HOLY LAND EXPERIENCE
NOV. 02 - 12, 2023
WITH FR. MICHAEL SUSZYNSKI
THE HOLY LAND
Walk where Jesus Walked
If you desire to draw closer to Jesus of Nazareth, come, as we follow in His footsteps. You will have time to renew and affirm your faith each day of your pilgrimage; to pray and reflect. The Scriptures will come alive as you visit Our Lord's homeland. You will be inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape, in addition to its rich historical heritage. It is an encounter that has changed the lives of many pilgrims, an act of faith and prayer. Pilgrims have been traveling to the Holy Land for hundreds of years, and as part of your pilgrimage, we include many of the rich traditions that have evolved over time. The maxim at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity says: "We are hoping that: If you enter here as a tourist, you would exit as a pilgrim. If you enter here as a pilgrim, you would exit as a holier one." We pray that same will occur when you join this Holy Land Pilgrimage Experience with Amazing Catholic Journeys!
DAY 1 (Nov 2)
From EWR (Gateway) to Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv
Welcome visitors to your site with a short, engaging introduction.
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Welcome visitors to your site with a short, engaging introduction.
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DAY 2 (Nov 3)
ARRIVE TEL AVIV, JAFFA, CAESAREA MARITIMA,
MASS AT MAGDALA
Arrive Tel Aviv. Tour group will be met at the airport and assisted with arrival procedures. Visit the following sites Jaffa (Joppa) – Drive to the city of Joppa for lunch, where the prophet, Jonah embarked for his fateful encounter with a whale (Jonah 1:3); Drive to Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great in 22 BC, ancient center of Roman governors including Pontius Pilate, where St. Peter baptized the first Gentile convert (Cornelius) and where the Romans held Paul prisoner.
Marvel at the well-preserved Roman Theater, the fortress, the Harbor, and the Roman Aqueduct. Drive to Tiberias for Check-in at Hotel Magdala. Late Mass celebration at Magdala Chapel after dinner.
DAY 3 (Nov 4)
Mass at Mount Carmel/Stella Maris Convent, Mount of Beatitudes,
Tabgha, Peter’s Primacy,
Scenic Boat Ride at Sea of Galilee
After early breakfast, head towards Haifa through the Carmel Mountains and visit the Stella Maris Convent at Mt. Carmel (the largest Carmelite Monastery) Celebrate Mass at Mount Carmel - we will renew our scapular promises and be invested in the Society of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. (Please bring your own brown Carmelite scapular); Visit Elijah’s cave, where the prophet occasionally lived; It is in Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18);
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Stella Maris
Enjoy panoramic views overlooking the city of Haifa & Baha’i Garden; Drive to back to Tiberias, listen to Jesus’ words from His Sermon on the Mount at Mount of Beatitudes; Visit Tabgha, the fruitful garden where Jesus fed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:30-46), we shall see the mosaic commemorating the miracle of this multiplication in the nearby Chapel; Visit the Church of Peter’s Primacy (John 21:16). Here on the shore of Galilee, Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His resurrection and confirmed Peter in the role as Vicar of Christ with the words, “Feed My Sheep”. The rock emerging from the center of the church is the actual table at which they ate breakfast; From here, we will proceed to the Museum of the Ancient Boat and then take a sunset, scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Enjoy the beautiful Sea of Galilee! We will sing/dance to praise and worship our Lord! Jesus was seen walking on this sea; Dinner & Overnight at our hotel;
DAY 4 (Nov 5)
Mass at Basilica of Annunciation-Nazareth; Holy Family House,
Mary’s Well; Synagogue,
Renewal of Wedding Vows in Cana,
Mount Tabor, Capernaum, Yardenit
Drive to Nazareth, celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Annunciation – where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would become the mother of the Son of God; And here Mary uttered her FIAT: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”; The lower level of the Church of the Annunciation enshrines a sunken grotto that contains the traditional cave-home of the Virgin Mary Visit St. Joseph's Church & cave house of the Holy Family – the church is built over the carpentry workshop of the husband of the Virgin Mary. Visit Mary's Well – where Mary would fetch water for the Holy Family is inside the Church of Angel Gabriel; Visit the Synagogue –where Jesus first learned, prayed & later preached as a young man Visit Church of Cana & celebrate renewal of marriage vows for married couples,the traditional site of Jesus’ first miracle (changing water into wine during a wedding feast), at the request of Mary. It was here also that He blessed marriage and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament. Married couples: you may renew your marriage vows as a lasting remembrance of this holy site and p bring a nice attire to commemorate this lasting occasion. Wine tasting after ceremony. Visit Mount Tabor, traditional site of Jesus’ Transfiguration and see the beautiful Basilica and the rock under the altar where the Transfiguration took place. It is here where Jesus’ revealed His Divine Glory to the apostles (Matt 17:2). We will then visit Capernaum, where Peter lived and where Jesus began his public ministry (Matt. 4:13) and performed many miracles. There he began teaching in its Synagogue, cured a leper, healed the centurion’s servant, cast out a demon from a young boy, healed all that were sick (Matt 8:16) and including the fever in Simon Peter's mother-in-law (Luke 4:31-41). This village became Jesus’ adopted home in Galilee (Mark 2:1). This is also the site where He called his first disciples: Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew. Three years was the center of Jesus’ public ministry. We will then travel south to the Baptismal site of Yardenit on the Jordan River to renew our baptismal vows in the same river where Our Lord was baptized by River (Mark 1:9). Each year, pilgrims from far and wide come to the place of Baptism to immerse themselves in these Holy Waters. The Bible tells us that the children of Israel crossed the River Jordan opposite Jericho when they came to the Promised Land. Naaman, the Syrian dipped in the waters seven times and was cured of his leprosy. Baptismal robes & are available for rent or for sale (additional fee). Baptismal certificate will be given out for those who will renew their baptismal vows Drive back to Hotel; Dinner & overnight
Marriage Vows Renewal at Church of Cana
DAY 5 (Nov 6)
MASS AT BETHANY BEYOND JORDAN, MASADA, QUMRAN, FLOATING AT DEAD SEA
Early checkout from our hotel, breakfast and depart after Mass at Magdala Chapel We drive to the former palatial fortress of Masada (UNESCO); Ascend the fortress by cable car overlooking the Dead Sea which was a symbol of resistance for the people of Israel and visit the ruins of Herod’s Palaces, the Roman Camp and the Synagogue; Once a palatial refuge for Herod the Great, this massive plateau on the eastern edge of Judean desert is better known as the location of a Roman siege against Jewish rebels.
The view across the Dead Sea 450 meters below is spectacular; We continue through the Judean desert and along the western shore of the Dead Sea stopping at Qumran – where the Dead Sea scrolls; At the end of the day we will enjoy floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea, renowned for its minerals and healing properties. Please be sure to bring water/closed end shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough. It is set in the lowest dry land on earth, so it has no outlet. It is so loaded with minerals that no fish can live in it. Enjoy the experience of floating on the Dead Sea. Also enjoy the Dead Sea mud as facial mask and body rub. It is known for anti-aging, anti- wrinkles, deep cleansing, leaving your skin with a glow of youthfulness and cleanliness. Check-in at David Resort Hotel at the Dead Sea for dinner & overnight
DAY 6 (Nov 7)
JERICHO, MASS AT CHURCH OF ST. LAZARUS, BETHLEHEM, SHEPHERD'S FIELDS
After breakfast, we depart for Jericho, the oldest known city in the world conquered by Joshua; Stop by the Sycamore Fig Tree where Zaccheus climbed to see Jesus. Take an optional Camel Ride for a memorable experience and photo shoot with Mt. of Temptation as the backdrop.
Drive to Bethany, a favorite rest place and refuge for Jesus & hometown of Mary and Martha, and where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Here we will celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Lazarus Depart Jericho and continue to Bethlehem; We will drive to Shepherd’s Fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds who were watching over their flocks during the night and announced the birth of Jesus. Check-in at our hotel in Bethlehem Enjoy a Welcome Dinner treat in a tent restaurant. Return to our hotel for overnight.
DAY 7 (Nov 8)
MASS AT CHURCH OF NATIVITY, MILK GROTTO, EIN KAREM AT THE CHURCH OF VISITATION & CHRUCH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
The Star, the Birth Place of Jesus at the
After an early breakfast, we will celebrate Holy Mass at St. Jerome’s Chapel inside the Nativity Church. After Mass, visit the Grotto of Nativity, the birthplace of our Lord; The place of Christ’s birth is a dimly-lit rock cave. Instead of a star above, a 14-point silver star on the marble floor of the Grotto of the Nativity bears the words “Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus
natus est” (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary) Visit Chruch of St. Catherine (of Alexandra) where Midnight Mass is celebrated. St Catherine was a martyr, tortured and beheaded at the age of 18 by orders of the emperor Maximian (her father) for challenging him on the persecution of Christians and worship of false gods Visit the Caves of St. Joseph & St. Jerome - beneath the Church of Nativity, St. Jerome spent 30 years translating the Scripted Ein Karem, Church of Visitation,
Church of John the Baptist from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. The text he produced in St Jerome’s Cave was the
first official vernacular version of the Bible. Known as the Vulgate, it remained the authoritative version for Catholics until the 20th century. St. Joseph’s Chapel, is the site in which an angel warned Joseph to take the Holy Family to Egypt; Visit the Milk Grotto. While Mary and Joseph were fleeing Herod’s soldiers on their way to Egypt, they stopped in the cave while Mary nursed the baby Jesus. A drop of Mary’s milk fell upon the stone and it turned white. The grotto has been a shrine of veneration since
the 4th century. It is especially frequented by new mothers and women who are trying to conceive. By mixing the soft white chalk with their food, and praying to Our Lady of the Milk, they believe it will increase the quantity of their milk or enable them to become pregnant. We head into the hill country, to the city of Ein Karem, birthplace of St. John the Baptist, to visit the Church of Visitation where Mary visited the home of Zachariah and Elizabeth and proclaimed the 'Magnificat' (Luke 1:39-80). Visit the Church of John Baptist, his birthplace. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Bethlehem
DAY 8 (Nov 9)
JERUSALEM: MT . OF OLIVES, CHURCH OF ASCENSION, CHURCH OF PATER NOSTER, CHURCH OF OF DOMINUS FLEVIT, GARDEN OF GETHSEMANA, MASS AT CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS, ROCK OF AGONY
Gethsame - The Garden of Agony
After early breakfast, we check out from our hotel, depart Bethlehem and drive to Jerusalem to the top of Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem for a better understanding of its geography and some of the key sites surrounding the area. Visit the Church of the Ascension, the site marking the place where Jesus is believed to have ascended to heaven. Continue to the Church of Pater Noster, where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray the Lord’s Prayer. On walls around the church and its vaulted cloister, translations of the Lord’s Prayer in 140 languages are inscribed on colorful ceramic plaques. Then we walk on the Palm Sunday road; view the Eastern/Golden Gate from the Jewish Cemetery. Continue to walk to the Church of Dominus Flevit, where our Lord wept over the future fate of Jerusalem. Looking down on the city, Jesus wept over it as he prophesied its future destruction We will continue to walk to the Garden of Gethsemane, containing Olive Trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. Adjacent to it is the “Rock of Agony” where Jesus uttered his last prayer. Visit the Church of All Nations to pray and celebrate mass at the “Rock of Agony” where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest. Spend
some time in reflection and meditation inside the dim lit church. The church is also called the Basilica of Agony. After Mass, we will have a group picture with Old City Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock on the background. We will visit the Israel Museum to visualize the Old Jerusalem during the peak of its power, and where we will look at the outdoor scale model of the ancient city and also where the Shrine of the Book & Dead Seas Scrolls are on display. Check-in & dinner at Notre Dame Hotel, Jerusalem After early breakfast, we check out from our scribed on colorful ceramic plaques.
DAY 9 (Nov 10)
THE PASSION OF JESUS: VIA DOLOROSA, MASS AT HOLY TOMB/ CALVARY, HOLY SEPULCHER, ST. ANNE'S BASILICA, POOLS OF BETHESDA
Today, we will start very early morning at 4:30 AM retracing the last steps of Jesus at Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) at the Judgment Hall, Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. From there He was taken through the city to be crucified. We reflect on the greatness of his sacrifice as He bore the burden of our sins on the Cross at Golgotha. We will stop at each of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross: Chapel of Condemnation & Flagellation, Ecce Homo (Crowning of Thorns), the Polish Chapel, Armenian Catholic Chapel, Veronica’s House, until we reach the Church of Holy Sepulcher.
The Crucifixion of Jesus at Mount Calvary
The Stations of the Cross lead, through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After the Stations of the Cross, we will have an early morning Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at the Holy Tomb or Calvary. After Mass, we will tour the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which houses Calvary/Golgotha, Rock of Calvary, the Burial Tomb of Jesus, Stone of Anointing, Chapel of St. Helena, Chapel of Adam, Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross, Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, Chapel of Flagellation Column, etc. Spend some time here for prayer and reflection. We will return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast & some rest (after 10AM), we will visit St. Anne’s Church, the birthplace of the Virgin Mary and the home of her parents Saints Joachim and Anne. Visit the Pools of Bethesda next to the Church, which is the scene of one of Jesus’ miracles, the healing of the paralyzed man who had waited for 38 years for someone to help him into the pool “when the water is stirred” an event believed to have curative powers. The Gospel account says Jesus told the man, “Stand up, take your mat and walk”, and immediately he was made well (John 5:2-18). Visit the Tomb of Mary - a large crypt containing the empty tomb of Mary is inside the dimly lit Church of the Assumption. The name of the Church of the Assumption reflects the Christian belief that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven. We end the day at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu- the house of the high priest of the Jews Caiaphas, where Jesus was imprisoned for the night and where Peter denied our Lord three times, his immediate repentance and his reconciliation with Christ after the Resurrection.Dinner and overnight at Notre Dame, Jerusalem.
DAY 10 (Nov 11)
MOUNT ZION / LAST SUPPER ROOM,
CHURCH OF DORMITION ABBEY /
TOMB OF KING DAVID / WAILING WALL / HOLY SHROUD OF TURIN EXHIBITION
The Wailing Wall
After breakfast, we will proceed to Mount Zion/City of David, the highest point in ancient Jerusalem, to visit the Cenacle Room which is the Upper Room of the Last Supper near the Church of Dormition. The Cenacle Room is the site of 2 major events: The Last Supperand the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on the apostles. The Last Supper was the meal Jesus shared with his apostles the night before he died. During this meal, he instituted the Eucharist. The coming of the Holy Spirit, at Pentecost, is recognized as marking the birth of the Christian Church. We will celebrate Holy Mass here. Visit the Church of Dormition Abbey, the Christian traditional place where the Virgin Mary died — or “fell asleep”, as the name suggests Visit the Tomb of King David - One of the holiest sites for Jews is the building on Mount Zion known as the Tomb of King David, the celebrated Old Testament warrior king of Israel who is traditionally credited with composing many of the Psalms. We will then proceed to enter the Old City thru the Dung Gate and pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest place for Jews which is part of the retaining wall erected by Herod the Great. The wall and the plaza in front of it form a permanent place of worship, a site of Wailing Wall, Emmaus pilgrimage for Jews and a focus of prayer — Prepare your petitions and place them between the stones on the Wailing Wall. Jews have expressed their grief over the destruction of the Temple, their anguish giving the wall the name — the Wailing Wall. Visit Emmaus, a town mentioned in the Gospel of Luke from the New Testament. Luke reports that Jesus appeared, after his death and resurrection, before two of his disciples while they were walking on the road to Emmaus Visit Emmaus, a town mentioned in the Gospel of Luke from the New Testament. Luke reports that Jesus appeared, after his death and resurrection, before two of his disciples while they were walking on the road to Emmaus. This is the last day of your guided tour. Say good bye to your guide. We will then have a guided tour on the exhibition of the replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin at Notre Dame.
DAY 11 (Nov 12)
LAST DAY / THANKSGIVING MASS
AT NOTRE DAME CHAPEL
The Holy Tomb of Jesus at the Holy Sepulcher
We will have an early thanksgiving Mass at Notre Dame Chapel . For those not taking the Optional Post Tour to Jordan, they will fly from Tel Aviv back to the US on NOV. 12 after the morning Mass. Those taking the Post Tour to Jordan will proceed to the Border Crossing.
We bid farewell to our dear friends, and to a pilgrimage which will be in our hearts and memories for a long time to come!
INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PACKAGE:
RATE of $3985.00 includes the following:
Israel (only) Tour Package: Land & Air
Round Trip International flights from Gateway cities: EWR/JFK/LAX to Tel Aviv (Add-on available from other cities);
Rate based on DBL occupancy; Single supplement available;
Hotel accommodations in 4* hotels: (3 nights) Magdala Hotel in Galilee or similar; (1 night) David Sea Resort in Dead Sea; (2 nights) Sunrise Hotel in Bethlehem or Similar; (3 Nights) Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem or similar
Breakfast Buffet daily & Dinner;
Entrance/Admission fees per itinerary (Churches, National Parks, Museums, etc.)
English-Speaking, Catholic and licensed Local guide
Luxury class air-conditioned tourist motor-coach
Transfers from and to international Airports
Gratuities: For Tour Guide, Bus Driver & Hotel Dining Staff ($200)
Free Wi-Fi at hotels
Whispers/Audio System for entire tour
Porterage fees of 1 piece of large luggage per person in/out hotels
Daily Mass at Holy Sites
1 Group Photo (Free; 1/couple)
Covid-19 Tests, if any
Optional Tours for Egypt & Jordan
Add-on airfares to /from Gateway cities
Travel Insurance (highly encouraged); Please call us for price quotes
Lunch Daily (estimate $15-20) excluding drinks;
Pilgrimage Shirt for Group Photos
Priest’s Free-Will Offering
Baptismal Robe & Towel rental: $15 (if renewing baptismal vows in the River Jordan)
Church donations during daily Mass offertory, please budget for this. This goes directly to the church, not to our priest.
Personal needs, phone calls, etc.
Excludes Israel Exit taxes if continuing to Jordan ($50)