8 DAY ITINERARY FOR THE CATHOLIC GROUP
This is a sample, skeleton itinerary. Travelers need to adjust their personal itinerary around ideal times for Mass, and around the Jewish Sabbath, when some sites are closed.
DAY 1 Home-JERUSALEM
Arrive Israel. Transfer to Jerusalem / Bethlehem for overnight
Day 2 Bethlehem-Ein Karem
Start the day in Bethlehem and visit Church of Nativity. Hold a Holy Mass in the Church. Continue to the Shepherd field and its lovely chapel. We drive to Ein Karme, home of Elizabeth and birthplace of John the Baptist. We will visit John the Baptist church and the newly decorated Church of the visit (commemorate Mary visit to her nice Hanna). At the end of the day we visit the Museum and memorial to the Holocaust, whose Avenue of the Righteous honors Christians who helped save endangered Jewish lives during World War II. Pause in the Hall of Remembrance and see the letter placed by Pope John-Paul II in the crevices of the Western Wall. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight
DAY 3 JERUSALEM
We start at the panorama of Jerusalem's Old City from atop the Mount of Olives. We visit Pater Noster and the site of Ascension, then descend the mountain on foot, pausing at the Church of Dominus Flevit, and continue to the Garden of Gethsemane, with its Church of All Nations and millennia-old olive trees. We continue to Mt Zion and visit Dormitzion basilica, then climb to the Upper Room, place of last supper. Proceed to St Peter in Galicanto church, the place where Jesus was kept before his trial. We hold a holy Mass in Galicanto before we visit the Israel Museum, whose 2000 years old Dead Sea Scrolls are housed in the Shrine of the Book. Dinner & overnight in Jerusalem
Day 4 Old City of Jerusalem
We start our tour in the ancient Jaffa gate, the major gate to enter the Old City. We walk through the Armenian and Jewish quarter and explore the narrow an ancient allay. We decent to the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site and walk through the Western Wall tunnels to the Via Dolorosa. Visit the Church of St. Anne, the Chapel of the Flagellation and follow the Stations of the Cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where we hold a Mass. Continue through the Old City bazaars back to Jaffa Gate. After early dinner we will join the beautiful Sound & Lights show in David Citadle.
DAY 5 DEAD SEA-- Nazareth
Follow the route of the Good Samaritan from Jerusalem to Jericho as you descend through the stark Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, lowest point on earth. Visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Ascend Masada by cablecar and tour the remains of Herod's palace-fortress, where in the year 73, the zealots chose suicide over surrender to Rome. We will stop at a beach near the Dead Sea to experience floating on its water, then visit the Baptism site near Jericho. Continue via the Jordan valley to Nazareth.
Dinner and overnight in Nazareth.
DAY 6 Nazareth and Mt Tabor
We visit Nazareth, Jesus' home until the age of 30. We will walk from Mary's Well through the colorful market to the beautiful Basilica of the Annunciation - consecrated in 1964 by Pope Paul VI. We hold Mass in the Basilica. Continue to Cana, site of the miracle of the Wedding Feast then to Mount Tabor, with its hilltop Basilica of the Transfiguration. Back to Nazareth for dinner & Overnight.
DAY 7 Sea of Galilee
We drive to the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus spent his last few years preaching and teaching villages and communities of fishermen. We start at Tabgha with its Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes we then drive to the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes and admire the natural amphitheater that was the site of the Sermon on the Mount. Continue to Capernaum, home of Peter, where we see the remain of Jewish synagogue side by side with the first church build over Peter house. We visit St.Peter's Church and the House of Simon the Tanner. In the afternoon we climb on a wooden boat and sail on the lake. We end the day at Yardenit, where we can baptize in the Jordan River. Back to Nazareth.
DAY 8 JAFFA-TEL AVIV
In the morning we drive to Tel Aviv, Israel's largest metropolis and the beautifully restored 4,000-year-old city of Jaffa with its cobblestoned streets lined with artists' galleries and boutiques. In the afternoon we drive to the airport for our flight back home.