April 2017

Enjoy today’s video from Boat Ride on Galilee, Mass at Capernaum to Discovering Mary at Visitation to Jerusalem.

Great Body and Blood homily right where Jesus gave that teaching.

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IMG_7139Tomorrow morning we will take our group to Bethlehem to buy quality Olive Wood products make and sold by the local Christians.

When we bring our groups here we only take them to shops that sell the REAL DEAL, real Olive Wood products carved by the local Christians who are in much need of our help.

In this way, you are insured of getting the best quality product AND certain you are helping the local Christians.

Lots of the things for sale in the Holy Land are cheap knock-offs. What a shame to get junk and fail to support the local Christians. This also goes for products that are sold in parishes in the USA.

$_1Make sure the people selling in the parishes are REALLY Catholics and have the REAL products. There are many scams even in the US.

Here is a recent piece exposing the Chinese scams. It begins,

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Christmas is approaching and pilgrims and tourists have begun to arrive, crowding the souvenir shops that line the narrow streets and alleys of Bethlehem, the biblical town revered as Jesus’ birthplace.

IMG_6345But when visitors choose to take a piece of the Holy Land back home with them, they better check the labels. Many souvenirs — including the West Bank town’s trademark rosary beads — are imported from abroad, mainly China.

A small number of souvenir shops are now trying to fight the trend, stocking their shelves almost exclusively with locally made products. Shopkeepers say that while their wares may be more expensive, the quality is much better and they give an important boost to the struggling economy.

For the whole article, click here.

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Since we are on a boat sailing the Sea of Galilee today, I thought I would share this parable that we will be reading to the pilgrims.

Two Seas in Palestine, by Bruce Barton

Sea of Galilee

“There are two seas in Palestine. One is fresh, and fish are in it. Splashes of green adorn its banks. Trees spread their branches over it and stretch out their thirsty roots to sip of its healing waters. Along its shores the children play, as children played when He was there. He loved it. He could look across its silver surface when He spoke His parables. And on a rolling plain not far away He fed five thousand people.

“The River Jordan makes this sea with sparkling water from the hills. So it laughs in the sunshine. And men build their houses near to it, and birds their nests; and every kind of life is happier because it is there. 

“The River Jordan flows on south into another sea. Here is no splash of fish, no fluttering leaf, no song of birds, no children’s laughter. Travelers choose another route, unless on urgent business. The air hangs heavy above its water, and neither man nor beast nor fowl will drink.

“What makes this mighty difference in these neighbor seas? Not the river Jordan. It empties the same good water into both. Not the soil in which they lie not the country about. 

“This is the difference. The Sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the Jordan. For every drop that flows into it another drop flows out. The giving and receiving go on in equal measure.

“The other sea is shrewder, hoarding its income jealously. It will not be tempted into any generous impulse. Every drop it gets, it keeps. 

“The Sea of Galilee gives and live. This other sea gives nothing. It is named The Dead. There are two kinds of people in the world. There are two seas in Palestine. There are two kinds of people in this world. What kind are we?”

See our upcoming pilgrimages at FootprintsOfGod.com (the next four are already sold out. But we have openings in December over Christmas break. Some people are bringing their families!   Contact Elizabeth for more info at sparran@ctscentral.net or at 800-727-1999, ext 150.”

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Israel Day 3: Celebration of Food Donation Collection with Mass at Multiplication, and much more

April 29, 2017

Great day in Northern Israel. Enjoy! For the homily at Tabgha, the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish, for 25th anniversary of Food Donation Connection click here. One of the funniest and insightful homilies ever. Fantastic dinner celebrating 25th Anniversary of Food Donation Connection!

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Steve Ray’s Conversion Story up on “Why I’m Catholic”

April 29, 2017

This is a great website with conversion stories from every religious tradition imaginable to Catholic. The Why I’m Catholic website should be passed around to family and friends. It is very well done, beautifully laid out and full of great stories. Our story was posted this week. You can read it HERE.

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Holy Land Day 2: Transfiguration, Cana and Nazareth

April 28, 2017

Great day. Enjoy us virtually :-) Homily at Church of Transfiguration here.

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How Much Can a Camel Drink? – as he bites me!

April 28, 2017

Since we will soon be in Jordan and Israel again riding camels, I thought I would post some fun and interesting facts – and a movie of the camel trying to bite me. I recently wrote the Bible Study on Genesis for www.CatholicScriptureStudy.com. In chapter 24 Abraham sends his unnamed servant to find a bride […]

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Holy Land Pilgrime Arrived – Ready to Go!

April 27, 2017

NOTE TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THESE PILGRIMS — please messages below in Comments and I’ll read them on the bus. Humor is always appreciated ?? This Holy Land pilgrimage is sponsored by the Food Donation Connection which is a very marvelous organization that finds ways to collect wasted food and distribute it to the […]

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Updated List of Steve’s Prepared Talks for Parishes and Conferences

April 27, 2017

Nothing like standing in front of an excited group of on-fire Catholics wanting to learn and grow in the truth of our Faith. To see eager eyes and ready ears inspires me. Kids love these talks too – because of the energetic style and delivery full of content and good stories. What a thrill to […]

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Newly Renovated Tomb of Christ in the Holy Sepulchre

April 27, 2017

Before our group arrived today Janet and I visited the Tomb of Christ in the Holy Sepulchre a few days after its unveiling without the ugly iron girders that used to surround it for support. Here are a few pictures of the new exterior and one of the interior. Nothing is really changed (except removal […]

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History of Middle East in 90 Seconds

April 26, 2017

Fascinating moving map. Click the image below to see biblical and modern history of the volatile and ever-changing Middle East.

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“Hey, I Like Your Cross!”

April 24, 2017

That’s why I always where my San Damiano Cross. It is colorful and catches people’s eye. Even yesterday while traveling two people commented. My response is always, “Thanks, I wear it proudly as a Catholic!” Invariably an interesting discussion ensues. An atheist once asked why he should become Catholic. What fun! Yesterday two people at […]

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How his Beloved Koran Made him a Christian

April 24, 2017

This is a short but powerful testimony how this Muslim came to Christ by reading his beloved Koran. Should be shared with Christians and Muslims everywhere.

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Dr. Peter Kreeft is the Devil: Advising How to Win the World!

April 23, 2017

What a delightfully fun hour of wit and wisdom! If you have two brain cells that connect and wish to understand God and the world — and if you aren’t afraid of the truth and talk about sex — you will LOVE this. If you aren’t politically correct about atheism and Islam and other such […]

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Is Mormonism Christian?

April 22, 2017

The simple answer is NO! Not even close to Christian. To start a new religion by stealing the terminology from an established religion and then redefining the words does not make the new religion the same as the religion they cannibalized. Mormonism’s theology is strange, completely new and foreign to early Christianity. They never tell […]

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Money and Possessions not Enough…Finding Christ through Pain

April 22, 2017

This is a conversion story – conversion from self-sufficiency, money and possessions to Christ. Pain, suffering, loss of everything brought Terry to Christ. Quite a roller coaster story. Enjoy! It was late one Friday evening, when my wife and I got the call. My Brother and his daughters were involved in an accident on their […]

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