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Holy Land - Bishop Ingham

A 22-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Bishop Peter Ingham.

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is no ordinary pilgrimage. It’s a journey that enriches the mind and the soul in ways you never thought possible. This is a place where centuries of history intersect with our own faith - a rich tapestry of religious history that inspires at every corner of this wonderful and mysterious land.

The Holy Land beckons to every Christian believer to 'Come and See' your spiritual homeland at least once in a lifetime. You too can walk upon the sacred soil on which Jesus lived and embark on an inside-out journey that will draw you closer to Him and bring the Gospels to vivid life. "If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill" – Ps 137:5.

30 January – 20 February 2019. Amman (2) / Dead Sea (1) / Madaba / Petra (2) / Wadi Rum / Aqaba (1) / Masada / Bethlehem (3) / Caesarea Maritima / Haifa / Sea of Galilee (3) / Nazareth / Cana / Jerusalem (7).
 
Holy Land with Bishop Peter Ingham
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner
ITINERARY
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY 30TH JANUARY 2019 - DEPART FOR THE HOLY LAND
DAY 2: THURSDAY 31ST JANUARY 2019 – VIA MT NEBO TO THE DEAD SEA

This morning we fly into Amman and have the opportunity for a deeply moving mission encounter at one of the Refugee Centres.

Following lunch travel west to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo for a spectacular Mass. Here, at the site where the Old Testament opened its door to the land of the New, Moses looked over into the Promised Land and blessed Joshua who was to lead the Israelites under God’s protection (Joshua 1:6-9). It has been possible for archaeologists to identify this sanctuary, thanks to the records left by two pilgrim-visitors of the fourth and fifth centuries of their travels in this region. One of these was Egeria, the pilgrim nun.

His Holiness Benedict XVI, on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2009, said this while here on Mt Nebo: “Here, on the heights of Mount Nebo, the memory of Moses invites us to ‘lift up our eyes’ to embrace with gratitude not only God’s mighty works in the past, but also to look with faith and hope to the future which he holds out to us and to our world.” We too can seize this opportunity to thank God for our journey thus far and anticipate the blessings that are to come.

Amman overnight (D)

DAY 3: FRIDAY 1ST FEBRUARY – JERASH & AMMAN

This morning head north to Jerash, once one of the busiest Roman towns and now the best preserved Graeco/Roman town in Jordan. In Jerash see the Street of Columns, Temple of Artemis and the Arch of Hadrian. After enjoying lunch together we return to Amman for a panoramic tour including visiting the Citadel, the Roman theatre, the old Souq, old and new part of Amman.

Amman overnight (BLD)

DAY 4: SATURDAY 2ND FEBRUARY – AMMAN TO THE DEAD SEA

We depart Amman this morning, travelling west by coach to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, one of the most recent archaeological and religious discoveries. The five springs here form a tributary of the Jordan River, believed to be the Baptismal site of Jesus by John the Baptist. So authentic is this site that His Holiness Benedict XVI chose this as an essential place to visit on his last pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We will celebrate Mass, renew our Baptismal promises and see the beautiful Orthodox Church (also the Catholic Church in construction).

We then arrive at the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea to check-in to our beautiful hotel located down on the shore. Here we will unwind and take the optional opportunity to float in the salty waters said to have healing qualities. The experience is quite uplifting!!

Dead Sea overnight (BD)

DAY 5: SUNDAY 3RD FEBRUARY – DEAD SEA TO PETRA

After breakfast we depart the Dead Sea, travelling east to St Georges Church in Madaba with its precious 6th century mosaic map of the Holy Land comprised of more than two million pieces. After this some free time will be afforded to explore the fascinating township of Madaba, the ‘City of Mosaics’, taking the opportunity for lunch and to browse the local crafts.

Our journey takes us south along the King’s Highway through the Jordanian Desert. En route to Petra, we make a stop at Wadi Mujib, known as the ‘Jordanian Grand Canyon’. Here we will enjoy a wonderful photographic opportunity as we gaze at the amazing gorges below that make up part of the Jordan valley trekked by John the Baptist.

Continue south to the magnificent ancient trading city of Petra known as the ‘Red Rose City’ and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Here we are positioned in the biblical land of Edom (Judges 11:17-18).

Petra overnight (BD)

DAY 6: MONDAY 4TH FEBRUARY – PETRA EXPLORATION

Enjoy an unforgettable guided walking tour this morning of the ruins from ancient Petra – the city that the Nabateans carved out of solid rock dating back to 300 BC! Our visit will follow a passage through the Siq, a chasm created in a prehistoric earthquake. It is one of the special moments to walk through this canyon which dramatically opens up to reveal the Treasury Building (Al Khasne) - a never to be forgotten experience. We will see also the Roman Theatre, Corinthian tomb along with churches, homes and many other buildings from this fascinating period. We will celebrate Mass in the ruins of the byzantine church. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.

Petra overnight (BD)

DAY 7: TUESDAY 5TH FEBRUARY – PETRA TO AQABA

Today we travel out to Wadi Rum to experience something of the vastness and beauty of this desert region. A moonscape of ancient valleys and towering weathered sandstone mountains rise out of the pink and white coloured sand. Here we will witness the stunning grandeur of this place made famous in the film Lawrence of Arabia. Join the adventure of a Bedouin-driven jeep ride deep into the valley.

We then journey west to ancient Aqaba in Jordan. Located on the northern tip of the Red Sea, Aqaba dates back 5,500 years and is at the junction of land and sea routes from Asia, Africa and Europe. We check in to our delightful hotel located on the shores of the sea.

Aqaba overnight (BD)

DAY 8: WEDNESDAY 6TH FEBRUARY – VIA MASADA TO BETHLEHEM

Travel west today across the border into the Holy Land of Israel known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”. Journey north along the Dead Sea to the historical Masada where, on arrival, we will embark on the cable car offering spectacular scenery to the summit. Here we will enjoy a guided tour of Herod’s fortress and the Zealot’s last stand.

Travel along the Jericho Road as we remember the parable of the Good Samaritan and journey through desert hills and dry rocky landscape. Soon our coach will pass by the site of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd boy.

Continue on to Bethany where we relive the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Here we will celebrate Mass at the Church of St Lazarus. Finally we arrive in Bethlehem, the City of David.

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

DAY 9: THURSDAY 7TH FEBRUARY – BETHLEHEM & SURROUNDS

Our day of pilgrimage begins this morning in Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and site of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord” (Lk 1:43). Pilgrims may choose to pray a mystery of the Rosary here as we walk up to this church dedicated to ‘The Magnificat’. We will also celebrate our group Mass here.

Onwards to the Yad Vashem (Holocaust History Museum). Here we will learn about this tragic event from a Jewish perspective and pay tribute to those who lost their lives. Following our time here we have the opportunity for private reflection. Return to Bethlehem for the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

DAY 10: FRIDAY 8TH FEBRUARY – BETHLEHEM

We travel to nearby Shepherd’s Field this morning to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8-16). We celebrate our group Mass here in a local cave. Return to Bethlehem where we will visit the Church of the Nativity built over the stable where Jesus was born. Bending low, we enter the church through the Door of Humility and descend into the Grotto of the Holy Manger. A silver star in the floor marks the very spot where Christ was born. The star’s inscription reads in Latin: Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus Natus Est (Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born). Enjoy some free time this afternoon.

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

DAY 11: SATURDAY 9TH FEBRUARY – VIA CAESAREA & HAIFA TO THE SEA OF GALILEE

We depart Bethlehem this morning and journey north to the crusader port city of Caesarea to see the maritime city built by Herod the Great and once the Roman capital of Israel. It was here the centurion Cornelius was baptized by Peter, becoming the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10), and where Festus tried Paul (Acts 25: 6-12). Visit the impressive excavations, the amphitheatre and the Herodian port.

Continue north to the town of Haifa which is the largest city in Northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country. The Mediterranean Sea wraps around three sides of Haifa with intoxicating blue and gold beaches. We hope to spend some time at the House of Grace, a Catholic ministry that works with the most marginalised members of Haifa: Christians, Jews and Muslims who are in need of counselling, guidance, and material aid. We will hear a special talk about this ministry (subject to opening hours).

In this region we will also visit Mount Carmel where Elijah smote the false prophets and where we will visit the Carmelite Monastery, Chapel of the Holy Family and Elijah’s cave. Finally we continue to Tiberias on the shores of Lake Galilee … “Go to Galilee and you will find him there” (Mt 28:7).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

DAY 12: SUNDAY 10TH FEBRUARY – NAZARETH / CANA / MT TABOR

Journey out to Nazareth today, the town of Jesus’ childhood. Upon arrival we enter inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where a traditional cave becomes the focal point of Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). We celebrate a touching Eucharist here. Also see the Church of St Joseph.

Continue to the village of Cana where Jesus, at the request of His Mother, performed his first miracle transforming the water into wine at the wedding feast (Jn 2:1-11). Here, married couples may take the opportunity to renew their wedding vows, and single and widowed pilgrims will receive a special blessing.

We then travel to the foot of Mt Tabor before ascending by taxis up the narrow winding road leading to the majestic summit. Here Our Lord’s divinity shone forth in the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-2). After some time to reflect in this breathtaking setting we will better understand Peter’s words ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

DAY 13: MONDAY 11TH FEBRUARY - SEA OF GALILEE

Our memorable Galilee day begins in Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle (Mt 4:12-20). After exploring this site, we travel through Sowers Bay and reflect on the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-9) before continuing through Magdala, the town of Mary Magdalene.

Visit the Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the remains of a first century fishing boat as in the days of Christ. We then set off from the shore in a traditional sailing vessel to encounter one of our most memorable pilgrimage highlights – a special Mass floating in the centre of Lake Galilee with engines switched off. Here we will recall the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water. After Mass, we will continue back to the shore for our special ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch.

Travel this afternoon on to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20), before an important stop at the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’. Here we will spend some quiet time to reflect and pray by the shore of the lake.

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

DAY 14: TUESDAY 12TH FEBRUARY – MT BEATITUDES / JACOB’S WELL & TAYBEH TO JERUSALEM

Ascend the Mt of Beatitudes as we celebrate Mass and take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1-12).

Departing Lake Galilee, we journey south through Samaria, a land rich in Old Testament history. We see the twin peaks of Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal, known in the Old Testament as Mt Blessing and Mt Cursing. Mt Gerizim is today the home of the few remaining Samaritans.

Soon we come to the actual site of Jacob’s Well, hewn manually out of solid rock and over 100 feet deep. The water at the bottom of the well is fed by flowing water which is why ancients gave it the name of “living water”. It is at this well that Jesus met the Samaritan woman and said to her: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:13-14) Pass by Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and through the beautiful Levonah Valley referred to in Judges as the Valley of the Dancers. Finally we continue our journey up to Jerusalem – the City of our God.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 15: WEDNESDAY 13TH FEBRUARY - JERUSALEM

We will proceed to the Mt of Olives this morning where we will firstly visit the Church of the ‘Pater Noster’ commemorating the site where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7-15). We then enjoy a panoramic view over the city and a spectacular photographic opportunity. We then enter the Jewish cemetery for a guided walk.

Exiting the cemetery, we commence our walk down the Palm Sunday Road, wandering past the tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah before arriving at the Dominus Flevit for Mass. This church was built on the site where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Lk 19:41-44).

We then visit the Garden of Gethsemane, where we will enter the Church of the Agony containing the bare rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. The outside garden contains olive trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. Nearby we will have the opportunity for a time of reflection in one of the private gardens.

In the afternoon we pass through the walls of the Old City to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Wailing Wall. Then we come to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary, and visit the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2-9). Tonight we will meet with the Bereaved Parents. These brave people have endured so much and are trying so hard to help to bring peace to the Holy Land.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 16: THURSDAY 14TH FEBRUARY - JERUSALEM

Theme: The Passion, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

We begin our day with a visit to the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu for Mass, where in the prison below Our Lord was interrogated and imprisoned, while Peter denied Jesus three times. Continue on to nearby Mt Zion to visit the Cenacle room of the Last Supper and the Church of Dormition where Our Lady was assumed into heaven. We then visit the Israel Museum where we have an orientation viewing of the Second Temple scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. Then proceed to the Shrine of the Book to view the Dead Sea Scrolls with our own eyes.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 17: FRIDAY 15TH FEBRUARY – BETHLEHEM ENCOUNTER

We return to Bethlehem today for a special day of encounter. Firstly, we will visit the Holy Child Program which serves as a sanctuary of safety for the families of the region. The program facilitates the acquisition and development of new skills, recovery, and rehabilitation from trauma, build resiliency and instils hope for the future through a community of caring, committed professionals. We will learn of their extraordinary work in upholding the dignity of these children’s lives before opening our hearts and minds to serve alongside them (subject to school holidays).

Today we will also visit the renowned Bethlehem University, a Catholic co-educational institution providing higher education to the people of Palestine. After an orientation tour we will celebrate Mass in the lovely chapel and then enjoy a meal prepared by the hospitality students.

Jerusalem overnight (BLD)

DAY 18: SATURDAY 16TH FEBRUARY - JERUSALEM

Arise early this morning as we enter to the Old City of Jerusalem to commence our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent. Visit nearby the Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels as we pray and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa to the site of Calvary where we will celebrate Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk the stairway climbing to the actual site where the Cross of Jesus once stood. The glass panels reveal the natural rock below which we may come to touch with our pilgrim hands. Also enter the Edicule containing the tomb where Our Lord rose from the dead. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to pray, rest or explore the Old City at your own pace.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 19: SUNDAY 17TH FEBRUARY – PILGRIM WALK TO JERICHO

Early this morning we arise and set off by foot on the “Good Samaritan Track” through the stark desert landscape towards Jericho. En route we will visit the Monastery of St George, spend time in reflection and prayer and explore the amazing desert landscape. (subject to weather conditions)

We continue to Jericho the ‘City of Palms’ which is said to be the oldest inhabited city and most famous oasis. Across the valley we view the Mt of Temptation, the site of Jesus’ fast of 40 days and there are enough stones to illustrate Satan’s words “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves”. Here in Jericho we can give our feet a well deserved rest and enjoy a traditional Palestinian meal. We will also celebrate Mass here. Return to Jerusalem for the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.

Jerusalem overnight (BLD)

DAY 20: MONDAY 18TH FEBRUARY – JERUSALEM – FREE DAY

We enjoy our final day in Jerusalem at leisure to rest, pray and return to our favourite places in the Old City. For our final night in the Holy Land, we enjoy a special dinner.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

DAY 21: TUESDAY 19TH FEBRUARY – DEPART THE HOLY LAND

This morning we farewell the Holy Land of Israel as we cross the border back in to Jordan. This afternoon we check in for our onward flights to Australia. (B)

DAY 22: WEDNESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

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PILGRIMAGE DETAILS
Tour Code: 9PV15
Pilgrimage Cost: $8990 per person twin share
Single Room Supplement: $2600
Prepaid Tipping: $380

 
INCLUSIONS
Airfares: Economy class airfare from Sydney (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations). Accommodation & Meals: Based on moderate standard hotel & Religious accommodation throughout with breakfast daily and dinner daily. Miscellaneous inclusions: Deluxe Air-Conditioned Motor coach with driver • Local tour escort/guide • Sightseeing and entrance fees throughout itinerary. Not Included: Passport and Visa Costs (if applicable) • Prepaid Tipping • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance (Harvest will recommend a special group policy rate).

 
 
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