Day 2 in Israel

by Steve Ray on March 11, 2007

Everyone is doing great and having a wonderful time. Enjoy seeing your family and friends in the video.

After a delicious breakfast we headed through the hills west to Mount Tabor, the mountain of the Transfiguration. The road up the mountains is full of switchbacks and far to steep for the buses so we took white taxis up the mountain. They have to change their tires and breaks every 30 days and we joked with the pilgrims that they were scheduled for the change tomorrow 🙂

It was from here that Jesus’s glory was revealed and from where he gave his Great Commission (Lk 9, Mt 28). It was a crisp, clear day and we could see for miles.

Next was Cana of Galilee where Jesus turned water into wine. You will see much of this moving ceremony on the video. Two couples celebrated 50 years of marriage and many other anniversaries were listed. Always a time of tears and joy.

Lunch at the foot of the mountains around Nazareth and then down into Nazareth to walk the streets where Jesus grew up. We arrived at the Church of the Annunciation and had Mass in the grotto where Gabriel brought the good news to Mary.

We celebrated Mass in front of the cave. On the altar is reads, “The Word became Flesh — HERE!” It was tremendous for our pilgrims to meet the bishop and receive his blessing. He also blessed all of our rosaries right on the place that the words were first uttered “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you . . .”

Words fail to express the joy, emotion, and profound awe of standing where these things took place in real space and time — right here!

We’ll keep you posted as our journey in the Holy Lands continues. God Bless!


  • Joseph Gates says:

    What Joy it is to see you literally walking the mysteries of the Rosary. Truly the key to our Lord’s heart is laid out in the garden of his mother’s heart. For truly the key to open the tabrenacle is the rosary, for she is the place where he resides. May the Queen of Heaven fill you with endless Peace and Joy on this blessed pilgrimage, for you are not only walking where Jesus walked, but indeed where his own mother walked too. Peace and Blessings to you all and tell my Mother and Brother I said Hello, and tell Fr. Ed we hope to see him at the seminary for pastors night. May our Lady surround you with the light that eminates from the face of her beloved son. -Joseph Gates-

  • Vicki Ornellas says:

    Wow! Seeing the pilgrims, including my husband, Rodney, on the blog website is exciting.

  • Canice (Weber) Treangen says:

    God is Good! God is Good!
    Hi Mom and Dad (Jerry and Lois Ann); love and prayers to you and all!

  • Lori Tobelmann says:

    This website is wonderful!! It makes me feel a part of the trip since I would have gone with my mother if I didn’t have 4 small children. Hope you are all well.Mom(Christina Crowley), I love you soooo much and am so glad you decided to follow your heart and dreams. Have a great time!
    Lori(your favorite daughter) ha! ha!

  • renea and charlie says:

    Joe and Charlene….How wonderful to see you renew your vows…the video brought tears to my eyes, I can only imagine what you are both feeling being there. You are in all of our prayers
    Love Renea

  • Teresa Eovaldi says:

    Hello MOM (Adele Grady). I have been monitoring your every step through the updates and videos provided. I hope to catch a glimpse of you on one of your many adventures. I hope you are sleeping well and enjoying the new tastes of another land. All is well back home and we are anxious to see all of your great pictures.

    Love, Teresa

  • Beth says:

    It was great to hear Teresa on the radio this morning telling us all about your trip. I love the virtual pilgrimage! How awsome to renew wedding vows in Cana of Galilee!! To see the faces of the couples … I was getting misty eyed myself! Our prayers continue for you!

  • Amelia Kanan says:

    Irene, It must be so thrilling for you and the rest of the group to be experiencing everything you are, right now. I loved getting to see you and some of the things you’ve been seeing and doing. It kind of made me cry a litt bit (you know me). I’m praying for you and can’t wait to hear all about it when you come back!

    Love you!

  • Tony McNosky says:

    I find myself reliving the pilgrimage of June 06, and I actually find it more exciting even though I’m not there with Dee. Guess you might say that I wasn’t totally in the proper frame of mind on my first pilgrimage……. I was a little more in the tourist frame of mind, and somewhat of a cafeteria Catholic. But since last June with the advent of Steve Ray and a wonderful man by the name of Steve Kellmeyer, a convert to the catholic church from atheism, and with the advent of Catholic radio in the DFW area, that my faith has grown more than I ever thought it could. The teachings of Steve Ray were the beginnings of a reconversion to the Catholic Church. Thank you for that Steve.
    Say hello and give Dee a kiss for me………. Tony McNosky

  • Debbie Bloomfield says:

    Thanks for sharing the pilgrimage with us! Thanks be to God for technology well used! The website is a tool of evangelization as I share it with my family and friends. I heard Steve Ray and Teresa Tomeo on WDEO this morning (9 a.m. EDT) and intend to listen to their update at that time each day this week.
    A special “hi” to Fr. Andrew Bloomfield!
    Love and prayers,
    Debbie (his mom)

  • Lissa Furey says:

    Hi Elena!!
    Its great to watch your progress on the blog! We saw your dad (He was waving to someone) but we have not seen you yet.

    We miss you!!


  • Edna McIntyre says:

    Hi Bob Stricker—-This is Rocky and Edna and all of Sts Simon and Jude saying “HI” to you. We watch your blog every day, but so far haven’t been able to spot you!! We’re sure you’re in there, but either we’re not spotting you or they haven’t filmed you yet. 🙂 Sure hope we can see you one of these days!! Its a real thrill being able to follow you on this blog—this would have been nice for our family when we went to Rome. Have a great day—you can rest up when you get home!! Luv Ya—-Rocky & Edna & Michael & all @ Simon & Jude!!
    PS: Hope you get to read this!! Can you leave a msg somehow?? 🙂

  • Fay Jones and Art Wickstrom says:

    Please tell Judy and Joe Christie that Fay and Daddy watched the renewal of your vows. It was great seeing you. The picture was clear. We are still praying for you. Fay and Dad

  • Gerry Mitchell says:

    Message for “Penny” Atkinson:
    “Praise God!” The Dr. said Rosemary surgery went well. They are keeping her overnight. Joan will take her home in the morning. I will be going to Margaret’s and then take subs for Joan and I, for lunch at Rosemary’s and we will keep her company, for a few hours.

  • Oma says:

    For Chrissie Crowley:
    Enjoy EVERY minute! I’m so glad you were able to make this trip.
    Everything here is A-OK!

  • bob stricker says:

    hi daddy!!!!! how are you doing?guess what i lost my tooth monday at school in art class!!!!! guess who gets to sleep with me tonight (monday night) MOCA!!!!!! Last night we didnt get home till 8:30 ( dont tell mama i said that or she will blow her stack!!!) when we went to sarahs we left moca out on a long leash for at least 5 hours and there wasnt even a single drop of pee on the floor!!!! we were so proud of him we gave him a treat after that!! mom says to be careful!!! PLEASE SEND ME AND MOM AN EMAIL SOON!! LOVE YOU!!!!! from morning dove

  • Gint says:

    Are comments posted here actually getting back to loved ones? If so, how are you pulling that one off, Superman?

    God bless you and your pilgrims!


  • Mikaila (Irene) says:

    MOM-it sounds like your having an amazing time. i’m glad you made it there safely. i miss you too much i miss calling you everyday. i pick up my phone to chat and then realize you’re in Israel. it’s extremely hot here in california it’s been 95 all week! ahh feels like summer but it’s only march! i love you to pieces and can’t wait to hear all the stories and see the pictures.
    love you

  • Carin, Brett, Charly and Lane says:

    Uncle Dave, We watched today’s video during Charly’s snack time as a family. You are on one incredible journey, but could ya get more camera time?

  • Annmarie Eovaldi says:

    Dear Grandma,
    I hope you are havinga glorious time in Isreal!!!! I miss you so much! I cant wait to tell you all the things going on in school, church, and…. America!!!!!! We cant wait to see you on Easter. lots of love from Annmarie

  • Janet Holtz says:

    What a treat to see all the wonderful places in Israel. It is like being there again. When I saw the Basillica of the Annunciation I could almost smell the oil lamps burning. Michelle and Alan, I hope that you are having a great time! Please remember to pray for perinatal hospice when you are in Bethlehem. Wish I could be there with you but this blog puts me a “little bit” there. ~Janet

  • The Austin Ploegers says:

    We are glad to see you all enjoying your trip. Your grandson says hi. We will keep watching your progress.

  • Noreen says:

    Hello Michele and Alan Hufnagel! I saw you at the end of the service at the church of the Annunciation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( Hey I know them!!!!!!!!) I am watching every day, I love you both and am praying for you. All my love, Noreen

  • Andrew, Becky, Megan & Emma Ploeger says:

    Hi Mom and Dad!

    We all saw you renew the vows of marriage again! Twice in one year, waht next? You look like you are enjoying yourselves. The fact that we saw you on the blog video put Grandma at ease. I will try to show her when I return to town. Waterloo is going well. KU is #1 in their bracket! Let’s hope it stays that way. We can’t wait to see you!

    Love the Corinth Ploegers!

  • Mary Penzien says:

    To Judy and Joe – my dear sister and brother-in-law….

    “To God Be The Glory”

    Love and Prayers,

  • mom fieck marge says:

    hi tammy junker, it is mom and dad , we seen you on the second day video, enjoyed it, we are so happy for all of you, enjoy God Bless bye for now xoxo

  • Chris McKeon says:

    Hey Mom (Irene Kearney),
    Hope everything is great i wish i was there with you. Amanda and I found a church to get married. Its a great church, God really blessed us. SHINE FOR JESUES MOM!!!! Cant wait to see you, Love Chris

  • Carmen Martínez says:

    Hey you all! I just wanted to thank you for sharing this wonderful adventure with us. I feel like am too walking in His footsteps. What a beautiful gift this has been! I missed Teresa Tomeo’s comments this morning but hope to catch up with her tomorrow. Take care and God bless you all. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Love in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

  • carol putzig says:

    Hello Pilgrims! Boy, this virtual pilgrimage is a trip down memory lane for me after having visited these shrines just a few short years ago. We had Mass in the Church of the Annunciation too and it was there where I renewed my Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The day we left Detroit that February it was twelve degrees below zero!! When we arrived in Tel Aviv it was sixty degrees!! I hope all of you have taken the right clothes. I didn’t and was roasting the entire time.
    Christmas Carol from Canton

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