Holy Land Parish Group from North Dakota – May 2014
07 May 2014 to 16 May 2014
About the Pilgrimage
Day 1: Arrival
Two buses came zooming north from the airport in Tel Aviv to our hotel in Tiberias. No lost luggage. All is well. Enjoy the first day via video. Day ended with Mass on the shores of Galilee.
Transfigured, Weddings Renewed, “Hail Mary”
Our May group is doing just fine. Many of them are from North Dakota and they’re glad it’s a little cooler here than normal. Everybody is very punctual and cooperative which makes for a wonderful pilgrimage.
We started the day on top of the Mount of Transfiguration where we had Mass. It’s always a great way to start the first full day. “Imagine,” people say, “how can you do better than this?” Well, we keep showing them better and better every day. Wedding vows were renewed in Cana – always a moving moment for everyone. How would you like as much as you can eat grilled chicken and kabobs “Nazareth-style”? That’s what the lunches are like in the hometown of Jesus.
Everything began at Nazareth. That’s where 15-year-old Mary lived in a cave when the angel came and announced the good news. When Mary accepted she conceived and the cells in her womb, though too small to be seen by the human eye, were already 100% human and 100% divine. God had become flesh. Without Nazareth that would be no Bethlehem: and without Nazareth there would be no Jerusalem and no salvation.
The altar (which you will see in this video) says on it, “The Word became Flesh HERE!”
Enjoy the video and join us day on a pilgrimage of a lifetime, certainly the most Catholic and organized pilgrimages available.
Defending the Eucharist, Jesus Ate these Fish, Is Mary an Ark?, Up to Jerusalem
Unusually wonderful weather, cool, dry and nice breeze. Started by sailing the Sea of Galilee, Mass at Capernaum where Jesus said, “Eat My Flesh,” my talk on Defending the Eucharist.
Then we ate St. Peter’s Fish just like Jesus and his disciples then the fun ride to Jerusalem. I told my conversion story on both buses. Then we went into the Hill Country of Judea. Everyone was surprised how far Mary walked to visit her relative Elizabeth – over 100 miles.
I told the group why and how I came to understand the doctrines of Mary and I taught them how to defend the Marian dogmas. Then to our majestic Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem, owned by the Pope. He will actually visit here for four hours in the next two weeks when he visits the Holy Land.
Great day; enjoy the movie.
We Even had to Move a Car! Great Day with the Birth of Our Lord
Mass at the Tomb of Christ, Touching the Top of Calvary, Praying the Real Stations of the Cross
Another great day. Perfect weather and excited pilgrims. We started early this morning walking the Stations of the Cross and then touching the top of Calvary. The perfect sequence was to celebrate Mass at the Tomb of Christ and to enter and touch the place where he lay.
Everybody was in tears and overwhelmed with the whole experience.
Then we went to the Paternoster where Jesus taught his disciples to pray the OUR FATHER and where he ascended into heaven.
Everyone had the afternoon off to go exploring, praying, napping, or whatever they decided to do. At 5:00 PM we had the most wonderful Holy Shroud Exhibit. Then dinner and a free evening.
All is well and and all the pilgrims are doing well, excited and enjoying themselves. Many of them have been in tears throughout the trip.
Birthplace of Mary, Dormition of Mary, Tomb of Mary and much more
Perfect acoustics. That is why the Muslims did not destroy this church after they kicked the Crusaders out. We sang and prayed there. It is the birthplace of Mary and the place Jesus healed the cripple in John chapter 5.
Oh, I forgot to tell you which church. It is the church where we celebrate and pray for grandparents and grandchildren – the place where Jesus’ grandparents lived, the Church of St. Ann.
Mass at Gethsemane is always a moving and tearful experience. I explain how this garden is a rewind of the first garden. The first Adam brought death at the tree of life; the 2nd Adam Jesus entered another garden and brought life at the tree of death.
I gave my 20-minute talk on the History of Salvation from Adam until today overlooking Jerusalem before we went to lunch at a Jewish kibbutz.
Mount Zion is replete with meaning and biblical significance. The Upper Room was closed since they are getting it ready for the Pope to celebrate Mass there in a few days. But we did see the Dormition on Mary and the Prison of Jesus and the holy steps at Peter in Gallicantu.
Some free time this afternoon before dinner when everyone takes a nap or scatters through the Old City of Jerusalem to pray, explore or shop. Enjoy!
Israel Museum, Jericho, Dead Sea, Camel Rides
Another perfect day. Enjoy the videos. The first one is the adventures of the pilgrims and the second is what they thought of the whole pilgrimage along with a surprise announcement to mom.
Comments, Farewells, and Thanks.