Itinerary & Details for:

From the Heartland
to the Borderlands

Faith in Chinese context
May 2020

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Boasting ultra-modern cities, great centers of education, and a heartland of venerable antiquity, China is a land of surpassing cultural and historical breadth, where ethnic groups in plains and mountain villages have participated in its cultural mix for centuries.

Study tour participants will experience some of this extraordinary diversity for themselves, and they will hear firsthand from Chinese Catholics who share in and contribute to the life of their local communities.


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Wed 5/6 - Fri 5/8

International center of commerce since the early 20th century, also a center of fashion, urban Catholicism, and intellectual life


The Bund, Pudong, East Nanjing Street commercial district, St. Ignatius Cathedral and Xujiahui (home of China's famous Catholic family), Fudan University.

Further details

Easy access from most major U.S. cities.

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Fri 5/8 - Sun 5/10

Site of China's dynastic capitals for over a millennium, Xi'an is second only to Beijing in education. 


Terracotta warrior, the famous Nestorian stele, Muslim quarter, intact medieval city wall, 300 y.o. Franciscan cathedral, and vibrant Catholic community

Further details

Three-hour bullet train from Shijiazhuang, lodging in historic city center. 

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Sun 5/10 - Tue 5/12

A capital of the Sichuan region off and on for more than 1500 years, Chengdu is rich in history, culture, and Catholic tradition. 


Beyond spicy food and pandas, Chengdu boast many historic sites for tour members to choose, but sadly also a faith community struggling under restrictions.

Further details

Our bullet train from Xi'an to Chengdu will allow participants to take in the surrounding countryside.

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Tue 5/12 - Fri 5/15

A mountainous region where many minority peoples live; some villages were evangelized centuries ago, others recently.


Breath-taking scenery, rural villages with distinctive cultural roots, Tibetan Buddhist temples, and a Tibetan Catholic village.

Further details

Pass through Kunming, capital of Yunnan, then on to Shangrila, gateway to the Tibetan countryside.

Guangzhou - Sacred Heart Cathedral - fro


Fri 5/15 - Sun 5/17

Center of Cantonese-speaking China, Guangzhou has long been known for its entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. 


Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, White Cloud Mountain, Sun Yat Sen University, Sacred Heart Cathedral - the Notre Dame of the East, 

Further details

Participants can depart China from Guangzhou or go with the tour leader to Hong Kong for a day or two more

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Further Information

All are welcome to apply

A principal focus of this study tour is the Catholic Church in China - its history and dynamic integration in diverse contexts. We begin and end the study tour with Eucharist, and on many days our first common activity is a moment of prayerful reflection. At the same time, people of any background are invited to participate and share their perspectives and insights.


The cost for participation in From the Heartland to the Borderlands: A Study Tour is $3250 (per person single occupancy) or $2850 (per person double occupancy).

The price of the study tour includes: accommodations, most meals, entry tickets & performances, transit within China, the services of translators and guides, orientation materials, and opportunities for liturgy and prayer. 

It does not include: travel to and from China and the visa application.


Our partners in Beijing facilitate the Chinese visa application process. Our U.S.-based travel agent can assist with flights to/from China.

Additional days for sight-seeing

For those who would like to take advantage of being in China to visit additional classic historic sites in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, or other destinations in China that are not part of this study tour, the USCCA will provide complimentary planning advice. Our partners at the Beijing Center can provide logistical support at an additional cost.


For information about the application process, visas, and travel assistance, visit the Pilgrimage Application Process page.
Space is limited. To be considered in the first round of the selection process, please submit your application by
February 15.

For more information

Contact Mr. Bernard Ciernick, USCCA Study Tours Coordinator at or +1 (510) 900-2015. 



Info Sheet (PDF)