A Catholic Pilgrimage to the
Including Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Haifa, Mount Carmel, Nazareth,
Cana, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha,
Capernaum, Mount Tabor, the Jordan River, Jericho, Bethlehem,
Bethany, Masada, Qumran, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Ein Karem,
Emmaus & more.
Under the spiritual direction of Father Cirino & Father
November 20, 2015 - Friday
NEW YORK/ TEL AVIV
Tour members gather at New York’s JFK Airport for our overnight
flight to the Holy Land.
Meals are served onboard.
November 21, 2015 - Saturday
Today we arrive in Tel Aviv. We are met by our Pilgrimage
Tours’ tour escort and taken through customs then board our
motor coach to transfer to our hotel on the Mediterranean Sea
for dinner and overnight.
November 22, 2015 - Sunday
CAESAREA / HAIFA / MOUNT CARMEL / NAZARETH / CANA /
After breakfast, we begin our tour of the Holy Land.
We drive north along the sand dunes of the Mediterranean
coast to Caesarea by the Sea, 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
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
Here we visit the shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and
see Elijah’s Cave.
Continuing on to Nazareth where Jesus grew up, we
celebrate Mass at 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 for our
celebration of Mass and a renewal of wedding vows where Jesus
performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at the
Finally, we arrive at our hotel on the Sea of
Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
November 23, 2015 - Monday
UPPER GALILEE / BEATITUDES / TABGHA /
After breakfast we depart for the Beatitudes where we retell
the ’Sermon on the Mount’ while standing on the Mount of
Beatitudes looking out over the Jordan Valley and the Sea of
Here we pause for our own celebration
Following Mass, we visit Tabgha (Heptagagon, “seven
springs”), where the multiplication of the
loaves and fishes is commemorated in the mosaic floors of the
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”.
Next we enjoy our “St. Peter’s lunch” on the Sea of
In the afternoon, we arrive in 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 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’.
Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.
November 24, 2015 - Tuesday
TABOR / JORDAN RIVER / JERICHO / JERUSALEM
We leave Galilee for our journey to Judea through
En route we ascend Mount Tabor- the Mount of
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.
Next we descend to the Jordan River and see the place
where Jesus was immersed by John the Baptist.
Here we renew our own baptismal promises in the cleansing
A drive through the lush Jordan valley brings us to the
oldest city in the world, Jericho, where the famed walls came
We celebrate Mass in Jericho at the Good Shepherd
From Jericho, we enter the harshness of the Judean desert that
underscores the trying moment at the Mount of Temptation where,
after 40 days of fasting, Jesus was tempted by Satan and
We turn toward Jerusalem and arrive for dinner and
November 25, 2015 - Wednesday
Our day begins with a short drive to the Shepherd’s Field with
its caves that were typical of the stables of Jesus’
It is here where the angel appeared to the shepherds and
led them to Bethlehem.
Here we pause for our own celebration of
Mass, we make the short drive to Bethlehem, the
of Jesus, and visit Manger Square and the Church of the
Here we will see the Grotto of the Holy Family and the
Cave of St. Jerome.
We also visit the adjacent St. Catherine’s Church.
While in Bethlehem, we have time for shopping beautiful
Olive wood carvings, crafts and other artwork.
In the afternoon, we return to Jerusalem and arrive at
the Mount of Olives, with its 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
Next we walk down the hill known as the “Palm Sunday
Road”, to Dominus Flevit Chapel on the site where Jesus wept
We visit the beautiful Church of the Assumption where we
see the Tomb of the Virgin Mary.
Finally, we visit the Church of All Nations and the
Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus suffered his agony.
Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
November 26, 20 15 - Thursday
Early this morning
we visit St. Anne’s Church as well as the
adjacent, open air Pool of Bethesda where Jesus performed a
miracle cure and the infirm have sought healing for centuries.
Next we recall the
final hours of Jesus’ life at Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the
Flagellation and the Arch of the Ecce Homo
“Behold, the man”, 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 time to explore this place of
Jesus’ tomb. From here we 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. Finally, we visit the
site of the first and second Jewish temples and now the Dome of
the Rock. The rest of our day is at leisure for prayer and
reflection. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
November 27, 2015 - Friday
/ MASADA / QUMRAN / THE DEAD SEA
After breakfast, our day begins with a visit to Bethany to see
the home While in Bethany, we 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.
We celebrate Mass
at the Church of St. Lazarus.
Following Mass, we proceed to Masada, where we ascend by cable
car on a spectacular ride to the top of the fortress palace of
Herod, which was made famous by Jewish Zealots during the Roman
siege from 70-73 AD.
We see the remains
of the fortifications, synagogue, storehouses, cisterns, and
century Byzantine Church.
In Qumran, we
literally look only a stones throw away, into the cave where
the original Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Interestingly, they
were found when a Bedouin boy broke a clay jar by throwing a
stone into the cave.
Our day concludes
with some beach time at the Dead Sea – the absolute lowest
point on Earth where the salty water is so buoyant that sinking
We return to
Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
November 28 & 29, 2015 – Saturday &
/ MOUNT ZION / EIN KAREM / EMMAUS / TEL AVIV / NEW
This morning we will visit Mount Zion where we visit 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. From here
we arrive at The Upper Room, (Room of the Last Supper and
Pentecost) a place of
prayer, song and praise. One of Jerusalem’s
Dormition Abbey represents Mary having passed into eternal
life, asleep, in grand Byzantine décor. We also visit King David’s
tomb. Next we
visit the Israeli Museum and see its model of the Second Temple
as it was in the time of Jesus, and the “Shrine of the Book”,
with its Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. In the afternoon we drive to
Ein Karem for a visit to the birthplace of John the Baptist,
where we celebrate Mass. Following Mass, those who
wish may climb up the hill to visit the Church of the
Visitation. It is
here where the Blessed Virgin Mary proclaimed her famous hymn
of thanksgiving known as the Magnificat. Next we arrive in the
traditional location of Emmaus, in the town of Abu Ghosh where
we visit its beautiful Emmaus church. Finally, we return to
Jerusalem for this evening’s “Farewell Dinner” at the Pope John
Paul II Spiritual Center. 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
our Bible and seeking Christ as pilgrims in this life will
forever take on new meaning for every one of us.