Pilgrimages

It is one thing to metaphorically “journey through
the Bible” by reading and studying the texts of
the Bible.  It is quite another to actually journey
through the Bible on foot and by bus!  The lands
of the Bible convey an understanding of the
Bible like nothing else!  The biblical texts can
never be fully understood outside of the ancient
contexts that produced them and the most fundamental
context for the Old and New Testaments is the land
itself.  To read in the Psalms,
“Let us go up to Jerusalem!” means something
quite new when one actually walks, literally,  up
into the Old City.  This climb up to the mount
brings home the fuller meaning of the texts;
texts like these that we read so often
that we are often dulled to their fuller meaning.

The word of our salvation, the history of our
salvation, comes from this land, these cities,
this ancient countryside.  God chose to reveal
Himself first here, in this place.  Coming to the
Holy Land awakens in us the thirst and hunger
to reconnect to God, to understand better our
relationship to Him and to one another as we
experience firsthand the lands where prophets
preached and Jesus walked, healed, and
taught.

In no other place can we bring to mind the
stories of God’s action in the world like we
can in Jordan, Egypt and the Holy Land.  No-
where but among the ruins of Ancient Egypt
- still magnificent even in their ruins – can we
appreciate the most ancient history of the Bible.
Where else can one actually feel  the experience
of the Exodus of the Jews from Egyptian
slavery but in the ancient cities of Egypt.
Nowhere else will the story of the destruction
of the first Temple mean anything like it does
when you are actually standing at the Western
Wall of the Temple Mount.  Nowhere else will
the story of Jesus’ cures mean as much as
when you are visiting the site of ancient
Bethsaida.  Nowhere else does the account
of Christ’s Resurrection mean as much as
when you are actually standing inside the
Church of the Holy Sepulcher which en-
shrines both Golgotha and Jesus’ tomb.
And even the history of the preservation of
the Bible itself means something quite real
and vivid when you are standing in the
middle of the ancient scriptorium that
produced the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Join us for a prayerful, spiritual and
enlightening journey in the lands that
witnessed the story of our Salvation from
the patriarchs of Genesis to the earliest
Christian communities!  I promise you
that you will never read the texts of the
Bible in the same way, after spending
time in the lands from which the Bible came!


I apologize for being so slow in getting
the information to you about upcoming
pilgrimages.

So, below, please find some information
about three upcoming pilgrimages.  Note
that each of the three is being sponsored by
three different travel agencies.  Contact
information for each agency is given with
each pilgrimage listed.

Jordan and Egypt -
October 14-24, 2008
Viking Travel

700 Pasquinelli Drive
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 321.1664

Itinerary
Start with 3 nights at the Dead Sea, the
lowest point on earth.  Enjoy a welcome
dinner, excursions to Amman, Jerash, Um
Quais, and Bethany Beyond-the-Jordan
where Jesus was baptized by John.
Travel to Mount Nebo, see the Madaba
Archaeological Museum, and Mukawir
where John the Baptist was imprisoned
and beheaded.  Continue via Wadi Mujib
and the Crusaders Castle of Kerak to
Petra.  In Lawrence of Arabia’s Wadi
Rum, enjoy a Jeep tour, then return to
the Dead Sea.  Fly from Amman to
Cairo to meet an Egyptologist for a day
of guided sightseeing.  Visit the Egyptian Museum, Memphis, Sakkara’s
“Stairway to the Sky”, Giza’s Sphinx, the
Great Pyramids, St. Sergius Church,
the Coptic Museum, St. Merurius
Church and enjoy a farewell dinner.

Pilgrimage to Jordan and
the Holy Land
- November 5 – 16, 2008
Trans World Travel
734 Central Avenue
Highland Park, IL 60035
(847) 432.2400

Itinerary
Upon arrival in Israel, we will motor to
the ancient city of Caesarea-by-the Sea
for our overnight stay.  The next day
we will tour this amazing city and then
move on to Nazareth, Cana and Tiberias
- sites of the home of the Holy family
where we will celebrate Mass in the
Basilica of the Annunciation and then
visit Cana, the site of the miracle at the
wedding feast.  While in Galilee we will
see ancient Beth Shean, a truly breath-
taking site of a vast and rich, ancient
city.  We will travel to Jericho to visit the
ancient Tel and see the archeological
excavations there.

Later that day we cross into Jordan,
the Hashemite Kingdom where
we’ll visit Petra – the Rose City.  From
there we’ll travel to Jerash – the Greco-
Roman city with its temples and
Roman forum.  Then to Mt. Nebo and
Madaba.   We will then go to Jerusalem
traveling through the Judean wilderness
to Ein Gedi and swim in the Dead
Sea.  We’ll see the remains of Qumran,
the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls
were hidden for 1800 years!  We’ll see
the mythic Masada, site of the great resistance battle by Jewish fighters
against the power of Rome.  We’ll visit
Jerusalem, and see all it has to offer
- the Wall, the City of David, the Dome
of the Rock, Pool of Bethesda, the
Church of the Holy Sepulcher – site of
both Golgotha and Jesus’ tomb.  We
will also visit Bethlehem and Bethany
and the great holocaust museum – Yad
Vashem.

These and other Biblical sites will fill
our minds and hearts as we drink in
the Land of the Bible.

Pilgrimage to the Holy
Land – The Holy Land -
November 30 -
December 10, 2008
AMI Travel
6119 N. Cicero Avenue, #1
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 777.4900

Itinerary
Day 1 – Depart Chicago on our way
to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Day 2 - Welcome Home! Arrive at
Tel Aviv’s airport where our representative greets us and gives us an
introduction about the forthcoming
program. Proceed to our hotel along
the shore of the Mediterranean, for
the overnight stay.

Day 3 – Drive along the coast to
Caesarea where Paul was imprisoned and Cornelius baptized, visit
the Roman Theatre, Aqueduct and
the Crusader ruins. Drive via Megiddo,
the biblical Armageddon, to Nazareth. Visit the magnificent
Church of the Annunciation built on
top of Virgin Mary’s house. Overnight stay in Galilee.

Day 4 – Tour the Sea of Galilee. Visit
Capernaum and Simon Peter’s House,
the Mount of the Beatitudes and Tabgha -
the site of the feeding of the multitudes.
Take a boat ride across the Sea of
Galilee and enjoy a St. Peter’s fish lunch
in Tiberias. Later, walk along the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized
and renew your baptismal promises. End
the day with a breathtaking view from the
top of Mt. Arbel - hiking down to our
Kibbutz hotel. Overnight stay in Galilee.

Day 5 – Today we visit the Golan Heights;
from Caesarea Philippi we hike through
the Roman city and along the Banias
River to the waterfall. Continue along the
Syrian-Israeli border to Gamla, Golan’s
capitol city, for a hike and visit to the
“Masada of the Golan”. Overnight in
the Galilee.

Day 6 -Drive south through the beautiful
Jordan Valley and visit the newly excavated Beth-Shean, capital of Roman
Palestine. Visit Jericho, view the Tel,
Zacheus’s Tree, Elisha’s spring and
the Mount of Temptation. Ascend to
Jerusalem for an overnight stay.

Day 7 – Walk into the old city of Jerusalem. Visit the various quarters and
the underground excavations. See the
Templeruins and the new Citadel
Museum amidst the buildings of old
Jerusalem. Later continue along the
Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre. Then, on to Mt. Zion to see
David’s Tomb, the Room of the Last
Supper and the Dormition Abbey.

Overnight stay in Jerusalem.

Day 8 – Today we experience our
walking tour “From Bethlehem to Jerusalem”. We’ll walk via the Convent of
St. Elia and observe the city of Jerusalem from “Yair” observation point at
Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, continue to
the Park of Olives and the Sherover
Promenade, where we will have a
breathtaking view of the old city of
Jerusalem. We will continue our journey
to the Dung Gate, and then return to
our hotel for the overnight stay.

Day 9 – In Jerusalem we visit the Mount
of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane,
the Garden Tomb, the room of the Last
Supper and the Church of Peter in Gallicantu (cock-crowing), built over the
palace of the high priest Caiaphas.
Drive to Bethlehem to visit the ancient
Church of Nativity, Manger Square, and
view the beautiful Shepherds’ Fields.
Overnight stay in Jerusalem.

Day 10 – Today we begin our journey
to the lowest point on Earth; the Dead
Sea area. Drive to Massada, site of the
Jewish zealots’ last stand against the
Romans. Continue our journey to the
Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea
Scrolls were found. Back to Jerusalem
for an overnight stay.

Day 11 – Morning at leisure. Your
guide directs you to places you
may visit at your own pace, or do
your last shopping. Afternoon drive
to Jaffa, to visit St. Peter’s Church
and the House of Simon the Tanner.
Enjoy our farewell dinner and transfer
to the airport for our late flight back to
the USA, or stay overnight for an
early morning transfer to airport
(pending flight schedule).

Day 12 – Arrival back to the USA.


Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
10 Days; Feb. 15-24, 2009

Viking Travel
700-C Pasquinewlli Dr.
Westmont, IL 60559
630.321.1664
800.233.3963
www.vikingtvl.com

Itinerary
Day 1 – Depart USA; layover in
Madrid

Day 2 – Arrive Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv
and transfer to our hotel in Jerusalem for
Dinner and Overnight

Days 3, 4, 5 & 6 - Spent in Jerusalem visiting
the many holy places in this holy city.  Among them, we’ll see Church of the Ascension,
the Mt. of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane,
the beautiful Church of All Nations.  As a group
we will make the Stations of the Cross along
the Via Dolorosa.  We will also see the more
modern sites of the Israeli parliament
(the Knesset) and Fr. Bill’s alma mater,
Hebrew University.  We will also visit
nearby Ein Karem, home of John the Baptist.
We will go to Bethlehem (very near
Jerusalem) and visit the Church of the Nativity.
Day 6 includes a visit to the Dead Sea and the
ruins of the Qumran settlement and see the
caves in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were
hidden.  Day 6 concludes with a spectacular
visit to the ancient fortress of Massadah.  En
route back to Jerusalem, on Day 6, we have
a chance to swim in the Dead Sea.

Day 7 – Depart Jerusalem for Galilee.  We
will pass through the Judean Desert, visiting
Jericho and the Mount of Temptations.  Once
in Galilee we will see the River Jordan and
visit the huge, excavated, ancient Roman
city of Beth Shean.

Day 8 – We cross the Sea of Galilee to visit
the ancient and modern city of Tiberias.
While here we will visit Capernaum and the
site of Peter’s House and the ancient
synagogue(s) of this ancient city where Jesus
spent so much time.  We will drive to the
Church of the Beatitudes for Mass and visit the
Franciscan shrine at Tabgha and the site
which commemorates Jesus’ ministry in
Galilee and view the ancient mosaic floor
of the Benedictine church., commemorating
the miracle of the loaves and fish.  At nearby
Cana we will visit the shrine of the Miracle
of the Wine and married couples will renew
their vows.  We then drive on to Nazareth and
visit the amazing Basilica of the Annunciation.

Day 9 – We visit Mt. Tabor to celebrate the
Mass of the Transfiguration.  Then we visit
Mt. Carmel; the site of Elijah’s confrontation
with the priests of Baal.  From here we depart
for the ancient Mediterranean port city - built
by Herod the Great – Caesarea.  This is followed
by a visit to Jaffa, where Peter had his roof top
vision (Acts 10).

Day 10 – Sadly, we transfer to the airport for our flight home.