A Catholic Pilgrimage Tour to The Holy Land & Jordan

Including Tel Aviv, Netanya, Caesarea, Haifa, Mount Carmel, Nazareth, Cana, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mount Tabor, Jerash, Amman, Mount Nebo, Petra, the Jordan River, Jericho, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bethany, Masada, the Dead Sea, Emmaus, Ein Karem & more. 


Under the spiritual direction of Father Manuel Holguin

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November 27, 2017 – Monday
Tour members depart the USA today en route to the Holy Land. Meals are served onboard our transatlantic flight.

November 28, 2017 – Tuesday
Today we arrive in Tel Aviv. We are met by our Pilgrimage Tours’ tour escort and then board our motor coach to transfer to our hotel on the Mediterranean Sea. Dinner and overnight in Netanya.

November 29, 2017 – Wednesday
After breakfast, we begin our tour of the Holy Land. We drive north along the sand dunes of the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea Maritima, built by King Herod just a decade before the birth of Jesus. The spectacular ruins were once the home of Pontius Pilate and the site of the trial of the Apostle Paul. Next we visit Haifa, where we see the St. Peter by the Sea Shrine. Ascending the heights of Mount Carmel for one Israel’s best views high above the Mediterranean we see the place where the prophet Elijah was instrumental in the defeat of the prophets of Ba’al. Here we visit the shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We continue on to Nazareth where Jesus grew up, to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, where the archangel Gabriel told Mary that she would “bring forth a son”. After visits to Mary’s Well and the Church of St. Joseph, site of Joseph’s carpentry shop, we proceed to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at the Wedding Feast. Here we celebrate Mass followed by a renewal of wedding vows. Dinner and overnight at our hotel on the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias.

November 30, 2017 – Thursday
After breakfast we depart for the Mount of Beatitudes where we retell the ’Sermon on the Mount’, followed by our own celebration of Mass outdoors overlooking the Jordan Valley and Sea of Galilee. Following Mass, we enjoy a classic boat ride across the tranquil waters of the Sea of Galilee recalling the miracle of walking on water and calling on Peter and Andrew to become ‘fishers of men’. We return to shore and drive to a local restaurant for our “St. Peter’s Lunch” on the Sea of Galilee. Following lunch, we visit Tabgha (Heptagagon, “seven springs”), where the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is commemorated in the mosaic floors of the Church of the Multiplication. We visit the nearby Church of the Primacy on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Peter received his commission from Jesus to “feed my lambs”. From Tabgha we continue on to the town where Jesus’ ministry was centered, Capernaum, where we see the remains of an early Church, the ruins of Peter’s House, and the ancient synagogue where Jesus preached. Our day concludes with a visit to Mount Tabor. We ascend Mount Tabor, to visit the Church of the Transfiguration. We see the place of the transfiguration in one of the most beautiful churches in the Holy Land, at the summit of the dome like mountain. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.

December 1, 2017 – Friday
This morning we drive through the Jordan Valley to the Sheikh Hussein Bridge where we cross into Jordan. Our first visit in Jordan is to the spectacular, ancient city of Jerash, the grandest survivor of the Decapolis, its great pillars and theatre still standing. Jerash is situated on lush land with lovely green foliage year round from its collection of various Oaks and Pines. Here we will see Hadrian’s Arch, the Hippodrome, the Oval Plaza as well as the Theatre, the Cardo and the Temples of Artemis and Zeus. Finally, we arrive in Amman for an orientation tour of this ancient city where we see the 2nd century Roman Amphitheater, as well as the Roman ruins of the Citadel and visit the Archaeological Museum. We celebrate Mass at Sacred Heart Parish before arriving at our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Amman.

December 2, 2017 – Saturday
This morning we visit Mount Nebo where God showed Moses the Promised Land. On a clear day, the view is quite dramatic and includes seeing the Jordan Valley and Jordan River, the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Jericho & the Dead Sea. Here we celebrate Mass at the Franciscan Church. Following Mass, we drive to one of the most popular destinations in the whole world; the “Rose Red City” of Petra. Here we visit the ancient Endomite and Nabatean capital with its famed gorge, ancient streets, dwellings and tombs, as well as incredibly beautiful temples carved into its multi-colored sandstone, is an extraordinary experience. We descend down the sandstone path and arrive at the famous Treasury of Petra. Here we enjoy free time before arriving at our hotel in Petra for dinner and overnight.

December 3, 2017 – Sunday
This morning we drive to the Jordan River and see the place where Jesus was immersed by John the Baptist and where pilgrims renew their baptismal promises to this day. Next we drive to the border and cross the Allenby Bridge into the Holy Land where we will visit the oldest city in the world, Jericho, where you can still see actual remains of the famed walls that came “tumblin’ down”. Here we see the famous Sycamore tree that Zaccheus climbed in order to see Jesus. While in Jericho, we visit and celebrate Mass at the Good Shepherd Church. Following Mass, we continue on to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

December 4, 2017 – Monday
This morning we drive to Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus, where we will spend some time in prayer at the site of Jesus’ birth inside the Church of the Nativity, St. Catherine’s, the Grotto of the Holy Family, and the Cave of St. Jerome. We depart Manger Square and Bethlehem for a short drive to the Shepherd’s Field with its caves that were typical of the stables of Jesus’ time. It is here where the angel appeared to the shepherds and led them to Bethlehem. In the afternoon, we return to Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives and enjoy a dramatic view of the walled Old City of Jerusalem. This is followed by a visit to the Church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught the “Our Father”, and the Chapel of the Ascension. Next we walk down the hill known as the “Palm Sunday Road”, to Dominus Flevit Chapel on the site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We arrive at the Garden of Gethsemane to celebrate Mass, followed by a visit to the Church of All Nations. Finally, we visit the Church of the Assumption, the beautiful place of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

December 5, 2017 – Tuesday
This morning we enjoy a visit to Mount Zion, beginning with Mass at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu – the House of Caiaphas, the place of the trial of Jesus and where Peter denied Christ three times. Following Mass we visit The Upper Room, (Room of the Last Supper and Pentecost) a place of prayer, song and praise. One of Jerusalem’s landmarks, the Dormition Abbey represents Mary having passed into eternal life, asleep, in grand Byzantine décor. From here we enter the city through Zion Gate and enter the Jewish Quarter and walk the “Cardo”, the ancient Roman road towards the Western Wall of the Temple or “Wailing Wall”, currently Judaism’s holiest site where people from around the world come to pray. From here we also see the Temple Mount, site of the first and second Jewish temples and now the Dome of the Rock. We visit nearby St. Anne’s Church and an opportunity to sing a hymn and then see the open air Pool of Bethesda where Jesus performed a miracle cure and the infirm have sought healing for centuries. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

December 6, 2017 – Wednesday
We awake early this morning and arrive at the Chapel of Flagellation and the Arch of the Ecce Homo “Behold, the man”, as well as the Lithostrotos where we see the ancient carvings in the stone floor of the basement. From here we will walk and pray along the Via Dolorosa – the “Stations of the Cross” where Jesus carried and fell beneath the weight of his cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We’ll celebrate Mass in this most holy of places followed by some free time to explore this place of Jesus’ tomb. In the afternoon we drive to Bethany to see the home of Mary and Martha and the Tomb of Lazarus where Jesus “cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth” and Lazarus was risen from the dead. Next we drive to Masada, the fortress palace of King Herod. We enjoy a spectacular ride as we ascend Masada by cable car. Finally, it is “beach time” at the Dead Sea – the absolute lowest point on Earth where the salty water is so buoyant that sinking is IMPOSSIBLE. Following our time at the Dead Sea, we return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

December 7 – 8, 2017 – Thursday & Friday
This morning we visit the Israeli Museum and its model of the Second Temple as it was in the time of Jesus, as well as the “Shrine of the Book”, with its Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. Next we drive to the traditional location of Emmaus, in the town of Abu Ghosh where we visit its beautiful church. We continue on to Ein Karem for a visit to the birthplace of John the Baptist, and then continue on to the Church of the Visitation, where we celebrate Mass. It is here where the Blessed Virgin Mary proclaimed her famous hymn of thanksgiving known as the Magnificat. Following Mass, we return to Jerusalem for this evening’s “Farewell Dinner”. Following dinner, we proceed to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport for our late night return flight to the United States. We arrive back home the following morning. Though we come to the end of our time of pilgrimage, our faith is deepened, our hearts stirred. Reading our Bible and seeking Christ as pilgrims in this life will forever take on new meaning for every one of us.