2014 Pilgrimage: Advent in the Holy Land
Join Archbishop Dennis Schnurr on a pilgrimage of a lifetime from December 1 - 13, 2014!
Archbishop Dennis Schnurr
Itinerary (subject to change)
Day 1 - Dec. 1: Depart U.S.A.
Our pilgrimage begins today as we depart on our overnight flight to Israel. Meals and drinks served aloft.
Day 2 - Dec. 2: Arrive Tel Aviv / Netanya
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv we will be met by our local guide who will arrange the schedule of our visits and make the scripture come alive as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus and the Prophets. Transfer to our nearby hotel in the Mediterranean resort town of Netanya.
Day 3 - Dec. 3: Netanya / Tiberias
This morning we will drive along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, the capital of the ancient Roman Procurators of Judea where St. Peter preached and St. Paul was imprisoned for two years. Here we will visit the ruins of the Roman Theater, the Crusader's Moat and the Byzantine Churches. Then continue our drive up the coast to the sparkling port city of Haifa where we will ascend Mount Carmel, home of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, for Mass at the Stella Maris Convent. Then continue on to our hotel located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, our home for the next three nights.
Day 4 - Dec. 4: Tiberias
Following breakfast we will take an excursion to the summit of Mt. Tabor to visit the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. We will then drive to Nazareth to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation. Then continue on to Cana of Galilee where Our Lord performed the first miracle; changing water into wine at the wedding feast. Here married couples will have an opportunity to renew their marriage vows before returning to Tiberias.
Day 5 - Dec. 5: Tiberias
This morning we'll enjoy a scenic boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, home of Our Lord during his ministry. After visiting the Synagogue where he taught we will proceed to Tabgha, the site of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Nearby we will visit the Church of Peter's Primacy where Jesus told Peter "Feed my sheep". Then drive up to the Mount of the Beatitudes for Mass at the site of the Sermon on the Mount. Later in the afternoon we will ascend the Golan Heights and stop at the Banias Spring that rises from under a cave and is one of the sources of the Jordan River. It was here near Banias at ancient Caesarea Philipi where Peter made his confession of faith in Jesus. Return to Tiberias.
Day 6 - Dec. 6: Tiberias / Amman
Depart Galilee and drive to the Sheik Hussein border-cross where we will cross into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Drive south to Jerash which was founded by the soldiers of Alexander the Great in 300 B.C and now stands as the best preserved ruins of a provincial Greco-Roman city in the world. Along a 2-mile stretch we'll see the oval shaped forum encircled by 56 graceful Roman columns, Hadrian's Arch, the Temples of Artemis and Zeus, and the massive Roman theater. We will then continue on to Amman, the capital of Jordan, where we will visit an impressive Roman Amphitheater which once accommodated 6,000 spectators and the hilltop Citadel before checking into our hotel.
Day 7 - Dec. 7: Amman / Petra
This morning we will visit the traditional baptismal site on the Jordan River known as Bethany Beyond the Jordan where we will have an opportunity to renew our baptismal vows. Then continue south to Mount Nebo where Moses first viewed the promised land. After Mass on Mt. Nebo, we will proceed to Madaba, a Byzantine center of master mosaics, to see the oldest surviving map of the Holy Land. Continue on to Petra, one of the most magnificent sites in the Middle East.
Day 8 - Dec. 8: Petra / Jerusalem
This morning will be spent exploring the "Rose Red City" of Petra which is literally carved into the sides of a deep gorge. The only entrance is through the "Siq", a narrow slit in the rock enclosed by beautiful limestone cliffs. Riding on horseback (no riding experience required) between the 100 foot cliffs we will see a remarkable sight: temples, tombs, and dwellings chiseled right into the limestone walls. Following our sightseeing of Petra, we will drive north to the Allenby Bridge border-crossing where we will cross back into the Holy Land. Proceed to Jerusalem for overnight.
Day 9 - Dec. 9: Jerusalem
This morning we will drive to Bethlehem where we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Nativity Church which was built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century above the traditional Grotto of Jesus' birth. Also tour the Manger, the Grotto of St. Jerome, the Church of St. Catherine, the Milk Grotto and the Shepherd's Fields. We will then proceed to the Israel Museum in the New City of Jerusalem where we will see a scale model of Jerusalem as it appeared 2,000 years ago. Then continue on to Ein Karem to see the Visitation Church where Mary proclaimed her famous "Magnificat" and the Church of St. John the Baptist where St. John the Baptist was born.
Day 10 - Dec. 10: Jerusalem
This morning we will drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives for a spectacular view of Jerusalem. Visit the Church of Pater Noster where Jesus taught the Lord's prayer to his Disciples and the Chapel of Ascension where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after his resurrection. Then walk along the "Palm Sunday Road" to Dominus Flevit where Our Lord wept over Jerusalem. Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations for Mass on the Rock of Agony. After Mass we will view the Temple Area of the Old City of Jerusalem featuring the Dome of the Rock, el Aqsa Mosque and the Wailing Wall. We will then enter the restored Jewish Quarter and walk along the excavated Cardo, once a main street of ancient Jerusalem. Enjoy touring the Herodian Mansions, a complex of villas from 2,000 years ago.
Day 11 - Dec. 11: Jerusalem
This morning, enter the Old City of Jerusalem through St. Stephen's Gate. Visit the Church of St. Anne where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born, the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic man, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, and Arch of the "Ecce Homo". Then follow the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to visit Golgotha and the Tomb of the Risen Savior. This afternoon, drive to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper. Then celebrate Mass at Dormition Abbey where Mary fell into eternal sleep, followed by a visit to St. Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus three times.
Day 12 - Dec. 12: Jerusalem
After an early Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we will return to our hotel for breakfast. Following breakfast, proceed to Bethany to visit the site of the home of Mary, Martha & Lazarus and the Tomb of Lazarus. Continue through the Judean Wilderness to Jericho, the oldest known city in the Western world. From the top of the ancient "tel", we'll have an excellent view of Elisha's Fountain, the Qarantal and the Mount of Temptation. Then proceed to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Afterwards we will have an opportunity to take a dip in the salty, mineral laden waters of the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem. This evening a special "Farewell Jerusalem" dinner will be arranged in our honor at a typical Middle Eastern restaurant.
Day 13 - Dec. 13: Jerusalem / Tel Aviv / U.S.A.
Today our Holy Land pilgrimage comes to an end. We will transfer to the airport in Tel Aviv for our return flight home.