Pilgrimage

Our Family Christmas Holy Land Pilgrimage has become very popular!  It is amazing to watch the kids interact over these eight days and the impact on their spirituality is tremendous.

Check out our trip this year! Convenient to have the dates over Christmas break! The dates are December 29 – January 7, 2020. Our priest (not the one shown on brochure) will be our dear friend Fr. James Conlon of St. Francis Parish in Ann Arbor Michigan (new brochure soon ?

Check out the pilgrimage here along with the interactive map, pictures, and brochure

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Steve Ray joined John Harper on Morning Air (Relevant Radio) to discuss the origin and the meaning of the Stations. Also insightful comments on each individual Station.

Join the 20-minute discussion with the link provided. Steve’s discussion starts at the 26:00 minute mark.

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Why Would Someone Visit Poland?

by Steve Ray on April 1, 2019

Why would someone want to visit Poland? Janet and I visited Poland in 1985 when it was still communist. We smuggled Bibles, money and medicine into the Christians behind the Iron Curtain. Driving through the infamous Checkpoint Charlie into East Germany was a little bit hair-raising. While crossing between East Germany into Poland we held our breath. Everything went well but the oppression and the darkness and poverty was stunning. Now we lead pilgrimages through Poland and what was once dark is now light and colorful. Those who were oppressed and withdrawn are now smiling and bright-eyed—the Catholic Church that was tightly controlled is now in full bloom. Poland is the country of modern day saints. The pressure of the Nazis and the communists forged magnificent Saints and we walk in their footprints through their stories in their country.

COMMENT FROM TOM GOVERN, FREQUENT TRAVELER WITH FOOTPRINTS OF GOD

I cannot wait for this Poland trip this August! Poland has been on my bucket list for years and I cannot think of a better way of satisfying that list item than a pilgrimage with Steve and Janet Ray. Not only is Poland rich in spiritual and secular history but it was pivotal in the fall of Communism.

My thanks to Steve and Janet for the opportunity. All of Steve and Janet’s pilgrimages are exceptional. This trip will be my eleventh (11th) with them. I would not do it any other way.

We all know the story of Pope St. John Paul II and his heroic life and how he brought the Soviet empire to its knees. We follow John Paul II from his birth to his death. After a pilgrimage to Poland you’ll feel very close to the saint. The popularity of the Divine Mercy has swept the world and we will visit the convent of St. Maria Faustina to pray the Divine Mercy in front of her relics in the church at her convent. One of her Sisters will address our group. One of the most sobering moments of a pilgrimage to Poland is a visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Here we’ll see the cell where St. Maximilian Kolby gave his life in exchange for a family man. Standing in the courtyard where the prisoners stood that day is very emotional. We will also discuss St. Edith Stein, the Jewish convert and Carmelite nun who died in these camps. The hotels, food, Catholic guides, buses and talks along the way only contribute to the glory of visiting this amazing Catholic country. Italy is another one of our destinations this year. But there are two things that make it unique from other trips to Rome. Many people have visited the Eternal City but we will be extending the trip outside to three other profound spiritual sites. First, will spend two days in the medieval city of Assisi. Here we will have a cooking class and we will also have a wine tasting with our Catholic guide, Liz Lev. We will also be visiting Lanciano home of one of the world’s most famous Eucharistic miracles with Mass in front of the stunning miracle. We will also celebrate Mass in front of the Facecloth of Christ at Manoppello. This is the face cloth that was on our Lord while he was in the tomb. My friend Paul Badde, the author of the bestselling Ignatius Press book “The Face of God” will join us and give a talk on this amazing face cloth. Liz Lev, the most “in-demand” guide in Rome and our great friend, will be our guide for this pilgrimage. There are special streets opened up for Christmas shopping for which we will have plenty of time. All the highlights of Rome are included in our itinerary. We will also meet with the Swiss guards and have a talk from their captain. Hopefully, you will be able to join us on one of these trips as we continue to explore and appreciate the great riches and traditions of our Catholic Faith.

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Walk the Road to Calvary with Steve Ray this Lent – New Talk

March 27, 2019

Wisdom from Steve Ray’s Stations of the Cross “If you want to know about Jesus and the Crucifixion, you not only read the four Gospels, but you go back in history, and you study the land, and you study the culture at the time. And it fleshes it all out, and black and white becomes a […]

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Update on Safety in Israel

March 25, 2019

Some people have been concerned regarding missiles that have been shot from Gaza into Israel. These kind of things happen periodically in Israel. (Our March group in Israel). Israel doesn’t allow it to happen for very long and the vast majority of the missiles land out in the desert without doing any damage. One hit […]

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2nd Interview with Al Kresta about Saints & Sites of Poland

March 24, 2019

Here is the 2nd of 2 interviews between Steve Ray and Al Kresta on the amazing Catholic country of Poland. She has the richest heritage of modern saints in the 20th century including St. John Paul II, St. Maria Faustina and the Divine Mercy and St. Maximillian Kolbe. And don’t forget Edith Stein who died […]

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(Link fixed) Podcast: On Al Kresta Live to Discuss Poland and the Footprints of St. Pope JPII and St. Faustina

March 20, 2019

On Al @KrestaAfternoon radio show at 5 PM Eastern to discuss Poland and an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of John Paul II.  You can listen by clicking the audio link above.. I will be telling of our adventures smuggling Bibles, medicine and money into Poland in 1983 when it was still under the […]

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The Passion of Jesus: Via Dolorosa, Calvary, High Mass at the Tomb and more

March 18, 2019

We had to start very early this morning because the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is full like sardines during the day. Smart like a fox! We walked the Via Dolorosa praying the Stations Of the Cross, climbed Mount Calvary and touched the cross where the blood dropped, took a tour of the church and […]

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Our Group after Mass at the Tomb!

March 18, 2019

Our group in Jerusalem on our last day after Mass at the Tomb!

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Fun Day: Israel Museum, Jordan River, Jericho, Wumran, Dead Sea Float & Camel Rides!

March 17, 2019

This is the fun day. Mass at Notre Dame (homily here), museum, Jordan River… …culminating with camel rides, floating in the Dead Sea and dinner on the rooftop of Jerusalem . Enjoy!

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Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, Mass at Gethsemane, Holy Shroud Exhibit

March 16, 2019

We intended to start the day with the OUR FATHER in the place where Jesus taught the disciples to pray it. Pater Noster is a church on top of the Mount of Olives from where Jesus also ascended into heaven. However, due to conditions out of our control like huge traffic jams and trash in […]

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Entering a Different World, Bethlehem! Join Us All Day for a Depth of History and Dancing

March 15, 2019

Today was difficult because the Jerusalem Marathon was taking place and all the streets are blocked off starting at 5:30 AM. To get out of Jerusalem we had to leave at 5 AM which added to the adventure. Join us as we go over the Mount of Olives where I give my talk on the […]

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From Galilee to Jerusalem: Mass at Capernaum, Boat Ride, St. Peter’s Fish and Visitation

March 14, 2019

Big transition today from Galilee to Jerusalem. We started the day with a wonderful Mass at St. Peters House in Capernaum where Jesus lived during his three years of ministry (homily here). I gave my talk “Defending the Eucharist.“ Then we saw the ancient boat that was discovered from 2000 years ago before getting on […]

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Beatitudes for Mass, Caesarea Philippi, Druze Lunch, overlook Syrian Border, and much more

March 13, 2019

Pilgrims love starting the day on the tranquil Mount of Beatitudes where we have an outdoor Mass overlooking the Sea of Galilee (homily here). Time to pray and wander through the gardens. Both of our priests told their vocation stories on our drive north to the Lebanese border where we stop at Caesarea Philippi and […]

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Fishing Boats, Mass Atop Mt. Tabor, Wedding Vows Renewed in Cana, Nazareth

March 12, 2019

Stunning sunrise with fisherman coming in from the night. Mass on top of the Mountain of Transfiguration before renewing our wedding vows in Cana of Galilee. From there to a great lunch in Nazareth and visiting the Church of the Assumption where Mary heard the words “Hail Full of Grace…” (Homily here.) People think the […]

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El Al and United Flights Arrived in Israel!

March 11, 2019

Everyone arrived at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv without incident, no lost baggage and everyone excited and in good shape. We are now in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. We celebrated a devout Mass on the shoreline and shared a sumptuous  dinner. Everyone is now in bed getting rested up for our […]

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