Elijah, Carmelites, Stella Maris and Arriving in Israel

by Steve Ray on January 29, 2013

(NOTE: Family, Friends and all of who share this pilgrimage by video, please leave a comment below and I will read them on the bus each day. This is a great way for you all to share the experience together.)

Today our group arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv. They were full of joy though tired from the flight. Many said, “I can’t believe I am really here!” No one feared for their life 🙂 since it is beautiful, friendly and safe (I know since I have been here well over 100 times).

Too many allow the Devil to keep them from this beautiful experience through fear – though every year 3.5 million people visit Israel and never ONCE has one of them been hurt.

Today’s flight arrived early so we were able to take everyone to Stella Maris in the Carmel Mountain range where Elijah had profound experiences (1 Kings 18) of the power of God. Mass at the Cave of Elijah is always a moving experience.

Everyone was excited to be in the Holy Land. Janet and I — and our best friend and Roman Catholic guide Amer — were excited to receive them. The anticipation is thick enough to cut with a knife. What a great group have assembled on our bus.

We arrived at our hotel in Tiberias while it was still light so everyone could see the Sea of Galilee and hear the waves splashing on the shore right below our bedroom windows (everyone has a seaside room with a balcony). Those who rise early will see the fishermen coming in right below our rooms.

Dinner was excellent and everyone had a free evening — though most went straight to bed, tired from their long flights. Tomorrow we go to the Mountain of Transfiguration, renew wedding vows in Cana and celebrate Mass at the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth where Gabriel first announced the Good News to Mary and where the Word became flesh HERE!

We will be praying each Mystery of the Rosary where it happened and having Mass at the most holy sites in the world!


  • De Maria says:

    I was immediately attracted to the name “Stella Maris”. For several years, I prayed the Ave Maria Stella (i.e Hail Star of the Sea) which is a beautiful poem about our Lady. Is there a story behind the Church at Stella Maris?

  • Scott and Andrea Howell and Family says:

    Hello from snowy Nebraska! We can’t wait to hear about you trip. Please pray for Andrea and baby Howell and for God’s will on the house. We love you and miss you.

  • Larry Skendzel says:

    Blessings on the start of your journey! My mother and father (Larry and Jean) will be especially in my heart and on my mind in prayer as they renew their vows in Cana after 50 years of marriage this February. We are all inspired by the love you show one another. Sto Lat!! (Polish for long life) Love, the cold snowy Marquette Skendzels

  • Anne Cnockaert says:

    I wanted to send out a quick hello to my mother Mary Cnockaert and her friend Joanne. It’s so nice to see your trip got off to a good start and I’m having fun living vicariously through this video presentation. Looks like your tour guides are treating you well. I miss you and look forward to hearing all about your trip when you come back next week! Keep having a wonderful time! Love, Anne, Susan & Nisha!

  • Jeanine Skendzel says:

    Wow! So wonderful to virtually take in this experience with you! Thank you for bringing us on this journey with you! You all look great! You are in our thoughts and prayers. The Skendzel family sends our special blessings to our Mom and Dad as they renew their wedding vows after 50 years of marriage. You are such an inspiration and strength to us all! We Love You!

  • Tre Lieben says:

    Congratulations to everyone for successfully completing the first step in your exciting journey. Thanks to God for everyone arriving safe. Our three sons spent three hours tonight watching the video and researching the fantastic places you have seen. We cannot wait to share your next journey. Godspeed.

  • Rita & Dave Dryden says:

    Hi Jean and Larry Skendzel!!!! We witnessed your airport arrival, med. overlook, mass attendance and dinner via the wonder of the internet. This is going to be your 15 minutes of hollywood stardome and fame. You guys look great and we are very glad everything is going so well. Have a happy and holy time. We already wish we were there with you on such an interesting journey.

  • St. Mary School & Parish Staff says:

    We want to say hello to Fr. James & Mary Nurenberg and the crew from St. Mary Parish. We miss you but are glad to see you’re having a good time and we are excited that we get to share some of your journey with you. Keep us in your prayers as you walk “in the footsteps of Jesus!”

    From the St. Mary School & Parish Staff

    Hi Jen! Love Barb

  • St. Mary Staff says:

    Hello to Fr. James, Mary Nurenberg and the rest of the St. Mary Parish crew. We miss you but are glad to see that you are having a good time. We are excited that we can share in some of your journey. Remember to pray for us as you “follow in the footsteps of Jesus!”

    From the St. Mary School & Parish Staff

    Hi Jenny! From Barb

  • Emily Cnockaert says:

    The trip looks great so far! I’m so proud of my mom, Mary Cnockaert, for making the long journey to Israel! Wish I could be there with you. Have fun and be safe. See you when you get home!

    Love, Emily and Tim

  • Craig & Allison Pohl says:

    Hello mom and dad! The whole family is watching you…with every new video it’s like playing a game of ‘where’s Waldo’, first one to spot mom and dad wins special graces…. We’re so excited for you and so proud of you! We’re praying for you and everyone on the trip. Can’t wait to hear all about it!
    Craig and Allison

    p.s. please tell Fr. James that everything at the parish is fine. Craig has taken over all of the pastoral duties and has made only a few necessary changes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *