August 11th Update from the Israeli Government's Department of Tourism:
Letter about Safety in the Holy Land.
If you are looking for the best value, personal service, hassle-free travel, a deeply Catholic experience, great food and adventure—then you’ve come to the right place.
We have been in close touch with our friends and associates in the Holy Land. Pilgrimage travel in Israel is typically slow during the summer months because of the heat. But as you will read below, pilgrimages continue unabated through the Holy Land this summer. Those who are there are enjoying their tours undeterred. It is reported back (see even below) they are enjoying themselves and have not been in harms way or felt so in any way.
I asked for an honest assessment of the current situation. Here is a one of the many positive replies:
"Dear Steve: Fr. Kelly here from the Notre Dame Center. So far, all our pilgrims throughout the entire summer have been able to visit the Holy Land sites according to the regular routine. The only change has been that they did not have to wait in long lines to get in to see the most sought after locations as registered people have opted not to come.
But in reality the normal itinerary for the pilgrims has practically not been affected. It is wonderful seeing each of these pilgrims being so blessed and only sad to realize that others lost this opportunity of grace for their lives, due to the understandable but poorly founded fear of coming! Our pilgrims, after experiencing how a pilgrimage runs so peacefully here in recent weeks, often lament that their friends really made this mistake of canceling!!
We thank you and all your pilgrims, past and future, for their prayers for the Holy Land that men of violence may lay down their weapons and work to share this blessed Land together, a treasure for all of humanity."
Greetings to Janet and all your family & team!
Blessings Fr. Eamon Kelly, Papal Appointee at Notre Dame Center.
Steve’s knowledge of the Bible of the Catholic faith opened up a treasure chest of knowledge that left we wanting to know more I cannot imagine going with anyone else! They both took great care of each and ever pilgrim with genuine patience and care. Dee (our group escort) was equally as helpful and kind. This experience has been one of the most special of my life and I am so very thankful to Steve and Janet for their role in this. I was very impressed at the kind and accommodating way that Steve, Janet, and Dee took consideration of my 79 year old mother.Toya Hall