Enjoy our day with these great Knights and Ladies in Northern Israel….

{ 1 comment }

B33BC3AB-68A9-403B-8B78-1347C4866C2FSteve Ray here. I am a Knight. My wife Janet is a Lady.

We are proud members of a chivalrous Order with a noble history of 1,000 years. Our mission: to defend and support the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

C1714FD5-92E4-4C3C-A61C-2387FCCABF8AToday fifty fellow Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre arrived in Israel to join us on a pilgrimage following the august steps of millions before them. In the past they arrived by ship and horses (and camels). Today they arrived by airplane and motor coach.

8751AB24-D9BC-4BDD-894F-22C94BC1CEABJanet and I will guide them along with our excellent friend and local guide Amer Shehadeh who is also a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. He is a Palestinian Arab, Roman Catholic Israeli citizen. There is no better and more knowledgeable Catholic guide in the country. We have worked together on more than 60 Pilgrimages!

197ECD56-D78A-4AAA-9480-50D50AFF8546The North Lieutenancy chapter, with their chaplain Bishop Carl Kemme of Wichita Kansas, has sent these principled Knights and Ladies to see the land, support the local Christians, pray and celebrate Mass at the holiest sites, see the empty Tomb of Christ and earn their pilgrimage shell.

They arrived today and we are proud to lead this noble Order through the Land to visit and experience the Christians and holy sites they’ve sworn to defend and support!

Below is a video of their arrival at the Ben Gurion Airport, their journey north to Galilee and our first Mass and dinner in the Holy Land as the sun sets over the Sea!

FAMILY AND FRIENDS—Please leave your loved ones notes and comments below. I will read them each day on the bus. You can also e-mail me at sray@me.com.


Early, early start to pray the real Stations of the Cross. Calvary and tour of the whole Church of Holy Sepulchre.

We settled into our benches for our High Mass with Francisans at the Tomb of Christ.

The Western Wall on Bar Mitzvah day is always a unique and colorful experience then a free afternoon to explore, pray, rest or whatever the pilgrims wanted to do.

Watch Part 2 with Comments, Farewells and final thoughts.


Camels, Floating in Dead Sea, Jericho and more

October 1, 2017

Enjoy camels, Floating in the Dead Sea, Israel Museum, Jordan River, Jericho and more. Fr. Mattson’s homily at Notre Dame here.

Read the full article →

Moving Mass at Gethsemane, Story of Salvation, Al’s Story and more

September 30, 2017

Yom Kippor in Israel which made an interesting day for us. Started with Mass at Gethsemane (homily here) and visiting Mount of Olives and Mount Zion and free time in Jerusalem. Al Kresta told his life story then ended the day in Bethlehem with two whole roasted lambs with flowing wine and Good dancing. the […]

Read the full article →

All Day Bethlehem, “Our Father” Sung in Jesus’ Language, Mass in a Cave…

September 29, 2017

I have always wanted to show Al Kresta the Holy Land a what a joy to make that dream a reality. One hundred pilgrims moving like a well-oiled machine – GREAT GROUP! Today was all day in Bethlehem and what a great day it was. Falafel or shawarma for lunch. Our Mass was in the […]

Read the full article →

Galilee Boat Ride, Healing Mass at Capernaum, 4 Talks by Steve, Visitation and Jerusalem

September 28, 2017

Great day – enjoy! Homily and anointing of Nick Thomm for healing here.

Read the full article →

Mass at Beatitudes, Understanding “You Are Peter”, Syrian Border and more

September 27, 2017

Another great day! Started out with Mass at Mount of Beatitudes (excellent homily HERE) and then drove to the very northern tip of Israel along the Lebonese and Syrian borders. I gave by talk “Peter, the Rock and the Keys”. This is where Jesus appointed Peter to be the rock and the foundation of the […]

Read the full article →

Great Experiences and Learning at Transfiguration, Cana and Nazareth

September 26, 2017

A wonderful first full day starting with Mass  at the top of the Mount of Transfiguration  which is 1900 feet high. You can hear and see the excellent homily here. From there we renewed our wedding vows in Cana of Galilee. And authentic lunch in Nazareth with lamb and chicken and all the local salads […]

Read the full article →

Al Kresta and 100 Pilgrims Arrive in the Holy Land

September 25, 2017

<img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-1595804″ src=”http://www.catholic-convert.com/wp-content/uploads/88C7760D-3913-4563-ACE8-57643B1AE8AA-300×252.jpeg” alt=”88C7760D-3913-4563-ACE8-57643B1AE8AA” width=”300″ height=”252″ /> We are very excited, Janet and I, to welcome the Ave Maria Radio Group and lots of their friends to the Holy Land. Ever since I first came to Israel it has been my dream to bring Al and Sally Kresta with me. Today is a […]

Read the full article →

Arabic Mass in Jerusalem with Local Palestinians – only 2 minutes

September 24, 2017

Today Janet and I went to Mass Here in Jerusalem a day before our group arrives. Always moving to share the Liturgy with the local Christians in the in the Middle East.

Read the full article →

Germany Trip Summary, Comments, Farewells and Departure

September 15, 2017

After eight days of intense touring of Germany and following all the sites of Martin Luther and the “Protestant Devolution” we finally said our goodbyes, shared our comments about the trip and headed home. But the trip was not only about Martin Luther and the Protestant rebellion. We also explored and toured the life of […]

Read the full article →

Luther Defies Rome, Splits the Church at ” Diet of Worms”. Germany Day 8

September 14, 2017

Today we visited the city of Worms Germany where Martin Luther was called before the “Diet” or Tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire at the “Diet of Worms” in 1521. I know that sounds funny and kind of disgusting but a “diet” was a tribunal and it was held in the city of Worms in […]

Read the full article →

Germany 7: Protestants Argue in Marburg Castle, a Birthday Party and more

September 13, 2017

Today we visited Marburg which is a quaint and historic town with the beautiful Bavarian looking houses and buildings. No one wanted to leave. Up on the mountain was the castle of Marburg where Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli and a large group Protestants gathered to try and hammer out the “Protestant theology.” I explain more in […]

Read the full article →

Bach Concert, Luther House and Wartburg Castle

September 12, 2017

We started the day in Eisenach Germany with Mass at the Church of St. Elizabeth. She was an amazing woman well before the time of Luther who cared for the poor in an exceptional and miraculous way. You can hear the excellent homily here (Part 1 and Part 2). Today we branched out a bit […]

Read the full article →

Luther’s Young Years, Monastery and Birth & Death

September 11, 2017

Eisleben: birth and baptism of Luther. Also where he preach his last sermons and died. This was also the town of St. Gertrude the Great. We has Mass at St. Gertrude’s with another fantastic homily. Mansfeld: Luther’s childhood home and church where he sang in the choir and served as an altar boy. He was […]

Read the full article →