Saturday, February 16 - Day 1 – DEPART USA – Today we depart local airport to connect with our overnight flight aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft. Sunday, February 17 - Day 2 - TEL AVIV/TIBERIAS - We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport Tel Aviv and transfer to our hotel on the shores of the Galilee for dinner and overnight. Monday, February 18 - Day 3 - 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. We drive to Tabgha and see the Benedictine Basilica of the Loaves and Fishes followed by the Franciscan Church of St. Peter's Primacy, where Jesus made His appearance after the resurrection. We also visit the ruins at Magdala north of Tiberius and the Mary of Nazareth International Center. This afternoon we drive to the village of Cana, the site of Jesus' first miracle, where our married couples renew their wedding vows. Afterwards, we continue to Nazareth where after some personal prayer time, we celebrate Mass at the Church of the Annunciation, where the Word became Flesh! We finish our day with a visit the Jordan where we renew our Baptismal promises. Then back to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Tuesday, February 19 - Day 4 - TIBERIAS/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 view the Mount of Temptation. We tour the excavations at Qumran, the home of the Essenes connected with John the Baptist and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Next, we tour along the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth. On route to Jerusalem, we pass by the traditional site of the Inn of the Good Samaritan. Finally, we make our thrilling entry into Jerusalem before arriving at our hotel for dinner and overnight. Wednesday, February 20 - Day 5 - JERUSALEM - This morning after visiting the place of the Ascension and the Church of the Pater Noster, we view the beautiful City of Jerusalem from Mt. of Olives. We then walk down the hill to Dominus Flevit Chapel, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem and where we celebrate Mass. We continue to the Garden of Gethsemane with some time for prayerful reflection and then on to the Church of All Nations. We then go to Mt. Zion to visit the tomb of King David, the Church of Dormition and pray in the Upper Room. Following Mass in the beautiful Franciscan Church of the Cenacle, we enter the Old City through Zion Gate. Making our way to the Western (Wailing) Wall, we see the Cardo and the remains of Hezekiah's wall. If possible, we go to the temple mount for an exterior view of the Dome of the Rock (schedule and conditions permitting). Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Thursday, February 21 - Day 6 - JERUSALEM - This morning, 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. We continue to Shepherd’s Field where we celebrate the Christmas Mass. We return to Jerusalem and enter the Old City via St. Stephen's Gate and 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 follow the Stations of The Cross along the Via Dolorosa concluding at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After some free time in the Old City we return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Friday, February 22 - Chair of Peter - Day 7 - JERUSALEM. Today, we visit the famed Archeological dig at the City of David in Jerusalem where we will be an archaeologist for a short time and participate in a national project to save important artifacts from the Temple Mount. We first receive a fascinating few minute crash course on the history of the Temple Mount and the Temple before joining the staff in sifting through the rubble in search for a coin from the Temple period, an arrowhead from the Crusader period or maybe a Mamluk mosaic stone. For those not interested in the Archeological dig, we will be free to wander the various quarters of the Old City and shop in the bazaars, bartering and “tasting” the culture of this ancient city. This afternoon we will be free for personal adventure. Dinner and overnight at hotel. Saturday, February 23 - Day 8 - JERUSALEM/EMMAUS/JAFFA/TEL AVIV (AIRPORT) - This morning, we enter the New City passing by the Knesset and Hebrew University. 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. We celebrate our closing Holy Land Mass here. Afterwards, we drive northwards along the Mediterranean to Caesarea and visit the Roman and Crusader remains, where St. Peter and Paul stayed. We return to Jaffa, the city of Jonah, where Peter had his rooftop experience, where we ride through the quaintly restored area. We celebrate our farewell dinner nearby before we head to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight flight home. Sunday, February 24 - Day 9 - 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.
Map Image: Mason HL