maubert Mutuality market, picnic at Luxembourg Gardens, visit Musée de Cluny or take metro back to Louvre. Group meeting and evening prayers.

Monday Oct. 27 (Day 3)
Morning prayers, breakfast, metro to Musée Picasso, where we will learn more about how to "read" paintings, then to Montparnasse station to Chartres where we will learn how to "read" a cathedral, home to Paris via rail. Evening prayers and optional activities at night.

Tuesday Oct. 28 (Day 4)
Morning prayers, breakfast, take metro to Musée D'Orsay, practice "seeing," choose a painting that chooses you, free time, dinner with a French family. Evening prayers.

Wednesday Oct. 29 (Day 5)
Morning prayers, breakfast, take vans to Gare de Lyon, travel to Avignon, the exquisite walled city in Provence, settle into hotel Mercure pont d'Avignon, then enjoy lunch together on the square, meet Catherine of Sienna, explore Avignon, shop, take nap and read. Evening prayers.

Thursday Oct. 30 (Day 6)
Morning prayers, breakfast, leisurely morning, take vans at noon to Les Baux de Provence, the ancient fortress city of the Grimaldi family, stop at the winery La Chateau d'Estoublon, take bus to Arles, the city where van Gogh sought to establish his "Studio of the South," dinner at the local restaurant Au Brin de Thym. End the day with evening prayers.

Friday Oct. 31 (Day 7) Avignon Day of Quiet
Morning prayers and group spiritual direction. Grand Silence, lunch on your own, free afternoon to explore papal palace, have tea, walk in old Avignon, have dinner in small restaurants in small groups. Evening prayers.

Saturday Nov. 1 (Day 8)
Morning prayers, breakfast, catch train to Nice, check in to the modern, minimalist hotel Beaurivage, walking tour of Promenade des Anglais, dinner in nearby café district. Evening prayers.

Sunday Nov. 2 (Day 9)
Morning prayers and breakfast on the Mediterranean, walk to church at Église Réformée, lunch on your own, take bus to the Matisse Museum, walk down hill to the Chagall Museum, return to hotel, evening out. Group prayers.

Monday Nov. 3 (Day 10)
Morning prayers and breakfast, buses to the hill top artist community of St.-Paul de Vence, shopping and exploring, visit Chagall's grave, last lunch together at La Ferme de Saint-Paul, optional visit to see 20th century art at Foundation Maeght, or back to St. Paul to finish browsing. Return to Beaurivage, last group meeting, evening prayers, time together.

Tuesday Nov. 4, Travel Day
Breakfast, then take vans to the airport, fly from Nice to Paris, fly from Paris to the States.

One reminder: Schedules planned in the States are always subject to change when we journey in France. In the spirit of pilgrimage, we will attempt to be flexible and open to receive the gifts of the unexpected.