Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land this Summer

At Qumran in May 2011
This summer I'll be returning to Israel to help lead a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Jesus, and also spend some time viewing the Dead Sea Scrolls in person at the Shrine of the Book (Jerusalem) and at Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea.  Fr. Denny Gang, TOR, of Franciscan University will be joining me to provide the sacraments and celebrate Mass on site at the holy places like Bethlehem, Cana, Mount of the Beatitudes, and Gethsemane.  Our guide will be an Israeli citizen who is a parishioner at the Basilica of the Annunciation, the Catholic parish of Nazareth.  A special feature of this pilgrimage will be our chance to see where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and where they are now kept.  I have a special interest in the Scrolls, and recorded CD about them distributed by Lighthouse Media.

Although there are many pilgrimages to the Holy Land, not many have a native Catholic guide and the opportunity to celebrate mass at so many holy sites.  Since I first lead a pilgrimage like this in 2011, my experience of the New Testament and the mysteries of the Rosary have moved from "black and white" to "color."  I'd love to share this experience again with Sacred Page readers.
The Garden of Gethsemane is still there

Lecturing near the source of the Jordan, May 2011

The dates are June 26–July 5, 2013, and the cost is around $3,500 inclusive.  Select International Tours (1-800-842-4842) is arranging the logistics, and the brochure is available here (but you will need to scroll down and click on the image labeled "Dr. Bergsma and Fr. Denny Gang"). Or email for more info/brochure at sales@select-intl.com.


Angela Sealana said...

I am SO, so glad that you all are going with a local Catholic guide and not avoiding the Palestinian holy sites (you mentioned Bethlehem). Most of the world is ignorant about the living situation of our Palestinian brothers and sisters who are suffering from the Israeli occupation. When our ministry organizes pilgrimages, we always go with a local Christian guide, celebrate Mass daily including at Annunciation parish, and speak to the Palestinians and Israelis about the occupation. I will pray that your group has a fruitful and blessed experience.

Angela Sealana

John Bergsma said...


Jennie G. Morales said...

This summer, I am visiting Israel for the first time as I am a Christian and would love to see Jerusalem for myself. Then there is the dead sea region on which I must see the mysticism behind it.

Michael Nelson said...

Would it be okay to travel in Israel by RV? I actually rented one from the rv dealers in arkansas, and I'm still thinking if they will allow me to do so. Well, I'm still not sure how will I be able to bring it in Israel though.

Janelle Sutcliffe said...

One of my goal is to visit the Holy Land in the future. There's so much history in it and it's very scared. I believe it will go down on my list as one of my memorable experience.

Natalya Braun said...

I think if I go to the Garden of Gethsemane I'll have goosebumps. I'm sure it'll be a wonderful experience to go there, a place where Jesus was betrayed.

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