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For what shall we pray?
Click here to submit your prayer intention online.
The pilgrims will pray for your intentions at Mass each day on our journey.

Download the pilgrim prayer book here (PDF)


Holy Land Itinerary

Images, videos, and reflections will be posted each day to Instagram and Facebook. Please follow along each day of the journey! 

Day 1, January 22, Sunday: Depart USA
“...witness to all the nations...”(Matthew 24:14) Depart Seattle International Airport for our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 
 
Day 2, January 23, Monday: Welcome to the Land of the Bible
This afternoon, arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Go through Passport Control, claim our luggage, and meet your Peter’s Way tour managers/Tour guides upon exiting Customs. Board our private touring bus and continue to our hotel in Netanya on the Mediterranean Coast.

Day 3, January 24, Tuesday: Nazareth | Cana | Mount Carmel | Sea of Galilee
Begin our day with a visit to Nazareth, the village in which Jesus grew up and lived most of his life. At 10:00am, celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Joseph in Nazareth. After Mass, we’ll explore the magnificent Basilica of the Annunciation, St. Joseph’s workshop and Mary’s Well, and the Church of the Old Synagogue, which marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Walk through the streets and imagine a day in the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth. “When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.  The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”  (Luke 2:39-40).

After lunch, proeed to Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle… “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5) Visit the Franciscan Wedding Church, built in the nineteenth century over ruins from Jesus’ time. See the display of stone jars and reflect on the miracle of changing water into wine. After our visit we’ll continue to Mount Carmel (Vineyard of God) on the Mediterranean coast.  Here the triumph of Elijah over the pagan prophets of Baal took place (1 Kings 18).  Visit Stella Maris, the largest monastery of the Carmelite order, which is dedicated to the prophet Elijah and Mary under the title “Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”  It is easy to appreciate the natural beauty of this summit and realize the sanctity associated with it from ancient times to the present.  Continue to the Sea of Galilee for hotel check-in at Magdala Center by the Sea of Galilee. 

Day 4, January 25, Wednesday: Sea of Galilee | Upper Galilee
This morning, we will explore the Sea of Galilee and the area of Jesus’ public ministry, as recorded in all four Gospels. Begin with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee will be among our favorite memories. The Gospels come to life as we imagine when Jesus walked on the water (John 6:19-21), calmed a storm (Matt. 8:23-26), and showed the disciples miraculous catches of fish (Luke 5:1-8; John 21:1-6).  From there we’ll ascend to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. Continue on to visit the Church of the Multiplication and the Church of the Primacy of Peter. Continue to visit Capernaum, the town of Jesus, to visit the house of Peter’s mother-in-law and the first-century synagogue where Jesus taught and performed miracles. We will discuss the development of synagogues in Jewish thought and theology to better understand their importance in the public ministry of Our Lord.
At 11:00am, celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Church in Capernaum.

This afternoon, we will drive to northern Israel to visit Banias in the region of Caesarea Philippi. Walk along the path beside the Jordan River and see the site of the palace of Herod Agrippa. Here St. Peter gave his famous confession of faith: “You are the Messiah, the living Son of God!” 

Day 5, January 26, Thursday: Mount Tabor | Caesarea Maritima | Jerusalem
Begin our day with 8:00am Mass at “Duc in Altum” (Boat Chapel) at Magdala. After Mass, we’ll explore the recent archeological excavations of the area surrounding the guesthouse, and hometown of Mary Magdalene. Then, we’ll drive through the valley of Jizreel to Mount Tabor. Take taxis to the top of the mountain for an utterly commanding view of all of Galilee. It was here that Jesus revealed His glory and divinity to Peter, James, and John. “...Lord, it is good for us to be here.” Prayer and reflection at the Church of the Transfiguration.

After lunch, we continue to visit 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.  It was here also that St. Peter baptized the first Gentiles. Our visit includes the Theatre, the newly excavated Palace, the Hippodrome, and the Harbor. Our journey continues “up to Jerusalem."

Day 6, January 27, Friday: Bethlehem | Shepherds’ Field | Ein Karem
Begin our day with a drive to the hills of Bethlehem, where we can read the biblical account of Ruth, David, and the birth of Jesus. We’ll visit Shepherds’ Field, where we will see some of the caves that are 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. Here, the Prince of Peace was born! Venerate the silver star that marks the place where the sublime mystery of the Incarnation was revealed in a manger. At 11:00am, celebrate Mass in St. Catherine’s Chapel at the Basilica of the Nativity.

After lunch continue on to visit Ein Karem, home of Elizabeth, Mary's kinswoman, and Zachariah.  It is also the birthplace of John the Baptist.  See the Church of the Visitation, one of the most artistic in the Holy Land. Time will be given for quiet meditation on the meeting between these two mothers, Mary and Elizabeth.  Verses from the Magnificat are engraved on the columns of the church, and on the wall opposite it are ceramic tablets bearing verses from the Magnificat in forty-two different languages.

Day 7, January 28, Saturday: Via Dolorosa | Holy Sepulchre| Mount Zion
After breakfast, drive to the Old City and entering through Herod’s Gate and walk to the first station of the cross. We will visit the chapels of Flagellation and Condemnation where we can see the Lithostrotos from the time of Jesus and then start walking the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Upon arriving to the Basilica we will venerate the empty Tomb of Christ and Calvary and then celebrate 10:00am Mass in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher.

After lunch we will be transferred to St. Stephen’s Gate and enter into the Old city to visit the Church of St. Anne, the traditional birthplace of the Virgin Mary and the pools of Bethesda, where according to John 5, Jesus healed the man who was invalid for 38 years. Then drive to Christian Mount Zion to visit the upper room where Jesus celebrated his last supper and where priesthood was instituted. Then walk down and visit the church of St. Peter in Galicantu, built above the ruins of the house of Caiaphas the high priest. Here Jesus was presented in front of the Jewish Sanhedrin and Here Peter denied Jesus 3 times.

Day 8, January 29, Sunday: Wilderness of Judea | Jericho | Jordan River | Dead Sea
At 9:00am, celebrate Mass at the Church of Cenacle at Mount Zion. After Mass, we’ll visit Bethany, where Martha, Mary and Lazarus welcomed Jesus into their home.  Bethany is also the home of Simon the Leper. Here, Jesus was anointed, as if for burial, by a very special woman. We’ll drive to Jericho, home of Joshua, Elijah’s spring, Jesus’ miracles, and the Mount of Temptation. Near the center of the city, a centuries-old sycamore tree still stands where the tax collector Zacchaeus, too short to see over the crowd, climbed its branches in order to see Jesus.

Continue to Qasr El Yahoud, near the Jordan River, to visit the traditional site of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist (Matthew: 3:13-17).  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.  Visit the Dead Sea, where there will be time for swimming.

Day 9, January 30, Monday: Jewish Quarter |Emmaus
After breakfast, visit to one of the traditional Emmaus sites. We will recall the story in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus appeared to His disciples on the road after the Resurrection. Then we will be transferred to Zion Gate to enter into the Jewish Quarter, descend from the Jewish Quarter to the area of the Western Wall. Here we will have the chance to pray and place petitions inside the cracks of the wall and explore Judaism’s most sacred place in Jerusalem. Then we will explore the Southern walls of the temple mount esplanade and the southern steps excavations. Walk very same steps that Jesus and the disciples used to enter the Temple. Also, it was here that the disciples preached and baptized after Pentecost.

After lunch, drive to the top of Mount of Olives. The summit offers a magnificent view of the Old City. This visit reminds us of Jesus’ last hours in prayer and anguish as He faced His passion and death.  Visit the Shrine of the Pater Noster where according to the gospel of Luke Jesus gave the prayer of Our father, Here during in the Byzantine period the place was also considered to be the point from where Jesus ascended to heaven, then we will follow Jesus’ Palm Sunday route along Hosanna Road down the Mount of Olives on the way stopping by the shrine of  Dominus Flevit (The Lord Wept) where Jesus wapt over Jerusalem and prophesized its destruction. Conclude our pilgrimage with 4:00pm Mass at the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane. Pray at the “Rock of Agony,” a section of bedrock identified as the place where Jesus prayed alone in the garden on the night of His arrest.

Day 10, January 31, Tuesday: Return to the USA
Early morning, we’ll be transferred to Tel Aviv Airport for our return flight to the USA. This afternoon, arrive in Seattle International Airport, overflowing with memories from our pilgrimage.

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Three-Day Extension to Rome (about two-thirds of our pilgrims are continuing on to Rome)
 
Day 10, January 31, Tuesday: Arrive in Rome | Tour of the Appian Way, the Catacombs and Santa Maria in Palmis (Church of Domine Quo Vadis)
Upon arrival at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport, proceed through Passport Control, claim our luggage, and meet our Peter’s Way Tours tour managers, Isabella & Rafaella, upon our exit from Customs. We will be on our way to Via Appia Antica to visit the Catacombs of St. Sebastian, the maze of tunnels hollowed out of volcanic rock, where early Christians—persecuted by the Romans—secretly practiced their religious rites and buried their dead. At 10:30am, celebrate Mass at Basilica of St. Sebastian, Fr. Michael G. Ryan, celebrant. After Mass, we’ll visit the Church of Santa Maria in Palmis (Church of Domine Quo Vadis). According to the tradition, Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, where are you going? Jesus answered, "I am going to Rome to be crucified again." Balance of the day at leisure.

Day 11, February 1, Wednesday: Full day excursion to Assisi – Visit the Sites of St. Francis and St. Clare
This morning we’ll depart Rome for our full-day excursion to Assisi, one of the high points of any travel experience. After a two and half-hour ride, we will see Assisi on a mountaintop, with its narrow lanes, Shrines of Saint Francis, and overwhelming art dedicated to its young friar, a rich young man who turned to God after an illness and established an order that has grown stronger over the centuries. Upon arrival our local guide will take us to explore the basilica complex, which is actually composed of two churches built one atop the other.  Beneath both churches is the crypt that houses the tomb of St. Francis.  The lower basilica dates from 1228 to 1230, and is richly decorated with beautiful stained glass windows and paintings done by some of the most important artists of the 13th and 14th centuries.  In the upper basilica, built from 1230 - 1253, you will marvel at the monumental frescoes painted by Giotto, which depict scenes from the life of the saint.  the Basilica of St. Clare, the first and most important heroine of the Franciscan movement. View her remains and see the miraculous Crucifix.

At 3:00pm, we celebrate Mass at the Convent of St. Francis (Cappella Frate Leone). After Mass, continue on to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, a great basilica built in 1569 and crowned by Alessi’s magnificent dome.  It encloses the shrine of the “Porziuncula,” or the Little Portion Chapel, around which the first Franciscan community was centered; the place where Clare received the habit from Francis; and the Capella Del Transito, which marks the spot where the saint died. You will see the statue of Saint Francis in the courtyard where thornless roses bloom.

Day 12, February 2, Thursday: (Solemnity of the Presentation of the Lord) St. Peter’s Basilica | Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel | Free Afternoon | Farewell Dinner
After an early breakfast, walk to St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate the 8:00am Mass at the Altar of St. Joseph. Fr. Michael G. Ryan, celebrant. After Mass, continue our morning with a visit to one of the great art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums. Walk in the footsteps of the Princes of the Church through the richly decorated galleries.  Walk through the Sistine Chapel and contemplate the frescoes of numerous Renaissance masters and the inspired ceiling of Michelangelo. End your morning tour in St. Peter’s Basilica. Take in the awesome architecture and the statuary adorning this largest of all Christian churches, including Michelangelo’s magnificent “Pieta.” Pray at the new tomb of St. John Paul II, in St. Sebastian’s Chapel.

Free afternoon to explore the sights, sounds and tastes of Rome all on your own! Perhaps treat yourself to a leisurely multi-course lunch in a quaint trattoria. Visit the beautiful and lively Piazza Navona, with time to browse through the artists’ stalls to buy a painting and sample Rome’s famous gelato.  This is the time to visit the local shops and street vendors. Rome is yours!

Day 13, February 3, Friday: Return from Rome
After breakfast, we’ll be transferred to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport for our return flight home. Arrive on the same day.

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

 

 
 

 

Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303