"in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort"

-Isaiah 66:13


Pilgrimage is "a sign of closeness and solidarity for the Christian communities that live there and that are in great need of your help."

-Pope John Paul II


"All pilgrimages are entrusted to Saint Joseph our Patron Saint of Pilgrimages. He who led and protected the Holy Family on earth will now do the same for us pilgrims from his place in Heaven."

-Franciscan Father
Alex Kratz,
Pilgrimage Spiritual Director

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is this a pilgrimage or a commercial tour?
  2. Is this a Christian pilgrimage?
  3. Why is this a Catholic pilgrimage?
  4. Are there ecumenical dimensions to this pilgrimage?
  5. Is this an inter-religious trip?
  6. What are the objectives of this pilgrimage?
  7. What is the itinerary?
  8. I often read of the turmoil in the Holy Land. Will I be safe?
  9. How do we travel from one location to the next?
  10. What is the cost of the pilgrimage?
  11. What do I need to do to prepare for the pilgrimage?

Is this a pilgrimage or a commercial tour?

This is a pilgrimage: a spiritual journey for the sake of encountering our sacred Center-God. This trip is meant to foster personal spiritual growth, which is why prayer is given priority on this pilgrimage. This trip is not for those interested in simple sightseeing, commercial tourism of any kind or activities incompatible with pilgrimage (attending nightclubs).

Return to Top of Page

Is this a Christian pilgrimage?

Yes. We sojourn to the roots of our Christian faith in Jordan, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Galilee, visiting the places sanctified by the presence of Jesus of Nazareth. Biblical readings and meditations at each Holy Place will make the Bible come alive and help us to understand the drama and beauty of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. As we walk where God walked on earth, as we follow in His footsteps, we can encounter Jesus Christ in the places He made holy, to so become more conformed to Him. We also journey as pilgrims of an unbroken 2,000-year tradition of Christianity. Today this continuous tradition is maintained by the Mother Church of Jerusalem composed of local Palestinian Christian Arabs, the "living stones" of the Holy Land, whom we will encounter during our pilgrimage.

Return to Top of Page

Why is this a Catholic pilgrimage?

It is also a Catholic pilgrimage because we seek to understand Salvation History and Divine Revelation from the unity of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition since they "form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church" (Dei Verbum, 10). The celebration of daily Mass, with the site-appropriate biblical readings, prayers and homilies will make the Holy Land feel like the "Fifth Gospel" as the Gospel come alive right where they took place. Daily praying of the Rosary where its mysteries took place will deepen the spiritual experience and our appreciation of Mary's role in Salvation History. If possible, we will meet the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (Catholic Archbishop), join a Catholic parish for Sunday Mass, and fellowship will Catholics and other Christians. This pilgrimage is officially endorsed by the Catholic Diocese of Jerusalem and is consistent with the pilgrimage guidelines provided by the U.S. Catholic Bishops.

Return to Top of Page

Are there ecumenical dimensions to this pilgrimage?

Yes, and intentionally so. It is rightly said in the Holy Land that "If the Christians don't stand together, they will fall together." Christian unity is very important, especially in the land where Jesus prayed that Christians "may be one, even as we are one" (John 17:11). Since there are 13 officially recognized churches from the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant traditions, these are pointed out at key moments, especially in churches where there is shared sovereignty.

Return to Top of Page

Is this an inter-religious trip?

No. Among other reasons, one purpose of this trip is to encounter, learn about, and support the indigenous Christian community of the Holy Land whose very future is at stake. Inter-religious dialogue is a noble endeavor, but it beyond the scope of this two-week trip.

Return to Top of Page

What are the objectives of this pilgrimage?

The objectives are threefold. They are to...

  1. Visit Holy Places: We will visit holy places in Jordan like Mt. Nebo (where Moses viewed the Promised Land) and where St. John the Baptist baptized Jesus. In Palestine and Israel we will visit traditional holy sites of Jesus' life, death and resurrection: Bethlehem, Nazareth and Galilee, and Jerusalem. Care is taken to visit other Christian towns that reflect the vibrant Christian heritage of the Holy Land.
  2. Meet local Christians: Pilgrims will enjoy time spent sharing one's faith, worshipping together, having fellowship and eating traditional meals while enjoying warm Arab hospitality. These experiences help create bridges of understanding and love between Arab Christians and American Christians.
  3. Economically support local Christian community: Our pilgrimage attempts to bring maximum economic benefit to local Christian Palestinian and Jordanian shopkeepers, travel agents, guides and hotel operators.
Return to Top of Page

What is the itinerary?

Please click on the Itinerary button at the top of the page for a description of our typical itinerary.

Return to Top of Page

I often read of the turmoil in the Holy Land. Will I be safe?

YES! Your comfort and well-being are of paramount importance, to you, to us, and to everyone in the economically-vital tourist industry in the Holy Land. In fact, past pilgrims will attest that their personal safety never came into question, and they often say that they felt safer on pilgrimage than they do back home. Keep in mind, this pilgrimage is arranged by a Christian travel agency so that we use Christian-owned hotels, patronize Christian-owned stores and restaurants, have a private bus, are assisted by experienced local personnel and are led by a knowledgeable local Christian guide as well as by Fr. Alex who lived in the Holy Land for over a year.

Return to Top of Page

How do we travel from one location to the next?

We have a private, air-conditioned, very modern motor coach with a very friendly and accommodating driver.

Return to Top of Page

What is the cost of the pilgrimage?

The pilgrimage is $4,299 per person (when paid by check, with double occupancy) for 14 days. All expenses are included (round-trip airfare, border fees, 3 meals/day). A $500 deposit is required two months before departure and the full payment is due one month before departure. This price may vary as we base the overall cost on current airfares. This is a competitive price. We have worked extremely hard to keep costs at an absolute minimum. Our intent is to provide an affordable experience for all Christians pilgrims who wish to visit the land of our Savior.

Return to Top of Page

What do I need to do to prepare for the pilgrimage?

We are ready and willing to address any and all questions you may have regarding our pilgrimage. For more information on a mandatory pilgrim orientation meeting, registration and payment terms, please call 248-514-1747 or e-mail us at customerservice@terrasanctapilgrimages.org.

Return to Top of Page