Dear Friends,

It is a joy to invite you to join me on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Since our youth we have been hearing the Gospel stories about Jesus walking and teaching in Jerusalem, Capernaum, and Galilee. He worked miracles around the Sea of Tiberius, Jericho and Cana. He was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, and was crucified at Golgotha. We will be seeing all those places and much more. Our pilgrimage will give us an opportunity of walking in the footsteps of Jesus, our Blessed Mother and the first disciples.

Each day we will celebrate Mass and reflect on the Gospel text appropriate to the place we visit.  This will be a pilgrimage of a lifetime and it will forever change the way you read and understand the Scriptures. I hope you will be able to join me on what promises to be a grace-filled journey to the Land from which has come our salvation.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Michael Ratajczak

DAY 1 DEPARTURE: Depart for your overnight flights to Amman. Dinner on-board, relax, and anticipate your arrival tomorrow morning.        


DAY 2 ARRIVAL IN AMMAN JORDAN: Once we arrive in Amman, we will meet our HLTC representative who will remain with us for the duration of the tour. We then head to our hotel in Amman.

Overnight: Amman (D*)  


DAY 3 MT NEBO PETRA: After breakfast, we depart for the “King’s Highway.” We will visit Mt. Nebo, where Moses was laid to rest, and where the late Pope John Paul II tread on his first pilgrimage of the millennium. Visit the Sanctuary at Nebo: the memorial of Moses, the presumed site of his death and burial place, and a center for the pilgrimages since early Christian times. You’ll be inspired by the biblical feel from start to finish as you experience this divine tour. Mount Nebo is one of the most revered holy sites of Jordan, for this is where Moses was buried. The site’s association with the last days of Moses is described in moving words in Deuteronomy. The episode of Balak and Balam (2:13-26) also took place here. The site’s other name is Pisgah: “And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah which is opposite Jericho.” We continue to Petra for overnight.

Overnight: Petra (B, D)           


DAY 4 PETRA: After breakfast, we enjoy a walking tour of Petra. It begins with a walk through the Siq to the Treasury. Continue through the main street with the magnificent structures on each side carved into the mountains, to the colonnaded street, ending at the Petra museum. Lose yourself in the history of the Nabateans who meticulously carved massive structures out of the rose colored sandstone. See the influence of the people that followed including the architecture of the mighty Romans and a beautiful Byzantine chapel decorated with ancient, stunning mosaics that have been carefully preserved. We continue to our Resort at the Dead Sea.     

Overnight: Dead Sea (B, D)  


DAY 5 JERICHO, JORDAN RIVER: This morning we cross the Jordanian-Israeli border and head towards the oasis town of Jericho. Take the tram up to the Mount of Temptation for lunch and a visit. Continue along the shores of the Dead Sea to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Then on to Ein Gedi for a swim (or rather a float!) in the salty and mineral laden waters of the Dead Sea. Continue to Bethlehem.

Overnight: Bethlehem (B, D) 


DAY 6: BETHLEHEM, EIN KAREM: This morning we visit the gentle lush countryside of Ein Karem, the village where John the Baptist was born. Here we will visit the Church of the Visitation and the Church of St. John. After lunch, we visit the Church of the Nativity, situated above the traditional Grotto of Jesus birth. After touring the Manger, Grotto of St. Jerome, Church of St. Catherine, we visit the Milk Grotto. Later we visit the Shepherd’s Field before dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Overnight: Bethlehem (B, D)

DAY 7: JERUSALEM / TIBERIAS: This morning we leave Jerusalem and head to Tiberias. We drive along the  Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, home of ancient Roman Procurators and the capitol city of the Roman Province of Palestine. Here, St. Peter preached and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. Continue to the sparkling port city of Haifa. Ascend Mr. Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, for Mass before continuing to Tiberias, our home for the next three nights.

 Overnight: Nazareth / Tiberias (B, D)


DAY 8: TIBERIAS: Following breakfast this morning, we drive to Nazareth, home of the Holy family. Visit Joseph’s Workshop and the Grotto of the Annunciation. Following Mass and lunch in Nazareth, we continue to Cana of Galilee, where our Lord performed the first miracle – changing water into wine at the wedding feast. Here we will invite couples to renew their wedding vows.

 Overnight: Nazareth / Tiberias (B, D)


Day 9: TIBERIAS: We start our day at Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Celebrate Mass on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus called His disciples and appeared after his resurrection. Visit Capernaum, home of our Lord during His ministry, recall His many miracles and see the Synagogue where he taught. We then drive up to Mount Beatitudes for Mass and lunch near the site of the Sermon on the Mount. Conclude the day with a scenic boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

 Overnight: Nazareth / Tiberias (B, D)


DAY 10: TIBERAS / JERUSALEM: This morning, we depart Tiberias and travel to the summit of Mount Tabor for Mass at the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus and enjoy a sweeping view of the beautiful Jezreel Valley. We then stop at the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows before continuing south though the Jordan Valley and to our hotel in Bethlehem.

 Overnight: Bethlehem (B, D)


DAY 11: JERUSALEM: Begin the first day in Jerusalem with a visit to a scale model of the city at the time of Jesus. Continue to the area of the ancient Jewish temple. We explore excavations of the temple environs, see the steps where Jesus preached and the evidence of the destruction of the temple as Jesus foretold. See the Wailing Wall – the most sacred place in the world for Jews. Proceed to Mount Zion where we stand in the Upper Room, celebrating Mass very near where we remember Mary “falling asleep” before her Assumption. We have dinner and overnight at our hotel.

 Overnight: Bethlehem (B, D)


DAY 12: JERUSALEM: This morning we drive to the top of the Mount of Olives, where we will visit the Church of Pater Noster, the place Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer. We also visit the Chapel of the Ascension commemorating the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven.  Walk the Palm Sunday road to the Chapel of Dominus Flevit, where we will have Mass with a spectacular view of Jerusalem. Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Tomb of Mary. This afternoon, we visit the Church of Saint Peter in Galicantu at the place where Peter denied Jesus while He as awaiting trial before Sanhedrin. Return to the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Gethsemane for a Holy Hour at the place Jesus suffered the agony in the garden and was betrayed by Judas.

 Overnight: Bethlehem (B, D)


DAY 13: JERUSALEM: Today we will walk through the narrow cobble-store streets of the Old City, beginning with Mass at the Church of Saint Anne, the birthplace of Mary, and viewing the Pool of Bethseda where Jesus healed the crippled. Then follow Jesus on the Way of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to visit Calvary, where Crist was crucified, the store of Anointing, and the empty Tomb of Our Savior which witnesses to our Easter faith in resurrection.

 Overnight: Bethlehem (B, D)


DAY 14: JERUSALEM: Today we celebrate and early morning Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The remainder of the day is free for personal activities and shopping. Later on in the afternoon, we will remember our Lord’s appearance to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, and in the evening, we will enjoy a farewell Middle Easter Dinner.

 Overnight: Bethlehem (B, D)


DAY 15: RETURN HOME: Today we board our flights home, carrying with us memories and keepsakes that will last a lifetime.