November 2015

Syria, November 19, 2015: The head of the Syrian Catholic Church, Mar Ignace Youssif III Youan, has said the West has betrayed Syrians and caused an endless conflict in the country.

Speaking to Le Messenger, an Egpytian Catholic magazine, Youan spoke passionately about the “chaos” that Western governments have caused by ignoring the advice of Syrians, assuming that Assad’s regime could be destroyed in a few months, and now having faith in airstrikes as the answer when ISIS has thoroughly infiltrated Iraq, Syria and beyond.

“We Christians are not able to live in this chaos,” the Syrian Patriarch said. “The West has betrayed us.”

The patriarch accused Western governments of wanting to “perpetuate the endless conflict in Syria” and of having “betrayed the Christians of the East. We explained from the beginning that our situation was different from that of other nations in the region, they were not listened to. And now we mourn deaths over the past five years. ”

He described the current situation in Syria as “dramatic, and all the Syrian people are living in pain” as they are trapped under the regime of ISIS and other terrorist groups “who use Islam as an excuse to ‘purify’ areas under their control in the name of religion, and Muslim scholars who tell us that Islam is alien to these facts.

“It’s a shame that the West has abandoned Christians to this situation,” he said.

The patriarch said that terrorist groups, with financing from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the area, have thoroughly infiltrated Iraq and Syria, and there are now terrorists moving into Europe posing as refugees.

ISIS “have already infiltrated in European populations. For years they have received money, weapons and religious indoctrination from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, with the supervision of the West. To claim that the solution is to carry out air strikes [in Syria and Iraq] is a lie”, he said.

This is futile, he said, “because their supporters have infiltraded the population, they are financed and have access to weapons and religious indoctrination.”

– christian today


Jesse Romero Comments along with many others

by Steve Ray on November 23, 2015

Great time together. Jesse Romero and his wife were a lot of fun and a pleasure to work with.

They are going to Guadalupe Mexico with us December 2016! Terry Barber is coming to Israel with us in 2016 too! 

Enjoy the video! Check out our upcoming pilgrimages for 2016.

Special trips are to Poland for the Year of Mercy, a tour through biblical Turkey (very safe and the 2nd Holy Land), Rome three times, Israel and more.

For Jesse’s comments, see the video below…


Today we just send it 4,250 feet down from Jerusalem to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea which are both 1,250 feet below sea level, the lowest place on the face of the earth.

We rode camels, floated in the Dead Sea, ate in Jericho, wandered through Qumran and waded in the Jordan River, the exact spot Jesus was baptized. We had a great day today.

Fr. Dan had an excellent homily (and even danced a bit) to close out the pilgrimage and I think you’ll enjoy that as well.



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Mount Zion, Upper Room, Mary’s Last Days, Bishop of Jerusalem…

November 21, 2015

Another great day, perfect weather, safe and serene, deeply spiritual and a lot of fun. We had the great opportunity, as we do with all of our groups, to meet with the Bishop of Jerusalem. Here is a picture of our group with him at the Patriarchate. Mass at Gethsemane was VERY moving for everyone. […]

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Jesus came out of the Tomb for us this morning…

November 20, 2015

The alarm went off this morning at 3:15 and we began the Via Dolorosa at 4:00 AM. Why, are we crazy! Yes, crazy like a fox. We beat the crowds and pray the Stations with empty streets. It is also about continuity. We had Mass IN THE TOMB scheduled with the sunrise at 5:30 AM […]

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Butt-prints in the Sand

November 20, 2015

One night I had a wondrous dream one set of footprints there was seen. The footprints of my precious Lord, but mine were not upon the shore. And then some stranger prints appeared and I asked the Lord: “What have we here?” The prints are large and round and neat but Lord they are too […]

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Bethlehem was Wonderful! Nativity, Christmas Carols, Dancing and more

November 19, 2015

It was perfect weather, excited group, spiritual adventure full of laughs and prayers. Visited a new saint, danced with Christian young people, ate the Passover Lamb and had a GREAT DAY! Enjoy. BETHLEHEM HIGHLIGHTS FR. DAN’S HOMILY AT SHEPHERD’S FIELD

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Boat Ride on Galilee; Eat My Flesh spoken here; Up to Jerusalem!

November 18, 2015

Another great day in Israel. Safe, beautiful, biblically enriching; exciting, and fun with great Catholic friends celebrating the Faith. Enjoy! HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY FROM RIDE TO MASS AT CAPERNAUM THEN UP TO JERUSALEM    FR. GOOD’S HOMILY AT CAPERNAUM  

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Is Peter the rock? Is he the shepherd? What’s it like looking into Syria? And more…

November 17, 2015

Enjoy today’s fun and informative video. Great day! HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY FR. DAN’S HOMILY AT BEATITUDES

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Transfigured, Renewed Wedding Vows and Walked with Mary

November 16, 2015

Jesse Romero and his wife are full of spiritual passion and a thousand great questions. Great fun they are and we are already planning another pilgrimage together in 2017. Fr. Dan Good is so fun to be with and an enthusiastic chaplain on this pilgrimage. Everyone already loves him! This group is full of laughs, […]

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Jesse Romero and Fr. Good are a Blast and this will be one fun pilgrimage

November 15, 2015

FAMILY AND FRIENDS: LEAVE COMMENTS BELOW AND I’LL READ THEM ALOUD ON THE BUS. HUMOR WELCOME :-) Everyone arrived safe and sound, excited and ready to go! All their families said they were crazy to go to Israel, but here they are, safe and glad to be here! We have another sold out trip with […]

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Pope says, Turn off TV, put down smart phones, turn off computers and eat meals intimately together.

November 15, 2015

I couldn’t agree more. We didn’t have these gadgets when we raised our kids. We got rid of television and opted to read books. My father was a radical when he raised me – he refused to get us kids a TV but read stories and books to us every night after we all ate […]

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Vatican’s Response to Paris Attack

November 14, 2015

Despicable and cowardly attacks. The Junior Varsity club according to Obama. When will the world act? Christians slaughtered around the world! Innocent people slaughtered for no reason.  We are here in Israel right now. The question we have been asked already multiple times in two days is, “Why Doesn’t the World Do Something? Where Is […]

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Are Mormons Right on Total Apostasy of the Church?

November 14, 2015

The basis for Mormon theology is the concept of the Great Apostasy. Is the history of the Catholic Church a train wreck? Or, is the Mormon foundation a train wreck? This theory states that the Church fell off the tracks and rolled down the hill as soon as it shot out of the first century. […]

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Beauty Shots of Sea of Galilee & Is It Safe in the Holy Land?

November 13, 2015

Janet and I are at the Sea of Galilee awaiting our sold out bus of pilgrims arriving on Sunday. We have another sold out bus in December. Our pilgrimage to the Holy Land is almost sold out already for March 2016. But many people are again afraid to come to the Land of Jesus and […]

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Fr. Larry Rochards has a Few Words to Say :-) – Now made public, sorry

November 11, 2015

Thanks Fr. Larry for your comments while with us in Athens Greece at Mars Hill where St. Paul spoke to the Athenians.

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