Created: 02.02.2015

Tuesday, November 3 - Day 1 ??? DEPART USA ??? Today we depart Grand Rapids by coach for Chicago and connect with our overnight flight aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft.  Wednesday, November 4 - Day 2 - TEL AVIV/TIBERIAS - We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv and where we are met and depart for Caesarea along the Mediterranean and visit the Roman and Crusader remains.  We continue to Mt. Carmel, where we visit the site of Elijah's confrontation with the priests of Baal. We then  transfer to our hotel on the shores of the Galilee for dinner and overnight. Thursday, November 5 - Day 3 ??? CANA/NAZARETH /ACRE ??? This morning, we drive to Acre along the Mediterranean, where we tour the surprisingly well preserved Crusader ruins including the birthplace of St. John of Christendom.  We drive to Nazareth and walk through the local bazaars.  We visit the Church of the Annunciation, where the Word became Flesh!  Afterwards, we continue to the nearby village of Cana, the site of Jesus' first miracle, where our married couples renew their wedding vows during our first Holy Land Mass.  Return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.  Friday, November 6 - Day 4 ??? TIBERIAS - This morning we drive to the Mount of Beatitudes, where we have time for personal meditation in the beautiful gardens followed by Mass. On to Capernaum where we see the remains of the village synagogue and the new church built atop St. Peter's house. We continue for a visit of Tabgha and the Franciscan Church of St. Peter's Primacy, where Jesus made His appearance after the resurrection. We Continue to the Benedictine Basilica of the Loaves and Fishes. Next we take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee.  We then drive to Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, where we have a time of personal prayer.  Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.   Saturday, November 7 - Day 5 ??? TIBERIAS/ JERUSALEM - This morning we visit the Jordan, where we renew our Baptismal promises.  On route south, we visit ruins of the Belvoir Crusader castle and fort dating from the 12th c. We continue south through the Jordan Valley visiting Jericho and view the Mount of Temptation.  We travel to Bethany and visit Lazarus' tomb and the Church of Martha and Mary.  Finally we make our thrilling entry into Jerusalem and view the city from Mt. Scopus before arriving at our hotel for dinner and overnight. Sunday, November 8 - Day 6 ??? JERUSALEM/ BETHLEHEM - This morning we view the beautiful City of Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives. We then walk down the hill to Dominus Flevit Chapel, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem and where we celebrate Mass.  Then on to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we have time for personal prayer at the Church of All Nations. Following lunch on our own, we drive to Bethlehem, The House of Bread, to visit the Church of the Nativity that commemorates the birth of Christ.  We visit the, Crusader's Cloister, and the Grotto of St. Jerome.  We continue to the lovely Shepherds??? Field and Milk grotto.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Monday,  November 9 - Day 7 ??? JERUSALEM ??? Very early this morning, we enter the Old City through Lion's Gate, where we visit the Church of St. Ann (Mary???s mother) and the Pool of Bethesda.  We visit Pilate???s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, Arch of Ecce Homo and the Convent of the Sisters of Zion.  We prayerfully walk the Stations of The Cross along the Via Dolorosa concluding at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We celebrate Mass in the Old City today.  This afternoon is free for rest, shopping or personal adventure within the old city. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Tuesday,  November 10 - Day 8 ??? JERUSALEM ??? This morning, we visit the Upper Room and reflect in the Grotto of Dormition Abbey.  We continue to the Western Wall, the holiest existing Jewish site. Next we drive to Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust victims. Following lunch on our own we visit  St Stephen???s church at Bet Gemal Monastery where we celebrate Mass. We tour the campus and learn about the order of Salesian Sisters who reside there. We then make our way to nearby Ein Kerem, to the Church of the Visitation and visit the Church of John the Baptist.  Dinner and overnight at our hotel.  Wednesday, November 11 - Day 9 ??? JERUSALEM/TEL AVIV ??? Following breakfast at the hotel, we check out and we return to the wilderness of Judea to ascend Masada by cable car.  This was the mountaintop fortress of King Herod where from 70-73 AD, the Jewish defenders made the last stand of the Jewish revolt against Rome; we see the remains of storehouses, cisterns and a royal palace.  Then to the excavations at Qumran, the home of the Essenes connected with John the Baptist and the Dead Sea Scrolls. We also see the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth.  This evening, we have dinner at the The Caravan in Abu Ghoshn. We then transfer to Ben-Gurion International Airport for our overnight flight back to Chicago.  Thursday, November 12 - Day 10 - USA - We arrive home today with unforgettable memories to cherish always.  Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians bring new meaning to our Scripture reading and celebration of Mass.

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