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Update 6/30/2021

The pilgrimage is now closed. Stay tuned for resources to help prepare for the pilgrimage, whether you are going on the pilgrimage or praying along from home! Information, Maria Laughlin, 206-382-4284

Dear Friends,

I have had the privilege of leading several parish pilgrimages, but never a pilgrimage to the Holy Land--until now! I invite you to consider joining me next January for this unique opportunity to pray together in the Holy Land.

We will join those pilgrims who, for two thousand years, “have gone in search of the ‘footprints’ of God in that land, rightly called ‘holy,’ pursuing them as it were in the stones, the hills, the waters which provided the setting for the earthly life of the Son of God” (Pope John Paul II, 1999).

Over ten memorable days, we will retrace the steps of Jesus, all the way from Nazareth and Bethlehem, to Galilee and the River Jordan, to the Holy City of Jerusalem. We will also have the option of continuing on in the footsteps of the apostles Peter and Paul, following them to Rome and Vatican City.

Pilgrimage is a time of faith, conversion, and joy. The highlight of each day will be the celebration of Mass. Our days will also include time for reflection, song, and the opportunity to shop among the local merchants. We will pray for a just peace in the land where Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born.

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is truly a life-changing, faith-deepening experience. A saying commonly attributed to St. Jerome says it best: “Five gospels record the life of Jesus. Four you will find in books and the one you will find in the land they call Holy. Read the fifth gospel and the world of the four will open to you.”

This will be a great chance to read that Fifth Gospel together!

Father Ryan


Holy Land Itinerary

*** For the complete itinerary and details about costs, meals, transportation,
and all the "fine print," download the pilgrimage brochure here ***


Day 1: Sunday, January 23. We depart SeaTac in the early evening.

Day 2: Monday, January 24. Late in the evening, we arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. We will board the bus which will be our home away from home for the next week and continue to our hotel in Netanya on the Mediterranean Coast.

Day 3: Tuesday, January 25. After breakfast, we will begin our day with a visit to Caesarea by the Sea, the site of a flourishing early Christian community where the ruins of Turkish, Crusader, and Roman civilizations are still visible. St. Paul was imprisoned here before being sent to Rome for trial. We will continue on to Mount Carmel where the triumph of Elijah over the pagan prophets of Baal took place (1 Kings 18). We will have a chance to visit Stella Maris, the largest monastery of the Carmelite order. Then we will visit Nazareth, the village where Jesus grew up and lived most of his life. We plan to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation. From there, we will continue on to Cana, ending the day with dinner and overnight at our hotel on the Sea of Galilee.

Day 4: Wednesday, January 26. We will explore the Sea of Galilee and the area of Jesus’ public ministry. We’ll start the day at Capernaum to visit the house of Peter’s mother-in-law and the 1st-century synagogue where Jesus taught. From there we’ll ascend to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount; and continue on to visit the Church of the Multiplication and the Church of the Primacy of Peter (where the risen Lord told Peter: “Feed my sheep”). We’ll celebrate Mass at the Church of the Primacy. In the afternoon, we will drive to northern Israel to visit Banias in the region of Caesarea Philippi. Here St. Peter was inspired to proclaim Jesus “the Christ, the Son of the living God!” On our return to Tiberias, we’ll have a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

Day 5: Thursday, January 27. We will begin our day with Mass at the Church of the Beatitudes. After Mass, we’ll drive through the valley of Jezreel to Mount Tabor. Taxis will take us to the top of the mountain for a commanding view of all of Galilee. We’ll have time for prayer and reflection at the Church of the Transfiguration. On our way to Jerusalem, we will stop at Samaria-Sebastia, a land rich in old Testament history. Sebastia was built by Herod as the capital of the region and is where John the Baptist was buried. We will stop at Jacob’s Well, where Jesus met the woman of Samaria. In the early evening, we will check-in at our hotel in Jerusalem. “The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of earth and of heaven” (Benjamin Disraeli).

Day 6: Friday, January 28. We will begin our day with a drive to the hills of Bethlehem. We’ll visit Shepherds’ Field, where we will see caves typical of the stables of that time. The highlight of our time in Bethlehem will be a visit to the traditional birthplace of Jesus, in the Basilica of the Nativity. We will each have the opportunity to venerate the silver star that marks the place of Jesus’ birth. We will celebrate Mass in St. Catherine’s Chapel at the Basilica of the Nativity, and sing a Christmas carol or two! Next we will return to Jerusalem and drive to the top of Mount of Olives. The summit offers a magnificent view of the Old City. We will visit the Chapel of the Ascension, the Shrine of Pater Noster, and the Chapel of Dominus Flevit. Then, we will follow Jesus’ Palm Sunday route along Hosanna Road to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Day 7: Saturday, January 29. We will celebrate Mass at the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane, and pray at the “Rock of Agony,” a section of bedrock traditionally identified as the place where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of his arrest. After Mass, we’ll visit Jericho before continuing on to Qasr El Yahoud, near the Jordan River, to visit the traditional site of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. It is also considered to be the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and Elijah the Prophet ascended to heaven. We will have the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises at the Jordan River. After lunch, we will visit the Dead Sea, where there will be time for swimming. On the way back to Jerusalem we’ll visit Bethany, where Martha, Mary and Lazarus welcomed Jesus into their home.

Day 8 Sunday, January 30. After breakfast, we’ll celebrate Sunday Mass at the Church of St. Ann, one of the most beautiful churches in Jerusalem. After Mass, we will explore the old City and walk to the area of the Temple Mount. Above the Temple foundations, we will view the El Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, visit the excavation of the Western Wall, and walk through the narrow alleyways and streets of Jerusalem. In the afternoon we’ll cross the Kidron Valley and drive to Mount Zion to visit the Church of St. Peter in Galicantu. We’ll continue on to visit Dormition Abbey and the Upper Room, as well as the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem.

Day 9: Monday, January 31. After an early breakfast, we will drive to the old City and enter through St. Stephen’s Gate, walk along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and celebrate Mass in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. After Mass, we’ll embark on a guided visit of the Basilica and have the extraordinary opportunity to enter and exit the empty tomb. After lunch, we will continue to one of the traditional Emmaus sites. Then, back to Jerusalem for our farewell dinner.

Day 10: Tuesday, February 1. This will be the day we part: some to return to Seattle; for those who are able, there is the option of following in the footsteps of Saint Peter and Saint Paul to Rome. This is a wonderful way to break up the return journey home and follow in the footsteps of the Apostles who, after the Resurrection of the Lord, took the Good News to the ends of the earth!

Optional Rome extension

Day 11: Wednesday, February 2. After an early breakfast, we will set out for St. Peter’s Basilica for an audience with Pope Francis. Then we will tour Christian Rome, including the Arch of Titus, Arch of Constantine, Colosseum, Trajan’s Column, and the Market. We’ll visit the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, and celebrate evening Mass at Sant’Andrea al Quirinale.

Day 12: Thursday, February 3. We’ll begin the day by returning to St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate Mass at the Tomb of St. Peter (subject to confirmation) or the Tomb of Saint John XXIII. After Mass, we will visit the Church of St. Peter in Chains, where St. Peter was imprisoned, and the Basilica of St. Paul outside-the-Walls, to pray at the tomb of St. Paul. After a free afternoon, we’ll gather for a farewell dinner.

Day 13: Friday, February 4. The pilgrimage concludes.


*** For the complete itinerary and details about costs, meals, transportation,
and all the "fine print," download the pilgrimage brochure here ***


  • Why January? What about the weather? January in Israel is temperate, with an average daily high of 63.5 and low of 49.
  • How much will the pilgrimage cost? All-inclusive, assuming double occupancy, is $3,295 plus $1,695 for the extension to Rome. Details are available in the pilgrimage brochure.
  • What if something happens and we can’t go? You are encouraged to purchase personal travel insurance through Peter’s Way in case you need to cancel for any reason. Should something happen to prevent the pilgrimage itself from happening, it will be rescheduled at no extra cost to you.
  • How soon do I need to decide? Enrollment deadline ($350 deposit due): June 30, 2021 Final payment deadline (balance due): October 5, 202


  • For more information, Maria Laughlin, Pilgrimage Coordinator, 206-382-4284





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