Bishop Vasa, Special Guest Patrick Coffin in the Holy Land – August 2013

31 August 2013 to 09 September 2013

Bishop Vasa’s Comments:

“Steve and Janet: Thank you for a marvelous trip filled with spiritual insight, great sites and fascinating information. The heat was a little more than I expected and I probably needed a day upon arrival to fully rest but I have no complaints! It was great to be with an ardent group of pilgrims and a truly zealous evangelizer. Thank you for the great work you are doing.”

Day 1: Arrival in Galilee

Our group of 91 arrived this afternoon on Delta flight 268. They were courageous and smarter than the secular media. They arrived trusting God and eager to walk in the footprints of our Lord and our Lady – and all the patriarchs, kings, prophets, apostles and followers of Jesus.

Everyone arrived safe and sound and in good spirits. One of the nice things about our pilgrimages is that they are not just with older people (though we have plenty and LOVE them), but also we have a lot of families with young people. We have on this trip two newly wed couples and about 18 young people. What a joy!

All arrived safely and are ready to GO! We had Mass on the shore of Galilee in the dark and a great dinner. Can’t wait for tomorrow – Mass on the Mount of Transfiguration, Wedding Renewals at Cana, lunch and Rosary in Nazareth where we will pray at the very place the words of the Rosary were spoken: “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee…

FIRST DAY OF HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE

BISHOP VASA’S FIRST HOMILY ON OUR HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE – AT GALILEE

 

Day 2: Cana, Annunciation

Up the mountain! Lamb and chicken; Annunciation, renewal of Wedding Vows and Swimming in the Sea of Galilee. Today we have three videos. 

Video One: Mount Tabor and the Transfiguration, Lunch in Nazareth and tour of the Church of the Annunciation where “The Word Became Flesh HERE!”

Video Two: Bishop Vasa’s excellent homily during Mass at the Mount of Transfiguration. Video Three is renewal of Wedding Vows in Cana and everyone jumping into the Sea of Galilee to cool off on our free afternoon and evening.

VIDEO ONE: Mount of Transfiguration, lunch in Nazereth, touring and praying at the Church of the Annunciation where Mary said YES.

VIDEO TWO: Bishop Vasa’s homily today at Church of Transfiguration

VIDEO THREE: Renewal of Wedding Vows in Cana, swimming in the Sea of Galilee and a great dinner. 

Day 3 Viewing Syrian border, Beatitudes, Primacy of Peter & Multiplication

What a great day. The 18 kids on our trip are delightful and making fast friends with each other. Here are the videos so that you can join us virtually on our pilgrimage today through the Holy Land, share the adventure, the spirituality, the fun and the teaching along the way.

VIDEO ONE: MASS AT BEATITUDES, CAESAREA PHILIPPI, DRUZE BREAD RESTAURANT

VIDEO TWO: FR. WILLY RAYMOND (HOLLYWOOD PRIEST) HOMILY AT BEATITUDES

VIDEO THREE: OVERLOOKING THE BORDER WITH SYRIA, MULTIPLICATION OF LOAVES, PRIMACY OF PETER AND DINNER AT AUGERGE SHULAMIT

Day 4 – Galilee Boat Ride, Eating St. Peter’s Fish, Up to Jerusalem

Today we had a long and very eventful day. I only have the morning and the homily. I will have to post the afternoon video tomorrow, so stay tuned.

We started the day by visiting the ancient boat from the 1st century. Was Jesus on this boat? We don’t know, but if he wasn’t it was a boat just like it.

Then on the Sea of Galilee on a real boat. I talked about the Sea and my experience fishing all night with the fishermen and my talk Defending the Eucharist because we were on our way to Capernaum for Mass – where Jesus said, “Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” The bishop’s homily (see below) was exceptional. I can’t remember ever hearing a better summary of the sacraments.

Then we ate St. Peter’s fish and drove to Jerusalem. I told my conversion story on both buses along the way. Then to the Church of the Visitation and a Solemn Entry into the Tomb of Christ. Many people were in tears.

However, right now I only have the video for the morning AND the excellent homily of Bishop Vasa. More tomorrow. Tomorrow I will put up today’s afternoon video. We will have Mass at the Tomb of Christ and spend the rest of the day in Bethlehem.

Day 4: BOAT RIDE, CAPERNAUM, ST. PETER’S FISH, STEVE’S CONVERSION STORY

BISHOP VASA’S TREMENDOUS HOMILY ON THE SACRAMENTS

After arriving in Jerusalem we had a Solemn Entry into the Holy Sepulchre so each pilgrim could enter the empty Tomb of Christ. Before our entry we took this picture on the Crusader’s Steps up to Calvary.

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Day 5: High Mass at the Tomb of Christ, and Shopping at Christian store in Bethlehem

Bishop’s Homily

Visiting the Church of the Nativity

Dinner, Dancing and Magic in Bethlehem

Day 6: Mount of Olives & Mount Zion

Day 7: Via Dolorosa, Calvary, Stations of the Cross

Day 8: Judean Wilderness, Camel Rides…

Today is always a lot of fun we go to the Israel Museum, drive the bus down to the Judean Wilderness, eat lunch at Jericho, visit Qumran and then swim in the Dead Sea and ride camels.

Then everyone has their hugs and their goodbyes. There are exclamations
of joy but also sadness and tears at saying Good-bye and leaving the Holy Land after we’ve all made good friends and had a marvelous time over the last eight days.

Bishop’s Final Homily

Day 8, Part 1: Judean Wilderness

Day 8, Part 2: Camel Rides

Farewells & Comments