We started out at Tre Fontone where St. Paul was beheaded. Very few people have visited this marvelous location where there is still original Roman Road Paul walked to his death. I gave my overview of the life of St. Paul.

Then to St. Paul Outside the Walls where the bones of Paul are — second largest church! Then to Church of St. Sebastian for Mass. For Fr. Hersey’s homily, click here.

Spectacular lunch with wine on the Via Appia Antica under the vines with the turtles. Following we had a tour of the catacombs and some free time late in the afternoon. Enjoy!


Father Pizzaballa nominated as Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate


His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal, having reached the legal age, according to article 401, §1 of the Code of Canon Law. His Holiness has appointed the Very Reverend  Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, former Custos of the Holy Land for twelve years, as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, until the appointment of a new Patriarch.

The Bishops, clergy and faithful of the Latin Patriarchate sincerely thank His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal who has just completed his mission and welcome the Apostolic Administrator with best wishes in his new mission.  The entire Diocese joins in prayer for the intentions of the Patriarch Emeritus and the new Apostolic Administrator.

The Episcopal Ordination of Father Pizzaballa will take place in September.


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Great day today. Mass at the altar of St. JPII, tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, then St. Peter’s Basilica. It was hot today so we gave everyone the afternoon off to swim, stay cool and explore Rome.


Tombs of Apostolic Fathers for Mass, Holy Door at Mother Church of the World…

June 23, 2016

Everyone who knows me knows me knows I love the Apostolic Fathers. Mass at the tomb of both Sts. Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome — both of whom personally knew the Apostles and had their “words still ringing in their ears” — is always a thrill for me and our groups. For Fr. [...]

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We Saw the Pope Up Close – and Took a CATHOLIC Tour of the Forum and Coloseum

June 22, 2016

Although it was very hot today we all drank lots of water and had a great day. We started with the General Audience with the Pope and got some great shots. One on our young pilgrims even got a KISS from the Pope.  Then we took a marvelous CATHOLIC tour thru the Roman Forum and [...]

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Did St. Paul Pray for the Dead? Yes!

June 22, 2016

Since we are in Rome today and touring Ancient Rome, especially the Roman Forum and the Mammertine Prison where St. Paul wrote 2 Timothy shortly after his martyrdom. While in that prison he wrote to Timothy and says a prayer for the dead. It seems apparent that St. Paul DOES pray for the dead. Here [...]

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From A Full Morning in Assisi to an Evening in Rome

June 21, 2016

Today was a full second day and we had a wonderful itinerary. Mass at St. Clare’s in Assisi, a tour with a local guide who was a REAL believer whose brother is in seminary to be a priest. The “spirituality” of local guides is essential which is why we tolerate NO guide who is not [...]

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Arrival in Rome and Drive to Medieval Assisi

June 20, 2016

Today everyone arrived safe and sound in the Rome Airport and we drove north to Assisi. We had a great day with Mass at the Church of San Francesco in the monastery. We had free time to explore the city and pray at his tomb. A great Italian dinner and then to bed for a [...]

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Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

June 20, 2016

 Jesus was a Jew. This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Jesus and his Jewish ancestors.  [...]

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Join Franciscan University and Us (with Family’s!) in the Holy Land over Christmas Break!

June 17, 2016

This is a “Family Holy Land Pilgrimage” where we are inviting families with their kids young and old to join us. We have added things to this pilgrimage for the young people. Grandparents, consider bringing your grandkids, or at least funding their trip. It is a great way to seal the Catholic Faith in their [...]

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Petra – One of the New Wonders of the World – Join us in Jordan!

June 10, 2016

In February we will be going to the beautiful country of Jordan. Christians thrive there and have some of the most spectacular churches in the Middle East. Daily Mass with the locals and the best Middle Eastern cuisine you’ll find anywhere. We will visit Petra and ride camels back to the city carved out of [...]

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Facts and Figures about Islam in Israel – Different than you might think

June 9, 2016

Behind the Headlines: Facts and Figures – Islam in Israel “The State of Israel…will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions.” –Israel’s Declaration of [...]

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Fr. Chris Alar of Marian Helpers to Join us in Rome for Canonization of Mother Teresa

June 7, 2016

Pope Francis announced the canonization of Mother Teresa on September 4, 2016. We had jumped on this a year ago and secured the best accommodations, hotels, guides (including Liz Lev) and escorts. We have had airline seats for many months just waiting for this announcement. Join us for the historical event – the canonization of [...]

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“Don’t be afraid to come to Poland!” says Pope John Paul II’s Secretary

May 20, 2016

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz is perfectly aware that in our age of terrorism, some young people (or their parents) might be afraid of a World Youth Day [or pilgrimages to Poland]. To this, he replies, Be not afraid! Krakow is a city that has a strong emotional impact: it is the Diocese of Saint John Paul [...]

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Mary and the Other Body of Christ; How Many People were in the Upper Room and Why?

May 12, 2016

The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal. They were also anxious about the promise. [...]

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Did Jesus Ascend into Heaven from Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) or from Bethany (Luke 24:50)?

May 10, 2016

One of our past pilgrims wrote with an apparent contradiction in the Bible and what I had said in Israel. The wording in the two verses below is what caused the confusion. Acts 1:12  ”[After the Ascension] they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.” Luke [...]

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