What a great group of Catholic pilgrims and adventurers! Prayers on the bus, Rosaries, conversion stories and our new Footprints of God DVD “Abraham, Father of Faith & Works. Enjoy our pilgrimage with us.

I know it seems like all we do is eat, but you have to remember where we are – ITALY. This is the best food in the world.

Fr. Courtney’s energetic and fun homily in Assisi.

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Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

by Steve Ray on May 24, 2015

The Jewish Jesus - like he really was

 Jesus was a Jew.

This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Jesus and his Jewish ancestors. 

 Let me ask you a few questions. Were you born and raised in Israel? Did you study the Torah with the rabbis from an early age? Have you traversed the rocky hills and dusty paths to celebrate the mandatory feasts in Jerusalem? 

 Do you speak Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic? I haven’t found anyone in my Catholic parish who has these credentials. Without this background, we are at a great disadvantage when studying the Bible and its central character — Jesus himself. 

 When we open the pages of our English Bible, we find a Jewish book! The setting revolves around Israel and the worship of Yahweh.

With one exception, the more than forty biblical writers were all Jews, and the exception was most likely a Jewish proselyte.  (Do you know who the only non-Jewish author in the Bible is? I’ll give you a few hints: he was a physician, one of St. Paul’s co-workers, and he wrote the first history of the Church.)   

 The point is, how can we understand the Bible and the teaching surrounding our Lord Jesus and salvation without understanding his people, his culture, and his Jewish identity? 

For the whole article click here.

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I cannot express in words what we did, saw and experienced today. It was truly and spiritual powerhouse. Seeing the Holy Shroud was breath-taking. It is a Love Letter from God written in his own blood.

The church and compound started by St. John Bosco and his body on display with Mass at an ancient church left people gasping. Then we met St. Gianna’s daughter, the one she died to save. What a tear-jerker 1-hour talk she gave us and then joined us all for dinner. 

And that is just the surface. Enjoy the three videos which give you an idea of today.

THE SHROUD MOVIE BEFORE SEEING THE REAL THING

OUR FULL AND MAGNIFICENT DAY

FR. COURTNEY’S LIVELY HOMILY

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Steve’s Short Story “The Last Nightmare” Might Scare the Hell Out of You!

May 23, 2015

The Last Nightmare A Short and Terrifying Story by Steve Ray Everything went blank for a moment, but that moment seemed like eternity. He felt a motion, not with wind and breeze, but a motion none the less. He was traveling, moving, floating, transcending-he wasn’t really sure. The sudden blackness gave him time to regain [...]

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First Day in Italy; Mass at the Duomo in Milan; Settled into Turin to See Shroud Tomorrow

May 22, 2015

Arrival in Milan; tour of the city and Mass at the 5th largest church in the world – and amazing Gothic construction. Fr. Scott Courtney’s homily in the fantastic Duomo.

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Mary, Queen of Heaven

May 22, 2015

A while ago a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary including references from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother up to a throne to be Queen of the Kingdom. He said that was the ONLY case of a [...]

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Cartoon on Protestantism and the Bible

May 21, 2015

When I look back on my experience I find this cartoon has a ring of truth. There were many verses of the Bible that I either didn’t realize existed (though that may seem strange) or that we just ignored. We virtually cut them out of the Bible in the sense that we ignored or reasoned [...]

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A Limerick for a Questioning Grandson – Did Jesus Really Exist?

May 21, 2015

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.” So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since. Was there really a man named Jesus? [...]

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Interesting Explanation of Baptism from Protestant Dictionary – “baptism…in itself is unimportant”

May 20, 2015

I was looking up Greek definitions of the word baptism and found this interesting “definition.” This dictionary is usually very good but I found this summary of biblical passages on baptism very intriguing and disingenuous. Take a look at this definition and think about it for yourself. Analyze it and the verses used. Notice how they [...]

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From Israel to Italy Today; Troublesome Muslims there too; Urinating on Mary; Wake up America!

May 20, 2015

On Sunday, May 10, after church mass, a group of young Muslim immigrants interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary.  They hurled verbal insults, shouts, and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna. Approximately 100 Catholic Christians, including several small children, were preparing [...]

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Last Day of Pilgrimage: Comments, Fun and Farewells

May 19, 2015

Hope you enjoy all the fun and farewells at the end of the trip. Always sad to say Good-bye!

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Last Day of Pilgrimage: Camels, Dead Sea Floating, Stepping into Jesus’ Jerusalem, Trinity Homily and much more

May 19, 2015

Just watch. How can I explain this marvelous day. Even a blessing from the Cardinal of Seoul Korea at the Jordan River. From Mass in Jerusalem to the Temple Model at the Israel Museum, from Jericho to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. Oh, yeah, floating in the Dead Sea and riding camels too. [...]

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Are You Born Again?

May 19, 2015

 Since we are all renewing our Baptismal Vows at the Jordan River today, thought this post from a year ago might be appropriate :-) It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way – with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The [...]

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Steve’s Fun Podcast Show on “Catholic Vitamins” with Deacon Tom Fox

May 18, 2015

Greetings and Graces. Just a note to let you know we posted the (awesome) interview with Steve Ray on our Catholic Vitamins Podcast today. Our time centered on the new ABRAHAM DVD but we covered so much more.   The show can be downloaded via iTunes for play on an iPod or similar MP3 device. Or, [...]

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10 Pro-Abortion Myths That Need to Be Completely Debunked

May 18, 2015

1. Abortion is Safe 2. Abortion does not kill a Person 3. “Pro-abortion” and “Pro-choice are Different 4. It’s okay if you are opposed to abortion, but don’t enforce that on anyone else! 5. Guys don’t have a say on abortion. 6. Birth control doesn’t cause abortion or hurt women. 7. Abortion is a basic human right 8. If [...]

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Wow! Mass in the Tomb; Praying for Priests where they Began and more; Day 7 Parts 1 & 2

May 18, 2015

The highlight of the whole pilgrimage is praying the Via Dolorosa, touching the top of Mount Calvary where the Blood of Jesus flowed and having Mass inside the Tomb. I tell people that when the priest brings us the Body of Christ in the Tomb that Jesus comes out of the tomb for us again [...]

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