CHARLES PROESEL - "My wife and I traveled to Rome and Assisi in 2006.  To this day that trip stands out in our memory as a life changing event.  We were not just "ferried around" to the tourist sites, but were taken to those sites and shown how to appreciate them for their history, artistic and religious value.

Our daily Masses were in wonderful places that most tourists can only visit.  In Assisi we had Mass in the Porziuncula and in St. Francis's crypt.  In Siena we had Mass in the chapel behind the displayed head of St. Catherine.  In Subiaco we had Mass in the chapel across the hall from the cave that St. Benedict spent three years of his life.

Catholic Trips are not just adventures, not just sightseeing.  They are trips that allow you to not only see the historical sites, but feel the spirituality of these places.

I have told many people about Catholic Trips and what wonderful experiences we had with Jim West. "

NORMA VENTURI, St. Joseph Parish, Pekin, IL - I've traveled to Fatima, Lourdes, and Rome as a pilgrim, but the trip to the Holy land with Catholic Trips was the highlight of them all.”

AARON HOSTE - “It was a trip of a lifetime. I never dreamed we would see as much as we did or have it so accessible. To be able to put your hand in the hole where Jesus’ cross was raised was unbelievable. Bible readings have never been the same since we can now visualize what the sites look like. Simply incredible, I would recommend it to everyone. I learned more during the trip than I would have if I read books on the subjects for a year.”

JIM & NANCY - “Our tour of the Holy Land with Catholic Trips was a wonderful experience. We were able to visit sites in Israel and the West Bank that we had read about in the Bible. It was a perfect combination of touring, praying, eating and laughing.”

JIM & DIANE MARCHIK - “The trip to the Holy Land was our second with Catholic Trips. We were completely satisfied with all the arrangements, but especially with the leaders and guides on the trip. All were committed to making the experience interesting, spiritual and comfortable. We came home with a deeper insight into the land and life of Jesus. Reading the New Testament brings us back to the places of our pilgrimage and a more complete understanding of scripture. We felt and learned so much."

DEACON BOB BELTRAMINI, St. Joseph Parish, Peru, IL - “The Holy Land trip with Catholic Trips was a life changing experience. Christmas and Easter will never be the same after seeing the sites. The trip was very well planned. Safety was never an issue and I felt very safe.”

BOB & GINNY PETTIT - “We had such an awesome experience on our Holy Land Tour. We felt safe and well cared for and everything was well planned and scheduled. We used our time wisely and didn't feel exhausted at the end of the day. We would definitely travel with Catholic Trips in the future.”

KAREN MCLOUGHLIN - “This trip to Israel last summer with Catholic Trips was the trip of a lifetime for me. When I was there, I realized there would never be another trip to compare to this one. When we were in Bethlehem, we touched the spot where it is believed Christ was born. We were on Calvary and touched the rock below where Jesus was crucified. We walked the path that Jesus actually walked. We rededicated our baptismal vows in the Jordan River. It was all such a moving experience. My husband and I plan to go back again this summer. It is the only place I feel drawn to and I am excited to do this pilgrimage again.”

TERRI HASKINS - “The trip to the Holy Land was one of the greatest experiences of my life. On a scale  of 1 - 10, it was definitely a 10!! Our tour guide, Joseph, was so knowledgeable, the bus driver was agreeable to everything, and the sites were the best. The Catholic Trips tour director, Jim West, did an amazing job - he is the best! The whole trip is so well organized, and a whole lot of fun, yet an experience of reverence...”

THE KREISERS - "My husband and I almost backed out on the trip to Italy during the Thanksgiving holiday. We are so happy we went. Jim West was the best and most gracious leader of our trip. With Father Kruse leading the religious part of the trip and Jim doing the planning we could have not asked for a more religious experience. Jim knew where we should sit to see the Pope. We ended up with the Pope going by us twice which thrilled us beyond description. Our religious experience and the great people we all went with were the best. We were like one big happy blessed family. We would go again and will recommend Catholic Trips and Jim West to anyone. He has great charisma."

KIM & JEFF SCHIMMER - "Our pilgrimage to Italy was an experience that has left an impression on us for a lifetime. The places we visited and the chapels or basilicas that we celebrated masses at were all chosen for a special and specific reason and made for a truly spiritual trip. Jim was not only professional and on top of things 24/7, but he was an absolute riot to travel with. His sense of humor was contagious and made the long bus rides seem much shorter. Our hotels were wonderful as were the meals. Jim's business relationship with travel guides overseas really paid off as all three in our guides in Assisi, Sienna, and Rome were exceptional and presented their tour not only from an artistic and architectural standpoint, but also a religious one. According to Jim, this can be a hard combination to find. We would definitely travel with Catholic Trips again."

CHARLES PROESEL, D.D.S. , Gridley, Illinois - "I had a fantastic trip! The only thing wrong with it was there wasn't enough time to take in all of Assisi, Orvieto, Rome, Subiaco or the Vatican. Having said that, I did see a lot and enjoyed every moment along with the wonderful guides you provided. Fr. Kruse and his spiritual guidance was wonderful. I couldn't begin to do justice to the amount of praise that you deserve. You led the pilgrimage, but you participated on many levels. One was as a pilgrim yourself. Even though you have been to the places we visited many times, it was evident you were not just a tour guide, but were moved by the experience of being there. As a tour guide you excelled by getting us to wonderful places, and giving advice on how to best see, observe and feel the places we visited. As a friend (even though I didn't know you before our pilgrimage) you showed concern for me, my wife and every other individual on our pilgrimage. You showed genuine concern for what everyone did, saw and felt during the trip. You constantly adjusted to the uncontrollable factors that influence every international pilgrimage with a group of people. You interacted with each and every person in our group and made them feel like they you were an old friend. I think of you as a friend even though I've only had contact with you for nine days. I appreciated your humor. You do not feel the need to distance yourself from the people in the group in order to lead the group. I guess the easiest way to sum this up would be to say that I highly recommend any trip led by Jim West."

ARCHBISHOP ROGER L. SCHWIETZ, OMI, Archbishop, Anchorage Diocese - "I have found Jim West and his staff at Catholic Trips to be thoughtful and thorough in organizing trips, making them marvelous and relaxing experiences. As seen in his care for his clients, Jim sees his work not only as a profession but also a call to service."

DOROTHY GEREKE, Co Founder, Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) - "I have traveled with Jim West (founder of Catholic Trips) on three separate Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) cruises, and even though there were hundreds of people sailing with us, each one of us felt very pampered and well cared for. Not only did we have a great time during our trips, but our TEC Conference made thousands of dollars in fund-raising. I would highly recommend his services to any Catholic church organization or Catholic group interested in going on a Pilgrimage. You’ll be blessed in wonderful ways.”

FATHER JAMES V. BROWN, OAR, Former Spiritual Director of BOYS TOWN, St. James Catholic Church, Omaha, Nebraska -
“These are just a few lines to thank you for all the things you did recently to make my cruise enjoyable. I want you to know that I am deeply grateful for your kindness and dedication. I admire your ability to organize such complex events and the wonderful spirit you maintain throughout. May God bless you abundantly in your work. Also, Janet Drey was very grateful for the donation you made to the TEC Conference.”

DEACON NICK WILLIAMS, Green Bay, Wisconsin - “Thank you for creating a terrific environment and putting together a fantastic cruise for all of us from the TEC and Cursillo movements. I especially appreciate what YOU did to enable all of us to experience Christ each day in our liturgies. As Deacon of the Green Bay Diocese, I highly recommend Catholic Trips for providing travel arrangements for your cruise, Pilgrimage or tour. Jim, God Bless You in all you do in our Lord’s vineyard.”

FATHER THOMAS HENSELER, Holy Family Catholic Church, Mount Sterling, Illinois -
“I have just completed a Caribbean Cruise under the directorship of James West. It was a spiritual journey. Jim provided daily Masses and worked with a bishop and four priests to provide a deeply spiritual liturgy. He showed great concern for all members of the tour group. He showed no favoritism and was ready to do whatever he could to see people were not stressed out. I would go on any trip Jim planned and feel I was in good hands and that my Catholic traditions would be respected and honored.”

DEACON JOHN MURPHY, St. Louis Parish, Princeton, Illinois - “I have known Jim West for many years and can attest to his honesty, integrity, and experience. He makes vacation planning simple. The quality of service provided is a result of the vast experience Jim has had in the travel industry. Jim and his staff organize all the details of the trip so you can relax and have some fun. I would encourage individuals, families and groups planning a vacation or Pilgrimage to make their first and last stop Catholic Trips.”

Mary Walsh-Coe, Bowie, MD- "What a fantastic trip and experience!!!!"

Grace Hegarty, Crofton, MD - "This was the best trip of my life"

Bill Nolte , Silver Spring, MD- "Simply a wonderful experience. Couldn't have enjoyed it more."

Joan Nolte , Silver Spring, MD- "The trip was wonderful. Everything was well planned and thought out."

Fiona Redmond, Gaithersburg, MD- "I had an amazing experience on this Spiritual Ireland Tour. I have always wanted to go to Ireland and this was a great way to see many of the well known sights as well as visit places I had never heard of before. I loved being able to participate in the Mass in churches across the country, many of which are older than the United States! Ireland was beautiful, and I was filled with awe at many of the sights. I loved having such knowledgeable guides who were willing to share so much about the country."

Steve Walsh Denver, CO - "Wonderful trip. The itinerary was planned well, and our guides were extremely knowledgeable and helpful."

Shannon Foster, Montgomery Village, MD- "This was an experience of a lifetime. Although it was only 10 days, I really feel like I got to see Ireland. There was a perfect blend of spiritual and fun time. It was incredible to see structures that were built centuries ago. It's amazing to imagine how people lived so long ago, and to see how the Catholic Church spread, flourished, and survived in this magical land!"

Fr. Rob Walsh, College Park, MD- "Very enjoyable, very thorough guiding by Con O'Leary, good choices of places to visit"

Lisa Greey, Adelphi, MD- "This was an amazing trip. We were able to see so much of Ireland in 10 days and learn about the amazing history of the faith in Ireland."


Mr. and Mrs. Moises Duarte, Peoria, IL - "The tour was off season, which I liked very much. All the places we visited were not crowded, easily seen the sights without waiting. We could rest up between towns making it less tiring whe we did alot of walking which is a plus. The trip was fun, full of learning, having new experiences. Wonderful prayerful experiences in word and song, truly loved it. I highly recommend this tour of Fatima and Lourdes together."
Frank Kobilsek, Mendota, IL - "This was a very Mary tour. A busy schedule that rewarded us with very special experiences probably not delivered by other tour itineraries or tour companies. Together we develop and enviroment of prayful fun. Our singing was so good we probably could have hired out as a touring choir!"
Deborah M. Torri, Morris, IL - "This pilgrimage was all I hoped it would be and more! Every day was like opening a present and experiencing exciting cultural and spiritual experiences."
Tim & Jan Houston, East Peoria, IL - "We enjoyed this trip immensely. This was our first experience with a pilgrimage & it was well worth it. Combining Lourdes & Fatima in one trip made it all the more special. All of the churches we got to see on this pilgrimage were exceptional & we enjoyed them all. Jim West, Fr. Steve & Frank Kobilsek were all very enjoyable to be with & made the experience exceptional."
Thomas Golemon, Brimfield, IL - "Initially I did not see this as a spiritual trip but rather historical opportunity to visit Christian sites. However the wonderful masses led by Father Dondanville and the various unusual sites across Rome and northern Italy was simply amazing. I was challenged and encouraged in my spiritual life and edified by the history that I learned."
Mary Jo DeLille, Lake in the Hills, IL - "The trip was more than I expected and would recommend to anyone considering this journey. Fr. Joe was can excellent guide and spiritual leader."
Fr. Joe Dondanville, Edwards, IL - "It was an amazing spiritual walk."
Paul and Margaret Nelson, Bloomington, Illinois, - "We thought this trip was well planned, organized, and managed. One of the best trips we've been on."
Bill & Cheryl Fike, Bloomington, Illinois, - "The people you travel with can make a big difference in an outcome of a trip. We were so blessed to be with these amazing people. Mary Ellen just added the cream to the top."