St Anne's Pilgrimage Itinerary
December 27th, 2017 to January 5th, 2018!
With your hosts Fr. Robert Weighner and Barbara Heil
Day 1—Depart Chicago December 27th, 2017
Day 2– Thursday, December 28
We are greeted at the airport by our guide and board our bus to drive to Tel Aviv to see the ancient port of Jaffa where Jonah boarded ship and where Peter had his vision. Then we are off to our hotel in Netanya for a much needed night’s sleep!
Day 3- Friday, December 29
We begin the day at the ancient Roman seaport of Caesarea where Paul was imprisoned before going to Rome. We ascend Mt. Carmel before heading inland toward Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, to see the Church of the Annunciation, and Mary and Joseph’s house. We will also see Mary’s well and the ancient Synagogue. Leaving , we head to Nain where Jesus raised the widow’s son before continuing to Cana to renew our wedding vows. From there we go up Mt Tabor where Jesus was transfigured before heading to Tiberius on the shores of Galilee where we check into our hotel that will be home for the next couple of days.
Day 4– Saturday, December 30
After a great Israeli breakfast, we will begin our day along the Sea of Galilee with a Mass in the Chapel at the Mount of Beatitudes, the site where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. We journey on to nearby Tabgha, traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish and then arrive at Caesarea Maritima and the Primacy of Peter. From there we go to Capernaum, home of St Peter, and the headquarters of Jesus’ ministry. Then we enjoy a boat ride on the beautiful Sea of Galilee before disembarking to enjoy a lunch of St. Peters fish.
After lunch we head North for Caesarea Philipi, where Jesus asked Peter “Who do men say I am?” And then we will enjoy a walk through nearby Tel Dan, site of the Northern City of Ancient Israel, where Abraham passed through on his way to the Promised Land. Heading back to Tiberias we will stop at the Jordan River before arriving at our hotel.
Day 5– Sunday December 31
We will begin our drive south along the Jordan river, stopping first at Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene, by the lake, to see the incredible excavations from the 1st century village and to celebrate Mass. Recent archaeological excavations uncovered the oldest menorah inscription from the Second Temple period as well as an ancient synagogue that we know Jesus preached in! Heading South, we will drive through Jericho and see the Zacheaus Tree and view the Mt. of Temptations. We will enjoy a Biblical lunch at Eretz Beresheet and will stop for an overlook of Wadi Kelt and see the desert expanse where Elijah, Jesus, John the Baptist and many others wandered.
Our day will end at Bethany, home of Mary and Martha, where we will see the Tomb of Lazarus before entering Jerusalem, and where we will greet the new year!
Day 6– Monday, January 1, 2018
For those who want to experience it, we will celebrate an early morning Mass at Calvary at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre before returning to our hotel for breakfast! We will continue our day with a drive to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea area to visit the caves at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden. We will continue south to Herod’s mountain fortress of Masada, where the Zealots hid out after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple and later committed suicide when they were surrounded by Herod’s army.
We will view Ein Bokek where David hid from King Saul before visiting a beach area on the Dead Sea where we will stop for a swim in the mineral-rich waters renowned for its healing properties.
Day 7– Tuesday, January 2
This morning we ascend the top of Mt. Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem and for a better understanding of its geography and some of the key sites surrounding the area.
We will make a very special visit to the Church of Pater Noster, where Father Bob Weighner was ordained in 1999! And where we are hoping to celebrate Mass. This is going to be a beautiful time! Afterwards, we will walk together down the Palm Sunday road to the church of Dominus Flevit, where our Lord wept over the city. We continue our walk on the Palm Sunday road to the Garden of Gethsemane
At Gethsemane, there is the Rock of Agony, where Jesus uttered his last prayer. Spend some time in reflection and meditation inside the Church designed to look like the Garden at night.
We will visit Mt. Zion, just outside the City Walls, to view the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, where the Apostle denied Jesus three times, and where Jesus was imprisoned on the night He was betrayed. See the Room of the Last Supper and King David's Tomb.
End your day with a visit to the Garden Tomb
Day 8– Wednesday January 3
Begin the day with an early morning visit to the Temple Mount. From there we descend onto the Via Dolorosa and visit the Crusader Church of St Anne’s where we will enjoy Mass! Afterward we will walk the Via Dolorosa through the markets of the Old City praying the Stations of the Cross; reflecting on the greatness of His sacrifice, stopping at each of the fourteen Stations of the Cross, until we reach the church of Holy Sepulchre. Visit Calvary and the empty Tomb of our Lord and the different sections of the church.
We will have time for shopping after lunch, and then see the Western Wall where we can slip our prayers into the stones before visiting the Israel Museum and seeing the model of ancient Jerusalem.
Day 9-Thursday, January 4
Begin your day traveling to Bethlehem to visit the birthplace of our Lord and tour the Basilica of the Nativity. We will visit the Grotto of Nativity and the Church of St. Catherine, where the Midnight Mass is celebrated and the Caves of St. Joseph and St. Jerome underneath the church. After we will drive to Shepherd’s Fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds who were watching over their flocks during the night.
After lunch we will drive through the Ella Valley on the way to Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, and where Mary and Elizabeth met. Here we will visit the Church of the Visitation considered the third most important holy shrine and where we will have Mass.
We will share a farewell dinner in Abu Gosh before preparing to leave for the airport in Tel Aviv, thus ending our extraordinary pilgrimage through the land of the Bible!
Day 10– Friday, January 5