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