Jordan and Israel – February 2019 (SOLD OUT)

13 February 2019 to 22 February 2019


You can watch the full length Pilgrimage below or download it here.


Israel Pilgrims Arrive to Join the Jordan Group

Since I was with the Jordan group crossing over from the other side, I was not able to get a lot of videos and pictures from the group coming in fresh to Israel.

But all of them arrived safely and in good shape and had a quick dinner and a Mass and are now sound asleep getting ready for a big first day tomorrow joining all of those who have already been going through Jordan. We will blend together well and have a great pilgrimage through the Holy Land together.

Israel Day 2: Transfiguration, Cana and Nazareth

We have 2 priests, 8 deacons and 1 Catholic Radio Personality – Teresa Tomeo! What a line up for this amazing pilgrimage. This was our first full day and what a blessed day it was. Three Rosary Mysteries prayed on site today.

We started with Mass on top of Mount Tabor – the Mountain of Transfiguration. You can hear/see Fr. Dan’s full introductory homily here. Amer gave the history of each site and I gave the biblical meaning of the sites (like we do throughout the trip). Fun!!

Next to Cana to renew wedding vows and my talk on St. John chapter 2 (see below). Then to Nazareth for an authentic meal at a family-run Christian restaurant. Next, we prayed the 1st Joyful Mystery WHERE THE WORDS WERE SPOKEN – “Hail Full of Grace…” I gave my talk “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.”

Back to the hotel for free time and a great dinner and a good night sleep.



Beatitudes, “You are Peter (Rock),” Golan, Multiplication, Peter’s Primacy and more

Mass and prayer at Mount of Beatitudes. Homily at Beatitudes here.

North to Banias (Caesarea Philippi) where Jesus appointed Peter as Royal Steward of his kingdom (Matt16). Druze lunch and driving through the Golan Heights. Drive near Syrian border with profound explanation of situation in Middle East by Amer.

Back to Sea of Galilee to visit Multiplication of Loaves and the Church of Primacy for Steve’s talk on St. John 21. Free time and then fabulous dinner at Magdelena.

Israel Day 4: Capernaum, Boat Ride, St. Peter’s Fish, Visitation and Jerusalem!

Mass at Capernaum is always a great way to start the day. The readings are from the Gospel of St. John chapter 6 “ Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” Fr. Dan’s excellent homily here. I give my talk There entitled “Defending the Eucharist.”

From there we get on a boat and voyage out to the center of the sea of Galilee for talks, singing and reflection (not just on the water 🙂 Our guide Amer gives a great talk (allegory) about the two seas in Israel watch/hear his talk here.

Then to one of our favorite lunch restaurants and eat Saint Peters fish. Good experience for everyone 🙂

Then I tell my conversion story on the drive south to Jerusalem. But first we stop at the Visitation and I give my talk about defending the Catholic church’s teaching on Mary. We finally arrive at the majestic Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem for dinner and bed.

Bethlehem All Day! Nativity, Mass in a Cave, Passover Lamb, Dancing and more

All day in amazing Bethlehem. I gave my overview of the history of Bethlehem as were driving through the checkpoint into the Palestinian West Bank. We give everyone time for shopping (which is our one and only time for doing such). Mass in a cave at Shepherds Field

Next to the Church of Nativity to see the birthplace of Christ. With the normal pushing and shoving we navigated through the crowds to touch the birthplace of Christ. A short drive to the care Carmelite Carmelite Monastery to venerate the bones of an Arab saint recently canonized. Her name is Saint Miriam of Jesus crucified.

We ended the day with a marvelous meal at the Grotto Restaurant which gives you a sense that you’re in a Bedouin tent. We had roasted lamb and platters of salads wit wine – and then came the dancing!



Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, Upper Room and more

We started the day with Mass at Gethsemane. The homily was exceptional and you can see/hear it here. From there we went to the top of the Mount of Olives to visit the cave where Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Our Father. It is also from here that Jesus ascended into heaven.

Then to lunch at Ramat Rachel Kibbutz before visiting Mount Zion. We talked about and prayed at the Upper Room before going to St. Peter in Gallicantu where Jesus was tried by the High Priest and imprisoned over Holy Thursday.

We returned back to the Notre Dame where people had a couple hours to regroup and rest before dinner. Great day!

To the Cross with Jesus: Via Dolorosa, Mass at Calvary, Visit the Tomb, Western Wall, Dinner on the Roof

We walked out the door of the hotel at 3:30 AM and we carried our crosses along that Via Dolorosa. We all touched the top of Calvary before we had Mass where Jesus hung bleeding for our sins. It’s a good thing we started early this morning because by 5:00 AM the church was already packed!

We took a tour of the Holy Sepulchre, came back for breakfast, did a very nice tour of the Holy Shroud Exhibit, and then to the Western Wall. Lunch at Rossini’s and a free afternoon and a visit to the Tomb of Jesus. We had a great dinner on the roof of Notre Dame looking out over the city. Enjoy a great day with us!

Last Day, Fun Day! Museum, Jordan River, Jericho, Dead Sea, Camels...

Today is the last full day of our pilgrimage. For those who started with us and Jordan it has been two weeks of adventures together. For those who joined us in Israel we’ve had eight days together. All has gone amazingly well but unhappily several people have come down with colds and fevers.

Some people took the option to have this as a free day and are scattering to visit friends, visit sites they want to see, or just stay back and rest.

The rest of us started the day with Mass at St. Stephen’s in honor of the eight deacons that we have with us. Deacon Dave’s homily here. From there to the Israel Museum to see the Temple Model and the Dead Sea Scrolls before heading down to the Jordan River.

We have an exciting thing happening at the Jordan River! A young lady with us will be baptized in the river with the approval of her pastor back home and Fr. Dan here. Everyone’s excited for that.

We’ll have lunch in Jericho, go to Qumran, swim in the Dead Sea and ride camels before coming back to the hotel for dinner, a short night’s rest and the flights back to the United States.


Thanks from a Deacon and his Wife (and a Travel Agent) - Lovely!

Dear Steve and Janet,

We know you are most likely very busy preparing for your next Holy Land departure.

It has been almost one week since our own return and the fruit of our Holy Land pilgrimage continues to manifest itself in our lives.  As Deacon Steve has said, it was a trip of a lifetime.

We each took away our own personal highs and many shared “couple” moments that we will remember in this lifetime and, God willing, take with us into the next.

We know you must receive many compliments for the well-planned and thought-out pilgrimages you lead.  And, we would be ones who would echo that!  For us, we could see how invested you both are culturally, socially and spiritually with our brethren in the Holy Land making this pilgrimage seem very personal.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to build up His kingdom. Our prayers are with you as you lead another group of God’s holy people.

May God bless each of you with peace, joy, good health and many blessings,

Deacon Steve and Carol


Brian and I agree totally. We were just watching the video of our Holy Land trip with you last September, and it reaffirmed our commitment to return to the Holy Land again with you next year. It is something we will remember for the rest of our lives. We have been blessed to have traveled quite a bit in our life, but nothing can compare to the Holy Land, and I would not travel there with anyone else but you.

And I am a travel agent and have many opportunities to travel with anyone I choose to go with. I have told many of my friends in our parish about your pilgrimages and encourage them to contact you so that they can have as wonderful and spiritual a journey as Brian and I did. God bless you and Janet. Hope to see you next year.

About the Pilgrimage

You can watch the Jordan extension of the trip here.

Scroll down towards the end to see the daily videos of our current trip…

This is our favorite time of year to visit the Middle East – smaller crowds and cooler weather. Lovely time to visit the Holy Land!!

On this pilgrimage that is open for all, we are also giving a special invitation to Deacons and their wives to join this trip along with Deacon Dominic Pastore and Teresa Tomeo Pastore. They will share a lot along the way — along with Steve Ray. The pilgrimage will give some special emphasize tp the ministry of a deacon and give an opportunity for them to see the Gospel in full color, learn, pray and go home enriched, with their ministry enhanced.

We will also have a Mass that we do not include on other trips — the place of St. Stephen’s Martyrdom at the Church of St. Stephen in Jerusalem

This is a beautiful time of the year to tour the Holy Land. Not too hot with fewer crowds. We have the best Mass sites selected for you and we will visit every Rosary site and pray that Mystery while there. For this group we are also including Mass at St. Stephen’s where the first martyr was stoned and buried. Join us!

Steve and Janet have partnered with the same Catholic Nazarene guide for all their trips over the last decade. Amer is a practicing Catholic and a walking encyclopedia. We consider him the finest Christian guide in the Holy Land–and we are not alone in that assessment. Having a Christian guide is very important.

You’ll enjoy Steve and Janet’s trusted hotels and delicious meals including some amazing dinner experiences away from the typical hotel buffets.

Wine is provided with all dinners along with a wide range of cuisines to experience the Holy Land to it’s fullest.


You will receive their 110-page color handbook, daily YouTube videos so your family and friends can join you virtually every day and a fully edited movie of your trip upon your return home.

Steve personally teaches at the holy sites and shares experiences from over 150 previous trips to Israel and other biblical lands since 1995. We do everything we can to support the local Christians who only make up 1.5% of the population.

Daily Mass at the holiest sites and we pray every Mystery of the Rosary where it took place. Also, pray the Stations of the Cross on the way to Calvary and Mass at the Tomb.

Enjoy a group of like-minded Catholics from around the country for a marvelous pilgrimage through the land of our Lord and Our Lady. We will share ministry and ideas along the way– to help and encourage all the deacons and their wives.

Our priest will be one of Steve and Janet’s good friends who has joined them as chaplain numerous times. His name is Fr. Dan Good from Alabama and everyone loves his fine homilies, devout Masses and his joy and fun along the way.



An Invitation from Teresa Tomeo and Deacon Dom Pastore:



Is this Pilgrimage only for Deacons and their wives?

There is a special focus on inviting Deacons to participate on this pilgrimage, however, this all interested passengers are more than welcomed to join on this trip.

As a Deacon, will I be able to concelebrate at Mass?

We anticipate having a large number of Deacons traveling on this pilgrimage.  For those who wish to concelebrate at Mass, we will ensure you have the opportunity to do so at least once during the trip.  Details regarding the concelebration schedule will be forthcoming.

As a Deacon, what should I bring with me to concelebrate Mass?

Each Deacon who wants to concelebrate at Mass should bring a white alb, stole, and a current celebret with them on the pilgrimage.  We also ask that you submit a copy of your celebret to our office no later than November 1, 2018.

Will we celebrate any Masses that relate specifically to deacons?

Yes, we will celebrate Mass at the site where St. Stephen the first deacon and martyr was executed by stoning.