Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fr. Gerald’s Comments on our Pilgrimage

by Steve Ray on July 16, 2006

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Wow! Here is a wonderful priest – Fr. Gerald Gawronski — the spiritual director for our June 2006 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I snapped this picture after calling out "Hey Father!"

He was with our 50 pilgrims sailing on the Sea of Galilee. (For 350+ pictures, click here.) He was very loved by the pilgrims. He was always available for confession, for prayer and he was humorous and fun. He is MY priest for traveling to the Holy Land. Thank God for these marvelous young priests who take the faith seriously!

Click here to read Fr. Gerald's report about our pilgrimage — he was the priest who accompanied us on our June pilgrimge to Israel. He is a marvelous priest at Old St. Patrick's in Whitmore Lake Michigan.

 There are a lot of LUCKY and BLESSED people at Old St. Pat's that have Fr. Gerald as their priest. I hope they all love and support him!

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by Steve Ray on July 16, 2006

IMGP57461.JPGJust one year ago Janet & I visited Lebanon from north to south and stayed in Beirut. We were lucky enough to be there when the big protest pushed Syria back across the border into their own country — though we all know they still exert much control in Lebanon.

We bought flags and joined the protest. We also found that the Christians, the vast majority in northern Lebanon and north Beirut despise Syria and wish Hezbollah would leave. It is the south that is Muslim and protects Hezbollah — a puppet group controlled by Syria and Iran.

I am personally not dismayed that Israel has gone after them. When a doctor finds a patient has cancer he does the merciful thing and cuts the cancer out even though it might seem cruel and extreme at the moment. The government of Lebanon is completely helpless in the face of Hezbollah which really controls the country. Such an extreme and lunatic group cannot be left to hold a whole country hostage — especially when many of them Christians.

IMGP5742.JPGI weep for the innocent victims on both sides, but I have no sympathy for Hezbollah or their supporters who started this whole thing in the first place. Israel and the free world cannot tolerate guerilla groups like Hezbollah — controlled by lunatic countries like Syria and Iran — shooting rockets unprovoked at innocent citizens of a free country. Israel does what it has to do in this case.

Does that mean I support Israel no matter what it does — right or wrong? Of course not. But in this case I support them and their decision. The sooner Hezbollah is kicked out of Lebanon the better it will be for everyone — especially the Lebanese people. 

Regarding our future pilgrimages. We are moving full steam ahead. We are watching the situation carefully and in contact with our agents and friends in the Middle East. We would NEVER take groups over if there was danger. But we expect this to be resolved within a reasonable time and soon enough so that our pilgrimages are not jepordized. Stay tuned.

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