Travel with Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B. on a trip of a lifetime to The Holy Land.
Thursday, February 25th, 2016 to Sunday, March 6th, 2016
Salt + Light invites you on a spiritual journey to the very home of our Christian faith. From February 25th – March 6th, 2016 follow in the footsteps of Christ as you are invited to join us on a journey to Israel and Jordan for 10 days of prayer, reflection and sightseeing.
Whether at the Sea of Galilee or in the city of Jerusalem, memories made in the Holy Land are sure to last a lifetime. It was in these lands that the gospel was first spread and from where the Word of God was proclaimed to the whole- world. Don't miss this tremendous opportunity to grow in faith with Christ.
*Plus air taxes. Price per person from Toronto, based on double occupancy.
Economy class roundtrip airfare from Toronto
9 nights’ accommodation in superior hotels
Breakfast and dinner daily 3 Lunches at local restaurants
Transportation by deluxe air- conditioned motorcoach
Rosina Di Felice
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*Each pilgrimage package includes a deductible income tax receipt of $500. Registered Charity Number: 88523 6000 RR0001
Thursday, February 25th
We meet at Toronto Airport for our overnight flight to Israel.
Friday, February, 26th
Arrival Tel Aviv / Tiberias
On arrival in Tel Aviv we are met by our local Tour Guide and transferred to the hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, (or The Kineret) Israel’s largest fresh water reservoir, and most important source of drinking water. After a stop for lunch, it’s on to Tabgha, where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 men. We will visit the Magdala Centre, where Mary Magdalene called home. Here, we celebrate Holy Mass here before continuing to Tiberias for check into our hotel for dinner and a restful night. (D) Overnight – Caesar Tiberias Hotel, Tiberias (or similar) - 3 Nights
Celebrate the Ministry of Christ in the Galilee - First Sunday of Advent.
After a hearty breakfast, we take a short walk over to the pier to start our day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. When our captain cuts the motor and we’re surrounded by landscapes sacred for thousands of years, it’s easy to imagine life on the lake in times long past. Here, Jesus walked on the water (John 6:19-21), calmed a storm (Matt. 8:23-26), and showed the disciples miraculous catches of fish (Luke 5:1-8; John 21:1-6). We arrive to Kibbutz Ginosar where we see the 2,000 year old fishing boat, an ancient boat pulled from the mud along the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was a unique and exciting find that gives us an idea of the sort of boat used during the time of Jesus. A short distance away is the site known as " Peter &apost; s Primacy ", the site where, after His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples and told Peter to “feed my lambs; feed my sheep.” [John 21:9]. We have Holy Mass here followed by our lunch of St. Peter’s Fish. We then proceed to the Mount of Beatitudes, scene of Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount and where we will celebrate the Beatitudes. From here, we visit Capernaum where Jesus began His Galilean ministry. We see the synagogue which dates to the time of Jesus and the church built over the site of Peter’s home. Finally, we travel to Caesarea Philippi where Jesus came to proclaim that He would build His Church, " You are the Rock and upon this rock I will build my Church ". Then back to the hotel in time for dinner.
Sunday, February 28th
Nazareth / Cana / Tiberias
Contemplate the Annunciation
This morning, we drive to Nazareth, the site of Mary’s home and the town where Jesus lived as a child. First we walk to the Convent of the Sisters of Nazareth where one of the resident nuns will give a tour of the fascinating excavations discovered there. Then we continue to the Basilica of the Annunciation, a short walk away. It incorporates the cave in which the Virgin Mary received the news from Gabriel that she would give birth to Jesus. We will visit the Byzantine Church of St. Joseph. The new church was rebuilt by the Franciscans in 1914 on top of the earlier churches and built, according to early traditions, over the carpenter workshop of the Holy family. Later tradition identifies this place as the house of Joseph and the Holy family. We then make our way to Nazareth Village for a glimpse of life during the time of Jesus. In the afternoon, we’ll continue to Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle at the request of His mother [John 2:1-11]. There, we visit the Franciscan chapel where some may wish to take the renewal of their wedding vows. We return to Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
Monday, February 29th
Mt Tabor / Jordan Valley / Dead Sea / Jericho / Jerusalem
Reflect the Transfiguration
We leave the hotel early this morning because we are moving on to Jerusalem. But first, we’ll start at Mount Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration, where we have time to reflect on Christ’s Humanity and Divinity. We have Mass at the Basilica of the Transfiguration. Completed in 1924, it was built over the ruins of earlier churches - a 4th century AD Byzantine church and a 12th c Crusader church. Following our Mass, we continue to the Israeli and Jordanian border, at the edge of the Judean Desert, to the Dead Sea. After a lunch stop, we have an opportunity to take a dip in the water at the lowest point on the Earth, 423m (1,388 ft) below sea level and the world’s first health resort. Then, it’s on to Jericho, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world where we take a cable car to the summit of Mt. Temptations to visit the gravity-defying Monastery of St. George. We will contemplate near a stone on which, according to tradition, Jesus sat during one of his temptations and take in the view of Jordan. We see the famous centuries-old Sycamore Tree that recalls the incident in which the tax collector Zacchaeus, too short to see over the crowd, climbed a sycamore’s branches in order to see Jesus. From Jericho, we go on up to Jerusalem where we check into our hotel.
Tuesday, March 1st
Ein Karem / Bethlehem / Jerusalem
The Nativity of Our Lord and Saviour
We begin our day at the village of Ein Karem, birthplace of John the Baptist, where we visit the church that commemorates his memory. We go on to Beit Sahour to see the soot blackened caves at Shepherd’s Field, identified since ancient times with the shepherd’s who saw the Star of Nativity. Continue to Bethlehem where we visit Manger Square which stands in front of one of the oldest of Christian churches, the Church of the Nativity. Bending low, we enter the Church and descend into the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of the birth of Jesus. Beneath the Altar, a 14 point Silver Star with the Latin inscription: "HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS" - Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary. After a visit to the Church of St. Catherine, connected to the Church of the Nativity, we take some time for shopping time in Bethlehem.
Wednesday, March 2nd
Observe Palm Sunday and the Agony in the Garden
After breakfast, we make our way to the Mount of Olives to take in the panoramic view of Jerusalem. We visit the Ascension Chapel, believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven. The small round church/mosque contains a stone imprinted with the very footprints of Jesus. And the Pater Noster Shrine where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Walking down the “Palm Sunday Road” we visit the beautiful little church, Dominus Flevit - “The Lord wept.” It was here that Jesus wept over Jerusalem [Luke 19:41] prior to His death. At Gethsemane we ponder Jesus’ final night. The Garden contains trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. We visit the Church of All Nations and pray at the “Rock of Agony”, a section of bedrock identified as the place where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest. From there we take the route Jesus was taken along as a prisoner to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas, now called the Church of Peter in Gallicantu. Here Jesus was interrogated and imprisoned. Then we go up to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room, commemorating the Last Supper. Nearby we visit the Benedictine Church of the Dormition. (B, D)
Thursday, March 3rd
Jerusalem / Way of the Cross
Retrace the Way of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection
This morning we start the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. From there He was taken through the city to be crucified. The Stations of the Cross lead us to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where we will have Mass and then visit Calvary and the empty Tomb. We continue with a visit of the Old City. At the steps of the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount we ponder the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the finding of Jesus at the Temple and the healing of the blind man at the Temple. We continue with a visit to the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall). In the afternoon we visit Church of St. Anne, the best preserved Crusader church in Jerusalem. It marks the traditional site of the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents, Anne and Joachim, and the birthplace of the Virgin Mary
Friday, March 4th
Jordan / Bethany Beyond the Jordan / Mount Nebo / Wadi Musa
We leave Jerusalem early today, and cross the Allenby Bridge into Jordan. We visit the Baptismal site at Bethany Beyond the Jordan where thousands came to be baptized in the early days of the Church. The Byzantine remains are located on the site by the river where it is thought John baptised Jesus. Next, we drive up to Mount Nebo where Moses viewed the Promised Land. Celebrate Mass at this place which has been visited by pilgrims for over 1400 years, including Pope Benedict in 2009. We then go to the Christian town of Madeba, and we visit the Greek Orthodox Basilica of Saint George. Here we see an extraordinary 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem. After a lunch stop, we continue along the Desert Highway to Petra and Wadi Musa where our hotel and dinner awaits.
Saturday, March 5th
Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. It has to be seen to be believed. Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge, over 1km in length, which is flanked on either side by soaring, 80m high cliffs. Just walking through the Siq is an experience in itself. The colours and formations of the rocks are dazzling. As you reach the end of the Siq you will catch your first glimpse of Al-Khazneh (The Treasury). Continue to see the Roman Theatre, the Corinthian Tomb and Palace Tomb. This is an awe-inspiring experience. We then drive to Amman for our farewell dinner and rest period before transferring to the airport for our return to Canada.
Sunday, March 6th
We have a very early departure from Amman airport this morning for our return home.
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