Catholic Digest and Franciscan University Pilgrimage Group Arrives

by Steve Ray on May 2, 2013

View from all of our balconies

Note: Family and friends, please leave comments below and I will read them on the bus. It always gives great joy to the pilgrims.

This group is very excited – a whole bus full. Many came from my invitation, many from Catholic Digest and their sponsorship and generous advertising and others came from Franciscan University of Steubenville. In all it is a great and enthusiastic group.

No luggage lost, everyone arrived in good order and we drove straight to Galilee for Mass on the shoreline at St. Peter’s Church in Tiberias. Today is Holy Thursday for the locals – Sunday here is Easter.

Everyone is full of excitement and laughing at the fear of danger that they’ve been warned of back home. It is a beautiful country and very safe. We, Steve and Janet Ray, have been here over 100 times and have brought thousands of people without ever once having a problem.

Ready for a swim? See of Galilee or the warm pool?

Over 3.5 million people a year visit Israel and never has one visitor been victimized as CNN and MSNBC would like you to believe! I’d be more afraid to go to Boston, Chicago or New York than to Israel!!

We are all settled in along the shore of Galilee. Reverent Mass, great dinner and beautiful hotel. Everyone is now asleep getting ready for a busy day tomorrow…

…Mass on the Mount of Transfiguration, renewal of wedding vows in Cana and a spiritual tour of Nazareth where it all began. Without Nazareth where the Word become flesh – there would be no Bethlehem, Capernaum or Jerusalem.

We will pray three Mysteries of the Rosary tomorrow at the site where they happened, especially in Nazareth where the actual cave where the words of Gabriel were first heard, “Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee!” (Luke 1:28)

Everyone will have free time from 4:00 PM to swim in the Sea of Galilee, meditate on the shoreline, rest, and have a good time getting to know the other pilgrims from around the country and even Ireland!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmelo Montanez May 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

To my beautiful wife Gilda and good friend Maria. Have a great time.
Enjoy the Holly land

Scott McKinney May 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Love the video! Kids gathered around to see Grandma Judy and Grandpa Harold on their special trip. Love from Scott, Julie, Devan, John, Sarah, Aaron, and Kira

Cindy Carr May 3, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Hi Mom (Margaret Paine), Uncle Tom and Aunt Libby,

Hope you guys are having a wonderful time. I saw all of you on the video that was posted on line. Glad to know you all made it safe and all of the luggage arrived. I feel like I’m looking through pictures of Carson at summer camp, but not this time…..I’m looking for my Mom. Kinda weird! Have a fantastic time.

Love all of you,
Cindy

Mary Ann Thompson May 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM

TO Joanne from Louisville: will print out the information on the website and give it to Dale.
Enjoy> Mil and Mary Ann

Damian Rositch May 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Hi Mom!

So great to see that you made it safely for this trip of a lifetime!
Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get home. It’s cool to be able to see updates and videos of you traveling on the other side of the world (usually I’m the one traveling in the far off lands!). I’m so proud of you going off on your first BIG international trip since Dad passed, though no doubt he’s somehow right there with you, loving every minute of it:) Can’t wait for more updates. I know you’ll have an amazing time!

Love D

Abby Brouwer May 3, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Hi Aunt Sue!

We can’t wait to hear all the stories you are going to be able to share! It was amazing to see you so far away but it’s like you are right here in our living room! I loved the picture of your dipping your feet into the sea of Galilee. We can’t wait to see you next time.

Love, Abby, Jason, and Cayla

Abby Brouwer May 3, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Hi Aunt Sue!

We can’t wait to hear all the stories you are going to be able to share! It was amazing to see you so far away but it’s like you are right here in our living room! I loved the picture of your dipping your feet into the sea of Galilee. We can’t wait to see you next time.

Love, Abby, Jason, and Cayla

Stephenie Carlson May 3, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Hi Mom & Tom,
Great to see the video and know that you guys arrived safe & sound! Hope you are having a wonderful time, what an adventure! We are looking forward to more updates…
Love,
Steph & family

kathleen webskowski May 4, 2013 at 12:12 AM

Hi Allen, and everyone, have a wonderful time. for me too.. Nancy and I have seen the updates and video and all we’ve been saying is WOW!!! I wish I was with you but Nance is taking wonderful care of me. We are having a nice wet time, rain and snow, everything you guys left. Have an amazing time.

Love, Kathleen

Tina, Matt, Iggy, and Faustina Blumenfeld May 4, 2013 at 8:39 PM

To Julia, Thomas, and Paul Stanley and Carl and Paula Califano,

Wish I was there with you all! We enjoyed the videos and pictures and can’t wait to hear about your experience!!! We miss you and hope you continue to have an amazing time!

Love,
The abovementioned group of individuals

Rita Stanley May 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM

To Julia, Thomas, and Paul Stanley and Carl and Paula Califano,
Hey guys! Hope you are having fun! The first thing I noticed in the video was Dad’s bald head and Mom’s goofy sunglasses. Some things never change. Love you all and I’m praying for you everyday. Here’s my favorite quote by St. Jaime Hilario to remember while you are exploring the Holy Land, “The day you learn to surrender yourself totally to God, you will discover a new world. You will enjoy a peace and a calm unknown, surpassing even the happiest days of your life.” Miss you!
Love,
Rita Stanley, your favorite daughter/niece/sister

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