Pilgrimage to The Holy Land
Led by ACN Ecclesiastical Assistant Fr Dominic Robinson SJ and ACN National Director Neville Kyrke-Smith
13th November - 21st November 2020
Our flight departs at 4:35 pm from London Heathrow, Terminal 3, to Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport. This evening’s dinner is during the flight. On arrival at Tel Aviv we collect our luggage and transfer to the Nativity Bells Hotel, Bethlehem.
Before breakfast we have Mass at the Basilica in Bethlehem (St Jerome), celebrated by the Rector of the Latin Seminary, Rev. Jamal Khader. After breakfast we will visit Manger Square, the Basilica and the Cave of the Nativity. We then leave for the Latin Seminary where we will meet with the Rector, Fr Yacoub Rafidi, and Fr Adib Zomout (former Rector). We have lunch at the Seminary (a donation will be asked for as payment for lunch). We join our coach and return to our hotel, where we have a presentation given by the Pontifical Mission of Palestine. We return to our hotel for dinner.
After breakfast we attend Mass at the Big Grotto (1st Altar) at Beit Sahour in the Shepherds’ Fields and then visit the Shepherds’ Fields. We return to our hotel. Lunch at leisure. In the afternoon we meet with Fr Butros Nimeh at the Syrian Orthodox Church, just off Manger Square. The rest of the afternoon is spent visiting local Christian families in Bethlehem arranged with Victor Tabash. Dinner in the hotel.
We have breakfast and then depart by coach for Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist. We then head for Jerusalem, where we will have a panoramic view over ancient and modern Jerusalem, and visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Lunch will be at choice at a local restaurant. After lunch we travel to Mount Zion where we visit the Upper room (the site of the Last Supper), and the Dormition Abbey. Mass will be celebrated at the Chapel of Dominus Flevit. Dinner in the hotel.
We depart for Jerusalem after breakfast. In Jerusalem we visit St Anne’s Church and the Pool of Bethesda before we walk the Via Dolorosa and then visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (please note that because of extremely long and time consuming queues it may not be possible to include a visit to Christ’s Tomb). We will have a presentation by Most Rev. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, at the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem where Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral. Lunch will be at choice at a local restaurant. We return to Bethlehem for our final night here. Dinner in the hotel.
After breakfast we drive to Jerusalem, where we will visit the Church of All Nations, the Garden of Gethsemane and Mary’s Tomb, the Church of the Ascension and the Church of Mary Magdalene. Afterwards we drive into the desert where we celebrate Mass. Lunch will be at choice. After lunch we visit Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. From here we drive to the Dead Sea where we have time for bathing. We rejoin our coach and drive to Jericho after which we continue to the baptismal site where Jesus is said to have been baptised in the River Jordan. We continue northwards to Tiberias where we check in to our hotel. Dinner in the hotel.
Following breakfast we travel to the lakeside where we board our boat for a short journey on the Sea of Galilee. We continue on land to the Mount of Beatitudes where we visit the church and gardens, enjoying the view of the Sea of Galilee. We continue to Capernaum where we will celebrate Mass at St Peter’s Memorial and visit Capernaum. We will then visit Tabgha (site of the loaves and fishes), The Primacy of Peter. After lunch at choice we will ascend Mount Tabor, the Mount of Transfiguration, and visit the church. Pilgrims can choose to walk along the road to the top of the hill (45 minutes approx.) or travel up by minibus (at no extra cost). We return to the coach and drive back to our Hotel. Dinner in the hotel.
After breakfast we depart for Cana, where we visit the Church dedicated to Jesus’s first miracle. We then drive to Nazareth, where we will visit the Basilica of Annunciation, the house of St Joseph and Mary’s Well. Lunch will be at choice. Mass will be celebrated in the Upper Basilica at the Basilica of Annunciation in Nazareth. We return to our hotel where we will have dinner.
We have a very early morning transfer from the hotel to Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport where we check in for our 7 am departure to London, arriving at Heathrow, Terminal 3 at 10 am.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Single Room Supplement: £280
Return scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic: London Heathrow - Tel Aviv. Current (as of January 2020) U.K. and Israel airport departure taxes. Eight-nights accommodation in shared twin-bedded* rooms with private facilities at: 13 - 18 Nov. Nativity Bells Hotel, Bethlehem; 18 - 21 Nov. Restal Hotel, Tiberias. Meal plan: 8 breakfasts (1 will be during the flight from Tel Aviv) and 8 dinners (1 will be during the flight from London). All touring and transfers by air-conditioned coach as per the itinerary. Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Taxis up Mount Tabor and return. Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Headsets during guiding. Local English-speaking guide/tour manager whilst in Israel. £10 donation to ACN. Gratuities to the guide, driver and accommodation staff, totalling US$60. ATOL and ABTA financial protection. Daily Mass (14 - 20 Nov.) at different churches and other sites in The Holy Land.
*If you select to share a twin room when booking but have no one to share with, we will try to pair you up with someone of the same gender in the group. However, if there is no one available to pair you up with we will charge a nominal supplement of £140 as you would have single occupancy of the rooms.
Travel insurance. Single room supplement at £280 per person for 8 nights (limited availability). Lunches and drinks. Transfers within the U.K
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