Travel firm's bankruptcy upends Green Bay World Youth Day pilgrimage plans

The excitement of attending World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro turned to disappointment for 24 Catholics in the diocese of Green Bay after learning that the agency overseeing travel arrangements to Brazil claimed bankruptcy June 10.

As a result of ITC Tours' bankruptcy filing, the diocese of Green Bay's pilgrimage to Brazil was canceled. Joe Bound, diocesan director of the Department of Education and pilgrimage coordinator, said Green Bay was among around 20 U.S. dioceses affected by the bankruptcy.

Paul Jarzembowski, program coordinator for youth and young adult ministry in the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, said he was not sure of the exact number of dioceses working with ITC Tours. "We're trying to track that down," he told The Compass, Green Bay's diocesan newspaper.

Green Bay's pilgrims each paid $3,900 to attend World Youth Day with the diocesan contingent.

"The diocese has agreed to refund all of the payments made to those who issued checks for WYD 2013," Bound told The Compass in an email. He said the diocese is in the process of seeking a full refund of $79,499 paid to ITC.
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