Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

I apologize for the break in transmission, but the pilgrimage has been so busy that I have had no time wherein to blog.

Most days, we have had a Missa cantata - sometimes two, as when we had the first at St Joseph's Church, Nazareth, and the second at the crypt altar of the beautiful Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, surely a great privilege - and we have visited many of the holy places, with many more to come.

For example, today we visited Bethlehem, and, after first praying in the Milk Grotto, were able, after much lengthy queuing, to kiss the spot where Our Lord was born, in the grotto under the Church of the Nativity, which is the oldest surviving church in the Holy Land, built at the command of St Helena, Empress. We had our Masses in the Shepherds' Fields.

Tomorrow, we arise very early and proceed to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Low Mass at Calvary first, then Missa cantata in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel; afterward, for such as want it, there will be English Mass in the Crusader Chapel (I plan to go along to hear the sermon).

Oh, and before I forget, do not ever bother to stay at the David Dead Sea Resort and Spa - the service or lack thereof was awful, the people in the main unfriendly or untrained. That said, the various day spa treatments were quite nice! It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, but then again neither was a bus trip through the West Bank... I'm glad to have an Australian passport.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Off to Western Australia, the Holy Land, and Italy...

Very early on Friday morning I will fly off to Perth via Melbourne. I'll have the weekend in Western Australia – my first return visit since I moved back to Tasmania for work in 2009 – and then, together with a large group of fellow pilgrims, I will fly via Dubai to Amman, and travel from there into the Holy Land. After two weeks or so, we will fly on to Rome via Istanbul, and, after a week or so in Italy, at last return home (I will get back in the evening of the 1st of February). Of your charity, please pray that the trip proves safe and spiritually rewarding; I will remember all friends and readers in prayer at the holy places.

I may or may not have the chance to blog about all this, but hope to do so.