Catholic Pilgrimage Israel Tour – May 2019
The Land of Creation
10 Day Catholic Pilgrimage Israel Tour Itinerary
Wednesday – Day 1: Departure – USA to ISRAEL on your Catholic Pilgrimage Israel Tour
We will depart from a North American gateway on an overnight transatlantic flight to Israel. Meals and in-flight movies and music will be served on board.
Thursday – Day 2: Welcome to Israel Shalom and welcome to Ben Gurion Airport.
We will land at Ben Gurion Airport, where we are met by a TI representative immediately after passport control. After fetching our luggage, we will be escorted outside the terminal to meet our guide and driver. We will have a short drive to the beautiful Mediterranean coast of Tel Aviv. Prior to our arrival at our hotel, we will drive to the Old Port City of Jaffa. Jaffa is just south of Tel Aviv. We will also have a beautiful panoramic view of Tel Aviv. We will arrive to our hotel for check-in. In the evening, enjoy a relaxing dinner at our hotel. Optional Mass: Mass at St. Peter’s Church in Jaffa. Overnight at hotel in Tel Aviv
Friday – Day 3: Journey north
After breakfast, we journey north along the coastal Plain of Sharon, to the ancient city of Caesarea, built by Herod the Great and once occupied by Roman rule. Caesarea is also where Pontius Pilate had his base; We will view the excavated Roman Theater, with its acoustic and theatrical sound. We will continue north to Haifa and ascend Mt. Carmel for a magnificent panoramic view of the Bahai Botanical Gardens and Haifa Bay. Here, we will visit Stella Maris, also known as Carmelite Monastery, which is where the prophet Elijah did battle with the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:30). We will turn inland to Megiddo, one of King Solomon’s walled, fortified cities (1st Kings 9:15; 10:26), with ruins of 20 levels of civilization and identified as the site of Armageddon. We will proceed to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. Here we will visit the Grotto of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph. These churches are located over the traditional site where Mary and Joseph lived. We will also visit the Synagogue of Nazareth where Jesus preached his first sermon. We will continue to Cana, where Jesus performed his first miracle, turning water into wine (John 2:1). We will drive along the Pastoral Hills of the Galilee to our hotel for check-in. In the evening, we will enjoy a relaxing dinner at our hotel. Optional Mass: Mass at Cana Overnight in Tiberias (Sea of Galilee)
Saturday – Day 4: Golan Heights and Western Galilee
After breakfast, we will start our day with a drive to the Golan Heights to visit Banias, one of the sources of the River Jordan and the site of ancient Caesaria Philippi, where it is believed Peter made his confession of faith in Christ (Matt. 16:16). We will return south to the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) and to Nof Ginosar for an optional St Peter’s lunch (not included). After lunch, we will visit the Jesus Boat Museum, located at Nof Ginosar, just before we board onto a boat cruise on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and the site of many of His miracles (Mark 2:4; Matt. 8:5; 14-17; 9:1-7; 17:18). We will also see the remains of the 2nd century synagogue. We will continue to Tabgha to see the site of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes (John 6:1-14), with its 4th century mosaic floor. We proceed to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the most famous sermon ever preached: “The Sermon On The Mount” (Matt. 5). We will return south to our hotel. Enjoy dinner at our hotel. Optional Mass: Mass at Church of the Primacy of St. Peter in Tabgha. Overnight in Tiberias (Sea of Galilee)
Sunday – Day 5: Journey to the Dead Sea
After breakfast, we will leave Tiberias and drive west to Mt. Tabor and ascend to visit the site of the Transfiguration. It is believed this was the site of the High Mountain, where Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John the brother of James (Matthew 17:1-13). We will continue south through the lush Jordan Valley where the dessert now blooms with flowers and vegetation (Isaiah 35:1-2) towards the shores of the Dead Sea and Judea. As we get closer to the shores of the Dead Sea, we will start to descend to the lowest point on the surface of the earth at 1305 feet (398m) below sea level. We will drive south along the shores of the Dead Sea to visit Qumran, where a young shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will conclude our day with a drive south to the Dead Sea resort of Ein Bokek. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon floating our hotel. on the Dead Sea; cover ourselves in mud. We will enjoy dinner at Overnight in Ein Bokek (Dead Sea)
Monday – Day 6: Day at leisure, Masada – journey to Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will enjoy most of the day at leisure. For those who wish to visit – Masada; we will drive north at approximately 9AM, to the legendary mountain top plateau of Masada. We will take a cable car to the ancient plateau. Here we will explore where the last stronghold of the Jewish Zealots in their struggle against the Romans. We will return back to our hotel. At approximately 2 PM, we will leave the Dead Sea area and travel north towards Jerusalem. We will stop at Eretz Bereshit Biblical Village for an optional Camel Safari in the Judean Wilderness. After camel safari, Abraham and his family will invite us to their tent for an authentic Biblical dinner. We will drive to towards Jerusalem and to our hotel for check-in. Overnight in Jerusalem
Tuesday – Day 7: Jerusalem and Bethlehem
After breakfast, we will start our day with a drive to the top of the Mount of Olives, for a panoramic view of Jerusalem. We will visit Peter Noster Church, the site of Lord’s Prayer. We will also visit Chapel of Ascension and retrace the footsteps of our Lord, as we stroll down the Palm Sunday Route on the Mount of Olives to the tear shaped Dominius Flevit, the spot where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We will arrive to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus was arrested. We proceed to Mt. Zion. Here we will visit the site of David’s tomb and a few flights up, the Upper Room, where the Last Supper was held (Mark 14.13, Luke 22. 10-38). We will drive to the House of Caiaphas (Galicantu) – the high priest who interrogated Jesus the night of His betrayal (Mark 14:53- 65).In the afternoon, we will drive to Manger Square in Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity. We will return back yo our hotel and enjoy another relaxing dinner at our hotel. Optional Mass: Mass in Bethlehem Overnight in Jerusalem
Wednesday – Day 8: Old City of Jerusalem
After breakfast, we will drive to the Old City of Jerusalem through the Dung Gate. We will walk to the Southern Wall excavations. We will see the beauty of the ruins, including the famous Robinson Arch, which used to lead the high priests into the Temple. We will proceed to the Western Wall, to see Judaism Holiest place. We will walk along the Christian Quarter to see the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a lame man (John 5). We will retrace the steps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa (way of the cross) and pass through the colorful bazaars, alleyways and marketplaces to the Church of the Holy Seplechre (Golgotha). We proceed to the Jewish Quarter, which was reconstructed after the city was unified at the conclusion of the Six-Day War in 1967. A special point of interest in the restored Jewish Quarter is; the “Cardo”, meaning the “heart” of this ancient Byzantine City. – We will continue to The Temple Institute Museum, where we can see the prepara tion of the 3rd Temple. We will return to our hotel to enjoy another relaxing dinnel. Optional Mass: Mass at the Holy Seplechre. Overnight in Jerusalem
Thursday – Day 9: City of David, Israel Museum
After breakfast, we will begin our first visit at City of David. We start with the breathtaking observation point overlooking Biblical Jerusalem, dating back 3,800 years in time to the days of Abraham. The journey quickly heads underground to the recently excavated fortresses and passageways. The underground tour finally ends at the Gihon Spring, the water source of Jerusalem for over 1,000 years. We will drive to Israel Museum to see the model city of Jerusalem as it used to look like in 66 CE. In the same complex, we will also visit the Shrine of the Book to see the original Dead Sea scrolls and where they are housed. We will continue to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, where six million Jews perished in the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. We will walk through the New Historical Museum, the Children’s Hall, and the Memorial Hall. Enjoy dinner at our hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem
Friday – Day 10: Departure and arrival back home from your Catholic Pilgrimage Israel Tour
We will enjoy breakfast (depending on our flight times) and check-out from our hotel. We will be transferred to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back home. We will arrive back home with everlasting memories of Israel. Shalom!