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St Joseph’s Parish Tweed Heads Holy Land Pilgrimage

Accompanied by Fr Michael Brady

St Joseph's Parish Tweed Heads

10 Nights / 13 Days Fri 14 Aug – Wed 26 Aug 2020
Dead Sea (1 Night) / Mt Nebo / Baptismal site of Jesus / Bethlehem (2) / Nazareth / Cana / Sea of Galilee (3) Mt Tabor / Mt Carmel / Haifa / Jericho / Jerusalem (4)
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Pre-Pilgrimage Option: Cairo Exploration (4 Nights)
Post-Pilgrimage Option: Petra Exploration (2 Nights)
Fr Michael Brady
 
Pilgrimage

MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner

Day 1: FRIDAY 14TH AUGUST 2020 – DEPART AUSTRALIA

Day 2: SATURDAY 15TH AUGUST – ARRIVE AMMAN - MT NEBO - DEAD SEA
Arrive today into Jordan’s capital Amman. Travel by coach west to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo. 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 4th & 5th centuries of their travels in this region. We continue to our hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. 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 (D)

Day 3: SUNDAY 16TH AUGUST – DEAD SEA / BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN / BETHLEHEM
We make a visit 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. Here we will celebrate Mass and have the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises. We then cross the border into the Holy Land of Israel known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”. Continue to Bethlehem, the City of David.
Bethlehem overnight (BD)

Day 4: MONDAY 17TH AUGUST – BETHLEHEM & SURROUNDS
We firstly travel out to Ein Karem, the birthplace of St John the Baptist and Church 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’ – ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord’ (Lk 1:46). From here we come to the Church of St John the Baptist, built over a natural grotto identified as the saint’s actual birthplace. Continue to Shepherd’s Field to celebrate Mass in a local cave to commemorate the appearance of the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas night (Lk 2:8–16). Our day will culminate at the Church of the Nativity, the oldest complete church in the Christian world (6th century) and birthplace of Jesus. Bow low and enter the grotto through the Door of Humility as we descend to the Holy Manger where a silver star in the floor marks the actual spot where Jesus 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). Finally, we come to St Jerome’s Cave where in 386 AD the saint spent 30 years translating the scriptures from Hebrew into Greek and Latin producing the first vernacular version of the Bible! We will then visit the Milk Grotto, under the custody of the Franciscans in the Holy Land. The legend recalls how Mary spilt some milk while breast feeding baby Jesus in the cave and this is the reason for the “white” stone of the cave. Tradition also tells us that this site is the burial place of the innocent victims killed by Herod the Great after the birth of Jesus.
Bethlehem overnight (BD).

Day 5: TUESDAY 18TH AUGUST – VIA NAZARETH TO THE SEA OF GALILEE
We farewell Bethlehem this morning and journey directly north to Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. Firstly, come to nearby Nazareth Village, an authentic non-profit re-creation of the village life of Nazareth as in the days of Jesus. Here we will take a parable-rich walk back in time along the path which brings to life the environment and atmosphere which shaped Jesus’ early years and ministry. Complete our memorable visit with a fascinating first-century meal in a stone-dining area typical of the days of Christ. Back in Nazareth township, enter inside the Basilica of the Annunciation where a traditional cave becomes the focal point as we ponder Mary’s response “Let it be done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). After celebrating Mass we will visit the nearby Church of St Joseph before entering the nearby Synagogue Church, a Crusader structure said to be built on the site of the synagogue where Jesus read the Messianic Post Tour Option passage in Isaiah 61 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” ... Travel on to the village of Cana this afternoon 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. Journey east 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 6: WEDNESDAY 19TH AUGUST – SEA OF GALILEE
Arise and set out on a spectacular day of pilgrimage as we set off to Capernaum, the once fishing village of the first apostles Peter, Andrew, James & John which also became the home town of Jesus and the scene of many of his miracles. Here he worshipped and taught in the synagogue where he promised the Eucharist by saying: ‘I am the bread of life … unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you’ (John 6:48-53). Continue on to Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the 1st century ‘Jesus boat’ painstakingly raised and restored from the muddy lakebed in 1986. Set off from here on a traditional sailing vessel for a spectacular Harvest highlight – a Private Mass in the centre of Lake Galilee. Here we will float in quiet tranquillity and reflect upon the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water. Continue back to the shore to enjoy a traditional ‘St Peter’s fish’ lunch to commemorate our Galilee experience. Journey north around the lake to remember the Galilean cities of Bethsaida and Korazim cursed by Jesus. These two cities along with Capernaum became known as the ‘evangelical triangle’ because most of Jesus’ teachings and miracles occurred there. In Korazim we will enter the 3rd century synagogue constructed of local black basalt stone. Visit Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20) and pray within the 4th century church displaying Byzantine mosaics considered to be some of the best in the Holy Land. Beneath the altar is the rock believed to be where Jesus placed the loaves and fish before blessing them. Finally, we come to the Church of the Primacy of Peter down by the shores of the lake. Here Jesus challenged Peter and each one of us ‘Do you really love me, feed my sheep’.
Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

Day 7: THURSDAY 20TH AUGUST – MT BEATITUDES / HAIFA / MT TABOR
We begin our day at the Mount of Beatitudes for Mass as we take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1–12). Surrounded by prayerful gardens overlooking the north western shore of Lake Galilee, the eight sides of the Church represent the eight beatitudes given by Jesus. Travel west to Haifa, the largest city in Northern Israel. Here the Mediterranean Sea wraps around three sides of Haifa with intoxicating blue and gold beaches. In this region we come to the Stella Maris Monastery at Mount Carmel where in the lower cave, Elijah was said to have meditated on his victory over the false prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:1-40). We then make our way to 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. Here we will share lunch and hear an inspired talk about this powerful ministry to rehabilitate released prisoners. Finally, we come 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’. Return to Tiberias for rest before dinner.
Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

Day 8: FRIDAY 21ST AUGUST – VIA JERICHO TO JERUSALEM
Prepare for yet another pilgrim highlight this morning as we set off to a secret location down by the shores of Lake Galilee to enjoy Breakfast with Jesus in the spirit of John 21:12 when Jesus said to his disciples “Come and have breakfast”. In this picturesque setting, we will celebrate Mass by the shore before a picnic breakfast. We journey south along the Jordan Valley to Jericho the ‘City of Palms’ and said to be the oldest inhabited city in the world dating back to the first hunter-gatherers around 9000 BC. Stop by the famous Sycamore tree used to commemorate the story of the tax collector Zacchaeus who climbed the tree to see Jesus, only to be singled out above the crowds. (Lk 19:1-10). Across the valley we view the Mt of Temptation, where Christ was tempted by the devil during his 40 day fast. Travelling west through the dry rocky landscape of the Judean Desert there are enough stones to illustrate Satan’s words “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves” (Mt 4:3). Ascend to the spectacular lookout as we view the St George’s Monastery - a cliff hanging 5th century complex carved into a sheer rock wall and still occupied today. Travel along the Jericho Road as we remember the parable of the Good Samaritan and journey through desert hills. Finally, we journey south on and up to Jerusalem – the City of our God. Before dinner we will meet with representatives from the Bereaved Families Forum in our hotel meeting room. Here we will take the opportunity to listen to the courageous stories of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian family members as they share their extraordinary journey of loss on the path of true reconciliation.
Jerusalem overnight (BLD)

Day 9: SATURDAY 22ND AUGUST – JERUSALEM
Begin our Jerusalem pilgrimage as we proceed up to the Mt of Olives to visit the ‘Pater Noster’ Church where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7–15). Enjoy a panoramic view and photographic opportunity over the city. Walk down the Palm Sunday Road as pilgrims to the Dominus Flevit Church for Mass, built on the site where Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Lk 19:41–44). We then come down to the Garden of Gethsemane, where we will enter the Church of the Agony containing the rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. Prepare then for a memorable pilgrim highlight as we move to the private garden for a secluded time of prayer and reflection surrounded by ancient olive trees. From here we set out by coach across town to the Israel Museum for a lunch break. Continue then on a fascinating outdoor orientation viewing of the Second Temple Scale Model of Jerusalem as it was in the time of Jesus. In the adjacent Shrine of the Book Museum we view the Dead Sea Scrolls with our own eyes. Finally, today we come to Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas and into the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu commemorating Peter’s triple denial of Jesus. On its roof rises a golden rooster atop a black cross recalling Christ’s prophecy that Peter would deny him three times ‘before the cock crows’. To further deepen our experience and understanding of the Jewish heritage, we will partake tonight in a Friday evening Sabbath Experience Meal (Erev Shabbat) in a local Jewish home. Here we will ‘Taste & See’ the Jewish culture and how it relates to Christian faith while joining in with traditional prayers, blessings and songs with locals prior to a delicious 4 course Middle Eastern Sabbath Meal. (N.B. Our Jewish hosts are believers in Jesus as the Messiah and teach and pray from this perspective.)
Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 10: SUNDAY 23RD AUGUST – JERUSALEM
Return to Mt Zion this morning, described by the psalmist as ‘holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, the joy of all the earth’ (Ps 48). We firstly enter the Cenacle room of the Last Supper (Upper Room) where we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the later descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After time here to sit and reflect we will continue to the Church of the Dormition identified as the place where the Virgin Mary died or ‘fell asleep’ as the name suggests. We then come to the vicinity of the Temple Mount to view the Dome of the Rock, El Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall (once known as the Wailing Wall). Enjoy some free time this afternoon to rest, pray or explore the Old City at your own pace. Pilgrims may elect to consider a sobering visit to the Yad Vashem (Holocaust History Museum) to learn about the tragic events where six million Jewish victims lost their lives during the atrocities of World War II.
Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 11: MONDAY 24TH AUGUST – JERUSALEM
Arise very early this morning as we return to the Old City of Jerusalem to commence our Stations of the Cross, beginning from the Antonia Fortress where Jesus was condemned to death. We pray and follow in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa to culminate at the site of Calvary where we will celebrate Mass here 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 Tomb of Christ, the site believed to be where Our Lord lay buried for three days before rising from the dead. After breakfast back at our hotel we re-enter the Old City precinct to the Church of St Anne, said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. Continue to the adjacent Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2–9). See the Lithostrotos (pavement) in the Ecce Homo convent and the Flagellation and Condemnation Chapels which so vividly commemorate the last hours of Jesus’ life Time for rest mid-afternoon before we experience the spectacular Holy Shroud Exhibit in the Notre Dame Centre where pilgrims will gain a deeper understanding of Christ’s suffering and resurrection, while viewing a full-size replica of the Holy Shroud housed in Turin. For our final night together, we will enjoy a Special Celebration Dinner with spectacular views over all of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem overnight (BD).

Day 12: TUESDAY 25TH AUGUST – DEPART THE HOLY LAND
We return to the airport today for our homebound flight or ongoing pilgrimage extensions. (B)

Day 13: WEDNESDAY 26TH AUGUST – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA




Cairo

PRE-TOUR OPTION: CAIRO EXPLORATION


Day 1: MONDAY 10TH AUGUST 2020 – DEPART AUSTRALIA

Day 2: TUESDAY 11TH AUGUST – ARRIVE CAIRO
Upon arrival in Cairo, we will be met and transferred to our hotel.
Cairo overnight (D)

Day 3: WEDNESDAY 12TH AUGUST – CAIRO EXPLORATION
We begin our day visiting the great Pyramids at Giza, the 7th wonder of the world and the only one still in existence, before coming eye to eye with the inscrutable Sphinx. We then continue to the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. Here will visit the museum that houses the giant statue of Ramses II. We then proceed to the city’s ancient necropolis, Sakkara, which is famous for its step pyramids. In the evening, attend the Cairo Sound & Light Show.
Cairo overnight (BLD)

Day 4: THURSDAY 13TH AUGUST – CAIRO EXPLORATION
This morning we will explore the world-famous Egyptian Museum which houses the treasures of the “Boy King” – Tutankhamun, the mummy of Ramses II (thought to be the ruler of Egypt at the time of the Exodus) as well as some of the most famous ancient art pieces in the world. Continue to the Citadel of Saladin, were we admire the Mohammed Ali Pasha Mosque, also known as the Alabaster Mosque. Before returning to our hotel, we visit the Coptic Orthodox Church of St Mary, where between 1698-1971 over 250,000 people witnessed apparitions of Our Lady. We return to our hotel for the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Cairo overnight (BLD)

Day 5: FRIDAY 14TH AUGUST – CAIRO EXPLORATION
This morning embark tour of “Coptic Cairo” where we visit the “Hanging Church” which dates back to the 3rd Century AD and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We will also visit some of Cairo’s most important Christian sites, including the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church and the Church of Saint Barbara. We will follow with a visit to the mountain cave Monastery of St Simon located in the Mokattam mountain in south eastern Cairo, in an area known as “garbage city” due to the large population of garbage collectors, or Zabbaleen, that live there. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Cairo overnight (BLD)

Day 6: SATURDAY 15TH AUGUST – CAIRO TO BETHLEHEM
We depart Egypt today and fly from Cairo to Amman. Upon arrival in Amman we join the pilgrimage group arriving from Australia and board our coach, travelling west to ascend Biblical Mt Nebo. 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 4th & 5th centuries of their travels in this region. We continue to our hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea. 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 (D)


Petra

PETRA EXPLORATION 2-NIGHT POST TOUR OPTION


Day 12: TUESDAY 25TH AUGUST – DEPART THE HOLY LAND
We depart the Holy Land today and travel to the magnificent ancient trading city of Petra, known as the 'rose-red 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 13: WEDNESDAY 26TH AUGUST – PETRA EXPLORATION
Enjoy an unforgettable guided walking tour of the ruins of 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 and Corinthian tomb along with the remains of churches, homes and many other buildings from this fascinating period.
Petra overnight (BD)

Day 14: THURSDAY 27TH AUGUST – DEPART JORDAN
Departing Petra this morning we travel to St George's 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. After our visit we continue on to Amman airport for our homebound flights or ongoing pilgrimage connections. (B)

Day 15: FRIDAY 28TH AUGUST – ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

cost
Tour Code: PV5420
Dates:
Fri 14 Aug - Wed 26 Aug 2020
Air & Tour
AUD $6890* Twin Share per person
Tour Only
AUD $5090 Twin Share per person
Single Room
AUD $1650 Supplement
Prepaid Tips
AUD $110 per person
Deposit: a non-refundable deposit of AUD$800 per person is required at time of booking.
* Prices are based on a minimum group size of 25 paying pilgrims, calculated as at April 2019. Prices remain subject to possible changes in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases or minimum group size contingencies.

Inclusions
AIRFARES: Return Economy Class airfare from Brisbane • Internal Middle East airfares (for Cairo Extension) (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations)

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS: Based on superior standard hotel accommodation throughout with breakfast and dinner daily

MISCELLANEOUS INCLUSIONS: Deluxe Air Conditioned Coach with driver • Professional Pilgrimage Escort • Sightseeing and Entrance Fees throughout itinerary • Porterage at hotels • Harvest Backpack, Pilgrims Journal and Tour Wallet "

NOT INCLUDED: • Passport and visa costs • Prepaid Tipping • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance

PRE-TOUR OPTION: CAIRO (4 nights)
Dates:
Mon 10 Aug - Sat 15 Aug
Tour Cost
AUD $1990* Twin Share per person
Single Room
AUD $440 Supplement
Prepaid Tips
AUD $90 per person
* Prices are based on a minimum group size of 15 paying pilgrims, calculated as at April 2019. Prices remain subject to possible changes in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases or minimum group size contingencies.

POST-TOUR OPTION: PETRA (2 nights)
Dates:
Tue 25 Aug - Fri 28 Aug
Tour Cost
AUD $950* Twin Share per person
Single Room
AUD $330 Supplement
Prepaid Tips
AUD $50 per person
* Prices are based on a minimum group size of 15 paying pilgrims, calculated as at April 2019. Prices remain subject to possible changes in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases or minimum group size contingencies.


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