January 31st- February 9th 2010


Approximately 30 pilgrims set out for a spiritual journey to the Holy Land. We left our homeland to go to the land where Jesus was born, lived, preached, taught, healed, died, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and began his Church. We were fortunate to have Msgr. Jim McNamara as our spiritual guide. He is one of the holiest, yet down to earth and personable priests that I know. In Israel we were blessed to have George Said, a Palestinian Christian as our guide, and Joe a Palestinian Christian as our driver. George’s deep faith and knowledge of the area was a great asset. I was impressed the minute he began by reading scripture. Joe had skills as a driver that kept us safe as well as bringing us where we had to be, and when we had to be there. On the trip was Father Roger Fawcett, who brought us not only his spiritual side, but his humorous side. Five deacons, and their wives, were also on the pilgrimage, as well as several sisters. It did not take long for all of us to form a small Christian community of friends and pilgrims. God is good, all the time!!!

FEB 1: We arrived at Ben Gurion Airport and traveled by bus to the Blue Bay Hotel in Netanya, a city named after the former Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu who served in office from 1996 -1999. The hotel was directly on the Mediterranean Sea and provided such magnificent views.

FEB 2: We left the Blue Bay to travel to Caesarea Maritima where Paul had been held as a prisoner and where the Romans had numerous government buildings. We had beautiful warm weather. At Caesarea Maritima we visited the Roman excavations that included the Roman theater that seated about 3,500 people. According to the historian Josephus, this is where Herod Agrippa was killed as described in Acts 12. Herod built a port here that accommodated 300 ships. He had a Palace here also the (Promontory Palace) that had a large pool that we could still see. There is a stone there with Pontius Pilate’s name on it. There was also a large hippodrome (race track) and ruins of many buildings. We laughed at the stone toilets, all in a row. We also saw a large Roman aqueduct, still in good shape. We stopped along the road where our tour guide, George went outside to pick a piece of the type of plant used to make the crown of thorns they placed on Jesus head.


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