DAY THREE – Galilee & Banias

by Steve Ray on March 12, 2007

This one is FIXED!

Another day full of excitement, good friends, holy places, experience of our Lord and delicious food. Imagine the Sea of Galilee in the misty morning with birds singing and waves lapping the shore. Now imagine 100 pilgrims boarding a boat and setting out into the sea to sail the same waters fished by Peter, Andrew, James and John — the same water upon which Jesus walked.

While on the boat I explained the life of Jesus while he was in Galilee. From the boat we could see Tabgha, Capernaum, and more. We sang hymns to honor our Lord and the worship was very moving. After that, as you will see in this video, we all processed past the camera and greeted the viewers back home. It was great.

Next we visited the Ancient Boat–also called the Jesus Boat. It was found in the mud a decade ago and preserved so we can enjoy seeing it now. It is the remains of a fishing boat from the first century and for all we know it was the boat in which Jesus preached, slept and from which he walked on the water.

Next the Mount of Beatitudes looking out over the Sea. It was here that Jesus showed himself to be the "New Moses" as he "climbed the mountain sat and taught the people the New Law. Pilgrims always love this place because of its serenity as we walk through the beatiful gardens.

Our two buses then took the 1 hour drive to the furthest tip of northern Israel. As we drove the last few miles we were driving along the Lebanese border to Banias. No one was worried or scared in the least as everything here is quiet, peaceful and friendly. You will hear this from the pilgrims' own mouths.

Banias was called Caesarea Philippi in the time of Christ. You can read about Jesus journey and words here in Matthew 16. It is where Peter received his name when Jesus said, "You are Peter (Rock) and on this rock I will build my church."

The site is stunning and no one left unmoved. I gave my 1/2 hour presentation here entitled "Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair" which is also available in a longer version on my audio CD.

New we drove through the Golan Heights along the border with Syria. Everyone got out of the bus and looked out toward Damascus which was only about one hour to the NE. We ate filafils and Druze Bread at a local Druze restaurant–way out of the way, a real authentic place. Everyone loved the unique food made of flat bread, yogurt, olive oil, and Zatar.

Upon reaching the Sea of Galilee again we had Mass at the Primacy of Peter where Jesus appointed Peter to be his delegated chief shepherd. You can read about this in John 21. I gave my talk about the events that took place on the shore.

From the water's edge Teresa Tomeo opened her radio show Catholic Connections using a cell phone. Isn't technology amazing? You could hear the waves lapping the sea while her voice was heard around the world. Our pilgrims were all gathered around and shouting greatings and blessings to the world over EWTN worldwide radio.

One half of the group ate at the hotel while we crammed a bus with 58 of us and we went north to dinner at Aberge Shulamit. The other 1/2 of the group at their last night. It is Janet and my favorite restaurant in Israel because it is one of the best in the whole country.

Our friend Leah who owns the restaurant invited two outstanding archaeologists to join us and they gave us short talks about the ongoing excavations in Galilee but they spent most of the time talking to us about the ridiculous claims of the Discovery Channel documentary "The Jesus Family Tomb." These two world renowned experts ridiculed the assertions of the show.

Everyone is having a great time. The food is wonderful, deep friendships are being formed, and the Lord Jesus is making himself wonderfully known in the LAND, in the LITURGY, and in our LIVES.

Tomorrow we will spend more time around the Sea, then renew Baptismal vows in the Jordan, eat St. Peter's Fish, and head south to Jerusalem! Pray for us and we will pray for you.


  • Tony says:

    Looking fwd to seeing the next video upload…. hope you’re able to succeed with it… 14 minutes …… that will be a thrill…. the clip up now is only 5 seconds….. will be waiting. Listening to Catholic Connection in the mornings for your updates….. thanks for all your efforts…. Tony

  • Gint says:

    I see on the discussion boards where this is a Google video server issue.

    Here’s one of the later comments posted there:

    I know Google Video is still “beta”, but this is the least reliable Google
    “beta” application I know of.

    I know the culture out in Mountain View is pretty laid back, but
    common, isn’t *someone* staying late to fix this? Either fix it right
    or turn off large uploads… so we all can stop wasting our time
    trying and trying, and instead starting finding a new alternative

  • Joseph Gates says:

    Hey Mom and Willaim!! Just wanted to say that I love you and hope you are having the time of your life! Fr.ED I know you are, this must feel like a second home to you. Can’t wait to hear future homilies of the experience and what Jesus might be saying to you. I can’t wait to see this 14 minute video clip because maybe I’ll see Mom and William. If anyone can, please ask them to pray for me because I have three midterms on Wensday and Thursday and extra prayers would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy the Holy Land !
    Peace and Blessings
    -Joseph Gates-

  • Bea Grine says:

    So nice to see everyone enjoying their pilgramage! I truly enjoyed mine ( first one Steve and Janet did) We, my husband,two sisters and a Cousin and her sister and myself went , it made it all that more precious. We went in Sept. 2005.. Say Hi to Zvi when you see him.. God bless all of you!!
    Love and prayers, Bea and Luis Grine

  • Gail Wickstrom says:

    Hi Yut and Joe,

    I saw you re-instating your marriage vows on the day 2 video. Linda and I both wish we were there with you.
    It must be a profoundly moving experience.

    Gail & Linda Wickstrom

  • Lynn Reynolds says:

    I am so enjoying this blog and the videos! I am signed up for the trip in September and love the preview of what I have to look forward to. I am sharing this blog site with some of my fellow travelers in Sept. also. We can’t wait! I especially love the fact that family & friends at home can “check up” on the pilgrims and see that they are safe and what a great time they are having!
    God Bless you all!

  • Mary Fountaine says:

    Hi Joe and Charlene, I am so excited with this trip. I am following you through your journey, and praying for you and all with you. I can imagine the overwhelming state you are in. God bless you and all with you. Mary

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