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 Jim Keiter
NOVEMBER 6: DAY 1: DEPARTURE: Depart en route to the Holy Land with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
NOVEMBER 7: DAY 2: ARRIVE TEL AVIV: Upon arrival in Tel Aviv we are greeted by our Holy Land travel Center Representative and continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)
NOVEMBER 8: DAY 3: HAIFA, CANA, NAZARETH: This morning after breakfast, we begin our pilgrimage by visiting Haifa and the Summit of Mount Carmel, this magnificent garden features 19 terraces and its centerpiece, the gold-domed Shrine of the Bab. Later we head to Mt. Tabor, the site of Christ’s Transfiguration, and the beautiful scenery of the Valley of Jezreel. Here we celebrate mass. We visit the small village of Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding feast. Here, couples will have the opportunity to renew their wedding vows. Continue to Nazareth for overnight. (B, D)
NOVEMBER 9: DAY 4: TIBERIAS, SEA OF GALILEE: Begin the day with a visit to Capernaum where our Lord Jesus chose to center his ministry. Celebrate mass in the Church of St. Peter. At Tabgha, you will visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Fishes and Loaves, and visit the Chapel of Primacy of Peter. Then we take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Continue to the Mount of Beatitudes where our Lord preached to the multitudes. We then head to Nazareth where we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation for Mass at the Grotto, then continue to St. Joseph's Workshop, Mary's well. (B, D)
NOVEMBER 10: DAY 5: JERUSALEM: MT. OF OLIVES, GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE: This morning, drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives for a spectacular view of Jerusalem. Visit the Church of Pater Noster, the Chapel of Ascension, and then walk the "Palm Sunday Road" to Dominus Flevit, where Our Lord wept over Jerusalem. Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations for Mass on the Rock of Agony. After lunch, we continue onto the Church of St. Peter in Gallicanctu (where Peter denied Christ), the House of Caiphas, the Church of the Dormition of Our Lady, and the Upper Room, commemorating the Last Supper. (B, D)
NOVEMBER 11: DAY 6: JERUSALEM: EXCURSION TO BETHLEHEM, EIN KAREM, CHURCH OF VISITATION: Today we start by celebrating Mass at Shepherds’ Field, and then visiting the Church of the Nativity, St. Jerome's Chapel, and St. Catherine's Church. After lunch we head to Ein Karem where we visit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Visitation. The balance of the day is at leisure to browse in the local markets. (B, D)
NOVEMBER 12: DAY 7: JERUSALEM: THE OLD CITY, HOLY SEPULCHER: We begin today entering through Stephen's Gate, with a visit to the Church of St. Anne, marking the place of birth of the Blessed Mother, visiting as well the nearby Pools of Bethesda. We proceed to the Chapel of the Flagellation (where Our Lord was scourged), then carry the cross as we follow the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross). After the Stations, we return to the Ecce Homo Arch and Lithostrotos, where we celebrate Mass. Balance of the day in the Old City, where we will have time to visit the Dome of the Rock & Temple Mount (conditions permitting). (B, D)
NOVEMBER 13: 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)
NOVEMBER 14: 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)
NOVEMBER 15: 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)
NOVEMBER 16: 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)
NOVEMBER 17: DAY 12: ROME, VATICAN, ST PETER BASILICA: 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 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 then join the Vatican Scavi Tour that goes through the excavations below Saint Peter’s Basilica. It is one of the most exclusive tours in all of Rome, only 250 people are allowed through each day – compare that to the 30,000 that visit the Vatican Museums! (B, D)
NOVEMBER 18: DAY 13: RETURN HOME: Today we board our return flights home, carrying with us memories and keepsakes that will last a lifetime.