Disciples in Jerusalem – Harvest Journeys

Disciples in Jerusalem

A Spirit-Filled Journey to the Holy Land with Fr Ken Barker MGL and Costandi Bastoli

Watch the Gospels come alive as we set out on this true pilgrimage of faith and retrace the progressive stages of the life of Jesus from his Nativity in Bethlehem to his Passion on Calvary. Be deeply moved as we behold with our eyes what our minds for so long attempted to imagine.

Highlights

Bethlehem (3 Nights) • Haifa (1) • Sea of Galilee (3) • Jerusalem (4). Pre Tour Option: Wonders of Jordan (4 nights)

With Tour Chaplain Fr Ken Barker MGL

And Tour Leader Costandi Bastoli

Itinerary

DAY 1DEPART AUSTRALIA

DAY 2ARRIVE BETHLEHEM

Theme: New Beginnings

On arrival into Tel Aviv we are transferred to Bethlehem, the City of David.

Bethlehem overnight (D)

Day 3BETHLEHEM & SURROUNDS

Theme: The Birth of Jesus

Our 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’.

Continue on to 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.

We travel on to Shepherd’s Field 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).

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

Day 4THE SAINT OF BETHLEHEM AND ITS UNIVERSITY

Theme: The Holy Family

Visit the Convent of the Carmelite Sisters was founded by Sister Mariam Baouardy, or Mary of Jesus Crucified, originally from the village of Iblin in Northern Palestine, Pope Francis canonized on 17 May 2015. There we can receive blessings from her relics.

Enjoy a visit of renowned Bethlehem University, a Catholic co-educational institution providing higher education to the people of Palestine.

Visit the Milk Grotto where Christian tradition says is the place where the Holy Family found refuge during the Massacre of the Innocents before they could flee to Egypt. The name is derived from the story that a “drop of milk” of the Virgin Mary fell on the floor of the cave and changed its colour to white. The space, which contains three different caves, is visited by some in hope of healing infertile couples, the shrine allegedly being a place where prayers for children are miraculously answered.

Bethlehem overnight (BD)

Day 5BETHLEHEM TO HAIFA

Theme: The Formative Years of Jesus

Departing Bethlehem, we travel out to Emmaus (Abu Gosh) where the Disciples recognised the risen Jesus at the breaking of bread and exclaimed “Did not our hearts burn within us as he spoke to us on the road?” (Lk 24:13-35).

Visit Old Jaffa, including the Franciscan Church of St Peter – the oldest and most distinguished building in Jaffa.

Journey north to explore the crusader port of Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great. The centurion Cornelius was baptized here by Peter, becoming the first gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10).

Nearby we enter the town of Haifa. The sea wraps around three sides of Haifa with intoxicating blue and gold beaches. In this region we will 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.

We will also come to the Baha’i Temple where we will view the beautiful grounds.

This afternoon we visit the House of Grace to hear the inspired story of a family committed to empowering the most marginalized members of the Haifa

Overnight Haifa (BD)

Day 6NAZARETH / CANA

Theme: The Galilean Ministry of Jesus

Departing Haifa we travel east towards Nazareth. Ascend Biblical Mt Precipice which offers an incredible view of Nazareth and the Jezreel valley. This mountain is believed to be the place of the rejection of Jesus after his teaching in the Nazareth Synagogue (Luke 4:16-30).

Continue west to Nazareth, the town of Jesus’ childhood. 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). Also see the Church of St Joseph and a traditional Jewish synagogue (Synagogue Church) similar to that in which the Holy Family would have worshipped.

We then visit Nazareth Village, a re-creation of the village life of Nazareth as in the days of Jesus. Here we take a parable walk back in time along the path which brings to life the environment and atmosphere which shaped Jesus’ early years and ministry.

Travel nearby 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).

We then travel out 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 (BLD)

Day 7SEA OF GALILEE

Theme: The Disciple’s Way

Arise before dawn, this morning and ascend to the majestic summit of historic Mt Arbel to marvel at the amazing sunrise views over the Golan Heights and the full panorama of Lake Galilee.

View the nearby Ancient Arbel Synagogue which sits alone on the side of the hill with its magnificent Galilee backdrop.

From here, pilgrims will take the opportunity to walk a spectacular stretch of the ancient Jesus Trail* frequented by Our Lord in his many travels between Nazareth and Capernaum. This well-worn shepherd’s path offers a rare and genuine experience for able bodied pilgrims to prayerfully encounter the actual footsteps of Jesus down through the rustic pass between the mountains. *Weather and personal fitness dependent

After breakfast at the hotel we journey north to Caesarea Philippi near the base of Mt Hermon, where the beautiful springs of Banias form the source of the Jordan River. In this tranquil place Jesus spent some quiet time with his disciples asking them, as he does again to us in this moment: “Who do you say I am?” After Peter’s inspired answer he went on to commission him: “You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my church” (Mt 16:13).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BD)

Day 8VIA JACOB’S WELL & TAYBEH TO JERUSALEM

Theme: Food for the Journey

Visit the Nof Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the remains of a 1st 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 Private 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.

Journey on to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20.

We continue on to Capernaum, the centre of Jesus’ teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle (Mt 4:12-20).

Sea of Galilee overnight (BLD)

Day 9JERUSALEM

Theme: Living Water – Living Stones

Our day begins with Mass at the Mount of Beatitudes as we take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1-12).

Continue 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.

Our afternoon brings us to Taybeh, a unique Christian village on the edge of the Judean wilderness. This living community is linked to Ephraim (Jn 11:54) where it is said Jesus and his disciples sought refuge after the Council of Priests asked for his execution. The village has been a Christian outpost ever since and here we will be able to see an ancient farmer’s house. In such a house farmers would have lived in and kept their animals in the manger below as in the time of Jesus’ birth. Visit the church here where local Catholics have practiced their faith for generations.

Continue our journey on to Jerusalem – the City of our God.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 10JERUSALEM

Theme: The Passion, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

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). 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 continue 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 gain private group access inside the adjacent ‘Garden of Betrayal‘, for an extended time of prayer and reflection surrounded by ancient olive trees dating back to the time of Christ.

Continue back to Mt Zion to the House of Caiaphas and into the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu commemorating Peter’s triple denial of Jesus. Here our pilgrimage moves towards the final phase of Jesus’ passion. Enter the Cenacle room of the Last Supper (Upper Room) where we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Continue to the Church of the Dormition where the Virgin Mary passed into Heaven.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 11JERUSALEM

Theme: The Passion, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

We rise at dawn and return to the Old City to commence our Stations of the Cross following in Our Lord’s footsteps along the actual Via Dolorosa. We 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. After Mass here 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 at our hotel, continue to the Church of St Anne with its magnificent acoustics and said to be built over the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. See the adjacent Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralysed man (Jn 5:2–9).

Visit Jericho the ‘City of Palms’ which is said to be the oldest inhabited city and most famous oasis. Across the valley we see 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”.

Explore Hisham’s Palace, an early Islamic archaeological site. See the palace, ornate baths complex and one of the largest floor mosaics in the world, with more than five million distinctive pieces of stone from Palestine and agricultural estate.

We then journey onto St George’s Monastery lookout to marvel at the cliff-hanging 5th-century complex carved into a sheer rock wall and still occupied today.

Before dinner we gather to listen to the courageous stories of the Bereaved Family Forum where both a Palestinian and Israeli representative will share their extraordinary journey from grief and loss to a stunning reconciliation that is sure to inspire us deeply.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 12JERUSALEM

Theme: Abundance of Blessings

Enjoy a free day in Jerusalem to explore at your leisure or join an optional free walking tour visiting:

Alexander House (Close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre).

Saint Alexander Nevsky Church consecrated in 1896 and containing archaeological excavations Includes: The Threshold of Judgement Gate, remains of the city walls from the times of king Harod (1st century BC), the Eye of the Needle, arch from Pagan temple built in times of emperor Hadrian around 135 A.D. and, the remains of the basilica of Saint Constantine and Helena completely preserved alter, steps, wall, and arch – first half of the 4th century. Building above the excavations of the orthodox Palestine society erected in 1891.

Later this afternoon we visit the Pontifical Institute – Notre Dame Jerusalem Centre to experience a unique presentation on the Shroud of Turin.

For our final night in the Holy Land, we will enjoy a special dinner.

Jerusalem overnight (BD)

Day 13DEPART THE HOLY LAND

We depart the Holy Land today. (B)

Day 14ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner

Dates & Prices

TOUR PRICING
Tour Code PV2347
Starts Bethlehem Monday 02 October 2023
Finishes Jerusalem Friday 13 October 2023
Land Only Cost AUD $5590* pp Twin Share
Single Room AUD $1990 Supplement
Prepaid Tips AUD $14 PPPD**
Download Flyer
SOLD OUT
WONDERS OF JORDAN OPTIONAL EXTENSION
Starts Amman, Thursday 28 September 2023
Finishes Bethlehem, Monday 02 October 2023
Cost Add-On AUD $2190 (twin share) †
Single Room AUD $970 Supplement
Prepaid Tips AUD $14 PPPD**
† Includes: Deluxe Coach / Fully Escorted / Superior Hotel / Breakfasts & Dinners Daily / Entrances & Sightseeing. Minimum Group Size applies.

* Costs are based on prices as at February 2023 and must remain subject to possible change in the event of significant exchange rate variations, hotel changes or minimum group size factors beyond Harvest’s control. Refer to Harvest Terms & Conditions for more details.

** Per Person Per Day

Inclusions

  • Accommodation at superior standard 3 – 4 star hotels with breakfast and dinner daily
  • 11 Dinners / 11 Full Breakfasts / 2 Lunches
  • Deluxe Air-Conditioned Touring Coach • Professional Driver / Guide throughout the program
  • Fully Escorted by Spiritual Chaplain
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as listed
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Quality Harvest pilgrim pack including Harvest backpack, Pilgrim Journal and Travel Wallet.

Not included

  • Other meals not listed
  • Passport and Visa Costs (if applicable)
  • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc.
  • Travel insurance - ask Harvest about its preferred Travel Insurance
5 Day / 4 Night Pre Tour

Pre-Tour Option: Wonders of Jordan

DAY 1WEDNESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2023 - DEPART AUSTRALIA

DAY 2THURSDAY 28 SEPTEMBER ARRIVE JORDAN

On arrival at Amman airport we will be met and enjoy an orientation tour of Jordan’s capital. View the Citadel and the Raghadan flagpole, one of the largest in the world, among other highlights.

Journey 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 (D)

DAY 3FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER – PETRA

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.

Optional Wadi Rum sunset experience.

Petra overnight (BD)

Day 4SATURDAY 30 SEPTEMBER - PETRA TO THE DEAD SEA

Travel north to 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 5DEAD SEA & MT NEBO

Theme: From Old to New

We travel out this morning 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 4th & 5th 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.

After our descent we spend time at 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 Pope Francis chose this as an essential place to visit on his last pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Return to our Dead Sea resort where we enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Dead Sea overnight (BD)

Day 6MONDAY 2 OCTOBER - DEAD SEA TO BETHLEHEM

Theme: New Beginnings

Journey west this morning across the Jordan River border into the Holy Land, known as the land of the “fifth Gospel”. (B)

Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner

  • “The tour was well organised, the accommodations was excellent. The tour guides were knowledgeable and were an enormous source of information. Border transfers were easily arranged. It was great to travel in an unknown area without any worries.”

    Clara Kempers
    Footsteps of Jesus

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