HCEF Living Stones Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Jordan, Palestine and Israel
COME TO THE HOLY LAND and VISIT THE LIVING STONES.
They need you now, more than ever.
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) invites you to travel with us on a Christian pilgrimage to see the holy sites and meet with the living Christian communities in the Holy Land.
Our pilgrimage will be led by Fr. Drew Christiansen, SJ and Donald Kruse.
Both are members of the HCEF Board of Directors, and both Fr. Drew and Don have led many pilgrimages to the Holy Land. Fr. Drew is a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University. He was invested as Canon of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher by the Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah. Don Kruse is retired from the American Foreign Service and has led many pilgrimages to the Holy Land since he finished his post as deputy Consul General at the American Consulate in Jerusalem in 1979.
After two thousand years, Christian families are still living and worshiping in the land where Jesus was born, died, and was resurrected. These Christians are not immigrants. They are not converts from Judaism or Islam. They are the descendents of those who first believed in Jesus Christ. They live in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and other places in the Occupied Territories and Israel. They are Arab Palestinian Christians - Orthodox, Catholic, and
Protestant, the living stones. Together, they comprise the Mother Church. They are calling for us to come and see them - to be in Christian solidarity with them.
When: April 4-16, 2002
1. round trip airfare from anywhere in the U.S
2. all transportation for touring and sightseeing and entrance fees
3. accommodations in twin-bedded rooms (single room occupancy available for an additional $395 per person)
4. breakfast and dinner daily
5. Amman airport tax, Jordan exit tax, service taxes as assessed by local authorities.
Does not include:
1. taxes on personal items
2. tips for guides, drivers, and hotel staff
1. $500 deposit required at the time of reservation.
2. Payment may be made by check or credit card.
3. Full payment due by March 15, 2002.
4. Cancellations for groups and individuals should reach our office at least thirty days prior to the scheduled arrival. Otherwise, you will be liable for the payment of $200 cancellation fees.
5. You can reserve a space by calling HCEF and requesting a reservation form or
be faxing your request with credit card information to HCEF.
A preliminary itinerary follows. This itinerary is also available on our web site if your email doesn't read it well.
HCEF Living Stones Pilgrimage Preliminary Schedule
Each day will begin with an optional prayer service.
April 4th - Leave to Amman, Jordan
First Day: Friday, April 5th - Amman
We arrive in Queen Alia Airport and transfer to a hotel in Amman for dinner and overnight.
Second Day: Saturday, April 6th - Petra
Petra is one of the most breathtaking sites in the Middle East. Known as the 'Red Rose City', it was capital of the Nabatean people and dates back 2000 years. We will follow a path through the Siq, a chasm created in a prehistoric earthquake. Our path will be dotted with impressive buildings hewn from the pink rock, including the Treasury ("Al-Khasne"), the High Altar, and the Roman theater. We will return to Amman for dinner and overnight.
Third Day: Sunday, April 7th - Madaba, Mt. Nebo, Fuheis.
We will drive to Madaba, a primarily Christian town, and attend an Ecumenical Service with the Jordanian Christian community there. After lunch with them, we will visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George to see the world's oldest preserved mosaic map of Jerusalem. Later, we'll drive to Mount Nebo, from which Moses first glimpsed the Holy Land. Finally, we will travel to Fuheis to experience this city's rich Christian cultural heritage. We'll return to Amman for overnight.
Fourth Day: Monday, April 8th - Baptismal Site, Crossing of the Jordan River into Palestine, Jerusalem.
We will drive to the traditional baptismal site of Christ in Wadi Kharrar, just east of the Jordan River. We will pass to the north of the Dead Sea and cross the Jordan River into Palestine. On our right will be Jericho and the imposing Mount of Temptation. We will make our way into Jerusalem and trace the path Christ took on Palm Sunday. From the Mount of Olives, we will visit the garden grounds of Gethsemane.
Fifth Day: Tuesday, April 9th - Old City of Jerusalem
We will begin the day by entering the Old City of Jerusalem through St.Stephen's Gate. We will visit St. Anne's Church and the Pool of Bethesda. Then we view the Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque, and the western wall. We walk the Via Dolorosa ("The Way of Pain") starting with the first stations at the Ecce Homo and the Chapel of Flagellation, and ending at the last stations in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It was here that Jesus Christ was crucified, died, buried, and rose from the dead. Also this afternoon, we will have an audience with His Beatitude Michel Sabbah and meet with local church leaders.
Sixth Day: Wednesday, April 10th - Bethlehem Area (Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala)
Our day will begin with a visit to the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. Since the 4th century, it has stood above the birthplace of Christ. We will visit Beit Jala, a predominantly Christian town, then travel to nearby Beit Sahour. There we will visit the Shepherds' Fields, where a star appeared to lead the shepherds to Christ's manger. We will meet with leading figures from Bethlehem University, Bethlehem Bible College, and ARIJ (Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem). We will conclude with a visit to Dehaisha Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, which His Holiness Pope John Paul II also visited during his trip to the Holy Land. In the evening, we will have a reception and dinner with the parish of the Beit Sahour Latin Church and Fr. Majdi al Siryani. Overnight in the Bethlehem area.
Seventh Day; Thursday, April 11th - Nazareth
In the Old City, we will gain insight into day-to-day life in gospel times during our visit to the home of Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus. We will visit the Church of the Annunciation and Mary's Well. From there we will descend to the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus performed many miracles, and visit the Mount of Beatitudes. We will meet with local Palestinian Christians in Nazareth, have dinner with them, and stay overnight in Nazareth.
Eighth Day; Friday, April 12th - Ibillin, Akko, Haifa, and Yaffa
We will start our day with a trip to Mar Elias college in Ibillin to meet with Fr. Elias Chacour. After, we will procede north for visits to various coastal cities. We will have a walking tour of the beautiful Old City in Akko and visit its beautiful mosque. We will drive to Haifa and ascend Mount Carmel for a fine view of the city. From there, we will continue to Yaffa (Jaffa). An ancient port city, Yaffa is home to a diminishing Christian community. From Yaffa we will procede to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Ninth Day: Saturday, April 13th - Taybeh, Nablus, and Zababdeh
We will meet with members of the Christian community in Taybeh and be introduced to ancient life in the Holy Land while visiting the Taybeh Folklore Museum. In Taybeh, we will taste beer from the first brewery in the Holy Land. Afterwards, we will drive to Nablus, which is beautifully situated between the Gerizim and Ebal mountains. We will stop at Jacob's Well, the traditional site of Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman, to drink from its refreshing waters. At the top of Gerizim, we will meet with the Samaritan community, the smallest ethnic group in the world. We will proceed to Zababdeh and meet with the Christian
community there. Overnight in Taybeh.
Tenth Day: Sunday, April 14th - Birzeit, Jifna, Aboud, Ain Arik, and Ramallah,
Today we will drive to Birzeit for an ecumenical service at the Latin Church. We will have lunch with Fr. Iyad Twal, the parish priest, and meet with members of the town's Christian community. We will visit Birzeit University, then proceed to the villages of Jifna, Aboud, and Ain Arik to meet and visit with the living stones.
Eleventh Day: Monday, April 15th - Bethany, Jericho, Qumran, Dead Sea, Allenby, Amman
After a last view of Jerusalem from the top of Mount Scopus, we drive to Bethany to visit the site where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. We will proceed to Jericho, the oldest city in the world (dating back to 8000 BC). We will view Tel Jericho then ascend by cable car to the top of Mount of Temptation to visit the Orthodox Monastery. It is built on the site where Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert and was tried by Satan. We will continue to Qumran to visit the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by a wandering shepherd.
We will enjoy a swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, then head to Allenby bridge to cross back into Jordan. We will meet with church leaders and others in Amman.
Twelfth Day: Tuesday, April 16th - Departure from Amman airport
We will depart for Queen Alia International airport in the morning for our flight back home.
The Holy land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is a 501c3 organization with the mission of informing Americans about the ongoing plight of Christians in the Holy Land, providing humanitarian assistance to relieve their suffering, offering support to Christian educational institutions in the Holy Land, and assisting in job creation for Holy Land Christians.
HCEF, PO Box 6687, Silver Spring, MD 20906
(301) 871-9222, Fax (301) 871-2277. www.hcef.org.