Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mount Marty College - confirmed flight schedule for 44 choir members

Departure for Europe:
Sunday, May 13, 2012
United Airlines flight UA 5925, leave SIOUX FALLS (FSD) at 1:00PM
Arrive in CHICAGO (ORD) at 2:39PM
United Airlines flight UA 5979, leave SIOUX FALLS (FSD) at 2:45PM
Arrive in CHICAGO (ORD) at 4:24PM
(Same schedule for Group 1 and 2)
United Airlines flight UA 940, leave CHICAGO (ORD) at 6:28PM
Arrive in FRANKFURT (FRA) at 9:55AM on Monday, May 14, 2012

Return to USA: (Same schedule for Group 1 and 2)
Thursday, May 24, 2012
United Airlines flight UA 907, leave MUNICH (MUC) at 12:35PM
Arrive in CHICAGO (ORD) at 3:01PM
United Airlines flight UA 941, leave CHICAGO (ORD) at 5:00PM
Arrive in DENVER (DEN) at 6:36PM
United Airlines flight 354, leave DENVER (DEN) at 8:05PM
Arrive in SIOUX FALLS (FSD) at 10:36PM

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heiligkreuz Abbey - Cham, Switzerland

The quaint town of Cham is located on the north shore of Lake Zug in Switzerland. The city's name, Cham, translates as village and refers to a large Celtic settlement on the shore of Lake Zug. The first mention of the town (as Chama) occurred on 16 April 858 when King Louis the German gave the town to his daughter, Hildegard, the abbess of the  Fraumuenster Abbey in Zuerich. The town was administered by a variety of nobles and bailiffs over the following centuries. Just a few miles north of Cham is the Heiligenkreuz Abbey which roots go back to 1830 as a school for girls taught by Benedictine sisters. On the Abbeys ground was a small chapel which has been used for families and travelers to find peace during their trip from Cham or Zug. In 1862 the sisters expanded and built the Heiligkreuz Abbey which still has been used as a school. In 1953 after a mission to Yenki, Korea, the emerging of the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters in Pusan has begun. Nowadays, the sisters give spiritual guidance. You can find a beautiful herbal garden created after Hildegard von Bingen's infinite wisdom. There is a souvenir shop where you can buy goods handcrafted by the sisters such as candles, clothing, tea and herbal medicine.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Auf bald!" (Hope to see you soon), say the Sisters at Maria-Rickenbach

Sandra from Incantato Tours reports quasi live from Switzerland: "It was a glorious day when we took the cable car up the mountain to visit the Sisters of Maria-Rickenbach in preparation for the upcoming visit of the Mount Marty College groups. The sun was shining as we made our way from the Talstation to Bergstation and, for a few moments, the only noise we heard was the ringing of the cowbells. The panoramic view as we "flew" through the sky was stunning and I believe this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The magnitude of God's creation surrounds the Abbey.

After we check-in at the Abbey's souvenir shop Mother Superior, Sister Maria Jacinta, greeted us warmly and welcomed us into the Sisters' quarters. "So are they really coming this time?" she asked, and I promised her an update after the tour meeting on October 15 in Yankton, SD. Hopeful that this time the answer would be yes, she smiled and insisted she call Sister Andrea, the former Mother Superior, to join us. Sister Andrea has visited the States twice and maintains close connections to Yankton, SD. Together, the Sisters showed us around the Abbey and pointed out many sights they would love to share with you. These sights included the church, the chapel, the meditation room, and a beautiful Nativity that is over 200 years old. They also showed us where the Sisters, who support themselves, work. "You are all welcome to see our textile workshop as well as the herb gardens," both Sisters confirmed.

The sisters are excited to welcome all Mount Marty visitors and share their ministry with you. The spiritual highlight of the visit will surely be the concert by the Mount Marty Choir and the opportunity to celebrate Holy Mass together.

Here is a picture album of the Incantato pre-tour visit:

We recommend visiting these websites for more information:

Maria-Rickenbach: Klosterkirche

Here are some pictures taken at the Maria-Rickenbach Klosterkirche (Abbey Church). 

Visiting the Sisters of Maria Rickenbach on May 16, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 will be a very special day for the Sisters of Maria Rickenbach and the travelers from Mount Marty College.

Although the college and Sisters maintain a close spiritual and affectionate connection, the visit from Mount Marty is highly anticipated. The local congregation of 15 sisters is looking forward to meeting current and past students of the American college that was founded 75 years ago by fellow Sisters from Switzerland. Mother Superior, Sr. Maria Jacinta was very moved when she learned that the Mount Marty College Choir will be performing at Maria-Rickenbach. Based on the sisters daily schedule, here is the proposed itinerary for the visitors from afar who are invited to spend as much time as possible at Maria-Rickenbach:

Departure from Engelberg by tour bus around 10 am to the Niederrickenbach Talstation for the cable car ride up the mountain. Upon arrival the Abbey you will have free time for strolling, taking pictures, and the opportunity to attend Noon Prayer. Beginning at 1 pm, the Sisters are offering a guided tour of the grounds in small groups. At 4 pm, the Mount Marty College Choir is invited to perform their special concert in Klosterkirche followed by the opportunity to attend the traditional Vesper and Holy Mass celebrations. The visit could conclude with a group dinner at the Pilgerhaus restaurant and a late return during sunset by cable car to the Talstation.

An optional early morning activity highly recommended by Sr. M. Jacinta is a trip even higher up the mountain to Musenalp, 1925 meters above sea level. Musenalp welcomes guests with products made by local artisan cheese makers and even more stunning views. This activity is not for those afraid of tight spaces and extreme heights and is only available if the snow has melted and weather permits. During our visit to Maria Rickenbach, the Musenalp was covered in fall fogs and could not be visited, however here is a link to visit taken earlier this year by a fellow traveler.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Klosterladen at Maria-Rickenbach: The Convent Gift Shop

The convent gift shop carries the sisters' herbal remedies and handicrafts of fine embroidery and weaving, liturgical vestments, altar cloths, and miscellaneous items.

A video documented visit to Maria Rickenbach

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Welcome - Gruezi - Willkommen

Hello and welcome, gruezi und willkommen, to the Mount Marty 2012 Tour Information Site. As you may already know, the Mount Marty College Choir is embarking on a musical, spiritual and cultural journey to Switzerland and Germany in the late spring of 2012. On their first international performance tour, the singers under the direction of Dr. Sean Vogt will be heading to the founding monastery in Maria Rickenbach near Engelberg (Lake Lucerne), as well as to Germany with stops and or performances in Heidelberg, Neuschwanstein and Füssen, Passau, Dachau, Munich and Vilshofen. In addition to the choir tour, Mount Marty College is also offering an "Alumni, Family and Friends Tour" that will shadow the singers' journey, but offer upgraded accommodations and additional activities. Please check back here for more updates soon or sign up to receive updates via email. Thank you for your interest, Merci und Dankeschoen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mount Marty Tour 2012 - updated itinerary for the Choir Tour

Day 1, Sunday, May 13, 2012
Overnight flight to Europe
Incantato is currently holding 44 seats for the choir members out of Sioux Falls via Chicago into Frankfurt airport on United Airlines.

Day 2, Monday, May 14, 2012
Willkommen in Deutschland und der Schweiz
Your Incantato Tour Manager will welcome the Mount Marty College Choir and show you to the tour bus. The first stop is the charming University town of Heidelberg, where a local guide will show you around and you will have some free time for exploring. In the afternoon, continue your travels to Engelberg in Switzerland where a special welcome dinner awaits you.

Day 3, Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Explore your School's Roots - Mass in Engelberg
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Swiss countryside and one of the most famous spiritual resort towns with its magnificent abbey. Engelberg, your home for the next days, is an ideal location to learn and meet about the Sisters of Maria Rickenbach. Celebrate your arrival with a special Mass.

Day 4, Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Visiting the Sisters - Concert
Visit the Benedictine Monastery of Maria Rickenbach today. As you know, the Mount Marty Monastery was founded by Sisters from Maria Rickenbach and their teaching ministery there eventually had a ripple effect through the Sisters in Yankton. Perform a special concert for the Maria Rickenbach Sisters and their community, in celebration of Mount Marty’s 75th anniversary.

Day 5, Thursday, May 17, 2012
Lucerne Excursion
Explore the beautiful, quaint city of Lucerne in the heartland of Switzerland, where, as legend has it, William Tell shot an apple off of his son's head. This small city, once visited by Mark Twain, is full of historical charm that can be explored by foot as many of the attractions are within walking distance.

Day 6, Friday, May 18, 2012
Scenic Route to Neuschwanstein Castle
Bid farewell to Switzerland as you travel along Lake Constance (optional visit to Mainau) to Bavaria, Germany, where your group has the unique opportunity to spend a night at the Schlosshotel Lisl, situated just below the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein. You will feel like you are stepping back in time.

Day 7, Saturday, May 19, 2012
Castle Visit and Mass at Wieskirche    
Explore King Ludwig's II most elaborate castle and sing for Mass at the pilgrim church of Wieskirche, in nearby Steingaden. Continue your journey to the Benedictine Abbey of Schweiklberg, near Vilshofen, where a special welcome reception awaits the Mount Marty group. The choir group will be staying at the guesthouse for the remainder of the tour.

Day 8, Sunday, May 20, 2012  
Schweiklberg Abbey Concert   
Celebrate Sunday with the Benedictine congregation at Schweiklberg Abbey: eat, pray, talk, and, last but not least, sing with and for your new friends in the magnificent Stiftskirche.

Day 9, Monday, May 21, 2012   
Passau Excursion and School Visit   
Explore nearby Passau and sing in the magnificent cathedral, then return to Vilshofen for a visit to a local high school/university and get together with students. 

Day 10, Tuesday, May 22, 2012  
Dachau and Munich visit - Frauenkirche Recital   
Take a day trip to Dachau, a village just outside of Munich. Retrace the footsteps of the prisoners at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial site. View firsthand a vital part of our world history while paying homage to those lost in the tragedy. Thereafter, drive to Bavaria's capital city for an orientation tour and free time to see the historical city center.

Day 11, Wednesday, May 23, 2012  
Leisure Day - Abbey Farewell   
There is so much to see and do within easy reach of Schweiklberg Abbey, and we will explore opportunities for today's schedule in the months to come and make the most out of your last full day in Europe. A special farewell celebration and dinner with new friends concludes the day.

Day 12, Thursday, May 24, 2012  
Return to USA  
After a last hearty breakfast at the monastery guest house, bid farewell and say “Auf Wiedersehen” to Schweiklberg, While it is a long way home, your international flight does not leave until midday from Munich's beautiful new airport. The choir group is also booked together on all the flights through to Sioux Falls.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Benedictine Abbey of Schweiklberg

The Mount Marty Choir will visit the Benedictine Abbey of Schweiklberg during their Incantato tour and pilgrimage "Spiritual Routes" 2012. Schweiklberg is set on a hill above Vilshofen. It was founded in 1904 and has an onion-domed church. The bells rang out to celebrate the abbey's centenary in 2004. Schweiklberg Abbey is always a wonderful place to visit. 
Schweiklberg Abbey is an ecological abbey in a rural setting in Vilshofen, a town on three rivers, in the beautiful Danube valley. The environmentally aware monks use an eco-friendly hydropower plant for their electricity supply. Very recently the abbey has become completely self-sufficient with renewables, thanks to a brand new wood-chip heating plant. Fresh vegetables and flowers are grown in the abbey's own garden nursery. Schweiklberg Abbey has also made a name for itself overseas, primarily through missionary work in Asia and Africa. 
The abbey from the side, reflected in a lake in the foreground, © Tourist-Information Vilshofen/DonauThe abbey towers seen through a wall, © Tourist-Information Vilshofen/Donau
Education, the arts, spiritual guidance, administration, the abbey church, the library, the garden nursery, agriculture and various workshops are just some aspects of the monks' enormously varied work. The abbey's art nouveau church is especially interesting: dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1925, it has a Klais organ and a Black Africa Museum with valuable masks and cult objects. Currently home to 40 fathers and brothers, Schweiklberg Abbey is part of the Missionary Congregation of St. Ottilia.
Groups and individuals seeking tranquillity and wishing to discover the abbey are very welcome. For those interested in experiencing the abbey more deeply, accommodation is available, with the opportunity of participating in choral prayers, in shared meals or in the various working areas. Through spiritual guidance, visitors gain an insight into the life and the Order of Saint Benedict. There is also a wide-ranging programme of classes and spiritual exercises. St. Bede's House offers accommodation in single or double rooms and several meeting rooms for groups.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Incantato Destination: Neuschwanstein Castle in Füssen (Germany)

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle or Palace (German: Schloss Neuschwanstein) is a 19th-century Gothic Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany.
The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886.
Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 8,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle. For more information, please see the Neuschwanstein Palace website.

Incantato Performance Venue: Wieskirche, Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Savior, in Steingaden (Germany)

First time visitors in the Wies, with no previous knowledge about the church, may well stand in wonder and ask themselves what could have possibly given rise to the building of such an unusually magnificent church in such a secluded place. Indeed, something out of the ordinary, from many points of view, took place here. Human tears, an age-old phenomenon, were the spiritual building stones, the precious pearls from which the Wies Church, a world famous rococo jewel, was created. In the 18th Century the Wies Church was already known throughout Europe as a place of reverence for the Scourged Savior, and at the same time a famous gem of baroque architecture. Out of the miracle of June 14, 1738, when tears were seen on the face of the Scourged Savior, there rapidly developed a pilgrimage of unexpected proportions. The pilgrimage has remained alive up to the present. Among the visitors from all over the world you will also find people in silent prayer. Even now new pilgrimages arise, such as a pilgrimage in the vicinity of Weilheim/Schongau, which each year brings about 1000 young people to the Wies. Interesting fact: Its architect, Dominikus Zimmermann, could not bear to leave this church, his most beautiful and complete work. Thus, he built himself a house almost at its door, where he lived until his death. In thankfulness for the happy completion of the church, he painted a votive tablet showing the pious master architect kneeling before the Scourged Savior. He signed it: "D.Z. Ex voto A. 1757". Every pilgrim and visitor to the Wies Church is rewarded by the magnificence and harmony of the wonderful song Zimmermann called forth in building the Wies Church. Come and praise Him, in this sacred place, come seek Him out in the Wies .Open - hearted, thank Him for His grace, for He offers us His Peace. Oh, my Jesus, fairest Jesus, fairest Jesus, in the Wies who so full of blessings is.When the visitor, in encountering the resounding four-tone chord of art, theology, light and music, experiences the total beauty of the Wies, he can experience what the builder of the church, Abbot Marianus II Mayer, expressed: "Hoc loco habitat fortuna, hic quiescit cor." (In this place abideth happiness, here the heart findeth peace).
Even today the church lives from both these wellsprings: its spiritual and artistic richness. Thus, the Wies Church continues as a pilgrimage church, a place of prayer and worship, and is simultaneously a magical drawing point for millions of visitors. Through their encounter with this joyous Baroque, full of life and hope, they sense a world which moved the writer Peter Dörfler, in the first half of this century, to write: "The Wies is a bit of heaven in this suffering world."