Good Shepherd’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land – August 2018

Fr Kapena OMI • 30 July to 8 August 2018

Join Fr Kapena of Walvis Bay, Namibia, on this special pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Monday, July 30
We depart from Walvis Bay to Johannesburg to leave on our night-flight for our special Holy Land pilgrimage.

Tuesday, July 31
We land in Tel Aviv where we are met by our tour guide. We proceed to Nazareth we visit the Basilica of the Annunciation with the grotto where the Archangel greeted Mary with the words “Hail Mary, full of grace”, and the nearby church of St Joseph, or Carpenter’s Workshop. We see Mary’s Well, where Our Lady drew water, and other sites associated with the Holy Family. We then visit Cana, site of Our Lord’s first miracle, where couples can renew their wedding vows. We visit Mount Tabor, site of the Transfiguration, from where we can survey the Jezreel Valley.

Wednesday, August 1
After breakfast we go to the Sea of Galilee, around which most of Jesus’ public ministry took place. At Capernaum we can see the remains of Peter’s house and of a fourth-century synagogue built on top of the one in which Jesus probably preached (the foundations of which we can still see). At Tabgha a church recalls the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and the nearby chapel of Peter’s Primacy marks the place where Christ entrusted the Church to St Peter. We drive up Mount of Beatitudes, on the slopes of which Jesus delivered his famous sermon. A highlight of the pilgrimage is the boat-ride on the Sea of Galilee on a recreation of a first-century fishing vessel, a time for both fun and for prayerful reflection. We invite you for lunch today, with an opportunity to eat the St Peter’s fish from the Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee seen from the Mount of Beatitudes

Thursday, August 2
Today we cross Samaria, visiting Jacob’s Well, where Our Lord had that memorable encounter with the Samarian woman. At Sebaste, where the head of St John the Baptist was kept, we see the remains of the Roman city in which Saints Philip, Peter and John preached, and of Jezebel and Ahab’s palace. We visit Taybeh, the last 100% Christian village, where an old house shows us how people lived in ancient times.

Friday, August 3
At Ein Kerem, today a part of West Jerusalem, we remember in two beautiful churches the birth of John the Baptist and Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth during which Our Lady recited the Magnificat. We then explore Bethlehem, where He was born. In Bethlehem we visit the ancient Basilica of the Nativity, where a silver star marks the place of Jesus’ birth. Shepherds’ Field, where the angels announced the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds, is one of the Holy Land’s loveliest sites. In Bethlehem we have the opportunity to do some souvenir shopping.

Saturday, August 4
Jerusalem! We begin our pilgrimage to the Holy City on top of the Mount of Olives at the small chapel, now a mosque, which marks the spot from which Catholics believe Christ ascended into Heaven (see His reputed footprint in a stone there). As we walk down the mount we visit Paternoster Church, where the Lord’s Prayer is displayed in hundreds of languages, including several South African versions, and Dominus Flevit Church, which is on the spot where Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept for its impending destruction. At the foot of the mount we arrive at the Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees, and the magnificent Church of All Nations with the Rock of Agony, on which Jesus is believed to have prayed before His arrest.

On Mount Zion we visit the impressive Dormition Abbey, where Our Lady fell asleep, the Cenacle (Upper Room) which commemorates the Last Supper, and the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, where Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin, kept in a dungeon, and where Peter denounced Our Lord three times. Next to the church we can see the steps on which we know Jesus actually walked!

Fr Kapena’s group in Jerusalem in August 2017, on a pilgrimage organised by FOWLER TOURS.

Sunday, August 5
After breakfast we visit Bethany, the town where Jesus often stayed with his friends Mary and Martha, and where he raised Lazarus from the dead in the tomb which still exists today. We then drive to visit the Qasr El-Yahud baptismal site on the River Jordan, which the Vatican recognises as the authentic site of the baptism. There we renew our baptismal vows. We pass through Jericho, with a view on the Mount of Temptation, the place where Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. On the Dead Sea, where we can float on the mineral-rich water.

Monday, August 6
This is the day we follow the Stations of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. The Way of the Cross culminates in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, our faith’s most sacred site. Here you can touch the rock where the cross stood and pray in the tomb from which Our Lord rose from the dead.
We also visit the birthplace of Our Lady, the lovely St Anne’s Church, a Crusader church on the site of the home of Saints Anne & Joachim, parents of the Blessed Virgin. At the Pools of Bethesda Our Lord cured the lame man.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Tuesday, August 7
After a breakfast we go east to Emmaus, where the Risen Lord accompanied to the two grieving disciples. We then proceed to Jaffa, the place from where Jonas made his encounter with the whale, and where St Peter stayed with Simon the Tanner when he had his dream to accept the Gentiles to the new faith of Jesus Christ. We then go to Tel Aviv’s airport to make our journey home.

Wednesday, August 8
After an unforgettable journey we come home, physically tired but spiritually refreshed, remembering the words of the Psalmist: “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed but abides forever” (125:1).

Mass will be celebrated at sacred sites every day.
Daily lunch in selected restaurants included.

Est. Price: 29,790 (ex-JHB; subject to currency and price fluctuations, minimum 31 travelling. Calculated at R12,98 to the dollar)

Includes: All flights ex-Johannesburg (incl. airport taxes), accommodation in 4-star hotels or better (sharing) with breakfast and dinner, daily lunches in specially selected restaurant, transfers, travelling on air-conditioned luxury buses, English-speaking tour guide, entrance fees, preparation material.

NB: VISA COSTS ARE INCLUDED AND ARRANGED BY US! (Namibian citizens only. SA and EU passport holders need no visa.)

Excludes: Tips (these are set and mandatory), insurance, personal expenses, travel to and from O.R. Tambo Airport/Jhb.

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