Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 5

by Steve Ray on September 5, 2007

To see the whole pilgrimage with all the videos click here 
www.FootprintsOfGodPilgrimages.com > The Pilgrimages > Virtual Pilgrimages > September 2007 Holy Land & Egypt Pilgrimage

We walked into the Old City of Jerusalem for a High Mass at the Tomb of Christ. Yup, what a treat! I was able to secure the High Mass so that my pilgrims all sat with the Franciscans immediately in front of the Tomb for a 45 minute Mass presided over by Fr. Steve Burr and Fr. Bernie Fraser. Even the video cannot show the emotion, the sense of awe and the personal touch of God at this Mass.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has a powerful pipe organ. With the pipes blaring, Franciscans singing, and all the other wonderful sounds reverberating through this one-of-a kind place on all the earth. This is the place where the 2nd Person of the Trinity, God himself died and was buried and rose again on the third day. Words cannot describe . . . .

After Mass we took a group picture on the steps to the right of the entrance, then back to the Notre Dame for breakfast. We boarded the bus at 9:30 AM and headed south to Bethlehem. We passed through the Security Fence, the huge concrete wall, all arrived at the shop. Everyone had been chewing at the bit to get some shopping down so here I promised them we could "shop ‘til you drop." It is a Christian shop called Nissan Bros. and it helps support 63 Christian families in Bethlehem.

After my friend Ephrem the own recited the Our Father in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, everyone bought olive wood gifts and all sorts of religious items. Then through a gauntlet of street vendors and went to the Christmas Tree Restaurant run by three Christian brothers for a delicious lunch “Bethlehem Fast Food Lunch” of Falafil or Swarma sandwiches packed into pita bread.

Then to the Church of the Nativity. How does one process the profound importance of this site? As we processed into the grotto under the Church where Mary gave birth to Jesus and laid him in the manger — how can you really grasp the depth of the mystery, where time and eternity met, where God was revealed to the world as a helpless baby. Born of a mother without a father, he was Son of the Father without a mother. Creator of the universe, He now became part of that very material world.

After the Church of the Nativity we drove across a small valley to Shepherd’s Field where the angels sang on Christmas Eve to notify the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. Why were the Shepherds the first to know of the birth of Jesus? Shepherds are always the first to know of the birth of a lamb—Jesus the Lamb of God.

Upon entering Jerusalem, we went to the Israel Museum where we spent time at the ½ acre Jerusalem Model—an exact replica of the city of Jerusalem during the time of Christ. We walked around and explained the history of the Bible as it pertained to the 2nd Temple Period city of Jerusalem.
After doing a live interview by cell phone with Teresa Tomeo of Catholic Connections, we then visited the Shrine of the Book which is devoted to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Lunch then on to the Promenade which is one of the best views of Jerusalem from a lookout point. I explained everything we would see and the places we would be walking over the next few days.
We had some free time back at our hotel and then a delicious dinner before going to bed for an early start tomorrow. Some of the more hearty souls took off to explore the Old City after dark.


  • Susan Boskey says:

    We have savored every detail of your pilgramage through the Holy Land on your blog. What a wonderful, exciting experience that must be for all of you! To be at the place where Jesus was born!!! What could be better than that? We enjoy seeing Fr. Fraser on the screen, and especially our mom, Jane Theeck! We love you and miss you granny!! Enjoy the rest of your adventures, everyone… We are with you in spirit! God Bless!

    Love, Bill and Sue, Billy, Kristie, Kevin and Josh

  • Mark & Richelle Renfer says:

    Wow, what an amazing day. We are sitting here overwhelmed by the video. We are looking forward to hearing about all of this when you get back.


    Mark & Richelle

  • Jackie McEachern Fox says:

    Hi Everyone,

    We are thoroughly enjoying the YouTube videos as we follow your journey through the Holy Land. It is nothing less than amazing that you are all even there, and we can track your progress through modern technology.

    Our mother, Nina McEachern, and brother, Paul McEachern, are on the trip with you. I don’t know if this is the correct forum with which they said we could communicate with them, but here goes. We’d like them to know we received their phone messages and are all watching this blog. The grandkids are loving it, too.

    Please tell Paul we can’t wait to see that crucifix. Tell Nina that tomorrow is the big day for me, and she’ll know what that means. I’ll let her know how everything turns out.

    We hope everybody has a wonderful time as you continue your incredible trip. Enjoy every single moment you are there. Stay safe, and be well!!

    Paul’s Lovliest Sister & Mom’s favorite, by far

  • Wencley's & Hutto's says:

    Hi Papa & Grandma Dorrie-

    What an AMAZING trip! We’re right with you…keeping updated each day with the latest video.

    Love and miss you both. Many prayers, kisses and hugs…

    Carson, Cole, Avery, Gannon, Scarlett, Cross, Palmer & Finn

  • Jim Cooley says:

    Mom and Dad,
    You will get a kick out of the fact that Megan and I just spoke (and laughed) over the phone about who is the favorite child based on who posted a message on the blog first. What wonderful sister I have.
    Looks like you guys are having a blast. Can’t wait to hear about your travels. We love you.
    Jim (the first blogger – “yes!”)

  • Christen Hill says:

    Looks like an amazing trip, can’t wait to hear about it when you get home. Don’t forget to bring me back something for my kitchen 🙂


  • Jan Markee says:

    Hi Cordie,

    What a marvelous trip!!! I’m so happy for you that you finally made it. I can’t imagine the overwhelming feeling of love and history. I’ll keep checking on your progress.


Leave a Reply

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