Israel and Middle East

Is it Safe to Visit Israel This Year?

April 18, 2012

Here is my response to a few people who have asked me about safety in Israel. FIrst, right now we are filling buses at an unprecedented rate. Second, 3.5 million people will visit Israel this year. Here is my letter: Steve Ray here. My wife and I have been to Israel over 100 times in [...]

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Meeting with Patriarch of Jerusalem

February 6, 2012

Janet and I met with Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem Msgr. Shomali and Jerusalem Patriarch Faoud Twal to deliver our gift of new English Missal. They invited us to come back any time with our groups.

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Invitation from Patriarch of Jerusalem (and us)

December 23, 2011

In his Christmas greetings from Jerusalem, the Patriarch of Jerusalem (covering Israel, Palestinian areas, Jordan and Cyrus) said, “I would like to conclude with an invitation to all Christians to come on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Do not be afraid. Our warm welcome awaits you. Come as pilgrims. It is one of the [...]

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I Smell Like a Fish! Fishing with Andrew, Peter, James and John

November 30, 2011

Today is the Feast Day of the Apostle, St Andrew, brother of St. Peter. I wrote this in 2000 after a night of fishing with Jewish fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Since today I am discussing St. Andrew with Drew Mariana of Relevant Radio, thought I would share this story with you again. To [...]

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A Poem entitled “Bethlehem”by Joe Marmion, one of our recent pilgrims

November 11, 2011

Bethlehem 2011 By Joe Marmion Pilgrim on October 28, 2011 Pilgrimage Pictures taken in Bethlehem’s Chapel of the Angels My favorite line in Joe’s poem, is the last line. Remember that day he took fresh straw and swept the clods and dung away to clear a place for his wife to lay? She was the [...]

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Israel Council of Religious Communities to meet with Pope Benedict

November 10, 2011

The Israel Council of Religious Communities is expected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on November 10, 2011. The Pope had met the Council in Nazareth during his visit to Israel in May 2009, and invited its members to meet again in Rome. The Council accepted the invitation, and the encounter tomorrow [...]

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New Libyan Leader Declares Islamic State, Sharia Law to Be Enforced

October 24, 2011

Libya’s new leader declared his country’s liberation Sunday and set out plans for the future with an Islamist tone. In a televised address, transitional leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil declared his nation will adopt Sharia law as the basis of government, and immediately announced the canceling of all bank loans in violation of such law. The announcement [...]

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See How Safe and Nice it is in Jerusalem!

October 17, 2011
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Since we’re Leaving in Israel: Thought You’d Enjoy this Imax Video of the Magnificent Land

October 14, 2011

Beautiful 6-minute overview of Israel from helicopters:

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Zenit Article: Arab Spring becomes Terrible Autumn

October 12, 2011

Does this surprise anyone? Christians in the Middle East saw it coming from the beginning. As soon as the strong dictators are removed, Christians are the first victims. It happened in Iraq, now in Cairo and it will happen in Libya and Syria too. When Christians are the minority in a Muslim country with no [...]

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Just Invited to Discuss Caiaphas Family Ossuary in Israel

September 2, 2011

I will be joining Drew Mariani to discuss an antiquity found in Israel, an ossuary with the priest Caiaphas’ name. Interesting article in Israel National News entitled House of Caiaphas Ossuary is Authentic Relevant Radio

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Concerning Recent Troubles in S. Israel

August 20, 2011

Regarding the recent attacks in southern Israel: These attacks are distant from any sites we visit on pilgrimage. Not to be dismissive, but the attacks came in an area near Eilat which is well over 300 miles south of Jerusalem at the Egyptian border. First, this is no where near Galilee or Jerusalem. It is [...]

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Beautiful Movie Aerial Views of Israel

July 28, 2011

Jerusalem | Filmed in Imax 3D from JerusalemGiantScreen on Vimeo. After a year of research and preparation, the giant screen film JERUSALEM advanced into production with an unprecedented aerial shoot throughout Israel and the West Bank. Scheduled for worldwide release in 2013, the film will take audiences on a spectacular tour of the Holy Land [...]

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Two Good News-Info Items

July 23, 2011

First, Liz Lev gives some concrete reasons to appreciate the Popes for what they’ve done for Rome. Her list includes: 1) straight roads and obelisks, 2) conservation of antiquities, 3) churches, 4) aqueducts, 5) museums, 6) hospitals and hostels, and 7) prayers. You can read the whole excellent article at “A Long Overdue Word of [...]

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Steve Visits Magdala

July 22, 2011

Several years ago we joined Fr. John Solana on a visit to Magdala, home of Mary Magdalen. Fr. John was appointed head of the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem by the late Pope John Paul II. We went up to Galilee to shoot a TV show at the ruins of the old city of Magdala — home [...]

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Running to Western Wall and Up to Temple Mount

June 1, 2011

Just posted a Running trip, “2011-06-01 Temple Mount”, to @EveryTrail. Check it out HERE Group Run around Jerusalem Walls yesterday on Jerusalem Day.

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