January 2008

Big snow in Jerusalem as Pilgrims Return Home

by Steve Ray on January 30, 2008

Videos moved to Virtual Pilgrimage page on our pilgrimage website here.

It has been snowing hard for 24 hours. Very interesting and much needed since there has been very little precipitation in Israel. Snow weighing down Palm trees is not something you see every day.

Maybe it's why snow isn't mentioned very often in the Bible (24 times) — only twice in the New Testament: Matthew 28:3 where the angel at Jesus' tomb was dressed in clothing as "white as snow"; and Revelation 1:14 where Jesus' head and hair were "white like wool, like snow."

LinoSm.jpgMy favorite is in a reference to one of David's Mighty Men: "Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day (2 Sam. 23:20). This must have taken place near Jerusalem or Bethlehem — up in the mountains.

We left our hotel in Jerusalem at midnight and drove down to Tel Aviv where it is only raining. It took 3 times longer than normal since the snow has choked the city.

Spent some time with Lino Rulli — Sirius Satellite Catholic Radio's "The Catholic Guy." We had some good times together in Jerusalem. (More pictures of Lino in the video here.)

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 8

by Steve Ray on January 30, 2008

Videos moved to Virtual Pilgrimage page on our pilgrimage website here.

Today we all drove out of Jerusalem down 3,000 feet to sea level, and then another 1,300 feet below sea level to the Dead Sea. We first stopped at Qumran and discussed the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Essense. Then to Masada and back to swim in the Dead Sea. We ate lunch, shopped and rode camels in Jericho. We also saw the Sycamore Tree of Zaccheus fame and the Mount of Temptation from which Jesus was tempted by the devil.

After returning for Mass, we drove again to Bethlehem for our Farewell Dinner. We ate a whole lamb, danced to Arabic music and said our farewells. It was cold and snowing while we boarded the bus to head back through the wall to our hotel.

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 7

by Steve Ray on January 28, 2008

Video moved to my Pilgrimage website here.

Since my computer is messed up, I am in an internet cafe in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is almost 9 PM and it closes in a few minutes. This is the only Internet Cafe open this week in the Old City. But, I have an obligation to everyone to get these videos up so here I am having a blast with all these young Arab kids.

Today we started early with the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) and then breakfast. Everyone carried their cross through the streets to share in the experience of this event. We ended up at Calvary and the tomb.

After breakfast we prayed Mass where the Antonia Fortress stood and where Jesus was whipped and crowned with thorns. Then to St. Anne's where Mary was born and to visit the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the crippled man in John 5. I spoke at each place. Then to St. Peter in Gallicantu ("rooster crow") where Jesus was imprisoned on Holy Thursday and where Peter denied Christ.

The pilgrims all had the afternoon free to wander the Old City, go shopping, eat lunch, nap, pray or whatever they wanted. We had dinner at the hotel and a free evening.

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Candidate Calculator

January 28, 2008

Who should you vote for? What do the candidates really stand for? How can I figure out which one is closest to my values? Well now there is a Candidate Calculator which will score them all for you. Click here and have some fun. Be sure to also check out the Catholic Answers' Voters Guide [...]

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 6

January 27, 2008

Video moved to my Pilgrimage website here. You can also watch this video directly on YouTube here. Another great day though it was a bit cold. Everyone is doing great – not even a sickness or injury or problem. I am sorry I was unable to upload videos (I have them created but have not uploaded [...]

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Ignatius Press’s 30th Anniversary! Join the Celebration!

January 27, 2008

Ignatius Press is the largest Catholic Publisher in the United States. They publish my books and produce our Footprints of God DVD series. They are celebrating their 30th Birthday with a big trip to the Holy Land with special guests and speakers. I (Steve Ray) and my wife Janet will be the guides. We hope [...]

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day Five

January 26, 2008

Video moved to my Pilgrimage website here. You can also watch this video directly on YouTube here. Everything went GREAT! Mass at Calvary where Jesus was nailed to the cross, touched the top of Calvary where the blood flowed, visited the tomb, and had a group picture in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Then back [...]

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day Four

January 26, 2008

We started the day with a visit to the Ancient Boat recovered from the mud in the Sea of Galilee from the first century. Then we took an hour boat ride out on the Sea of Galilee. Mass at Capernaum, a drive up through the Golan Heights for lunch at a Druze Restaurant. Delicious! Then [...]

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We’re in Bethlehem Today – Listen to Steve’s Interview on Bethlehem

January 26, 2008

Here is a link to Steve's recent interview on Searching the Word. He discussed the city of Bethlehem and the meaning of this city and the life of the Holy Family. Click here to listen. Click here to learn more about Mary, Mother of God and Jesus, the Word Became Flesh all filmed on location. [...]

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 3

January 24, 2008

Today was spent following the footprints of Jesus around the Sea of Galilee. Tomorrow we go to the Lebanese border to visit Caesarea Philippi and then down to Jerusalem. Enjoy. Video moved to my Pilgrimage website here.

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 2

January 24, 2008

A great on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mount Tabor) and Nazareth. It started out cold and a bit rainy but cleared up toward the end of the day. Enjoy! Video moved to my Pilgrimage website here.

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Why a Vatican Official is (and should be) Skeptical on Islamic Dialog

January 23, 2008

The Forum: Why a Vatican expert is skeptical on dialogue with Islam by Phil Lawler, special to www.CWNews.com Jan. 10, 2008 (CWNews.com) – One of the Vatican's top experts on Islam has offered a sobering appraisal of the prospects for dialogue between the Holy See and Muslim leaders. . . . . . . The [...]

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Day One: Catholic Way Bible Study Holy Land Pilgrimage

January 22, 2008

Steve Ray here. Today is Day One of the Catholic Way Bible Study Holy Land pilgrimage hosted by Lavinia Spirito and led by Steve & Janet Ray. Everyone arrived safe and sound – albeit a bit tired from flying for 12 hours over the Atlantic. We boarded the bus and headed first to Caesarea by [...]

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Good for Catholic Education?

January 22, 2008

 For video clips, click here. For more on the series, click here  Recommendation for the Footprints of God series:  Of all the religious education videos that I have come across as head of the Religious Studies Department at a Catholic high school, the Footprints of God are the best.  Steve Ray visits all the right [...]

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Should This Baby Be Aborted? You Decide!

January 21, 2008

Want to help people understand the wickedness and foolishness of abortion? Share this little test with your friends, maybe provide it to your co-workers today since tomorrow we remember with revulsion Roe v. Wade when abortion was legalized in America. In this quiz you are presented with several very difficult life situations and pregnancies. You [...]

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We are on our way to the airport

January 19, 2008

Heading for Israel to lead the Catholic Way Bible Study group. We will be in touch and Lord willing (and technology willing) I will be uploading our Virtual Pilgrimage Videos each night. You can see them all here. Keep us in your prayers. Steve & Janet Ray SUNDAY UPDATE: It's 4:30 AM Monday morning Israel [...]

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