Sorry to have been absent from this blog for so long, but I have been leading the most wonderful pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

We set out to follow the footsteps of the Magi from Petra to Bethlehem. We’ve had some bumps in the road, but everything was handled expertly by our guides and the people from Catholic Heritage Tours.

We began in Amman in Jordan, and a tour of the Roman city of Jerash. The next day Mass at Mt Nebo before heading South to Petra. A closed border crossing meant we were unable to travel South to the crossing into Israel at Aqaba as planned, so we travelled back to the Allenby Bridge to cross the Jordan into the Promised Land.

Our guide in Israel too us straight to the Jordan where we renewed our baptismal vows, then to tour the Jericho archeological site, the museum of the Qumran community and on to Beersheva where we had a hotel booked. There were some unhappy experiences there, but the pilgrims were cheerful and pulled together.

The next day we toured Herod the Great’s fortress of Herodium, the Shepherd’s Fields and the Church of the Nativity. We celebrated Mass in the cave of St Jerome, then went on to the Milk Grotto and our hotel in Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem, we began the day with Mass at the Church of St Anne, then visited the Wailing Wall, the palace of Herod and the Israeli Museum and Dead Sea Scrolls. The next day, the Mount of Olives, Mass at the Church of the Agony, Caiphas’ House and St Peter Gallicantu.

Today an early morning Stations of the Cross, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and our trip to Galilee.

Two more days here in Galilee then home.

It has been an exhausting, but exhilarating journey. Praise God for all the graces received.