Select International Tours https://selectinternationaltours.com We Share Your Faith Fri, 07 Dec 2018 21:21:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Visit to the Holy Land – A Pilgrim’s Report by Philip Niswonger https://selectinternationaltours.com/visit-to-the-holy-land-a-pilgrims-report-by-philip-niswonger/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/visit-to-the-holy-land-a-pilgrims-report-by-philip-niswonger/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 21:10:26 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=11776 Here is a nice summary put together by Philip Niswonger – one of the pilgrims who recently traveled to the Holy Land with Msgr. Paul Bochicchio and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers.

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Are you a pilgrim or a tourist? https://selectinternationaltours.com/are-you-a-pilgrim-or-a-tourist/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/are-you-a-pilgrim-or-a-tourist/#respond Wed, 07 Nov 2018 16:02:19 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=11561 By Mathew Kelly

My friend Fr. Bob Sherry and I have been hosting pilgrimages for a long time. Our current schedule includes three trips each year: the Holy Land; Lourdes and Paris (France); and Rome, Assisi, and Florence (Italy). On the opening night, we always ask our pilgrims the same question: Are you going to be a pilgrim or a tourist?

Tourists want everything to go exactly as they have planned and imagined it. They rush around making sure they cram everything in. They’re constantly buying souvenirs and knickknacks, many of which they will look at when they get home and wonder, “What was I thinking?” They focus on themselves, often shoving past others to get where they’re going. Tourists go sightseeing. Tourists count the cost.

Pilgrims are very different. They look for signs. If a flight gets delayed or canceled, they ask, “What is God trying to say to me?” Pilgrims aren’t concerned with seeing and doing everything, just the things they feel called to see and do. They’re not obsessed with shopping. They are aware of others’ needs. Pilgrims look for meaning. Pilgrims count their blessings.

The reality is we are all pilgrims. This planet we call earth is not our home; we are just passing through. We build homes and establish ourselves on earth in ways that ignore that we are really just here for short time. It’s a dangerous pastime to live as if you’re never going to die, but consciously or subconsciously we all fall into this trap to one degree or another.

In this life, we’re just passing through. The happiness that God created us for is different from the fleeting happiness and momentary pleasures of this world. God created us for lasting happiness in a changing world — and eternal happiness with him in heaven. The happiness he wants for us in this life is a rare kind of happiness that isn’t dependent on situations or circumstances. It’s easy to be happy when everything is going well, but Christian joy allows us to be happy like Paul was when he was in prison.

Do you ever think about heaven? It seems to me we don’t talk about it anywhere near as much as we should. When Rudyard Kipling was very seriously ill, a nurse asked him, “Is there anything you want?” He replied, “I want God!” We all do. We may not be aware of it, but we want Him. Behind every desire for a new car or a new house, a promotion or accomplishment, clothes and jewelry, plastic surgery, adventure and travel, food and sex, acceptance and comfort, is our desire for God. We are always hungry for something more complete, and God is the completeness that we yearn for from the depths of our soul.

We are just passing through, and it’s helpful to remind ourselves of that from time to time. In the context of eternity, we’re only here for the blink of an eye. Realizing this changes our priorities. At the same time, we’re here for a reason. You are here for a reason. God has a mission for you.

Life is a pilgrimage, a sacred journey. Typically, a pilgrimage takes us to a shrine or other location important to a person’s faith or beliefs. You can make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Rome, Fatima, Lourdes, the Camino, or any of the famous Catholic sites around the world. But you could also make a pilgrimage to your nearest cathedral. In fact, every Sunday you make a pilgrimage to your local parish to Mass.

Very often people make pilgrimages with special intentions in mind. Some ask God for a favor, perhaps to heal a loved one who is sick. Others make a pilgrimage in thanksgiving for a blessing they’ve already received from God. There are always couples on our trips who are celebrating a wedding anniversary. On every trip, Fr. Bob chooses one of the holy places and invites every couple to renew their marriage vows. Powerful!

Life is a pilgrimage, but sometimes you need a pilgrimage to discover life. We’re journeying in this life toward the sacred city, toward the heart of God — heaven. Nobody makes the journey alone. We all need companions. I’ve met some of my very best friends in this world on pilgrimages. These friends encourage us and challenge us to become the “best version of ourselves.” By doing so, they help us to get to heaven.

Let’s pray for the grace to be pilgrims and not just tourists. Let’s pray for the grace to be the kind of friend who helps others in the great pilgrimage of life. We’re just passing through this place we call earth. At every turn we’re tempted to be tourists, so spend some time today thinking about heaven.

MATTHEW KELLY is the founder of Dynamic Catholic and the bestselling author of more than 20 books, published in 25 languages. His latest is Resisting Happiness.

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National Tour Association, taps President of Select International Tours and Cruises for a leadership position on its board of directors https://selectinternationaltours.com/national-tour-association-taps-president-of-select-international-tours-and-cruises-for-a-leadership-position-on-its-board-of-directors/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/national-tour-association-taps-president-of-select-international-tours-and-cruises-for-a-leadership-position-on-its-board-of-directors/#respond Fri, 24 Aug 2018 18:42:50 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=10572 NTA is the premier organization for people in the travel business, governed by a 17-member board of directors. The organization is based in Kentucky, USA, but its membership spans the globe and consists of travel suppliers, international tourist boards, convention bureaus, site attractions, tour operators, travel agents and group travel planners. 

Edita Krunic, President of Select International Tours and Cruises, a thirty-two-year-old faith based and group tour company, was one of the founders of the Faith Travel Association and a member of the associations advisory board for five years. Faith Travel Association has been converted to the status of the Faith Travel Advisory Group. NTA, has encouraged niche tour operators to expand their market presence and network by joining a professional association.  Through her work on behalf of the faith-based travel market, Edita has gained recognition as a proponent for establishing professional standards for service providers which would protect consumers. 

The main focus of NTA is on providing opportunities for members to connect through sharing information, building professional networks and attending two annual events, the Travel Exchange and Contact.  NTA also focuses on education and professional development and travel industry lobbying efforts in Washington D.C.    

Edita has been an active member of NTA for over ten years, has attended most Travel Exchange conferences and is a highly regarded presenter at many of its workshops on the topic of sales and marketing and Faith Based Travel.  “It is an honor to be elected to the board of  directors by my peers in the travel industry. NTA is an outstanding association focused on member benefits. It is my pleasure to serve with an outstanding group of people for the benefit of the entire organization”, said Edita after the elections for the board were completed. 

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Taste of Tradition through Travel https://selectinternationaltours.com/taste-of-tradition-through-travel/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/taste-of-tradition-through-travel/#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 18:31:20 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=9938 By Fr. Leo Patalinghug

Part of my “calling” as a priest is to be a “missionary” preacher – someone who is sent to preach the Gospel of Jesus to all nations.  That’s why traveling is such an important part of my ministry.  As you may or may not know, I lead many pilgrimages, about four each year.

Stay tuned for my upcoming 2019 travel itineraries to the Holy Land, Croatia, Amalfi Coast & Sicily, and a “Taste of Italy” trip!

In a recent trip to Budapest, I learned so many new things about our Catholic Church’s influence in that unique part of the world.  I visited Budapest many years ago as a seminarian, but I was so impressed by what I experienced in my recent trip – as a priest almost 20 years later!

Click here to read more.

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Faith Travel Association Names First Impact and Inspire Award Winners https://selectinternationaltours.com/faith-travel-association-names-first-impact-and-inspire-award-winners/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/faith-travel-association-names-first-impact-and-inspire-award-winners/#respond Thu, 12 Apr 2018 20:35:21 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=8809 During its annual conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia, Faith Travel Association named the recipients of its Impact and Inspire Awards, which were created to honor travel professionals for their contributions to the faith-based travel market. The announcement came during the keynote session on Monday, February 2.

“FTA’s members are among the best in the industry, and we wanted a way to recognize them for the incredible work they are doing to advance the faith-based travel market,” explained Julie Hoover-Ernst, executive director of Faith Travel Association. “These awards give us an opportunity to recognize them for the innovative travel products they are developing which are not only appealing to a new kind of faith-based customer, they are building bridges and promoting peace by bringing people of different cultures together.”

Select International Tours and Cruises, a Christian travel management company founded in 1987 in Flemington, New Jersey, was the recipient of FTA’s Impact Award, which is presented to the travel agent, tour operator, DMO or Supplier with the most innovative faith based marketing concept, program or event in 2015, having showed demonstrable success in driving more faith-based travel to their destination, tour or attraction.

Edita Krunic, Select International Tours and Cruises

Edita Krunic, Select International Tours and Cruises

Edita Krunic, founder and president of Select International Tours & Cruises said, “It feels incredible to be recognized for the contribution Select International Tours has made in creating innovative, quality driven programs,. Krunic continued,“We are proud to be members of FTA and are excited about the robust growth we have seen in the religious travel market, with lots of new ideas, programs and stakeholders.  With the creation of the Impact Award, FTA has taken another step toward upgrading the value it offers to the entire industry.”

Select International Tours & Cruises was recognized for its Nourish The Soul Program, which enables participants to celebrate their faith together, meet with locals and learn about the customs and cultures of the destination and, in the words of the Psalms, “taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” This program not only lets Christians walk where Jesus walked, and pray where Jesus prayed, they get to explore Biblical cuisine by tasting the foods commonly eaten in Jesus’ time. The meals are prepared by Chefs for Peace, an organization comprised of chefs of different faiths who understand the power of food to bring people together, and participants even get an opportunity to help prepare these unique meals. Since introduced, demand for these faithful foodie tours has continued to climb and they are adding more tours all the time.

“Enhancing the pilgrimage experience through cooking with local chefs, visiting shrines and wineries, praying and sharing at the table has met with incredible success,” explained Krunic. “Our Nourish the Soul and Women and Wine product lines are an extension of the Faith and Food concept which we have now trademarked. With this concept we have created a completely new product line which is attractive to an entirely different and non-traditional pilgrimage customer.”

The Inspire Award is FTA’s most prestigious award, given to a person whose outstanding contributions over the course of their career have greatly advanced the faith-based travel market. The successful candidate’s innovative programs must have a lasting impact on not only the sector but on the lives of those who embark on these journeys of faith.

Aziz Abu Sarah, co-founder of MEJDI Tours, was honored with the Inspire Award for his efforts to redefine faith-based tourism. The company’s partnership with National Geographic to present the Holy Land in a way that is respectful to Israelis and Palestinians, as well as Jews, Muslims, and Christians is nothing short of groundbreaking. Through their partnership with National Geographic, the message of hope and peace has reached millions of people through the National Geographic catalogs, and has altered the perceptions travelers have of conflict and peace in the Holy Land. With his leadership, MEJDI Tours continues to expand its influential model of peace building through tourism by offering tours to Cuba, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Oman, the UAE, Turkey, Jordan, and more. By highlighting diverse cultural, religious, political, and ethnic narratives, MEJDI’s multiple perspectives approach to tourism enables travelers to gain a deeper understanding of destinations and their populations, forging lasting friendships with both individuals and local organizations.

“I’m truly honored to receive this award,” said Sarah. We’ve created MEJDI Tours because we believe that travel is one of the most powerful forces globally for intercultural understanding and positive change. With 3 million tourists visiting the Holy Land each year, can you imagine what the impact would be if everybody traveled this way?”

From Religious Travel Planning Guide

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Email Advertising Future Trips https://selectinternationaltours.com/email-advertising-future-trips/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/email-advertising-future-trips/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:56:43 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=8720 Download/view document (Word) ]]> https://selectinternationaltours.com/email-advertising-future-trips/feed/ 0 10 Best Biblical Verses About Travel https://selectinternationaltours.com/10-best-biblical-verses-about-travel/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/10-best-biblical-verses-about-travel/#respond Mon, 09 Apr 2018 13:35:21 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=8713 Some wonderful Bible verses to keep in mind on your next pilgrimage from Eliza Myers at GoingOnFaith.com:

The constant movement between meals, hotels and daily attractions can make a trip go by in a blur. To reflect on the importance of your journey, you need to incorporate time for reflection into your itinerary. Many faith-based groups love to accomplish this with scheduled short services full of prayer and scripture. These 10 Biblical verses about travel can prove useful in crafting a service that prepares your group’s hearts for the journey ahead.

 

  1. On safety: Psalm 121:7-8  “The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
  1. On trusting the Lord during your trip: Psalm 23:3-4  “He gives me new strength. He leads me on paths that are right for the good of His name. Even though I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because you are will me. Your rod and your shepherd’s staff comfort me.”
  1. On letting the Lord be in control: Proverbs 16:9  “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
  1. On keeping God with us on the journey: Psalm 19:10  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
  1. On evangelization for mission trips: Mark 16:15  “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
  1. On reminding us that all are welcome: Luke 13:29   “And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”
  1. On the majesty of God: Genesis 1:1-4   “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.”
  1. On letting God lead the way: Exodus 13:21   “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so they could travel by day or night.”
  1. On walking the path God has laid out: Psalm 18:36  “You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.”
  1. On being thankful for God’s creation: 1 Timothy 4:4-6   “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.”
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Santarem and Vila Viçosa https://selectinternationaltours.com/santarem-and-vila-vicosa/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/santarem-and-vila-vicosa/#respond Tue, 27 Feb 2018 17:57:18 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=8365 Some spectacular photographs taken in  Santarem and Vila Viçosa (Portugal) by Select International’s Office Administrator and pilgrim Isabel Augusto. She writes:

“The art and architecture are definitely worth the visit. The Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral in Santarem is spectacular. They have various activities to offer to visitors including a sample of the wines and desserts prepared by the nuns.Vila Viçosa’s orange trees were in full bloom. Impressive to say the least.”

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Theology of Beauty Pilgrimage to Italy through Faith, Fashion & Food with Father Leo Patalinghug and Leah Darrow https://selectinternationaltours.com/theology-of-beauty-pilgrimage-to-italy-through-faith-fashion-food-with-father-leo-patalinghug-and-leah-darrow/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/theology-of-beauty-pilgrimage-to-italy-through-faith-fashion-food-with-father-leo-patalinghug-and-leah-darrow/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:19:26 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=7739

Your might call this a Catholic pilgrimage for foodies and fashion buffs.  You will see Milan, the “Fashion Capital of the World” see the original painting of the Last Supper, travel to Turin, then Bologna (some of the best food in all of Italy), enjoy a cooking lesson (you will eat what you cook!), on to Verona, ending in Venice ( a full day in Venice) and much more.

With Mass every day and inspiring talks, this will be one of the best experiences of your life.

For those who wish, there is an optional extension to Rome:  the group will travel by train from Venice to Rome where they will spend three days in “The Eternal City” visiting Saint Peter’s BasilicaSaint Mary Major, attend the weekly Papal AudienceTre Fontane and more.

Read more at The Catholic Travel Guide Blog by clicking here.

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Tools: Marketing https://selectinternationaltours.com/tools-marketing/ https://selectinternationaltours.com/tools-marketing/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:27:53 +0000 https://selectinternationaltours.com/?p=7122 Marketing and advertising tools and ideas. Please login to view.

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