Subject: A Thank you to Select International Tours
Lord's Peace Select International Tours
I apologize that it has taken me so long to write to you and your company this letter of thanks. I was blessed to study for the priesthood in Rome, Italy and during those five years
was a part of many tourgroups visit to the Eternal City. Being a part of many tour groups, small and large, simple and complicated, has given me an appreciation for a quality pilgrimage experience and a fear of tours gone bad. As a new pastor of two parishes I was excited to invite parishioners to journey to Rome with our Diocesan Bishop, however I did have some trepidation concerning the quality of the tour considering the large size and variety of pilgrims, and I wondered if the cost would be considered "worth it" for my people. In addition, my father joined us on the trip, which added another layer of expectation and concern.
I have now been home from the pilgrimage for five months and I continue to marvel at the care, precision, consideration and expertise that made the pilgrimage the best that I, my father, and my parishioners have ever been a part of. Throughout the ten days I was so at peace and relaxed by the skill of Select International Tours. My past experience had taught me that at a certain point, tours begin to unravel and pilgrims of different needs begin to be neglected or mishandled. Yet, within a few days of this tour I began to realize that I too could relax and enjoy myself and never once did I have to step in or intervene. Day after day I was impressed and delighted by the great care that was taken to arrange every detail and calmly manage every possible snag. For my people too, few of whom had ever been overseas, they felt calm and well cared for, never anxious about the unknown environments. The experience we had with Select International Tours was outstanding from beginning of the proposal process to the end of the pilgrimage.
After many years of touring I believe that your company, Select International Tours, provided the finest tour that I have ever been a part of. Concerning the price it was a true value, and in fact I am not sure how so much care and so many great opportunities were made available for the cost. If and when I lead another pilgrimage your company will be the first that I call, and I would eagerly and worry free travel with you again.
Peace of Christ,
Fr. Kim J. Schreck Pastor of Christ the Divine Teacher Pastor of St. Rose of Lima
Ireland trip- July
It was a fabulous experience! I went thinking that this was it for Ireland, but I already know I will do another trip in 2016. Our driver/guide Barry Gorman was incredible. I will want to use him again. The hotels were great, the food was way too fabulous!
The experiences that we had was indescribable. I kept telling the group that they were all called by God, that He meant for this group of people on this particular trip at this specific time. In spite of the little difficulties we went through to get there, it was overflowing with graces. you had to be blind not to see God at work.
Knock was wonderful, and Barry was gracious enough to let us stay as late as we could. So many in my group took advantage of the anointing during the healing Mass....and there wasn't a dry eye in the group. Mass at Fr. Peyton Center with Fr. Stephen was also a very moving experience. Very very moving. So many of the Masses we attended with the locals were also wonderful. The group was always tickled when we were recognized by the priest.
Ireland Choir trip – Kilkenny Gospel Festival
"We thank you Ms Prendergast for an unforgettable visit and tour of Ireland. This was our first trip abroad. Our trips to Dublin, Kilkenny and other places on the tour were awesome!
Fantastic! Outstanding! Those are just a few words to describe the Chicago Black Catholic Choir's six days of fun, important learning and fellowship as guest participants of the 2014 Kilkenny Gospel Festival!
We enjoyed good conversations, excellent traveling, amazing tours, very comfortable lodging, delicious meals and time for shopping and relaxing. A most memorable event was the mayor's reception with the host priest singing and daily Mass
Performances with other choirs from all over the world. An important and very educational features was the workshop under the director of Dr. Eddie Jones.
The final highlights were our performances at the Black Abbey and St. Mary's Cathedral with other talented choirs. We are blessed, enriched and grateful for this wonderful experience."
Carol and Jack
Thank you, Select International, for making this a most memorable experience for me! The combination of sites visited were so well selected, some spiritual, some interesting, making the whole tour one to treasure forever!
Taking the tour to the next level was Select's representative/tour guide, Susan Prendergast! The company has a gem in her! She is the ultimate in taking care of your customers. During the planning phase, as busy as she must always be, she always responded to my questions and emails promptly. Once I met her and got to see day by day how important it was to her that we were happy, having a good time, and enjoying our trip, I saw the awesome, wonderful, caring woman she is and the caliber of an employee you have!
Enza, our tour guide in Italy, was amazing as well. She is a strong, energetic, and determined woman, who also helped make this trip such a wonderful one. With her emotional goodbye, I found that she took a sincere liking to our group. We could not have had a better team!
Overall, this was a trip I will never forget! I will seek Select International if I should ever need a tour company, and I will definitely recommend this company when an opportunity arises!
Thank you for being the instrument by which these wonderful memories were made!
May God continue to bless each and every one at Select International!
Gloria I. Rodriguez
Bishop Tamayo's Pilgrimage
Diocese of Laredo
Date: June, 2014
Thank you for all that you and Select International Tours did to make this a trip of a lifetime. Our guide, George was superb. His knowledge of his homeland was invaluable. Dr. Binz was a perfect spiritual leader for our tour. I'll recommend your tours to everyone and will look forward to another opportunity to book travel with your company. God Bless You.
Ellen Gassie Bernard
May 19, 2014
The Canonization trip to Rome organized by Select International Tours for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was most enjoyable and our guide was most informative and helpful. Thank you for all that your organization did to assist us in making this trip the memorable one that it was for all those who participated.
Know that you and all those associated with Select International Tours are remembered in my prayers for the continued success of all your endeavors in planning universal pilgrimages and tours.
With best wishes, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia
Roma and San Giovanni Canonization Group, April 2014
Father Tom Ganley and Deacon Tim’s group
We are back from the Eternal City and the canonization pilgrimage and all went very well...Tony our guide was great and the itinerary and all the places we saw was super..deacon Tim did a great job in overseeing us.
Thanks again for a great trip, everyone in our group was happy..
Fr. Tom Ganley.
Italy Canonization pilgrimage, April 2014
Domestic Church Media group
Thank you for coordinating the very recent pilgrimage to the Vatican to witness the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II and the visits to the shrines, churches, and basilica's in Central Italy.
John and I sincerely appreciate your efforts, as well as the efforts of the members of the Select International Tours Team in making the journey memorable, as well as affordable.
In our opinion, all aspects of the pilgrimage turned out to be one of our best overseas trips ever. We thank you very much, and may God Always Watch over You and Bless You.
Rome & Assisi Canonization pilgrimage, April 2014
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia group
Greetings in the Lord! I should be writing you first and thanking you and Select for a MARVELOUS pilgrimage. Everything was so wonderful and well conducted. Marienna was tremendous!!!!
Once again, I am so VERY VERY grateful to you, Edita.
Father Dennis Gill
Greetings in the Lord! I am so very grateful to you for the outstanding work you did for us during our time in Rome. Everything about your service was marked with profound care and concern that all would have a marvelous experience of Rome. I look forward to being with you in Canada.
Count on my prayers for you and your family.
Father Dennis Gill
Subject: Re: Sicily & Rome Spring Break student trip update
This is a letter of thanks to you and to the staff at Select International for making this years Spring Break Sicily/Rome trip a deeply rewarding experience for all participants.
There were special touches on this trip which brought an extra feeling of care for the pleasure and security of the participants: i.e., the beautiful coach in Sicily, the stop at the Olive Press, the quality of the city and location guides, the puppet show, the complimentary ice-cream and pizza dinner, and the icing on the cake, the dinner-theater of the last night in Rome.
There was also enough free time so that members could shop, converse, and share colloquial experiences with each other.
Above all, the group felt in good hands under the experienced hand of Tony Guiliani - an expert in his profession par excellence.
Fr. Leo Patalinghug's review of the Food and Faith pilgrimage to the Holy Land!
Per the request for a review of this FIRST EVER culinary infused pilgrimage, I've noted a few of my observations below. Please review these basic summary observations and let me know your thoughts. It was a GREAT trip on so many levels. Without losing the momentum, I think it would be very appropriate to begin designing future pilgrimages.
Please stay in touch with all that I'm writing about it in my weekly email blasts during the month of February. Visit www.gracebeforemeals.com for blogging details and videos from the trip.
Blessings and Peace,
Select Travel Review of Recent Tour to the Holy Land
Overall A fantastic trip from beginning to end. People's experience superseded expectations. There were literally no complaints from anyone, aside from experiencing a different cultural approach to things. For example, one person thought beds at Notre Dame was too small, but then I had to tell them, that's they are just too big for the bed. (HAHA). But, the quality and quantity of the trip met almost every expectation. Pilgrims seek to participate in future pilgrimage opportunities. Pilgrims loved the George as the guide, George as the driver, all of the information provided, all of the restaurants and cooking demonstrations, and each historical and touristic shopping stop. Not one left anyone disappointed, but in contrast, got people more and more excited as the pilgrimage progressed. It was a very well laid out plan, and I especially like beginning in Nazareth and moving in the direction from Birth to Death and Resurrection of Jesus' life. I personally enjoyed the pace of the schedule, the flexibility to move some things around - especially on the last day with the hassle of check outs. The following are my observations on possible areas of improvement, some of which would be completed by different parties involved, including the hosts:
Chefs for Peace Involvement
Restaurants and Food Services
GREAT, GREAT, GREAT job to all!
I just wanted to let you know the guide we had in Dubrovnik was excellent as well as the guide in Medjugorje who was out of this world.
What a joy it was to have Zeljka as our guide in Medjugorje since she is a first cousin to the visionary, Vicka. She told us so much more about the family and the parish in general. Father said it was the best trip yet. The accommodations were good, but the food in Rome was not what we expected. We understand that is not under Select’s control.
I was so surprised to meet Susan at St. Peter's. Now, it will be nice to match the face to the voice.
Medjugorje – Rome trip October 2013
Holy Land trip- Sept. 2013
Good morning Edita,
I hope message will find you and your family well.
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for your help and organization of the pilgrimage, as well as for your kindness. Your experience, knowledge and professionalism made this pilgrimage a great learning experience, for the spiritual benefit of all. For me personally this was a much need trip and it came at the right time, just after I did my grueling PhD comprehensive exams. Although I was preparing for the exams, and trying to recruit people for the trip, Marianne Murphy made sure that everything went smooth and that everybody received the appropriate attention and information. I would prefer to work with her in the future as well, if possible.
A few comments on the different aspects of the trip:
The timing of pilgrimage: This was my first time in Holy Land, and based on the stories of the group that went for the Easter, I'm glad that we went at this time of the year. The weather was outstanding and we did not encounter big crowds. I was able to sever for the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, so my experience was complete.
Flights, Hotels and Guide: Our flights were very good, although we should look at non-stop flights in the future depending on the pricing. The hotels were good, certainly in line with the excellent price you gave us, especially the hotel in Bethlehem, which we all loved.George was an exceptional guide - very knowledgeable, helpful, professional and organized, and everybody was very pleased with him.
Food: For me personally and for the most people was outstanding.
This is really all that I can think of now. But, in general, I have no single negative impression from the Holy Land. I think that every Christian should go to Holy Land at least once in a life time. We owe it to our faithful to organize more pilgrimages.
All the best and thank you,
Paul and I wanted to thank you for all your hard work for Bishop Sheridan's Pilgrimage.
I have to say it was a life-changing experience and I would not change one thing about it.
You and Select International did a fantastic job of planning, etc. It was also a pleasure to get to meet you and stay up late a few nights with Msgr. and the group.
Thank you for everything and God bless you!
Dear Select International Tours,
From Lourdes, France to Lisbon, Portugal Cristina Vives, our tour guide, and Veronica our driver have shown nothing but superb performances on their duties. On my twenty years of touring the European, Asian, South America and Scandinavian Countries, I have not seen such OUTSTANDING guide and driver.
Our friends in America are waiting for our stories. They would like to know our experiences on this trip. I will highly recommend your company to any of them. Again, from the rest of us, keep up your outstanding works and you will hear again from me in the very near future. Thank You so very much. I will place you number 1 on my list.
San Diego, California 92199
I have to commend Select International for the excellent pilgrimage you planned for our group to the Holy Land. Our experience was fantastic, from top to bottom. Our Hotels felt like resorts, and our guide and driver felt like family. All along the way we met representatives making sure we were taken care of, and the trip was flexible to fit the ever-changing needs of our diverse group.
I was hoping to post more of a 'live blog' during the trip but, due to slower speeds, I had some difficulty uploading larger photos. Now that I'm home I'm going to write a few blog posts and create an article for our Serbian newspaper here in the US.
Thank you for all your work.
Rev Aleksa Pavichevich
St George Serbian Orthodox Church
Just a note of thanks for giving me the opportunity to accompany the pilgrims to Italy. Being a bus captain made the journey even more special, because it allowed me to talk with and meet so many great fellow Catholics in the Diocese.
The pilgrimage was truly was a spiritual journey, it was a wonderful experience to celebrate Mass in such beautiful places. There were so many truly spiritual moments, like seeing Our Holy Father the Pope, to visit the tomb of St. Francis of Asissi and St. Paul, and more. However, the highlight was the bond that developed among pilgrims. I feel like I made friends for life.
The pilgrims were truly into the spirit of the journey, getting to know and helping each other. I observed a joy-filled room at the gala dinner, and felt the Church truly Alive in Pittsburgh.
For the Pittsburgh Catholic itself, the trip was a huge success in fostering good will. It seems that most of the pilgrims were readers. Except for the dinner at the castle in Florence, the Pittsburgh Catholic-sponsored lunch in Orvieto was the favorite meal among so many I spoke with. One fellow pilgrim, Nancy, told me she would buy subscriptions as Christmas gifts in gratitude for the meal. We received a round of applause for that meal (and the wine of course). Also, in speaking with so many people, I came away with some great feature story ideas myself, and received some suggestions.
Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We are back from our wonderful, happy and satisfied, holy trip. On behalf of my group, myself we want to thank you for making our trip very successful and memorable.Tony our guide was great and loved by everyone.We are looking forward for the next year's trip.We want Tony again to be with us next year if he is available.Everything went okey,there was no problem at all.We had 2 optional trip ,one in Toledo on our free day on Sept 16th and on our free day in Paris we arranged a whole day 9-6PM tour of Paris including boat ride in Siene river.On my birthday we arranged lunch in Avila for a full course meal for everyone as my treat.Mario our driver was also liked by everyone. We tell people that we meet on our way of our tour operator which is SELECT INTERNATIONAL from New Jersey.You are doing an excellent job. Regards to Edita.
Thanks so much again.
Fatima, Lourdes and Paris trip, September 2012
Dear Sir or Madam,
On August 13, 2012, a group of 19 people embarked on a journey to the Holy Land not knowing what to expect. As we arrived at the airport, we were greeted by your guide, George, and the bus driver, Hana.
The glue that held the tour together was our marvelous guide. George is fluent in English, highly educated and familiar with the Holy Land History. Even more important, George is a gentle and gracious young man with a very positive attitude and a good sense of humor. He is a true ambassador of the Holy Land.
Hana’s patient and serene personality with the willingness to help each one of us was overwhelming. Every morning we were greeted with his smiling face and gentleness. He helped many individuals with different issues and needs.
Their energy, enthusiasm and good humor made our journey very pleasurable and memorable .How wonderful it was to share a remarkable 9 days together in the Holy Land. I am so grateful to have seen the Holy Land through their eyes. It was an excellent itinerary and it will leave us with many lasting memories. Thank You!
Recent tour to Germany, Austria & Switzerland
My husband and I just returned from a 12 day tour to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The trip was organized by our pastor, Father Jim Walther of Alton, Illinois. We had a wonderful time and I just wanted to be sure your company is aware of the great job that was done by both our tour guide, Christopher and our bus driver, also Christopher. I am sorry I do not have their last names. We were pleased with the "local" tour guides as well, but we really appreciated the efforts of our tour guide and bus driver. Thank You!
Leonard and Mary Berg
Thank you Marienna for your kind e-mail and phone calls - I have been on retreat! The trip was excellent and all the students had a great time - Tony Guiliani was absolutely awesome and of course made the trip enjoyable! I thank you all for the attention and choice of hotels and our final party was excellent!
Overall it was excellent - great driver from Portugal and hotel in Lourdes was grand - Burgos was super! It was EXCELLENT!
Take care and may divine assistance be always with you.
Fr. Patrick Ike
Diocesan Director of Vocation Promotion
We love your company and we will never travel with anyone else and your whole group is EXCELLENT. I highly recommend you to all my friends and travelers. Next year, I like would like to go to Portugal and France but we will decide then Again, thank you to all.
Sincerely yours, Romeo and the Group
I would like to thank you for the wonderful Pilgrimage that you put together for our group. It was truly a spiritually fulfilling pilgrimageand enjoyed by everyone. Because of the situation in Egypt , I know this caused a lot of extra work for Select, however everyone had a great trip and the feedback is positive. I truly appreciate all the hard work you did on our behalf and hope that we will work together in the future. I will recommend Select to any of my travel agent friends wanting to do group travel, because I know that they will not be disappointed. Many thanks again to you!
I just wanted to send a brief thank you note for all of the patience, organization, and professionalism you demonstrated in putting the Latin Club Italy trip together. It could not have been better.The tour-guide, Tony Giuliani, was great with the kids, very well organized, and responsible to the highest degree.
All of the city guides were well informed and sensitive to the students level and ability to concentrate.
There was a near perfect balance between site visits, travel time, and down time.
I think all of the students came back enriched and I am sure that this trip will last in their memories.
Best Regards to you and your staff that made it happen,
GLOBAL TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC.
I just returned from one of your organized tours to Italy. I was part of Father Sylvan s tour from April 20 to April 29. I would like to convey my thanks for a great tour. My wife and myself enjoyed it very much. I would also like to commend and recommend our tour guide, Anna Sbordoni. She is one of the best tour guides that I have ever had before. She was informative, fun to talk to, and was always finding ways to make our tour one of the best.
Thanks again for a great tour and a great tour guide!
Thank you most sincerely for fulfilling your promises to the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulcher Diocese of Laredo pilgrimage group. We had a wonderful and memorable trip. The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful. The hotels, staff, and food were exceptional. I thank you for your service to us. Be assured that we remembered you and your staff at the holy places. Should you wish to contact me by phone for any specifics I will be happy to respond. I believe the 44 pilgrims will speak positively of this trip.
Sylvia S. Hernández
Office of the Bishop
We were all very touched by our Blessed Mother's special gift to us,
Greetings in the name of the Lord. On behalf of the group and myself I just want ot say "Thanks" to the Select staff. We enjoyed the trip to the fullest...We will be back next year and forever only with Select .
My Dearest Edita,
Please accept my deepest and sincere appreciation for the opportunity to be part of Select International Tours FAM trip to Israel. I returned to southwest Louisiana with overwhelming memories of the unforgettable days spent with you in Holy Land. Thank you for the wonderful memories that I will cherish forever and ever! It was one of the most awesome and inspirational experiences in my lifetime...and one I will never forget.
Edita, you are a very special and unique person... you care and share those many blessings that you have been given (and that you have worked for too)! Thank you ever, ever so much for sharing them with me!
Rosina, your kindness, compassion and understanding make you an exceptional person. Select International Tours is fortunate to have you as their representative and I am fortunate to have had the pleasure of your company during the most absolutely astounding and humbling time in my life. I look forward to giving my groups the opportunity of traveling with Select Intenrational in the future. Thanks for everything you do! I love you both... and I know God does too!
God's Blessings until we meet again,
Brenda Fontenot, Elite Club Director
Hello my friends at Select,
I started working with Select over 20 years ago when I did my first group to Medjugorje. Many groups and years later, another offer came along, another company, another deal, and away I went. I tried others, several of them actually and this year I am back and so glad. I missed working with you! You are honest, you are good, you deliver and I trust you. I promise not to leave again.
Your devoted fan!
JoAnn Panatone, President