Saturday, September 1, 2007

Day One in the Holy Land

by Steve Ray on September 1, 2007

To see the whole pilgrimage with all the videos click here 
Visit > The Pilgrimages > Virtual Pilgrimages > September 2007 Holy Land & Egypt Pilgrimage

After we loaded the luggage on the bus we took off north to Galilee. Amer Shehadeh, our local guide assisting me, and I gave everyone introductions and helped them all realize they were REALLY here! We tried to keep everyone awake so they would sleep better tonight. Our Corporate Travel escort, Dee McNoskey has come with us four times and is serving the pilgrims with class – again

We decided to have Mass before dinner so people could get to bed earlier. We arrived at the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter around 6:30 PM. Protestants call this site the Mensa Christi ("Table of the Lord") for obvious reasons. We had a beautiful outdoor Mass as the sun was setting, birds were singing in the trees over head. Nothing like standing on the shore where Jesus stood. We are truly walking on holy ground.

People seemed pleasantly surprised by how nice the Pilgerhaus (Pilgrim House) is. Gorgeous surroundings right on the shore where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. After a good dinner (as you'll see in the video), everyone headed to bed — except for a few hearty souls including Fr. Bernie Fraser and Fr. Steve Burr who are still sitting on the huge deck looking out over the sea. These are good friends of ours and we can tell they are wonderful pastors and their parishes are VERY blessed to have them.

I am not too pleased with the quality of this video but will check into finding a better file format to work with Microsoft Movie Maker. But at least t is is working :-)  Enjoy!


Pilgrims Arrived!

by Steve Ray on September 1, 2007

Lufthansa landed! Everyone arrived safely and we’re all on the air-conditioned bus headed north to Galilee. We’ll arrive about 6:30 PM for dinner, Mass and a good night’s sleep. Watch for video upload later today.

John Hale and Corporate Travel have again done a marvelous job! They have our sincere thanks and appreciation!

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Mother Teresa and the Antarctic Night of the Soul

by Steve Ray on September 1, 2007

From Jimmy Akin's Blog at – one of the Catholic blogs to watch!  :-)

Spiritual writers often refer to "the dark night of the soul"–the experience of great souls of seemingly being abandoned by God, as (perhaps) when Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes ("Vanity, vanity; all is vanity!"), or (even more perhaps) when Jesus cried, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Mother Theresa, it was revealed after her death, experienced this phenomenon as well, and recent evidence suggests that it lasted for a very long time–decades, in fact. Truly an antarctic dark night of the soul.  GET THE STORY.   See here also.

Papal Preacher Fr. Cantalamesa comments here: Article in First Things here.

For Liz Lev's usual brilliant thoughts, visit