Israel and Middle East

Today what’s an incredible day of many adventures. We started the day with Mass at the Mount the Beatitudes where Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount. Then we went up to the Golan Heights to visit Caesarea Philippi where Jesus said “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church”. Lunch in the Druze Restaurant and then much more…

Video One: our pilgrimage today through amazing and stunning holy sites. 

 

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Hello Everyone. Janet and I have settled in, made sure everything is safe and in good order. We have the 60-seater bus ready to go with our new colorful 6′ x 2′ foot magnetic signs to slap on both sides of the bus.

We have Rosaries for everyone to touch on the holy sites, our guide Amer is in good form and ready to go and the land awaits us. Fifty-five pilgrims will board El Al (the safest airline in the world) and land in Tel Aviv at 12:25 Monday morning. We will be there to pick them up.

We are in for a great spiritual adventure. One nice thing: many groups panicked and canceled which leaves far fewer other groups to compete with. No lines, no waiting, no pushing or jockeying to get access to holy sites. There are other groups here but not nearly as many as usual. 

I will start posting daily videos for you to join us virtually starting Monday. God bless you all from the land of the Patriarch and Prophets, from the kings and queen mothers, from Our Lord and Lady, from the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. We can feel it already :-)

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We arrived in Jerusalem and all is well :-)

by Steve Ray on August 30, 2014

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On the VERY full plane just before landing

We arrived at the Tel Aviv airport this morning at 5:00 AM. It is no different from the 130 times we’ve arrived in the past.

We’re now at the Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem, went out for dinner went to Saturday evening Mass and are now comfortably settled into our hotel.

Good morning Jerusalem from our hotel window!

Our group is very wise to have waited and watched and stayed with the program. It is quiet and safe and the the Holy Land is ready to receive our pilgrims with open arms. We are in for a wonderful and magnificent spiritual experience.

Dinner on the patio overlooking Jerusalem

I am working on a YouTube video which I will post Sunday morning so that people can see what it’s like on the ground in Jerusalem. Stay tuned!

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Long Term Cease-Fire Announced between Israel and Hamas

August 26, 2014

This is good news for our pilgrims as we are leaving this weekend for the Holy Land. We are very pleased that our full bus is still full and everyone trusted us to wait and watch and still go. Now their patience and trust will pay off with a wonderful pilgrimage following in the footprints [...]

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Archbishop Sako’s Disappointment with Response to Iraq’s Disaster

August 12, 2014

Patriarch Sako: Refugee Situation Escalating, U.S. Military Action Disappointing Says Iraq’s Christians Face Hard Dilemma: Emigrate or Stay By Staff Reporter VATICAN CITY, August 11, 2014 (Zenit.org) – The Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon has highlighted the extent of the refugee situation in northern Iraq, warned of “escalating” humanitarian needs, and said the hardships facing Iraqis [...]

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Patriarch of Iraq YELLS at the World; “Where are You?” His Words Here – Steve to discuss this topic today on Al Kresta Show

August 8, 2014

Steve will join the Al Kresta Show on Ave Maria Radio from 5:20 – 6:00 to discuss the slaughter of Christians in Iraq and the silence of the world. Iraq’s Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako: a Voice in the Desert Catholic Leader Appeals to Pope, Brother Bishops: ‘Speeches Are Good for Nothing’ ROME, August 08, 2014 [...]

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Christians Fleeing Nineveh as ISIS Muslims Destroy their Cities – Where is the West??

August 7, 2014

UPDATE: Glad the Pope finally calls on the world to step in and “end the crisis” and help the Christians being slaughtered and displaced in Iraq. I hope this means more than just following along behind ISIS to pick up the dead bodies, feed and care for the raped and starving: (Reuters) – Pope Francis [...]

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Christians Branded before Death or Exile: the Arabic letter for “n” – Nazarene

August 5, 2014

Branded: Nazarene (CNA Catholic News Association) Have you seen this symbol? This is the arabic letter “nun,” the first letter in the word “Nazarene.” In Mosul, Iraq, it has been painted on doors to identify the homes of Christians who are then brutally beaten and often executed. A militant Sunni organization known as the Islamic State [...]

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Negotiating Peace Between Gaza and Israel?

August 2, 2014

I received an e-mail blaming Israel for killing innocent children and destroying homes in Gaza. There was a demand to stop the war immediately, open the borders of Gaza and free the people inside. Is this all a good idea? Is this sad situation all Israel’s fault? First, there is a reason the borders are [...]

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Pope Francis Talks with President Peres of Israel about Gaza, War and Peace

July 18, 2014

Pope Francis spoke to President Peres this morning and asked to deliver a message of coexistence, moderation and peace to all the citizens of the region in light of the current security situation. His Holiness Pope Francis spoke to President Shimon Peres earlier today (Friday, 18 July 2014), and conveyed a messaged of coexistence, moderation [...]

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Excellent Assessment on Iraq from the Iraq’s Patriarch

July 1, 2014

Interview with Patriarch Sako with Zenit.org where you can read the whole excellent interview. Q: There are calls for American intervention to stop the advance of ISIS. What do you think? Patriarch Sako: No. I don’t view it like that. The Americans have been here and they made a lot of mistakes. The current situation [...]

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For 1st Time in 1,600 Years, There Was a Sunday in Mosul With No Masses Offered

June 23, 2014

Bishops Seek ‘Rescue Plan’ as Iraq’s Christians Near Extinction For 1st Time in 1,600 Years, There Was a Sunday in Mosul With No Masses Offered ROME, June 23, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Catholic bishops from Iraq are meeting this week to come up with a “rescue plan” amid growing fears that the ISIS Islamist attacks have put [...]

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Here is a YouTube Video of my Show with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN

May 24, 2014

I sure hated the suit and tie – first time in a decade I put those things on, but other than that it was fun. It was a last minute thing. They said, “Quick, get a flight, we have a hotel, take a taxi to the NBC studios in Washington DC and be there by [...]

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Radio and TV Shows with Steve about the Pope in the Holy Land and the Situation Over There

May 23, 2014

It has been a busy week. Yesterday EWTN’s “The World Over” that will be repeated three more times this week. It was a good time with Raymond and the segment flew by. All his staff and producers were wonderful.You can find out more here www.ewtn.com/tv/live/worldover.asp. Today I will be on Drew Mariani’s Show on Relevant Radio [...]

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I Will Join Raymond Arroyo Thursday on World Over on EWTN – The Pope in the Middle East

May 20, 2014

The show will focus on the Pope’s visit to the Middle East. We will discuss the sites he will visit, what he will find, the mood of the local Christians, the controversy over his Mass in the Upper Room and more. The show airs at 8:00 PM Eastern time from Washington DC. I have to [...]

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The “Religion of Peace” Strikes Again in Syria as the USA Continues to Support the Radical Muslims

April 7, 2014

Dutch Missionary Priest in Syria Shot Dead: Stayed With Christians Unable to Evacuate Homs ZENIT UPDATE HERE 4/8/14      ROME REPORTS VIDEO HERE ROME, April 07, 2014 (Zenit.org) – A priest helping Christians find shelter in Syria’s Old City of Homs has been murdered. Dutch Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt was shot twice in the [...]

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