April 2012

Part One. Two familiar sites for Jesus, the Apostles and Mary – the Mount of Olives and Mount Zion.

Jesus ascended into heaven from the top of the Mount of Olives. He had always been on the ground with his disciples but this day he lifted off the ground and the last thing they saw was the bottom of his sandals as he disappeared into a cloud (which represents the glory of God).

We visited the Church of Pater Noster with over 160 copies of the Our Father on the walls in different languages. He taught them to pray in a cave near the church. This is a favorite site.

It was on Mount Zion that Mary experienced her Dormition before being assumed into heaven. The Upper Room is on Mount Zion where three of our Seven Sacraments were instituted: the priesthood, the Eucharist and Reconciliation. It was also where Pentecost took place. Mary was there to be part of the Birth of the Body of Christ, the Church.

It is always a bit disquieting to hear a rooster crow when we visit St. Peter in Gallicantu, which means “where the cock crowed.” It was here that Peter denied Our Lord in front of a charcoal fire. It was also where Jesus was tried before the High Priest Caiaphas and kept in the cistern prison over Holy Thursday night.

So much more I could say but the video will help understand the rest.

Pilgrimage Day 8, Part II

The most common question I get is: “Is it safe to go to the Holy Land?” The answer, as you will see in this video clip is a resounding YES!

, click HERE. In this video we address the question of safety in the Holy Land.

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Background: Bishop Jenky from Peoria Illinois a (Notre Dame Board of Fellows) delivered a noble and blistering homily on President Obama and his policies. Forty-nine Notre Dame professors condemned Bishop Jenky in a signed document. The professors were fools – as ably demonstrated by Professor Charles Rice, Professor Emeritus at Notre Dame Law School. Here is a link to Bishop Jenky’s Homily and below is Professor Rice’s eloquent defense of Bishop Jenky and his astute homily. (Pray that all bishops will deliver such messages to the faithful – and to the US Government). After reading this, please write to the good bishop and give him your support.

Bishop Jenky defending the Catholic Faith and Religious Freedom

Letter of Defense: On April 14, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., of Peoria, Illinois, delivered a courageous homily at Mass during “A Call to Catholic Men of Faith.” Bishop Jenky said, “This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries—only excepting our church buildings—could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.”

Forty-nine members of the Notre Dame faculty denounced Bishop Jenky in a Letter to the University President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Richard C. Notebaert. The Letter called on them to “definitively distance Notre Dame from Bishop Jenky’s incendiary statement.” The signers, said the Letter, “feel” that Bishop Jenky should resign from the University’s Board of Fellows.

The faculty Letter claims that Bishop Jenky “described President Obama as ‘seem[ing] intent on following a similar path’ to Hitler and Stalin.” They accuse Bishop Jenky of “ ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide, and absence of judgment.” The astonishingly simplistic and defamatory character of those accusations can be appreciated only by looking at what Bishop Jenky actually said:

Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room. In the late 19th century, Bismarck waged his “Kulturkampf,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany. Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century. Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama—with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.

The immediate antecedent of that last quoted sentence refers to the fact, which not even a liberal academic could deny, that Hitler and Stalin, like Bismarck and Clemenceau, “would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.” It was not “incendiary” but simple truth for Bp. Jenky to say that the trajectory of the Obama regime is along a “similar path” in regard to “education, social services, and health care.” His faculty detractors misread Bishop Jenky’s homily, assuming that they actually read it before they distorted and denounced it. The strident tone of their Letter, moreover, draws into question their own judgment and balance.

Notre Dame Law Professor Charles Rice

Bishop Jenky properly drew attention to the impending dangers to religious and personal freedom. The Obama regime, the leader of which was elected with 54 percent of the Catholic vote, is substituting for the free economy and limited government a centralized command system of potentially unlimited jurisdiction and power. Its takeover of health care was enacted against the manifest will of the people, in disregard of legislative process and by a level of bribery, coercion and deception that was as open as it was unprecedented. The HHS Health Care Mandate imperils not only the mission of the Catholic Church but also the right of conscience itself.

The faculty Letter outrageously claimed that Bishop Jenky’s limited and appropriate reference to Hitler and Stalin showed his ‘insensitivity to victims of genocide.” The Hitler record, however, is relevant in another respect. It provides an example, comparable to the Obama record, of the rapid concentration of executive power by a legally installed regime. Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor on January 30. Over the next few weeks he consolidated his power. The decisive event was the Reichstag’s approval of the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933, by which it ceded full and practically irrevocable powers to Hitler. That was the point of no return.

The Enabling Act received the needed two-thirds vote only because it was supported by the Catholic party, the Centre Party. (Eliot Barculo Wheaton, The Nazi Revolution: 1933-35 (1969), 286-93; William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959), 88, 276-79). The gullible Catholics voted themselves and the German people into persecution. America’s Catholics may be about to follow their example. With good reason, Bishop Jenky prayed: “May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.”

Bishop Jenky deserves appreciation for so urgently reminding Catholics of their civic duty. He spoke the Truth as a Bishop ought to speak. And his judgment and courage reflect the finest tradition of a Notre Dame that has gone missing. Pray for Bishop Jenky, for Notre Dame, for our Church and for our country.

source article here.


Pilgrimage Day 7 in Two Exciting, Fun Parts

by Steve Ray on April 29, 2012

Mass at the stone where Jesus sweat drops of blood in Gethsemane.

Israel Museum to see model of the Temple from Jesus’ time and the Dead Sea Scroll Museum.

Visited authentic Baptismal Site of Jesus to renew our baptismal vows before lunch in Jericho.

Then to Qumran to see the ruins and the famous Cave No. 4. We discussed Scripture, Dead Sea Scrolls, ran and the Essenes.

The day rounded out with a swim in the Dead Sea and camel rides and back for dinner and a free evening.

Part I:

Part II:


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Pilgrimage Day 6: Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ – and more

April 28, 2012

Today we woke up at 5 AM and boarded the bus to head to the Herod Gate. We walked to the beginning of the Stations of Cross while the sun was rising. Amer gave us a short intro to the Via Dolorosa and walked, prayed and meditated the 14 Stations of the Cross — where […]

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Pilgrimage Day 5: Bethlehem, all day!

April 27, 2012

We had a good  first night sleep in Jerusalem at Notre Dame Center, owned by the Pope. After a delicious breakfast we boarded the bus and left two minutes early (we enforce timeliness). We headed out to Bethlehem. On the way we talked about the authenticity of the biblical sites, the dealing with vendors and […]

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Radio Show Live from the Holy Land

April 27, 2012

Teresa Tomeo and Steve Ray were in Bethlehem together on Friday. They broadcast live from Shepherds Field, click HERE to listen.

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Pilgrimage Day 4: Boat on Galilee, Capernaum, St. Peter’s Fish, to Jerusalem & more

April 26, 2012

Today was another great day with marvelous weather, curious pilgrims, insightful talks, great food, and wonderful holy sites in the footprints of Jesus and Our Lady. Mass at Capernaum is always special – partaking of the Body and Blood of Our Lord right where he said, “Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood.” The long boat […]

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Day Three: Beatitudes, Caesarea Philippi, Golan, Tabgha, Great Dinner

April 25, 2012

Video of today’s pilgrimage is now here. But I did put up my morning run/walk below. A great new day with perfect weather. All the lost suitcases have been found and delivered. Everyone is thrilled and doing great. I put up my exercise route here with pictures, videos and a map along the shore of […]

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Here Comes the Persecution! Bishops Beware of Speaking the Truth!

April 24, 2012

               To Read the Whole Article, Click HERE

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Day Two: Transfiguration, Cana & Nazareth

April 24, 2012

When Jesus goes up on a mountain and is transfigured, what other mountain should you think about? When Jesus’ face shines like the sun, what other prophet should you think of? Today was wonderful. We visit Mount Tabor – the Mount of the Transfiguration and discussed all the rich meaning from the Bible related to […]

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Pilgrimage Day One

April 23, 2012

Everyone arrived safely from as far away as England and Australia. We drove to Haifa for Mass at Mount Carmel and then to dinner and sleep at the Sea of Galilee. See the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsJwceA6k-w

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Wedding in Nazareth (almost Cana)

April 23, 2012

Our friend Nael Malouf got married on Sunday in Nazareth. We were happy to join the festivities. Traditions are still much like biblical, ancient times. This is a very traditional Palestinian Christian wedding (Catholic). Enjoy the short video HERE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTUVU7MNCM

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Update on Stuff :-)

April 21, 2012

First, we are in Amsterdam ready to board our connector to Israel. We will attend a friend’s wedding in Nazareth and then take our bus to Tel Aviv to pick up our 81 pilgrims. This pilgrimage is sponsored by Ave Maria (with Teresa Tomeo) and Priests for Life (with Executive Director Janet Morana). Watch for […]

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Is it Safe to Visit Israel This Year?

April 18, 2012

Here is my response to a few people who have asked me about safety in Israel. FIrst, right now we are filling buses at an unprecedented rate. Second, 3.5 million people will visit Israel this year. Here is my letter: Steve Ray here. My wife and I have been to Israel over 100 times in […]

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Tradition, Orthodox Catholicism is Winning!

April 18, 2012

A good article from the Wall Street Journal. Amazing they would publish such a positive report. Read the article HERE

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Two Talks this Week in Naples and Ave Maria Florida

April 16, 2012

If you are live in the area of Naples Florida, please join me for two Q &A sessions Tuesday at Ave Maria University and Wednesday at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Naples Florida. I am a regent of the Ave Maria University and it will be great to speak at this noble Catholic […]

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