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Family of 7 would like to go from Our Lady of the Mountains in Cumberland, MD.

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I would love to go. Planning on taking my granddaughter. She is 11.

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Behind the Headlines

Father Steve's reflection: Living side by side

The Western Wall had a great impact on several priests on our pilgrimage, as you’ll see in this reflection from Father Steve Hook. – CG

Bishop Denis J. Madden prepares to celerate the fractioning rite during the Liturgy of the Eucharist in a Mass for a pilgrimage of priests from Maryland inside the Tomb of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem Oct. 15. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

This entire pilgrimage was awe-inspiring, yet overwhelming. It is going to take me years to fully appreciate what I have experienced by my journey to the Holy Land and being able to walk where Jesus walked and pray where Jesus taught.

One of the highlights that comes to mind for me was actually the day we celebrated Mass at the Holy Sepulcher, then walked the Via Dolorosa through the streets of the Old City, which ended at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount with the view of the Dome of the Rock. It seemed to be the one place on earth where Christianity, Judaism and Islam converged, and at least while we were there, were living side by side.

As we approached the Western Wall, I was thinking to myself what it was that I wanted to pray for that day. The custom is to either write a prayer and place it in the wall or just touch the wall and voice your prayer in silence.

The Dome of the Rock overlooks Temple Mount and the Western Wall Plaza, one of the most sacred sites in the world for Judaism. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

I was thinking of so many things and people that I should include in my prayers but I couldn't settle on any one person or request. So as I approached the wall, my mind was scattered in all directions. But as soon as my hands touched the wall, a prayer intention miraculously became clear: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. It is a prayer that is mentioned throughout the Scriptures, which also say that Jesus wept over Jerusalem, which would be destroyed.

As I reflected upon this prayer throughout the rest of the trip, and even still today, I believe that is the, and ought to be, the ongoing and daily prayer of all peoples of faith. It is a prayer not only for the Jerusalem here on earth, but also a prayer of hope for all of us, as we await the coming of the new Jerusalem in the kingdom of God. Father Stephen Hook Pastor, St. Augustine Parish, Williamsport, MD Oct. 30, 2010 See a related entry here.

Pilgrims approach the Western Wall, one of the most sacred sites int he world for Judaism. People of all faiths come from around the world to bring their prayers to this holy place. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

October 30, 2010 09:06
By Christopher Gunty


Father Ty’s reflection: An indelible impression on mind, heart and soul

The priests in the group continue to share some of their reflections on the pilgrimage. Here’s a different perspective from Father Ty Hullinger. – CG

A memorial monument outside the Yad Vadhem Holocaust History Museum in Israel. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

“For me, one special pilgrimage encounter was our visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust (Shoah) History Museum in Jerusalem. I had heard many people talk of its importance and the impact it can have on the one who visits it: from our own Cardinal William H. Keeler to the many rabbis and cantors I have known. I must say that the experience touched me deeply, and has left an indelible impression in my mind and heart (and, dare I say, soul?). I have visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., numerous times, and it is a powerful place of memory, but Yad Vashem had further layers and depths of meaning for me. One of the first exhibits was on the Church’s influence in inflaming the powers of hate, anti-Semitism, and anti-Judaism by a preaching of contempt for the Jewish People, especially during the Middle Ages. Yad Vashem did not shy away from presenting the disturbing images coming from within the Church of depictions in art, architecture, etc. of the Jewish people as rejected or accursed. And this was easy fuel for Nazis to ignite into flames of contempt, hatred and destruction. I appreciated the fact that Yad Vashem did not chose to ignore this tragic history, but presented it upfront, as one of the first exhibit panels, forcing us to move beyond our complacencies.

And as we journeyed to the Hall of Names, where Yad Vashem has collected more than 3.5 million (of the estimated 6 million) names of Jewish men, women and children who perished in the crimes of the Shoah, I was confronted with the knowledge that of the names already collected at Yad Vashem, there were Hullingers and Hollingers, mostly from Southern Ukraine and Romania, who perished in the death camps. Are these distant relatives? Why does my family have no knowledge of them? The general assumption among the elders of my family is that we are descendants of German and Swiss Protestants. But is there more to my own family tree? Is there another history of my family that has been forgotten (deliberately or not)? The Hall of Names is a circular room, painted black, that is in reality a library of names and memories. About half of the shelves are already filled with huge black books containing the names and information of 3.5 million Jewish victims who are known. The other half is empty. It reminds you that there are still so many lives hidden among the horrors of what happened, waiting to be discovered by relatives and friends. Many may never be remembered because there were no immediate survivors among family and friends. That is a haunting thought. As if the designer knew these emotions would surface, the Hall’s ceiling is a cylinder of portraits of victims, faces that swirl upward to the light. But the middle of the floor is the reverse image of the ceiling. It is a dark abyss, literally a pit that extends down into darkness below. How much has been lost by the cruelty of human persons? This “empty tomb” immediately reminded me of the empty tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. So much remains unknown, and unknowable to us.

Father Ty Hullinger prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred sites in Judaism, and also welcomes those of other faiths. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

This pilgrimage leaves me with new questions to consider. Maybe that is why we make pilgrimages to holy places. Our presumptions and assumptions about our faith will be challenged on a pilgrimage. Dreams and ideas confront reality, geography, and even family history. Pilgrimages pose difficult issues and questions that the pilgrim must wrestle with. So like Jacob who wrestled with God (or his angel) in the night, I too now am confronting the difficult but necessary and life-fulfilling questions God is posing to me.

Father Ty Hullinger Pastor, St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Most Precious Blood Parish, St. Dominic Parish; Baltimore Oct. 27, 2010

October 28, 2010 09:19
By Christopher Gunty


Father Peter's reflection: 'Saints and sinners rub shoulders in these streets'

I asked the priests in the group to share their some of their reflections on the pilgrimage. Here’s one from Third Order Regular of St. Francis Father Peter Lyons. – CG

Priests from the Baltimore area stop for prayer along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering or Way of Grief) during Stations of the Cross in the streets of Jerusalems Old City. Vendors\

In the narrow, crowded streets of the Old City of Jerusalem the sacred and the secular come face to face. For me it brought home once again the reality of the Incarnation, that Jesus really took on our humanity and pitched his tent right here in the messiness of this world of ours and this life of mine. Saints and sinners rub shoulders in these streets. Some are carrying a cross or praying the rosary or singing hymns. Others are selling fruits and vegetables, tacky souvenirs, T-shirts with crude sayings – while cripples and beggars sit by the side of the road and, more than likely, a few thieves and prostitutes ply their trades as well. And slowly the truth sinks in, that God is the God of all of them. All are his children. He loves each of them – each of us – maybe the prostitutes and beggars more than those we might label as righteous. And the Christ who came among us has commissioned us to continue to deliver this message. This is the mystery of faith which we are so privileged to celebrate, and which came alive once more as we walked in his footsteps in the Holy Land. Fr. Peter Lyons, TOR Pastor, St. Ann Parish, St. Wenceslaus Parish, Baltimore Oct. 26, 2010

Father Peter Lyons (white shirt, at left) participates in the Way of the Cross with the pilgrimage of priests from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The prayerful procession wended its way through the narrow streets of Jerusalem\

October 28, 2010 08:58
By Christopher Gunty


Father Augustine's reflection: Peace beyond words

The priests in the group continue to share some of their reflections on the pilgrimage. Here’s one from Missionary of St. Paul Father Augustine Inwang. – CG

Father Augustine Inwang blesses himself with water from the Jordan River during a pilgrimage with priests from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

As far as I am concerned, the pilgrimage that we made to the Holy Land was a trip of a lifetime. I was blessed to be in the company of those who went on the trip. I am blessed and very privileged to have been in the company of Bishop Denis J. Madden. I don’t think my first trip to the Holy Land could have been half as wonderful and spirit-filled as it was if the bishop was not directing the journey.

The high point of the pilgrimage for me was our last day in Tiberias. Early that morning I went out to pray behind the hotel looking at the Sea of Galilee. There it was easy to look across the lake to Nazareth on one side and Capernaum on the other, to imagine all the activities that took place there during the time of Jesus: the Sermon on the Mount (the Beatitudes), the feeding of the 5,000, the primacy of Peter, the walking on the sea, and even Jesus sleeping on the boat. It was an experience that will be difficult to describe. The peace that I felt and favors received while there are beyond words.

Father Augustine Inwang, MSP, prays Oct. 15 at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred sites in the world for Jewish people and those of many faiths. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

The journey was not just a pilgrimage, it was indeed a retreat. The reflections of Bishop Madden during the Masses celebrated were deep and spirit-filled. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to travel in such a great group of caring and compassionate priests. I have no doubts that the priesthood is the best profession in the world and I am grateful to God be counted as one his priests. Fr. Augustine Etemma Inwang, MSP Pastor, Transfiguration Roman Catholic Congregation, Baltimore Oct. 26, 2010

October 26, 2010 02:38
By Christopher Gunty


Father Martin's reflection: “The God of Surprises met me”

I asked the priests in the group to share their some of their reflections on the pilgrimage. Here’s one from Father Martin Burnham. – CG

As I look back at our Holy Land Pilgrimage, I am struck by some of the many words spoken to us by Bishop Kamal Bathish, and it is through the prism of his words that I offer this reflection. Bishop Bathish, auxiliary bishop emeritus of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, spoke to us about the idea of Pilgrimage. He reflected that God has called us on this pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and if God has called us to this place, then God will meet us on our journey, each in his own unique place and time. It was after this meeting that I began in earnest to await God’s meeting with me as I journeyed through these holy sites of our faith. Oddly enough, it was not in the “expected places” that I experienced the awesome presence of God on this pilgrimage; the God of surprises met me in some very unexpected ways and in some very unexpected places. Three experiences stand out for me as places where God came to meet me on pilgrimage. The first experience of God’s abundance happened for me during our meeting with the students at Bethlehem University. I was moved in Spirit as I listened to their descriptions of how they overcame great obstacles to seek a better life for themselves through their university education. As we spoke about the negative effects of media portrayals of life in Palestine, I witnessed my personal biases about Palestinians formed by my media exposure dissolve as our encounter in dialogue continued. The stories of friendship, openness, and desire for peace spoken by both Christian and Muslim students filled me with a sense of hope that peace was truly possible. Closed in by the Israeli border wall that visibly divided communities and disrupted lives, I experienced great heaviness of heart and a sense of despair that questioned whether peace could ever be possible. It was to this darkness that God came, the God of light and hope, speaking words of peace and reconciliation. These words, testaments to God’s presence, are rarely conveyed to us in America when media portrayals of Palestinian people are created. The second experience of God’s abundance happened for me at the Wailing Wall [the Western Wall]. This site, sacred to those of Jewish faith, provided me with a deep sense of God’s abiding presence. As I approached the wall, I could sense the millions of prayers that have been offered at this very site through the centuries. What was clear to me as I approached the wall was that there was only one prayer that wanted to pray – I asked God to bring peace to the land of His birth. It was a prayer formed from the experiences of a trip that showed firsthand the deep divisions that exist between people of faith. From the Israeli border wall that meanders over, around and through family properties and neighborhoods, to the Holy Sepulcher where people of shared faith try to overwhelm one another with the volume of their liturgical celebrations, it was clear that to me that peace was and is an overwhelming need for this holy land. It was within this prayer with my head resting on the ancient stones of this Temple wall that I experienced God’s presence fully alive to me.

Monsignor Rob Jaskot (from left), Father Martin Burnham and Father Chuck Wible pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem while on pilgrimage Oct. 15, 2010. (Catholic Review photo | Christopher Gunty)

The final experience of God’s abundance came to me as we walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee to celebrate our outdoor Mass. Throughout the pilgrimage, our guides continually spoke words of condition as they described the holy places that we visited. For instance, when describing the Church of the Visitation, we heard that “tradition has it” that this could be the place where Mary “may have lived” when the angel of the Lord came to her with his incredible news. These words of condition followed us on a majority of our pilgrimage, but they could not accompany us to the shores of Galilee. This lake was, is, and forever more shall be the Sea of Galilee, the same body of water upon which Jesus walked when he came to the disciples in their boat. Here God’s presence was palpable to me, and the Eucharist we celebrated that evening as a group was memorable. I have returned from this pilgrimage a changed priest. Having walked in the footsteps of Jesus, my experience of Scripture will never again be the same. My experiences of God’s presence will carry me in the months and years ahead as my journey with God continues in my service to his people. Father Martin Burnham Pastor, St. Andrew by the Bay Parish, Annapolis Oct. 25, 2010

October 25, 2010 04:47
By Christopher Gunty


Easter’s joy; Good Friday’s Passion all in one day

By Christopher Gunty The Catholic Review

If you’re following the blog, you already know the group of pilgrim priest from Baltimore spent part of Friday in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, with a visit to the Western Wall. The day was also as liturgically out of season as the day before, when we celebrated Christmas in the middle of October, because on this Friday, Oct. 15, we commemorated Good Friday and Easter, but in reverse order. The day began with a very early morning Mass inside the edicule, the structure within the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher that contains the tomb of Christ, and the slab on which he was laid for three days before his resurrection. The edicule area includes a small pedestal that contains a piece of the stone that the angels rolled away from the mouth of the tomb. [slideshow] Only about four people at a time can fit in the tomb chamber itself, so during the Mass priests from the group took turns rotating into the chamber, while the rest filled the edicule. Only a few groups each day can reserve the tomb for Mass, but it is a rare privilege, and the Masses must be brief – with no singing – so as to accommodate the next group waiting. Public access to the tomb begins at 8 a.m., so all the half-hour Masses must be complete by then. Other Masses are celebrated at other altars in the basilica – including the one next to the site of Calvary, where Christ was crucified – by various groups in other languages throughout the day, also at a vigorous clip to accommodate all the pilgrims who wish to celebrate the Eucharist so close to events in the Paschal mystery. Father Jim Profitt, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Severna Park, proclaimed the Gospel during the Mass, and said his preaching of the Scriptures during Holy Week will be forever changed by the experience. “To be surrounded by the pilgrims, and even though it was a bit distracting with all the competing prayers going on, it didn’t seem to take away from the holiness of the place. I’m sure 2,000 years ago it was not the quietest place when Jesus’ was going through the whole ordeal. “To have a sense of the places and where it happened, I don’t even know if there are words to describe it – just being there – the places are no longer confined to imagination,” he said. Father Stephen Hook, pastor of St. James Parish in Boonsboro, proclaimed a portion of the eucharistic prayer, standing before an altar placed directly over the stone where Jesus was laid in the tomb. He said he could hardly find words to describe the experience even to be in the place where Jesus laid after his crucifixion. He said he felt in a sense the way Mary Magdalene might have felt, wanting to stay there forever. But when Jesus rose, “He said, ‘don’t wait here, catch up with me later.’ Just to be compelled to go forth from the tomb and proclaim the Good News is a very moving experience, ” Father Hook said. After the Mass, the pilgrim priests visited the site of Calvary, which while it once was on a hill, is now within the footprint of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Just below the Calvary chapel is a room that contains a piece of rock with a fissure in it, which was formed in the earthquake that occurred when Jesus breathed his last.

“But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, ‘Truly, this was the Son of God!’” (Mt 27:50-54; cf. Mk 15:38, Lk 23:44-45)

Reflecting on the resurrection, which took place in the very tomb in which they stood, Bishop Denis J. Madden said they were in the most sacred place they could be, and that Christ had invited them there, to reflect on the theme of forgiveness. “It’s crucial for us that we … come out from this tomb resurrected, with new life. It gives us the opportunity to forgive all who have in any way offended us or been a burden for us. “And our forgiveness is not the forgiveness that we have any great emotional response; it’s the forgiveness of the heart. It’s the forgiveness of true love, the forgiveness of the mind. We forgive; we may not feel anything different in our heart, but if we honestly forgive, it is finished,” he said. “This is the day of forgiveness for us. This is the day of new life.” The Baltimore pilgrims celebrated the Mass of Resurrection from Easter morning, which includes the Psalm refrain: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” And yet, later in the day, they went back to Holy Week and the Passion of Christ, with a walk along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering or Way of Grief) to pray the Way of the Cross. Bishop Madden, auxiliary of Baltimore and the trip’s spiritual leader, led the devotion with a set of readings and reflections based on the Stations of the Cross used by Pope John Paul II in 1991. As the priests moved along the streets and alleyways of Jerusalem, stopping at various points corresponding to the location of the event in each Station (perhaps historically, but more likely by tradition, since the Stations along the Via Dolorosa have changed several times over the centuries), the hubbub of life continued as shopkeepers and vendors plied their wares.

Even as the pilgrims sang, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord,” they were entreated to buy rosaries, bookmarks and other goods. As they sang, “Jesus Remember Me, When You Come into Your Kingdom,” they were pressed on all sides by the life of a busy city, and it was sometimes difficult to focus on the prayers. But such was no different from Jesus’ time. Even as he was led down this path, normal city life continued. Some may have ignored this latest criminal heading to Golgotha – what’s one more thief or murderer? – and some, encouraged by the soldiers, may have actively jeered or spat at him. Having already been inside the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, the location of the last five Stations, the group completed Stations 10 through 14 in a small room near the Coptic church, before heading for the Jewish quarter and the Western Wall. A little later in the day, we went back in time some more, to Holy Thursday, visiting the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (cock-crow), the site where it is believed that Peter denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed, as the Lord predicted. The reason the church is believed to be the site is that evidence suggests it was the home of Caiaphas and his father-in-law Anais, who would have been the ones to arrest Jesus and hold him overnight before turning him over to Pontius Pilate. Dungeons beneath the church preserved from the time of Christ give some hint to what the conditions would have been for prisoners there. The pilgrims took time for evening prayer in a side yard there, with a rooster ornament on the dome of the church overlooking their assembly, and a statue depicting St. Peter’s denial nearby. – Jerusalem, October 16, 2010

October 16, 2010 05:26
By Christopher Gunty


Praying at the Western Wall

The Western Wall is the only fragment of the Great Temple to survive destruction by the Romans, and is the most sacred structure to the Jewish people. According to a brochure distributed at the Western Wall Plaza by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the wall "is a focus of Jewish longing and prayer for redemption and renewal."

[slideshow] The Western Wall welcomes all, as the prophet Isaiah called the Temple a "house for all nations" (Is 56:7). The same brochure says, "Even with the Temple destroyed, the holiness of the place remains sacred and, for Jews, central, with every generation facing it in prayer. Today people from all over the world converge here to see, feel and pray, and to wedge notes, requests and pleas between its timeless stones."

Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary of Baltimore, and the 23 priests with him on pilgrimage these two weeks took time Oct. 15 to pay their respects at the Western Wall and to bring their prayers to this holy place.

Pope John Paul II visited the Wall in March 2000 and Pope Benedict XVI visited in May 2009. – Jerusalem, Oct. 15, 2010

October 15, 2010 01:10
By
Christopher Gunty


Prayers come alive for pilgrim travelers

By Christopher Gunty The Catholic Review

We say some prayers so quickly, sometimes we get to the end of the prayer and think, “What did I just say?” Prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary, if the domestic church is alive and strong, we learned from our parents – or even from our siblings – and we have prayed them so often, the words roll off our tongue, but often not really through our brain. The pilgrim priests from the Archdiocese of Baltimore* had a unique opportunity today to think about the prayers we pray on our first full day hoofing it around some holy sites in Jerusalem. First stop was at the Pater Noster chapel, a church over a cave where tradition says** Jesus first taught what we know as the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father to his disciples. Another place also holds that claim, depending on how you read the Scriptures. From Matthew:

“‘This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one’” (Mt 6:9-13).

Luke’s version

Bishop Denis Madden leads morning prayer near the Dominus Flevit Church on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

refers to “a certain place,” and perhaps that’s where we were today:

“He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test’” (Lk 11:1-4).

And so, appropriately, Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and spiritual leader for the pilgrimage, led us all in the prayer we all know:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Later, near the Church of Dominus Flevit (the Lord wept

Olives still grow on the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. Some of these trees are more than 2,000 years old, and could have been witness to Christ\

), where Jesus wept as he looked out over the city of Jerusalem, we gathered for morning prayer under the shade of a tree. The bishop and priests concelebrated Mass at the Church of the Agony at Gethsemane (where, again, tradition says, these are the olive trees at which Jesus prayed and asked his disciples to stay awake with him). How could it be that Jesus could keep coming back to find his disciples asleep, Bishop Madden asked. Why would he keep coming back to such followers? “This is the same admonition Christ gives to us, to keep trying to live the Gospel. We try as best we can to stay awake.” After a visit to Yad Vashem, the museum of the Shoah (you’ll read about that in another blog post or in The Catholic Review print edition), the group visited two sites related to St. John the Baptist, the site where tradition holds he was born, and the Church of the Visitation, located on the site of where Zechariah and Elizabeth were believed to have lived. At that site, a grotto marks the spot where Mary first visited her cousin after the Annunciation. Luke picks up the story:

“Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her. During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled’” (Lk 1:38-46).

There, again so appropriately, we prayed:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.

I prayed especially there for all the mothers in my life, especially my deceased mother Therese, and my grandmothers, and for so many other women who need Mary’s protection and guidance, love and grace. One does not have to travel to these places to make the words of the Our Father and Hail Mary come alive. Being here makes it easier. But so does reading the Scriptures. And sometimes, just slowing down as you pray, and thinking about the words. Keep us in your prayers as tomorrow we head to Bethlehem. – Jerusalem, October 13, 2010 Catholic Review Photos by Christopher Gunty

* [Yes, I know we have one priest each from the Archdiocese of Washington and one from the Diocese of Wilmington, Del., but that’s going to get cumbersome to write all week. We appreciate have them with us. Hey, Father Dan Gallaugher (Washington) and Franciscan Father Joe Monaghan (Wilmington), thanks for joining the group. But for simplicity, I won’t mention your arch/dioceses in all the blogs, and I hope you won’t feel slighted.] ** [“tradition says” is Holy Land code for “nobody knows for sure if this is where an event took place, but we’re going to make our best guess that this the site”]

October 13, 2010 06:50
By Christopher Gunty


Pilgrimage visits the Latin Patriarchate

[gallery columns="2" orderby="ID"]

October 13, 2010 05:27
By Christopher Gunty


Looking for Jesus in the Holy Land

By Christopher Gunty The Catholic Review

“On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, ‘Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” ’ ” (Mk 16:5-7)

Today, we will visit the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Way of the Cross and the Tomb of the Holy Sepulcher. We will see the place where the angel spoke these words to the first disciples. A thought struck me this morning upon waking: The angel was essentially telling Jesus’ followers, “Don’t look for the Lord where he was; look for him where he is.” Look for him where his teaching comes alive in the people he taught, look for him where his message inflames the hearts of those who believe in him. For a long, long time, I have desired to come to this land so that I could follow in the footsteps of Christ, the Apostles and his early followers. And now I wonder if it’s going to be necessary. Do I need to look for the Lord where he was? “He has been raised; he is not here.” What I hope to see and learn here is what shaped his life and the lives of his followers. I hope to be inspired by the places we see so that I can better understand the Scriptures. And I hope that I realize anew that I see Christ every day in my sisters and brothers – in the people of this land, in the people I encounter as I do my work as a Catholic journalist. You see them, too. Your family and friends, those with whom you work, even then inspiring stories of faith and survival of the Chilean miners who are being rescued as I write this. The face of Christ is present to us, if only we look. “He is going before you…; you will see him, as I told you.” – Jerusalem, October 13, 2010

October 13, 2010 12:27
By Christopher Gunty

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