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PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND 2020

In the Footsteps of Our Lord

June 25 – July 7, 2020

Registration for the Pilgrimage is Now Closed.

Registration

Registration for the pilgrimage will open at midnight on August 1, 2019. Please check back then for a link to the registration form. Please register early as we expect the pilgrimage to fill quickly!

Price & Payment

The price for the land portion of the pilgrimage is $2990 (Single Supplement is an additional $810). A non-refundable deposit of $500 must be received in order for your registration to be considered complete. Deposits must be made via check. Do NOT mail your deposit until you have completed your online registration form. Please mail your deposit to: Institute of Catholic Culture, P.O. Box 10101, McLean, VA 22102.

We will be offering a group flight option for airfare once flights are made available. We expect the cost of a round trip ticket to be between $1100 – $1600.

The above rate for the land portion of the pilgrimage includes:

  • Eleven nights’ accommodation
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • English speaking guide
  • Deluxe transportation
  • All entrance fees
  • Porterage fees at hotels
  • Tips for guide, driver, restaurant, and hotel staff
  • An audio guiding system

The above rate for the land portion of the pilgrimage does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Daily lunches as per program
  • Any personal expenses such as telephone calls, beverages, laundry, and insurance
  • Anything not mentioned above.

Holy Land Itinerary*

Day 1 – Transatlantic flight

Day 2 – Tel Aviv – Jerusalem: Transfer to Jerusalem and enjoy a panoramic view of the city from Mt. Scopus. Check into your hotel. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 3 – Jerusalem – Ein Karem – Shepherds’ Field –Bethlehem – Jerusalem: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a panoramic view and Bible study from the Mount of Olives. Travel to Ein Karem, visiting Mary’s well, the Church of the Visitation and the Church of St. John the Baptist. Continue to “Boaz’s Field,” to visit the cave of the Shepherds. Lunch on your own at Tent Restaurant. Continue to Bethlehem to pray at the Cave of the Nativity. Visit Bethlehem wood carvers cooperative. Return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 – Jerusalem – Jordan River – Jericho – Nazareth – Tabgha: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Journey to the Jordan River to see the baptismal site of the Lord. Continue to Jericho to view the Mountain of the Temptation. Then, travel to Nazareth. Sunday Mass at the Melkite Church built over the ancient synagogue of Nazareth. Afterwards, visit Mary’s Well in the Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel, Nazareth’s colorful bazaar, walk Mary’s road to her home, the site of the Annunciation. Visit the Church of St. Joseph (optional). Before leaving Nazareth, visit Mount Precipice. Transfer to Pilgerhaus Hotel. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Tiberias

Day 5 – Valley of Doves – Sea of Galilee – Tabgha: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Start the day with a visit to the seashore to experience the place where Our Lord called the Apostles. Continue to explore the ancient town of Capernaum (entrance included), including the Jewish synagogue and St. Peter’s house. Next, visit the Valley of the Doves. Lunch on your own at Tanureen Restaurant, St. Peter’s Fish, salads, coffee, and dates. Payment directly at the restaurant. Continue the day for a visit to the Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount, as well as the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. Return to Pilgerhaus. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Tiberias.

Day 6 – Capernaum – Tabgha: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. This morning start with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (included) Return to Capernaum (entrance included) for a Bible study. Continue to the Church of the Twelve Apostles. Picnic Lunch. Free afternoon that concludes with a visit to the Mensa Church where Christ appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection. Return to Pilgerhaus. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Tiberias.

Day 7 – Mount Tabor – Jericho – Dead Sea – Jerusalem: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Mount Tabor (taxi included) to enjoy beautiful views of the Plain of Esdraelon. Here visit the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration and a Bible study from the terrace overlooking the Jezreel Valley. Next, journey to Jericho to see the sycamore tree which Zacheus climbed so that he might see Jesus.. The last stop will be at the Dead Sea for a dip into its salty waters. Transfer to Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 8 – Pater Noster Church – St. Anne – Pool of Bethsaida & Siloam – Western Wall Excavations – Hezekiah’s Tunnel: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Begin with a visit to the Church of Pater Noster (entrance included), followed by the Church of St. Anne. After enjoying a Bible study at the Pool of Bethsaida excavations (entrance included), enter the Temple Mount area and enjoy a tour through the southern excavations (entrance included) where Jesus met the woman caught in adultery. In the afternoon, enjoy an optional walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel (entrance included) in the city of David and visit the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus cured a blind man. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 9 – Bethany – Dominus Flevit – Gethsemane – Caiphas’ House – Way of Christ’s Passion: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Leave Jerusalem and drive through the Jordan Valley to Bethany, the place of Lazarus’ tomb (entrance included) and the Orthodox Church of the Raising of Lazarus. Walking the Palm Sunday road, visit the Church of Dominus Flevit. Continuing down the Mount of Olives into the Kidron Valley, make your way to the Garden of Gethsemane. From Gethsemane, continue to Mount Zion to visit the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu and the place of Our Lord’s imprisonment in the palace of Caiaphas (entrance included). Conclude the day by walking the path of Our Lord’s Passion to Golgotha and the Church of the Resurrection for Vespers. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 10 – Church of the Holy Sepulcher: Rise early and make your way to the tomb of Christ. Enjoy a tour of the Church’s complex, including a visit to the tomb of our forefather Adam and the tombs of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. The rest of the day is free. Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Buffet dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 11 – Upper Room – Dormition: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Sunday Divine Liturgy at Melkite Patriarchate. Continue to Mount Zion for a visit to the Upper Room. Then, to the Catholic church of the Dormition of the Mother of God. Next, make your way to the Kidron Valley and visit the Orthodox church of the Dormition, where tradition reveals that the Theotokos was laid in the tomb before her body was taken into heaven. Return to Notre Dame Hotel for buffet dinner. Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 12 – Jerusalem: Buffet breakfast at the hotel. A full day at leisure. (Note: No bus or guide included). Farewell dinner at Notre Dame Hotel. Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 13 – Jerusalem – Transatlantic flight back to USA: Check out of hotel. Transfer to Tel Aviv airport.
*This itinerary is subject to change.

Accommodations

Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center (Jerusalem, Israel), June 26-28 & July 1-7 (eight nights), www.notredamecenter.org

Pilgerhaus Guest House (Tabgha, Israel), June 28 – July 1 (three nights)

Terms and Conditions

Travel is arranged through Elite Travel. To view Elite Travel’s Terms and Conditions, please click the link below.

Elite Travel’s Terms and Conditions

What is the difference between a pilgrimage and a spiritual trip?

A pilgrim is quite different from a tourist trip. We will not simply be visiting the holy sites to see them, or learn their basic history, but hopefully to experience metanoia – that change of heart which comes from conversion. We are traveling, not only to the Holy Land, but also, ideally, towards God. Any difficulties we experience along the way will be transformed into sources of blessing and opportunities to grow in our walk with the Lord. We will seek to detach ourselves, during this time, from our normal world, and “seek first the kingdom of God.”

After the pilgrimage, you will read the Bible with all your senses – you will know the scents (good and bad!) of Jerusalem, the feel of the stones beneath your feet at the Sea of Galilee, and be able to hear the wind whistling on the top of Mt. Tabor. You will be able to see Jesus’ face in the faces of the Arab Christians, when you visit his childhood home and the homes of his friends and family, climb the mountains he climbed, and walk the same paths he took, and enter and leave the same tomb where he was buried and rose again!

General Information

Visa Requirements / Passport
Americans citizens only need a valid passport to visit Israel. No visa is required. Passport should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of your return to the USA as indicated on your airline ticket.
When visiting Bethlehem and Jericho you must have your passport with you.
Please make a copy of your passport and place it in a separate place. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. Keep a copy of your itinerary with you, showing flight numbers and hotel names and phone numbers.

Entering and exiting Israel
When you arrive in Tel Aviv you will go through immigration first. Have your passport, itinerary, and paperwork related to the trip with you. Afterwards, you will be able to pick up your baggage and go through customs. Your tour guide will meet you outside.
Exiting Israel at Ben Gurion airport is often more difficult. Make sure you arrive at least three hours prior to departure time. Security checks are carried out routinely for your protection and safety. Expect to be asked thoroughly about the purpose of your trip, where you have been and the usual questions regarding the contents of your luggage. This is standard procedure; there is nothing to worry about.

Time Change
Israel is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Electrical Appliances
The electric current in Israel is 220 Volts. Israeli sockets are three-pronged. Most hotels provide 110 Volts outlets for shavers only. The rest of electrical appliances require a converter and/or adaptor which you can purchase prior to your departure.

Calling Home
To direct dial home from Israel, dial 001- , then the area code and then the rest of the number. The international dialing code for Israel is 972 (from outside Israel) To direct-dial Israel from overseas, omit the “0” in the local Israeli area code.
Your personal cell phone may work in Israel. Contact your service provider to activate the “out of country” feature or international data plan.

Currency
The Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel (ILS). The approximate rate is 3.70 ILS to $1 USD.
Payment in dollars is widely accepted so there is no need to exchange large amounts of money. However, it is helpful to have a handful of 1 shekel coins to operate public restrooms or leave the requisite tips for people who clean them. Foreign currency may be exchanged at the airport or at any bank and in many hotels throughout Israel.
It is also recommended to bring small denomination bills (around $50 in $1 dollar bills and several $5, $10, and $20 bills) since it is a very convenient way of making small purchases.
Linked with major American systems, ATMs are prevalent throughout Israel. Holders of Visa or MasterCard credit cards may withdraw funds at the foreign currency counters of affiliated banks or at certain ATMs.
Major credit cards -American Express, Diners’ Club, Visa, and MasterCard- are widely accepted throughout Israel at the more established stores and restaurants.

Weather
Average temperatures in Israel during winter range between 40°F and 50°F; during spring and fall they normally range between 45°F and 75°F. Mornings and evenings tend to be chilly. It is advisable to check the weather in Jerusalem and Tiberias (www.weather.com) prior to your departure to get an accurate forecast and pack accordingly.

About Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
Originally called Notre Dame de France, the complex was built by French Assumptionists between 1884 and 1904 to accommodate French pilgrims. Badly damaged during the War of 1948, it was eventually turned over to the Holy See on March 2, 1972. By special decree of Pope John Paul II on December 13, 1978, it was erected as Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. Considered an “Ecumenical Holy Place,” the Center is canonically assimilated to a Territorial Prelature, of which the Apostolic Delegate is the prelate. Under the direct jurisdiction of the Holy See, the Center was entrusted to the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ on November 26, 2004 by a Motu Proprio of Pope John Paul II. The activity of the Institute is religious, cultural and educational in nature.

Luggage
Most airlines will allow one checked piece of luggage and one carry-on bag without charge. Usually, there is a maximum weight limit of 50 lbs. per checked bag as well as a size restriction. Airlines may have different restrictions so it is always best to check with your airline to get their exact requirements.
Always place items like cameras and prescription medicine in your carry-on bag. Be certain to have your personal information clearly written on luggage tags on both the outside and inside of all your bags and luggage. And make sure that you have what you need to survive should your luggage not arrive at your destination on time.

Want more information?

We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time. Please email us at info@instituteofcatholicculture.org.

The Institute of Catholic Culture is dedicated to a holistic Catholic education that not only feeds the mind of the person, but also the heart and soul. ICC pilgrimages provide a unique opportunity for people to dive deeper into the Catholic faith intellectually, spiritually, and culturally. They include both domestic and international opportunities for pilgrims to experience authentic Catholic culture through friendships with fellow pilgrims as well as immersive experiences at the Holy sites being visited.

“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Gen. 2: 8 – 9)

Joining the Institute of Catholic Culture for our journey to the Holy Land is a unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our Lord, to discover the sacred places of the Bible and on-site Bible studies with Father Hezekias Carnazzo.

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