DAY SIX – Snow, Via Dolorosa, Western Wall & Bethlehem

by Steve Ray on March 15, 2007


We couldn't believe it this morning when we looked out the window to see huge snowflakes covering the palm branches. And it was not just a momentary fluck — it snowed a good part of the whole day. You will see in this video that we got soaked as we spent most of the day walking.

But, before you say, "Wow, I'm glad I wasn't there!" let me tell you that even with 100 pilgrims walking in the snow and pouring rain, with water rushing over our feet — not ONE pilgrim uttered even ONE complaint. These are true pilgrims. And how appropriate to to endure a bit of suffering today since this was the day we walked in the footsteps of Christs along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, from the location of his trial to the cross.

The Stations of the Cross meander through the Old City of Jerusalem past many shops, up and down narrow streets all filled with people, trash, small vehicles and the hustle and bustle of daily life. Just as the people ignored and even despised Christ as he carried his cross through the crowded streets, so our pilgims share a bit of that as they carry wooden crosses toward Calvary.

But the snow made the day very unusual. We have seen snow here before, even in March but not with the amount or persistence that we experienced today. Even later in Bethlehem when we visited the Christ the King sister parish in Beit Sahour, the kids were all having snowball fights. It was quite a sight.

I will add more info tomorrow morning, but I have been up almost 18 hours starting with leading my pilgrims on a very early private tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I will update several of the blog entries tomorrow morning early. Stay tuned.

Oh, one last thing! Everyone is really enjoying the notes and comments from home! Keep it up







  • Diana Carmen says:

    Hi Mom

    Looks like you’re having a great time, can’t wait to hear all the details when you get back. I’ve been watching the video of you almost every day. Love you, miss you.

  • Marilyn Bolster says:

    Hi Steve and Janet,
    This is a great way to follow the trip!
    Hi also to Michelle Hufnagel, Jana Schoenle and Anne Cherney. It is fun to see you all in the video. I am looking forward to hearing about your personal experiences when you return. Michelle and Jana – Regina also enjoyed seeing you in the video. I see your kids every day at one or the other school and I think of you often. My prayers are with you all!
    God Bless! Marilyn

  • Nancy Adams says:

    Mom –

    The experience looks fantastic and the website is a fabulous way to watch you on the journey. I eagerly await your return to share the experience “in person.”

    Your second favorite daughter next to Lori,

  • bob and phyllis gorski says:

    Enjoying ‘the trip’ with you! Hi to Judy and Joe Christie! Had dinner at Fay’s tonight with your (and our) dear daddy…95yr old Art Wickstrom. Fun for us. But wish we were there. Sounds like you are having a great pilgrimage! Thanks, Steve and Janet, for sharing the pilgrimage with us. God keep you all safe. Praying for you all.

  • Gail Wickstrom says:

    Hi Yut and Joe,

    Your adventures are becoming the highlight of my day, as I share your Holy Land experiences vicariously. Say a humble prayer for us folk here in West Virginia at some Biblical site that we can relate with.

    Gail & Linda

  • Hello, Anne Cherney! You just can’t keep away from there, can you?! Good to see your smiling face.

  • Nina Bryhn says:

    Hello to Teresa and Dominic, Judy and Joe Christie and Bill and Carol Brewis. What a great way to see you all traveling in the footsteps of our Lord! Judy, I didn’t know you and Joe were going on this trip, but I feel I am living vicariously through you and the others. What a blessing to see all of you renew your wedding vows! I feel I am having a family vacation with great friends in Christ via the computer. Enjoy the last few days, thanks for uploading these phenomenal images every day on this blog, Steve, and have wonderful and safe trip home this weekend! Big hug to all from Nina.

  • Jan Christie says:

    Hi Mom and Dad,
    We woke up to snow here this morning too, but not quite like you all had over there — wow! Katie and I are enjoying hearing about (and seeing) what you all are doing over there. Can’t wait to hear more! See you in a few days — Katie is counting them down.
    Jani and Katie

  • Hi Deb and Joe,
    I am really enjoying watching the videos of your trip! This incredible experience will touch you for the rest of your lives. I can’t wait to hear your stories when you return.
    I haven’t seen your smiling faces in the video since you renewed your vows. Don’t be camera shy.
    Joe, I think this is one trip where you aren’t going to find any casinos.
    Miss you, Love Leo and Diane

  • Canice (Weber) Treangen says:

    Hey Mom and Dad!! You are studs! We saw you walking together through the streets of Jerusalem and then at mass. It brought tears to my eyes! We are so proud of you and so happy for you. I share the blog with my class each day. They are thrilled and amazed! You may have to be our guest speakers upon your return. We can’t wait to see you! Enjoy each moment; snow, rain or sunshine it shouldn’t matter. You are in the company the Lord and His angels! We will continue to pray for you all and can’t wait to see you on Sunday. Love and kisses, Canice, John and kids

  • Jeanette Domanski says:

    Sharon & Bob–I am keeping up with you on this wonderful adventure. Enjoy! And may everyone have a good trip home. Love & Prayers, Cousin Sweetheart

  • Joseph Gates says:

    Mom and Will can’t wait to see you at home. Fr.Ed I will see you at Easter. Enjoy the rest of your say!!!
    Love always

  • Hey Joe, says:

    Will served mass at the tomb of Christ and was one of the first to get to see the tomb and prayed there after communion. So my gardian Angel says kneel on the altar, I argued, but did and saw William in the tomb under the archway kneeling in his while alb and a hand giving him communion. I say the Bishop of Jerusalem at the Annunciation take Will’s face into his hands and kiss each cheek. Everyone is calling him Fr. Bill. You have competition big brother – but you will be ordained first and one day celebrate mass at these places. Love and miss you much, MOM.

  • Kim Gates says:

    Sorry, Hey Joe should have said my name – I am on the pilgrimage.

  • Renea and Charlie says:

    Hi Joe and Charlene
    I look forward every morning to watching your journey and I feel such a part of it all…What a treat , Joseph, to see you speaking this morning, I am so proud of you. And I know our parents are with you..
    Love Renea

  • marlene says:

    hi marlene,
    we have been watching you on the blog. we want to know why you said hello to your sons but no hello to us. we miss you and it looks like you are having a good time. we are emailing from triage.
    love, ginny p. terri, cheryl and sarah

  • Elizabeth Chewter says:

    Hello again. So glad day 3 vid. got fixed, it was GREAT to see everyone. TT dancing to the music! Shalom Fr. Ed. Sea of Galilee looked so beautiful and tranquil. Anna and Lauren, my girls are watching the video clips with me and thay are in awe to hear that Christ was crucified and born and carried the cross in those specicfic places. “Oooh, that must be a really cool church” said Anna, hearing it had been built over the cave of Jesus’ birth. So THANKS Steve and Janet for bringing your pilgrimage over land and seas to us here in Michigan. It is inspiring. I have promised Anna and Lauren we will go there with you one day. They can’t wait!!

    It will be good to see you all again and hear more. Are you going to have a CTK hear/see-all-about-it gathering?? Please?

    God bless you all,

    Safe trip back.


  • Noreen says:

    Hi Allen and Michele, I talked to David and all is well! THey can’t watch your video clips because you guys don’t have high speed internet on your computer. :(. I feel like I am with you, I watched as you walked down the road of suffering, the via dolorosa. I prayed that you would be able to let Our Lord carry your burdens as he promised, if we let Him, and give us His yolk that is easy and light because it is a yolk of love. I love you guys. Love Noreen

  • Marian says:

    Hey Pa! Your journey looks amazing so far. Everyone has been enjoying the video clips of you (some clips more than others), and we can’t wait to hear all your stories. Hope your having the best trip EVER!


  • Jan Christie says:

    Hi again Mom & Dad — Enjoyed seeing your greeting from the Sea of Galilee! And other video clips as well. Dunbar wants to start early (21st or 22nd) — I told them they may not find out until Sun. night! Enjoy your final day or 2 there and safe travels home! Love you, Jani

  • Edna McIntyre says:

    Hi Bob Stricker!! SNOW!!! How about THAT?? Its turned colderhere, but we have beautiful sunshine. 🙂 Rocky & I are enjoying the video of your trip. We think we saw you getting on the bus this morn—-do you have a blue jacket & a light colored hat?? Have fun—-Luv Ya—-Rocky & Edna 🙂

  • Edna McIntyre says:

    Hi Bob!! We just watched “day 3” video—-we saw you getting off the boat, waving your hat & saying HI—Just wanted to let you know!! Rocky & Edna 🙂

  • Betty Crowther says:

    Hi, Michele and Alan,

    Can’t believe the snow! We’re loving the videos each day and seeing what you are experiencing. Terrific.

    Love you,


  • Rod says:


    I have enjoyed your BlogSpot for a long time now and never cease to be amazed at what is going on in this poor old world of ours. On a personal note, could you visit our Blog for the fight we are having to give one 12 year old Ethiopian Boy a new life? Unlike Madonna or Angelina Jolie we cannot walk in and whisk this kid off his feet to his new life. He is not a cute little baby, innocent in this world, far from it. The challenges ahead for Alex are immense. But he is ready for the challenge and the change. Please help us bring the case of Alex to your blog readers so they might pray for him. Visit Alex today at

    Steve please take a few minutes to visit Alex’ site and then write something. God Bless you and your work.

    Thank you

    Dr. Rod

  • cecilia merigian says:

    Hi Steve and Janet,

    Thanks for taking us with you via the internet. It has been wonderful following your trip and it makes me want to go back again.
    Hi to Michele and Alan, Connie and Pete Hansen, Fr. Ed, and Anne Cherney.
    May the Lord bless you all.
    Cecilia Merigian

  • Jennie says:

    Steve and Janet –

    I am so glad to be watching all you are doing for the pilgrims! I pray this trip was a great one. Thank you for giving my husband the opportunity to be a part of all this!

    God Bless your travels to France and then home…

  • schoenle kids says:

    Hi mom and dad!
    we miss you! Bryant is a great cook. Can we keep Jack and Daisy?
    Have a great time!
    Love B, M, A, C, N, D

    Hi Steve Ray-
    Your pilgrim Dan Policy is the reason you got the snow. It even follows him to Key West when he goes in the summer (:
    – Gina the Schoenle sitting aunt

  • SueAnn says:

    Dear Penny and Jim,
    Diana was filling us in on all of your adventures this past Thursday night at our Cursillo group at Saint Therese. We were praising and thanking God for this unforgettable opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Our Lord and the Holy Family. Will you please offer up a prayer for Wayne? I am sure the Holy Spirit will guide you as to when and where to ask for His intercession for healing and conversion of heart, and for new life in our marriage. God bless all of you on this beautiful and perfectly timed pilgrimmage. Thank you for letting us share in it with you. God is good! In His Love, SueAnn

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