9 days for $2539*
from Chicago (ORD)

A Journey to the Land of Jesus

March 3–11, 2009
Hosted by Fr. Michael Powell & Fr. Scott Huggins

Includes airfare, fuel surcharges, great hotels, transfers, most meals, guided touring and more!

Map of Israel Israel has always been the place where in a special way heaven meets earth. The psalmist sings: "I rejoiced when I heard them say 'let us go up to the house of the Lord.'" (Psalm 122) Our pilgrimage, Journey to the Land of Jesus, is a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk in the actual footsteps of Jesus in his beloved land. From the beautiful Galilee area in the north through the holy city of Jerusalem and all the way down to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, we will learn, pray and grow in our understanding of the Old and the New Testament. The psalmist reminds us that we come to the Holy Land to give thanks to the name of the Lord and he calls on his listeners to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the very city where Jesus gave his life for us and rose to new and lasting life. Come join us as we go up to these holy places. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or wish to join us for this special pilgrimage.

Your Tour Hosts,
Fr. Michael Powell & Fr. Scott Huggins

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Tuesday, March 3: USA/Israel. Departure on the first leg of our overnight trip to Israel. Aloft, we will have dinner, a little sleep time, breakfast, and the opportunity to praise the Lord for His great creation from the vantage point of 35,000 feet!

Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel   © IMOT
Day 2, Wednesday, March 4: Tel Aviv. We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport where we are met by our guide for assistance through customs and transferred to our hotel in Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea for dinner and overnight. Celebrate Mass today at our hotel. Metropolitan Tel Aviv. Dinner provided.

Aqueduct at Caesarea, Israel Day 3, Thursday, March 5: Jaffa, Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Akko, Tiberias. After a visit to ancient Jaffa, we drive north along the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, Roman capital of Judea, where Paul was imprisoned and taken to Rome. Here we view the beautifully restored theater, and the ruins of the ancient town, its harbor and aqueduct. We travel inland to Megiddo (Biblical Armageddon), then continue to Muhraka on Mt Carmel, where Elijah defeated the priests of Ba'al. This afternoon we'll visit the Basilica in Nazareth, Jesus boyhood home, where we will celebrate Mass and visit Mary's Well. After a stop at Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle and where couples who wish may renew their wedding vows, we continue to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight at our hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.

View over Sea of Galilee from Capernaum Day 4, Friday, March 6: Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, Banias. We set sail on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, center of Jesus' ministry in the Galilee, and visit the ruins of the ancient synagogue. Continue to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, where we view the magnificent mosaic and the Mt. of Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount. Here we celebrate Mass then then drive to Mt. Tabor, site of the Transfiguration. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Tiberias. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Ruins at Beit She'an, Israel Day 5, Saturday, March 7: Jordan Valley, Beit She'an, Jericho. After breakfast we drive south via the Jordan Valley to Beit She'an, an extraordinary excavation of an ancient Roman city and Jericho, the oldest known inhabited city in the world. From the Tel we can see Elisha's Fountain and the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus fasted for 40 days. Continue our drive up to Jerusalem, highlight of our tour, arriving in time for dinner and overnight. Grand Court Jerusalem Breakfast & dinner provided.

Mount of Olives Gethsemane Day 6, Sunday, March 8: Jerusalem. A full day of sightseeing in Jerusalem begins with a beautiful view of the Old City from the Mount of Olives. From our vantage point, we can see the churches, mosques and synagogues of the three major religions which claim Jerusalem as their spiritual center. Among the many sites we'll visit are the Chapel of the Ascension, where Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives forty days after His resurrection, Dominus Flevit, Gethsemane, where Jesus uttered his last prayer at the Rock of Agony, and St. Peter in Gallicantu Church where Peter denied Jesus three times.

Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem
Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem © Willem Proos
Continue to Mt. Zion to visit the Room of the Last Supper, where tradition holds that Jesus celebrated the Passover seder with His disciples and the Dormition Abbey, where it is believed that Mary fell into eternal sleep. Enter the Old City to visit the Western Wall, holiest of Jewish sites, and the Temple Mount, where both ancient Jewish Temples once stood and where today among the holiest sites in Islam are located. Walk the Via Dolorosa, the route Jesus walked carrying His cross from the place of His condemnation by Pontius Pilate to the site of His crucifixion and burial. Visit St. Anne's Church and the Pools of Bethesda, authentic site of the healing of the lame man described in John 5, to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where most Christians believe Jesus was crucified by the Romans, buried, and rose from the dead. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem Day 7, Monday, March 9: Jerusalem/Bethlehem. Today, we visit the new city outside the walls, the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed, and the Memorial to the Holocaust at Yad Vashem. We continue to Ein Kerem, the birth place of St. John the Baptist, where we visit the Church of the Visitation and the fascinating Biblical Resources Scripture Garden. Continue south to Bethlehem where we visit Rachel's Tomb, where the Bible tells us that Rachel died in childbirth, Shepherd's Field and the Church of the Nativity where we celebrate Mass. We return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Swimming in the Dead Sea Day 8, Tuesday, March 10: Masada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea, Qumran. Today we visit the fortress of Masada, where Jewish defenders made their last stand against Rome (AD 73). Continue along the shore of the Dead Sea to Ein Gedi, David's waterfall and a wonderful nature center. After a dip in the mineral-filled waters of the Dead Sea, we continue to Qumran to see the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Continue to Bethany, home of Mary and Martha and the place where Lazarus was healed, then return to Jerusalem in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight at our hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 9, Wednesday, March 11: Jerusalem/USA. Early morning transfer from the hotel to Ben Gurion Airport. Depart this morning on our return flight to the USA, arriving later today. Breakfast provided.

Included Features

• Flights from Chicago (ORD) via Lufthansa Airlines or scheduled carriers including fuel surcharges

• Accommodations in First Class Hotels, in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities

• Lavish buffet breakfast and table d'hote dinner daily

• All transfers and ground transportation in modern, air-conditioned touring coaches

• Comprehensive sightseeing tour program, including all entrance fees to places visited in the itinerary

Tour Prices

Per person, double occupancy, from Chicago $2539
Single room supplement $410
U.S. departure taxes, Sept. 11 Security Fee & fuel surcharges $116
Tips to driver & guide, and hotel porterage $84
Comprehensive Travel Insurance (optional, recommended) $129


Please download the reservation application and fax or mail it to us, together with your $300 per person deposit. Fax to: 215-572-9803. Mail to 500 Old York Road, Suite 200, Jenkintown, PA 19046.

Acrobat PDF fileReservation application PDF

For additional information, please contact:

Fr. Michael Powell
Provena St. Mary's Hospital
500 W. Court Street
Kankakee, Il. 60901
Tel: 815-937-2395

Fr. Scott Huggins
St. Mary Parish
407 W. Pells Street
Paxton, Il, 60957
Tel: 217-379-4033

About your tour host, Fr. Michael Powell

Fr. Michael Powell has been leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land since 1991. Chaplain at Provena St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois, Fr Michael enjoys sharing the wonders of Biblical history. Seeing the depths of spiritual growth in his pilgrims has certainly made leading these journeys a special part of his priesthood. Fr. Michael knows that good prayer, good friendship, good learning and good food make for an unforgettable pilgrimage!

About your tour host, Fr. Scott Huggins

Fr. Scott Huggins is excited to be co-leading a pilgrimage to Israel for the first time. His parish, St. Mary's in Paxton, Illinois, will be celebrating their 100 year jubilee of the dedication of their church and this jubilee will be a special joy for its participants. Fr. Scott has a special interest in the history and development of the Church, which, of course, began in the Holy Land. He is currently leading study groups that cover a wide variety of topics and looks forward to experiencing the lands of Jesus with our pilgrims.