December 2012

Happy New Year’s Eve from Jerusalem!

Family and friends of the pilgrims – please leave a note or comment below and I will read them to the pilgrims the next morning. They love hearing from you!!

My early morning hike along the Sea of Galilee in the dark HERE.




Day three was another great day of allowing the land of Our Lord to permeate and change us. When walked with an open heart and an eager mind, the Holy Land can grab you and change you.

Fr. Craig commented today on what Amer said the first day: “Don’t just pass through the Land, let the Land pass through you!” Today people were moved and changed as we climbed Mount Tabor to learn about and experience the Transfiguration our Our Lord. Three biblical events took place up here and we discussed them all.

Then we drove to Cana. There is more to say about John 2 than we could cover in a whole day but I shared from my book St. John’s Gospel and we talked about Mary, the turning of water into wine, marries in the Middle East and so much more. But the highlight of Cana is when we renew wedding vows in the Wedding Church exactly where Jesus visited 2,000 years ago.

After that emotional experience we jumped back on the bus for an authentic Arab lunch in Nazareth, as usual supporting the local Christians. Grilled chicken kabobs, lamb kabobs, lots of Arabic salads and pita bread, fries, baklava and Turkish coffee. Great lunch! 

Then off to the Church of the Annunciation where the Angel Gabriel brought the good news to a little 15 year old Jewish girl named Miriam who lived in a cave. We prayed the Mystery of the Annunciation in the entrance of that cave. Our planned Mass at the Annunciation was altared due to a wedding which was a dream come true for Fr. Vasek. He wanted in the worst way to celebrate Mass in the Church of his hero St. Joseph and that’s exactly what we did.

Mass was above the House of the Holy Family in the Church of St. Joseph. To make it even more special – it was the Feast of the Holy Family! There were a few tears due to the emotional experience. What a great Sunday Mass. After driving back to the shore of Galilee to our hotel everyone had a few hours to relax before dinner.

Frs. Vasek and Romke sat on the patio and shared with everyone their thoughts on the first days of the pilgrimage. Everyone prayed together and expressed what God is doing in their lives during this trip. All of this with the gentle waves of the sea splashing just below them.


Beginning of our first full day. Mass at the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus proclaimed the Gospel, Banias where Jesus made Peter the Rock and gave him the keys of the kingdom. Then to Golan Heights for Druze lunch and an overlook of Lebanon and Syria with a lesson in Middle Eastern politics.

Part 1

Jesus multiplied loaves and fish and caused a miracle of a huge catch of fish. We visited all these sites and more this afternoon along with a wonderful dinner in an elegant dinner at Auberge Shulamit in Rosh Pina.

Part 2


Groups Arrives in Tel Aviv; Up to Galilee; Mass at St. Peter’s

December 28, 2012

First day is off to I spectacular start. Everyone arrived safely, no lost luggage, and everything went according to plan. Smooth ride up to Galilee, wonderful Mass, Delicious dinner and everyone is now sleeping with the soothing sound of the waves of the Sea of Galilee coming into their windows. Everyone has a “sea-view” window. […]

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Good Morning Sea of Galilee; our Pilgrimage Begins!

December 27, 2012

Good Morning Sea of Galilee! We pick up our bus of excited pilgrims today at Ben Gurion Airport. All is peaceful and beautiful as usual! Jet lag kills me. It is now 7:00 AM and I’ve been reading the Catechism since 2:00 AM. (Reading it thru during the Year of Faith.) Currently reading the section […]

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Excellent Summary and Explanation of the Pope’s New Book on The Infancy Narratives of Jesus

December 27, 2012

Not only a good summary of “The Infancy Narratives of Jesus of Nazareth” but also of the Pope’s thought in general. A short, crisp enjoyable read – especially over Christmas. Click here for the article in Catholic World Report.

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Why We Lost the Last Election

December 27, 2012

Bill Whittle hits it on the head.

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The End of the World…

December 26, 2012

… when? Should we be afraid? Many say it is soon, even now! A short 90-second promo video about Catholic Answer’s new book by David Currie “What Jesus Really Said about the End of World”. Currie is also the author of “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic”, and “The Rapture: the End Times Error that Leaves […]

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My brother’s Favorite Christmas present…

December 25, 2012

… from his daughter. The rewards of fatherhood.

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St. Nicholas is Coming to Town: the Real Story

December 25, 2012

I posted this a few years ago, but it is still just as relevant today. Do you really know St. Nick? Everyone loves jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas. There is something romantic and cozy about telling Santa stories around the crackling fire. He is an icon of the Christmas season. But not everyone agrees about the […]

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Last Minute Gift; No Wait for Shipping

December 20, 2012

  Give your Priest, Pastor or book-loving friend a gift that will bear fruit long after Christmas is over. Logos is the Catholic Bible study software that I have used  since the I wrote my first book in 1990’s.  Logos offers the most powerful study software available with more digital books than any other. Now that they […]

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live

December 18, 2012

The show was a lot of fun with great questions. It was for Non-Catholics only. You can see the questions I answered below and listen the show on-line. You can listen live HERE.. For podcasts and more info, click HERE. 1) Ex-Catholic Protestant: I left the Catholic Church long ago but now feel led to […]

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To the Holy Land with Patrick Coffin and Steve Ray

December 17, 2012

Click here to see the brochure. You can also call 1-800-727-1999, ext. 121 and ask for Suzanne. The pilgrimage begins August 31, 2013.  If you are unable to join this trip on this date, we have lots of other Holy Land trips in 2013 – along with pilgrimages to Poland, Lourdes & Fatima, Rome, and […]

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On this I Agree with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

December 17, 2012

Prime Minister Netanyahu:  “Over the weekend, Hamas held festivities and demonstrations in Judea and Samaria to mark 25 years since it was founded. With the approval of Mahmud Abbas, they called for the destruction of Israel and the expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem and from every point in the State of Israel. We have been […]

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Complete Quote on Martyrdom by Cardinal George of Chicago – and It’s Implications

December 14, 2012

This stunning quote is usually only presented in part. But there was more to the quote. It was considered reactionary by the liberal left (of course) but accurate by most Christians. In 2010, speaking to a group of priests, Cardinal George said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his […]

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Speaking at Christ the King in Ann Arbor MI Tonight

December 11, 2012

As usual, I am sick to my stomach before a talk, especially my home parish. The talk is entitled “Sharing the Faith Back Then and All Over Again: Learning the New Evangelization from the First Christians.” The talk is at Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan and starts at 7:30 PM.

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