Dear Friends, It is a joy to invite you to join us on a 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 those places and much more. Our visit 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. We hope you will be able to join us on what promises to be a grace-filled journey to the land from which has come our salvation.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Robert Garon
FEBRUARY 16: DAY 1: DEPARTURE: Depart en route to the Holy Land with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
FEBRUARY 23: DAY 8: JERICHO, DEAD SEA: We depart early this morning towards Jericho to view the Mt. of Temptations. We then visit the “Dead Sea” for a day swim (bring your swim suit). At night, we all gather for a special dinner and overnight. (B, D)
FEBRUARY 24: DAY 9: TEL AVIV / ROME: Today we board our flight to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome we are met by our Holy Land travel Center Representative and continue to our hotel for check in. We end our night with a walking tour of Rome, featuring a stroll to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, a Christian church since the 7th century, and Piazza Navona. (B, D)
FEBRUARY 25: DAY 10: ROME: This morning we awake in the Eternal City, one of the centers of Western civilization! After a filling breakfast we depart on our sightseeing tour which will offer insight into the most significant Catholic sites in Rome. We will have an opportunity to see the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, which contains a relic from the manger of the infant Jesus. We will see the Holy Stairs and visit the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, which was the residence of the popes prior to returning to Rome in 1377. We also explore St. Paul Outside the Walls, which houses the remains of St. Paul under its main altar. We will see the Appian Way, the oldest road from Roman times, as well as the famous Domino Quo Vadis Chapel, the ancient Baths of Caracalla Arch of Drusus and the Tomb of Celilia Metella. Our day ends with a special visit to one of the catacombs, such as St. Callixtus, where the early Christians hid themselves to escape persecution for their devout faith. (B, D)
FEBRUARY 26: DAY 11: ROME / EXCURSION TO ASSISI: This morning we head to Assisi for a visit of the enchanting medieval town. Our excursion includes the Basilica of Santa Maria and the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare. Afternoon at leisure for personal activities. Continue back to Rome for dinner and overnight. (B, D)
FEBRUARY 27: DAY 12: ROME, PAPAL AUDIENCE*: After an early breakfast we depart for Vatican City, the spiritual capital for all Catholics around the world. Vatican City is its own city-state nestle within Rome, and it even has its own currency and postage! Today is truly a day which will live in our hearts for many years to come. We make our way to St. Peter's Basilica where we will attend the Papal Audience given by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (pending papal schedule). Following the audience, we will visit the Vatican Museums, an astonishing series of galleries which contain the most impressive spiritual and art treasures. You will see awe-inspiring relics and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. We will visit the Tapestry Gallery, the Raphael Rooms and the breathtaking Sistine Chapel where we will see Michelangelo's masterpiece the Last Judgment. We continue our exploration of the Vatican as we enter the largest church in Christendom - St. Peter's Basilica. Built on the site where St. Peter was martyred. St. Peter's is unsurpassed in beauty; a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims from around the world flock. You will have time to marvel at the Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. We will also visit the tomb of Pope John Paul II located in the Vatican. After a day exploring the home of our Catholic faith, we gather together to dine and reminisce about our day with our fellow pilgrims. We return to our hotel to settle in for a restful sleep on our last night in Rome. (B, D)
FEBRUARY 28: DAY 13: RETURN HOME: Today we board our return flights home, carrying with us memories and keepsakes that will last a lifetime.