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Travelers from Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and New Mexico voyaged to Europe in June and July to participate in Arkansas Catholic’s pilgrimage to see the world-famous Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany and visit Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Father Taryn Whittington dons a 350-year-old vestments for Mass and Corpus Christi procession in Salzburg June 17. Father William Burmester, spiritual director for the second pilgrimage, blesses John Nabholz of Conway July 1 with a 400-year-old Marian statue following Mass in Munich. Barbara Culver, a member of St. Mary Church in Altus, takes a selfie during a tour of Salzburg June 16. Diane Hanley of Little Rock and Carl Meuer of Holland, Ark., (photo at left) fill their water bottles during a walking tour of Lucerne, Switzerland July 8. Alongside the hilltop shrine of Maria Plain overlooking Salzburg, Austria, July 3, Elizabeth Reha of Little Rock (photo below) channels Julie Andrews’ iconic character Maria from “The Sound of Music.” Prost! Pilgrims enjoy a round of beer after a long day on their feet. Father William Burmester celebrates the Fourth of July with fireworks in Germany.

Oberammergau Passion Play highlights summer pilgrimages

More than 80 travelers from four states made European voyage with Arkansas Catholic

Published: July 27, 2022      
Photos by Malea Hargett and Aprille Hanson Spivey
Fathers Andrew Hart and William Burmester concelebrated Mass at the Mercy Chapel, home of the Black Madonna - which dates to the 15th century, at the Benedictine Monastery in Einsiedeln, Switzerland.

More than 80 pilgrims from Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and New Mexico traveled to Europe in June and July to participate in Arkansas Catholic’s pilgrimage to see the world-famous Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany. Leading the first tour June 12-22 was Father Tony Robbins of Conway, assisted by Father Taryn Whttington of Little Rock. In addition to seeing the Passion Play, which is held only every 10 years and delayed from its scheduled 2020 performances, a highlight for the group was participating in the Corpus Christi Mass and procession June 17 at the cathedral in Salzburg. The second tour June 29-July 9 was led by Father William Burmester of Texarkana, assisted by Father Andrew Hart of Little Rock. Pilgrims gained many blessings from places like Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland, celebrating Mass in the small chapel in front of the Black Madonna shrine. Each group was able to attend Mass at local cathedrals, churches and chapels and learn about the faith and history in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

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