Created: 06.12.2016

Tuesday, August 29 - Day 1 - DEPART ??? Today we depart El Paso to connect with our overnight flight to Tel Aviv. We enjoy in-flight movies and dinner and breakfast aloft. Wednesday, August 30 - Day 2 - TEL AVIV - We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv where we are met by our guide and motor coach and transfer to our hotel situated on the Mediterranean Sea near Tel Aviv for dinner and overnight. Thursday, August 31 - Day 3 - TIBERIAS - We depart our hotel for Caesarea along the Mediterranean and visit the Roman and Crusader remains.  We continue to the sea port city of Haifa and Mt. Carmel, where we visit the site of Elijah's confrontation with the priests of Baal.  We also visit the beautiful church of the Carmelite Monastery. Here we have lunch on our own, before driving on to Nazareth and walk through the local bazaars.  Following personal prayer time and reflection, we celebrate Mass at the Church of the Annunciation, where the Word became Flesh!  Following a visit to the Church of St. Joseph we depart for Cana, the site of Jesus??? first miracle, where our married couples renew their wedding vows.  From here we travel to Tiberias where we arrive at our hotel along the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight. Friday, September 1 - 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.???   We drive to the Mount of Beatitudes, where we have time for personal meditation in the beautiful gardens followed by Mass. Following a Peter???s Lunch along the Sea of Galilee on our own, we visit Capernaum, where we see the remains of the village synagogue and the new church built atop St. Peter's house.  Here we visit Tabgha (Ein Sheva) 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.  We then visit the Yardenit Baptismal Site on the Jordan where we will renew our Baptismal promise.  Before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight, we make a stop at the Lavi Forest where each of us will plant a tree where our connection will be rooted deeply in the Land of Jesus and will last forever.  Saturday, September 2 - Day 5 - JERUSALEM ??? This morning we drive to Mt. Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, where we celebrate the Mass of Transfiguration.  We continue south through the Jordan Valley visiting Jericho and ride the cable car to the Mount of Temptation.  Following lunch on your own in Jericho, we travel to Bethany and visit Lazarus' tomb and the Church of Martha and Mary. Finally, we make our thrilling entry into Jerusalem before arriving at our hotel for dinner and overnight. Sunday, September 3 - Day 6- JERUSALEM ??? Today we travel to the Dead Sea area, (also known as the Salt Sea) where we stop at Qumran, where Bedouin and archaeologists discovered caves containing hundreds of scrolls from the Second Temple period. These scrolls are best known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  From here we travel to Masada which stands atop a mountain in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. We ascend the mountain via cable car for an amazing view of the Dead Sea and visit the well-preserved fortress. Following lunch on our own, we make our way to the Dead Sea where we will have the opportunity to swim (float) at 1,290 feet below sea level in its high mineral content and where almost no vegetation or animal life occurs. While returning to Jerusalem, we stop for a brief walk and observe the amazing Monastery of St. George, Wadi Qelt, built into the side of the mountain.  Returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight. JERUSALEM ??? We start our morning with a visit to the Shrine of the Book to visit the Dead Sea Scrolls and view the Model City of Jerusalem in Jesus??? time. Moving on the Bethlehem, we visit Shepard???s Field and the Franciscan???s Church of the Shepard???s Field and view the Shepard???s cave. Following lunch on our own, we enter the Church of the Nativity where we view the sites of Jesus??? birth and location of the manger, touching the hearts of all who experience this. Later we celebrate a Christmas Mass in the Grotto of St. Jerome. A short distance from here we stop by the Milk Grotto where tradition says Mary was nursing the baby Jesus and a drop of Her milk fell upon the stone and it turned white. We return to our hotel for a brief rest before attending the Light Show at the Tower of David.  Following the presentation, we have dinner at the Eucalyptus Restaurant (or similar) returning to our hotel for overnight. Tuesday, September 5 - Day 8 - JERUSALEM ??? This morning we will have a very early start to our day.  At 5am we depart our hotel and head to the Old City where we walk the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) and proclaim the Stations of the Cross. The final 5 stations are located inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where we celebrate Mass and visit the tomb of Jesus and site of the Crucifixion. After returning to our hotel for breakfast, we again depart to the Old City and enter through Lion???s Gate, where we visit the Church of St. Ann (Mary???s mother) and the Pool of Bethesda.  We proceed to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) where we join the faithful in prayer and offer out petitions by placing them in the cracks of the wall along with thousands of other requests. While here, we will have the opportunity to explore the Western Wall tunnel, also known as ???The Rabbi???s Tunnel???.  While the open-air portion of the Western Wall is over 180 feet long and over 60 feet high, most of its nearly 1,700 foot original lengths lies beneath today???s Old City.  This will be a true treat. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Wednesday, September 6 - Day 9 - 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 the Passion 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 on our own, we travel to Ein Karem, where John the Baptist was born and Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth to utter the words of the Magnificat. We drive along the Kidron Valley stopping at Peter in Gallicanto (The Cock Crows) where Jesus was held in the house of the High Priest Caiaphas.  Afterwards we celebrate our farewell dinner nearby before we head to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight flight home. Thursday, September 7 -  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 bringing new meaning to our Scripture reading and celebration of Mass.

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