April 2013

Click on this map to join the adventure

Today I took off in 90+ temperatures to get some exercise and to share the Old City of Jerusalem with all of you. I took a little different course than usual to provide new pictures and videos. 

I also tried to capture pictures of interesting people. I don’t walk up and click my iPhone in their face or ask permission to take a picture because most would say NO. So I clandestinely take pictures as I go along.

I also try to point out the holy sites from both Old and New Testaments. Many people will never be able to visit the Holy Land so I try to bring it to you in as many ways as I can. I want Catholic to know it is TRUE enough to live for it, and even to die for it.

My whole body wants to take off running like in the past but my knees just won’t do it any more and two knee specialists have now told me I have to walk, bike and use other means of exercise and discovery other than running. I plan to buy a mountain bike here in Israel to use when I am here.

Anyway, enjoy pictures, commentary, videos and interactive map. Click on the image to join the learning adventure!

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Humble Archbishop prays as Lesbians strip and douse him with water

Dear Friend (From CatholicVote.org): 

Over 17,000 people have signed our Open Letter to Archbishop Leonard thanking him for his humility and grace when half-naked feminists shouted obscenities and doused him with water while mocking the Blessed Mother.

Can we include your name in support of Archbishop Leonard?

We have received word that the Archbishop of Brussels is aware of our effort and is grateful. Equally important, other bishops and priests are watching to see how the laity respond to these attempts to silence our clergy.

We plan to deliver our Open Letter to Archbishop Leonard later this week. We want to overwhelm him with prayers and support. That’s why we would like to include your name, too.

Sign our Open Letter of Support for Archbishop Leonard!
http://www.catholicvote.org/cv-petition/ 

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Jackie was one of our pilgrims on this trip to the Holy Land. She is a marathon runner who’s achieved great success. Even while here she would arise early and run several times around the Wall of Jerusalem.

Deacon Jim was also on our trip along with his wife and daughter. He is struggling with serious stage 4 cancer. He was a trooper the whole way and never once complained. He served at Mass and struggled but never fell behind.

Jackie has run thirty-one marathons, seven of them Boston Marathons. But she missed the Boston Marathon this year and I’ll let her tell you why. Why is the number 7 so important to her. What makes her run?

Deacon Jim did not expect Jackie’s announcement – none of us did, but we were all stunned and moved to tears.

Why will Jackie run the Boston Marathon next year? I think you will enjoy her story which she shared with us on the bus yesterday. There was not a dry eye on the bus and no one spoke for a long time. This is one incredible lady!

Jackie wrote:

As many of you know, Andrew and I went with my parents on a Holy Lands pilgrimage in April. It was a unique and fascinating experience. From the Christian perspective, I would strongly recommend our tour host, Steve Ray (and his wife Janet) http://www.catholicconvert.com/ . His (and her) knowledge of both Testaments of the Bible and the Holy Lands itself is stunning, and he conveys it to the group in a way that is easily understood and appreciated. I have attached photos from 2 places that I felt were quite powerful. The first is from within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, and marks the spot where Mary stood during the Crucifixion. The second is within the Church of all Nations, and is the stone upon which Christ began His passion in the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday.

        We have been back for about 2 weeks now, and everything we experienced is still filtering in. God willing, Andrew and I have increased our commitment to each other, and hope to be better neighbors to everyone else as well.

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Entering Jesus’ Jerusalem, Stepping into His Jordan River, Jericho, Qumran, Floating in the Dead Sea and then THEN THOSE CAMELS

April 29, 2013

It was a day full of adventure starting with Mass at Notre Dame, then a visit to the Israel Museum to see the Jerusalem of Jesus’s time and the Dead Sea Scrolls. We descended over 4,000 feet into the Judean Wilderness to the authentic site of Jesus’ baptism – one of my all time favorite [...]

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The Agony, the Eucharist & the Spirit, the Dormition, the Whole Story, the Nativity of Mary, Healing at the Pools

April 28, 2013

Today was rich. Mass at Gethsemane. Prayer in the Upper Room. Remembering the dormition, Assumption and Queenship of Mary. Lunch at a Jewish Kibbutz. Story of Salvation History from Adam & Eve until today overlooking the whole story before our eyes. Singing at the Church of St. Ann where Mary was born. Talking about the [...]

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BIBLICAL MISINTERPRETATION

April 27, 2013

Misinterpretation of the Bible reviewed: For those who haven’t heard, Washington State just passed both laws – gay marriage and legalized marijuana. The fact that gay marriage and marijuana were legalized on the same day makes perfect biblical sense because Leviticus 20:13 says “If a man lies with another man they should be stoned.” I [...]

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Immersed in the Agony and Footprints of Jesus

April 27, 2013

Today we covered the main sites of Jesus’ Passion. We visited the place Peter denied Jesus as he was tried and imprisoned on Holy Thursday. But, the most powerful part of the day started at 4:30 AM when our alarms went off. I always tell our pilgrims they will thank me later – and they [...]

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Bethlehem is Not What Most People Expect

April 26, 2013

Bethlehem is a city of contrasts, the largest between Christian vs. Muslim. Today we spent the day touring this ancient city which in many ways has still not moved into the modern world. It is behind a wall which constrains the inhabitants. We can come and go—they cannot.  We literally fought our way into the [...]

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Islam: Not Peace, but a Sword

April 26, 2013

Why didn’t interfaith dialogue prevent the Boston jihad bombings? “…the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims…” — Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013 Why didn’t that “inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims” in the Boston area, which is where McManus is, prevent the Boston jihad [...]

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Two Radio Shows

April 25, 2013

Today at 5 PM Eastern I will join Al Kresta to discuss St. Mark the Evangelist who wrote the Gospel of Mark. He is not discussed much but is a fascinating character. Tomorrow morning at 9:15 AM I will join Teresa Tomeo to discuss St. Mark as well but from a different perspective. It is [...]

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Gay Marriage and Communion

April 25, 2013

Post-script on the Detroit debate over Catholics and holy Communion by Dr. Edward Peters A few days ago I gave written interview to Lauren Abdel-Razzaq of the Detroit News on the question of Catholic supporters of “gay marriage” approaching for holy Communion. Abdel-Razzaq quoted me accurately if not quite as precisely as I wrote and I’ve [...]

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Boat Ride to Mass at Capernaum, Eating St. Peter’s Fish, Up to Jerusalem!

April 25, 2013

Today was a wonderful day full of grace and adventure. The Bible comes alive in the Holy Land. This is why we call Israel the 5th Gospel. Started out with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to view the 2,000 year old “Jesus Boat” before arriving in the city of Jesus for Mass. [...]

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“You are Rock!” “Feed My Sheep!”

April 24, 2013

Today was a full day around Galilee and the Golan Heights. Mass at the Mount of Beatitudes was a great start for the day. Having reverent priests and a holy deacon is a blessing for all. The priests gave their vocation stories on the way to Caesarea Philippi. Especially gripping was the story Fr. Janusz [...]

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Transfiguration, Miracle in Cana and Annunciation in Nazareth

April 23, 2013

A great first day with this group in the Holy Land. Everyone is now enjoying the great weather, sitting on the shore of Galilee – some are even swimming. Others are sharing a glass of wine while discussing all the things we saw and learned today. Dinner is in a few minutes and everyone is [...]

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First Day in Galilee for our April Pilgrimage

April 22, 2013

Our full bus of excited pilgrims arrived almost on time and were tired but excited to go! Because it was an early arrival, we had time to drive along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Haifa where we had Mass at Mount Carmel at Elijah’s Cave. After a drive through Haifa toward Tiberias we [...]

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Entering the Empty Tomb; A Contrast – Now and Back Then (our 1st group arriving in Israel today)

April 22, 2013

It looks different today, but the place is the same. It is darker now, covered with a dome that blocks the sun. There is no grass, no hillside, no trees waving their leaves nearby.   Instead there are the hushed voices of hundreds of people, the Muslim call to prayer echoing in the distance and the [...]

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