Monday, October 15 - Teresa of Avila - Day 1 - DEPART – Today we depart our home airport to connect with our overnight flight to Tel Aviv. We enjoy in-flight movies and dinner and breakfast aloft. Tuesday, October 16 - Day 2 - TEL AVIV - We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv and transfer to our hotel near Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight. Wednesday, October 17 - Day 3 - TIBERIAS - We depart our hotel 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 drive on to Nazareth and walk through the local bazaars. Following personal prayer time, we celebrate Mass at the Church of the Annunciation, where the Word became Flesh! Before moving on to our hotel on the shores of the Galilee for dinner and overnight, we drive to the village of Cana, the site of Jesus' first miracle, where our married couples renew their wedding vows. Thursday, October 18 - St. Luke - Day 4 - TIBERIAS - This morning we take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to the seaside village of Kibbutz Ginosar to view the historic archaeological discovery of “The Jesus Boat.” On to Capernaum, where we see the remains of the village synagogue and the new church built atop St. Peter's house. Next, we drive to the Mount of Beatitudes, where we have time for personal meditation in the beautiful gardens followed by Mass. Here we visit Tabgha and the Franciscan Church of St. Peter's Primacy, where Jesus made His appearance after the resurrection. Next, we see the Benedictine Basilica of the Loaves and Fishes. This afternoon we 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. Friday, October 19 - Day 5 - JERUSALEM - This morning we visit the Jordan, where we renew our Baptismal promises. On route to Judea, we stop at the newly excavated Roman ruins at Beth Shean. We continue south through the Jordan Valley visiting Jericho and view the Mount of Temptation. Following a short time for shopping, we then 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. We travel to Bethany and visit Lazarus' tomb and the Church of Martha and Mary where we celebrate Mass. Finally, we make our thrilling entry into Jerusalem before arriving at our hotel for dinner and overnight. Saturday, October 20 - Day 6 - JERUSALEM - This morning we visit the place of the Ascension and pass by the Church of the Pater Noster. 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 on to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we have time for personal prayer and celebrate Mass at the Church of All Nations. Following lunch, we continue to the New City passing by the Knesset and Hebrew University. We visit the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls. We visit the Model City of Jerusalem in Jesus' time and Ein Karem, where John the Baptist was born and Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth to utter the words of the Magnificat. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Sunday, October 21 - Day 7 - JERUSALEM - Today we drive to Bethlehem, The House of Bread, to visit the Church of the Nativity that commemorates the birth of Christ. We visit the Manger, Crusader's Cloister, and the Grotto of St. Jerome, where we celebrate the Christmas Mass. We then return to the Judean wilderness first visiting the excavations at Qumran, the home of the Essenes connected with John the Baptist and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Weather permitting; we have an opportunity to swim in the salty, yet clear waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest place. (Swim lockers not included.) On our return to Jerusalem, we pass by the traditional site of the Inn of the Good Samaritan. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Monday, October 22 - Day 8 - JERUSALEM - This morning, drive along the Kidron Valley stopping at St. Peter in Gallicantu (The Cock Crows), where Jesus was held in the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. 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. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Tuesday, October 23 - Day 9 - JERUSALEM/TEL AVIV – This morning we go to Mt. Zion to visit the tomb of King David, the Church of Dormition and pray in the Upper Room. We enter the Old City through Zion Gate making our way to the Western (Wailing) Wall. We also see the Cardo and the remains of Hezekiah's wall. We travel to Abu Gosh, one of the traditional sites of Emmaus, where Jesus appeared on the road on the first Easter Sunday. We celebrate our closing Holy Land Mass here. We continue to Jaffa, the city of Jonah, where Peter had his rooftop experience, where we ride through the quaintly restored area. Return to hotel in Tel Aviv for overnight. Wednesday, October 24 - Day 10 - TEL AVIV AIRPORT/USA - We depart early this morning for our flight back home. We arrive home 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. memories of a lifetime.
Map Image: Kottar HL