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)

Join the Institute of Catholic Culture for our latest journey to the Land which is called Holy, the Promised Land. This unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our Lord will include discovery of the sacred places of the Bible and on-site Bible studies with Father Hezekias (Sabatino) Carnazzo. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to experience the cleansing waters of the Jordan River, walk along the shore of the Sea of Galilee and pray in the Church of the Resurrection.

June 22 – July 4, 2017
General Information Brochure
Registration Form

General registration for the pilgrimage is now closed. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, you can still send in your registration form and deposit to the tour company to save your spot.
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!

Our first pilgrimage preparatory meeting will be held on Thursday, March 30th from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. ET (4:00 – 5:30 p.m. PT) via webinar.


Click the camera to join the pilgrimage meeting.

“Where there is no preparation, there can be no fulfillment.”

In order to truly experience the Holy Land fully, we encourage you to commit yourself to preparing yourself beforehand – in both spiritual and practical matters. We hope the following links will be of use:

Spiritual Preparation

Practical Preparation


We hope these quotations, videos, and pictures will inspire you as you think about your upcoming journey.

          • Retaining the Rock Reading
          • IMAX Video of Jerusalem
          • Selections from the USCCB Holy Land Pilgrimage Guidelines
          • “The world is a book; those who do not travel read only a page.” St Augustine
          • “St. Alexander of Cappadocia, co-bishop of Jerusalem from 213 – 251 (and imprisoned under Severus for several years before his travels to Jerusalem), said, when he arrived in Jerusalem as a pilgrim, “Stand even for a moment and notice that even though Jerusalem has been deserted and that at the shrines were idols, however the veneration of and homage to toward the reverend places never ceased.”
          • St. Mary of Egypt, who lived from 344 – 421, experienced a dramatic conversion while she was on pilgrimage in Jerusalem. You can listen to an Institute lecture about her and read her story at this link.
          • Etheria, a contemporary of St. Mary of Egypt, kept a travel diary as she traveled the Holy Land from 381 – 384 – you can read The Travels of Etheria here – it’s incredible to read her detailed descriptions of the lands and the liturgical practices of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
          • St. John Chrysostom, “Since that birth, men come from the ends of the earth to see the manger, and the site of the shed.
          • Origen – “In Bethlehem you are shown the cave where he was born, and within the cave the manger where he was wrapped in swaddling clothes.”
          • Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal: “The Christians of the Holy Land are the direct descendants of the very first Christian community and the “collective living memory of the history of Jesus.” – For full article, click here
          • USCCB Holy Land Pilgrimage Guide: “Just as the Gospels are continued in the Book of Acts, so too pilgrimages are made complete by encounters with the living Church in the Holy Land. The Church of Jerusalem was the Mother Church for us all. It was from Jerusalem that the apostles went forth to spread the Gospel. It was to the Church in Jerusalem that other early communities of faith looked for guidance….The great majority of Christians in the area are either Catholic or Orthodox. Most of the Catholics belong to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, a church of the Byzantine tradition whose patriarch resides in Damascus.”
          • Living Stones Pilgrimage with the Christian of the Holy Land by Alison Hilliard and Betty Jane Bailey: “Jerusalem is home to thirteen different churches or denominations that are considered traditional, ranging from the ancient church of the East to the Protestants of the Reformation. Many of its’ churches’ tradito9nal are unfamiliar to Western visitors who come to see the holy sites and end up running where Jesus walked, leaving no time to be spiritually enriched or challenged by the ‘living stones’ who live and worship in Jerusalem today. Often too, many pilgrims participate only in the acts of worship organized for their own tour group by a leader ‘from home,’ and thus leave the cite unaware of the diversity and richness of the local Christian worship going on daily in churches through the Holy Land.”
          • Mark Twain went on a seafaring voyage where he visited all the great sites of Europe and the Middle East. He is quite the cynic in describing his travels in The Innocents Abroad, but even with his satiric pen, he cannot help but write:

            “Well, we were at home in Palestine. It was easy to see that that was the grand feature of the expedition. We had cared nothing much about Europe. We galloped through the Louvre, the Pitti, the Ufizzi, the Vatican — all the galleries — and through the pictured and frescoed churches of Venice, Naples, and the cathedrals of Spain; some of us said that certain of the great works of the old masters were glorious creations of genius, (we found it out in the guide-book, though we got hold of the wrong picture sometimes,) and the others said they were disgraceful old daubs. We examined modern and ancient statuary with a critical eye in Florence, Rome, or any where we found it, and praised it if we saw fit, and if we didn’t we said we preferred the wooden Indians in front of the cigar stores of America. But the Holy Land brought out all our enthusiasm. We fell into raptures by the barren shores of Galilee; we pondered at Tabor and at Nazareth; we exploded into poetry over the questionable loveliness of Esdraelon; we meditated at Jezreel and Samaria over the missionary zeal of Jehu; we rioted — fairly rioted among the holy places of Jerusalem; we bathed in Jordan and the Dead Sea, reckless whether our accident-insurance policies were extra-hazardous or not, and brought away so many jugs of precious water from both places that all the country from Jericho to the mountains of Moab will suffer from drouth this year, I think. Yet, the pilgrimage part of the excursion was its pet feature — there is no question about that.”

Trisagion Prayers, Pentacost, Christ is Risen
Map of Jerusalem

Holy Land Prep. Meeting Videos:

Meeting 1 – March 30th, 2017

Meeting 2 – May 13, 2017

Eastern Churches Prep. Video

Some Practical Info. Prep Video

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