Holy Land Pilgrimage – October 2011
27 October 2011 to 06 November 2011
Jeannie McCloskey wrote, “Just returned from a wonderful and spiritual pilgrimage (Oct 27-Nov 5) to the Holy Land. We became fast friends with 50 people who were there for the exact same reasons. We immersed ourselves daily in the awesome explanations by Steve Ray and Amer, our Palestinian Catholic guide. We felt like family as Steve & Janet ensured we were first at every holy place and had the opportunity to see everything we wanted. I took some really good photos and have placed them in an album for all to see. http://holylandtour11.shutterfly.com/
You must come on one of these pilgrimages!!! As my roomie, Ginny, said “Steve Ray or stay home”!
Carol Miller wrote: “As someone told that I had little time to live, this was a trip that I knew that I had to take. As you both saw, I wept like a child in many places. A life changing experience…it was life affirming and I will go on to fight and take another trip with you. The other pilgrims, you, Amer, Assam, and Father Duvall (who is a personal friend) were wonderful. God works in mysterious ways, I was looking for peace and I found hope and courage and more. Look for me again, I AM NOT DONE.”
The pilgrimage is a journey I will never forget. I have been so blessed by it. ~Dianne
Send us more comments and thoughts on the pilgrimage and we can post them here.
Virtual Pilgrimage Videos
Day 1: Arriving in Israel with Abuna DuVall and St. Mary’s
Day 2: Transfiguration, Wedding Vows Renewed, Mass in Nazareth with Mary
Day 3: Beatitudes, “You Are Rock”, Golan Heights and more
Part I: Great morning as we start Day 3. Enjoy. See part II below.
Part II: Afternoon in Galilee. Primacy of St. Peter on the shore of Galilee. Bethsaida, home of Peter, Andrew and Philip. Great evening event and dinner at Auberge Shulamit.
Day 4: Sailing the Galilee, Flesh & Blood, Up to Jerusalem
Part 1: View Ancient Jesus Boat 2,000 years old. Sail on the Sea of Galilee. Mass at Capernaum and explore the site. Steve gives his talk Defending the Eucharist, You Are What You Eat. Then we eat St. Peter’s Fish for lunch before driving to Jerusalem.
Part 2: Driving to Jerusalem. Steve tells his conversion story on the way. Stop for a snack and potty stop at the Elvis Presley Restaurant (2nd in pictures and memorabilia only to Graceland). Then to the Church of the Visitation where Steve gave his talk on Mary, Ark of the New Covenant. Then to the Notre Dame Center to settle in and have dinner.
Day 5: Bethlehem: “You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic
Since we are in the land where all this took place — Israel — I thought you would find this interesting.
So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: ”And I tell you, you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18)? Compare this with John 1:42.
You know of course, that Jesus did not speak English. If most of us heard Him speak those words today we would have no clue what He was saying. Jesus spoke Aramaic and that language is still alive in very small communities in the Middle East.
What you see written to the right is Syriac Aramaic as written by my friend Efrem Nissan in Bethlehem. He is a Syrian Orthodox Christian. (Click on the text for a larger image.)
Now, not only can you see the script — which is close to what would have been written in the time of Jesus – but you can listen to it as well. I took this short video clip of Efrem reading the words you see written here. He read them on our pilgrimage. Listen for the word “kepha” twice. Kepha is the word “rock” in Aramaic.
Day 5: All Day in Bethlehem – Glory to God in the Highest!
Day 6: Great Day on Mount Zion and Mount of Olives!
Day 7:Walking with Christ to the Cross and Resurrection
Part 1: It is always amazing to start the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows at 5:00 AM and end up touching the top of Calvary and then having Mass in the Holy Tomb of Christ. Wow!
Part 2: Visiting the place of Mary’s birth and the place where Jesus healed the crippled man in John 5. Great Day!
Last Day: What a Day, What a Ditty
Israel Museum, Huge Model of 1st Century Jerusalem, Dead Sea Scrolls, authentic Baptismal Site of Christ, Qumran and Jericho.
Floating in Dead Sea, Camel Rides (Oh my!), back to Jerusalem, Comments, a Ditty, Farewells and Departure.