Holy Land & Jordan with Fr. Vasek, February 2018

31 January 2018 to 09 February 2018



Israel Group Arrives to Join our Jordan Group

The group that went to Jordan first has arrived in Israel. Now the group that is coming only for the Israel portion has arrived.

All is well and everyone is happy. Tomorrow we begin our first day with two both groups included.

Beatitudes, Caesarea Philippi, Golan, Syrian Border, Multiplication, Primacy

With both groups together we had our first full day in Galilee. Of course, Mass at the Mount of Beatitudes is always special in the homily was especially good. You can hear it HERE.

Everyone had a great time – fun, devout, inquisitive and punctual group.

I gave my talk on “Peter: the Rock and the Keys” at Banias. At the Sea of Gallilee I gave my talk on Peter’s denial of Jesus and the meanings of the word love. Enjoy!

Transfiguration, Wedding Vows in Cana and lots in Nazareth

This is one of peoples’ favorite days although every day is special here. The taxi ride up the mountain to the Transfiguration Church is always exciting and gets a lot of “oohs and ahs.”  Another great homily in the beautiful Church of the Transfiguration – a church built to be filled with light – guess why 😏

(Picture: one of our great drivers Haim)

All the married couples renewed their wedding vows in Cana of Galilee and I gave one of my talks there on the Gospel of John chapter 2.

Lunch in Nazareth was followed by a visit to the Church of Annunciation and the House of the Holy Family and I gave my talk “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.”

The Church of Annunciation is the home parish of our guide Amer so it is fascinating to hear him explain the history and meaning of his own parish church. Imagine having your church be the place where the Angel Gabriel first spoke to Mary!!

Another fantastic day which ended at the Magdalena Restaurant, which is claimed by many people to be the finest restaurant in Israel. Nice end to a great day! Enjoy!

Sailing Galilee, Mass at Capernaum, eating St. Peter’s Fish, Visitation...

Today was a big day because we leave Galilee and head to Jerusalem. But first we saw the ancient boat from the time of Christ, then we had Mass at Capernaum where Jesus said, “Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood” where I gave my talk “Defending the Eucharist”. For Fr. Vasek’s great homily, click HERE.

Then we ate St. Peters Fish at our favorite restaurant here for lunch. I told my conversion story on both buses on the way to Jerusalem.

We stopped at the Church of Visitation and I reminded people that Mary had walked all that way to visit her relatives Elizabeth, which was about 100 miles.

Arrived at the Notre Dame Center, had a great meal and then to bed. Enjoy the video and we will see you in Bethlehem tomorrow.

Bethlehem All Day and Solemn Entry to Jesus’ Tomb

Everyone was excited to spend the day in Bethlehem because it’s like a different world. There are 4000 years of history here all the way from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through King David, the birth of Jesus, all the way to our own time.

Touching the birthplace of Christ is very emotional and a highlight for many people. We went shopping for olivewood, had Mass in the cave where the shepherds were on the first Christmas eve (watch homily here) and ate at the Christmas Tree Restaurant.

But the capstone of the day was the Solemn Entry with the Franciscans as we were given special entry into the tomb of Jesus Christ. Enjoy!

Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, Dinner and Dancing in Bethlehem

great day starting with Mass at Gethsemane (homily here) and visiting the top of the Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended back ito heaven.

Lunch at a Jewish kibbutz before Steve’s talk The Story of Salvation History as we overlooked Jerusalem.

Mount Zion, Death of Mary, Upper Room and Prison of Christ on Holy Thursday  before dinner and dancing in Bethlehem.

Dinner and dancing in Bethlehem

Via Dolorosa, Calvary, Mass at Tomb Weatern Wall...

Busy day! Enjoy!

Camels, Dead Sea, Museum, Jericho and more

Our last full day in Israel. This is the fun day when we go to Jericho, the Jordan River, swim in the Dead Sea, ride camels and much more.

Our final Mass was very moving and the homily was exceptional. You can hear the homily HERE.

We also have a video here of all the people saying goodbye, with compliments and comments and farewells.

Farewells & Comments

About the Pilgrimage


Watch the entire 90 minute Holy Land pilgrimage video below. (the video of the Jordan Extension is also available).

Holy Land

Holy Land Pilgrimage February 2018 from Steve Ray on Vimeo.


Jordan Pilgrimage February 2018 from Steve Ray on Vimeo.