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Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

08 day Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

28th November - 05th December 2023

Led by Fr. Jeff Woolnough of St. Peter’s Church

& Fr. Viktor Aurellana of St. Helen’s Church

Organised by Mr Salvatore Burzotta


Tuesday 28th November


Meet at St. Helen’s Church to celebrate Mass at 08:00 hours. We then depart by bus (to be arranged by Salvatore Burzotta) to the airport. Fly from London Heathrow directly to Tel Aviv with EL AL airlines, on the LY316 departing at 14:20 hours and arriving at 21:05 hours. A meal and refreshments are served inflight. Meeting and assistance on arrival at Tel Aviv Airport. We will then transfer to our hotel in the city of Bethlehem, for check in and overnight stay. Due to your late arrival to the hotel, light cold plates will be arranged in your rooms.


Wednesday 29th November


Today we will remain in Bethlehem, starting at the Bethlehem Milk Grotto. According to tradition, it is on this very spot that Mary and her new born baby Jesus rested on the way of their flight to Egypt, to escape King Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents. As Mary breasted her child, a few drops of milk fell on the floor of the grotto and turned the stone white. We then continue to the Basilica of the Nativity, including the Grotto, the Cave of St. Jerome and the Grotto of the Holy Innocents. Lunch at the Grotto restaurant at 13:00 hours (included). In the afternoon, we proceed to the Shepherds Fields , for a visit and to celebrate Mass at 15:00 hours. We then continue to a fair trade, Palestinian Cooperative selling the olive wood carvings that Bethlehem is famous for. We then return to our hotel for an early dinner. This evening we proceed to the Gethsemane in Jerusalem to join the Gethsemane Holy Hour at 20:00 hours. Overnight stay at your hotel in Bethlehem.


Thursday 30th November


Today we will drive to Jerusalem, starting our tour at the top of the Mount of Olives where we shall view the Place of the Ascension before we descend to the Pater Noster Church commemorating Jesus teaching His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:7-15). Inside the cloisters the Lord’s Prayer is written in 110 different languages. Continue to Dominus Flevit where Jesus wept over the City of Jerusalem and foretold its destruction (Luke 19:41-44). We shall then visit the Garden of the Gethsemane, the scene of Jesus’ agony, betrayal and arrest (Luke 22:22-54). Also visit the Church of All Nations containing the rock where Jesus is believed to have prayed before His betrayal and arrest. Lunch in the vicinity (not included). In the afternoon, we proceed to Mount Sion, to visit the Upper Room, which is also known as the Cenacle; the site of the last supper. We shall then continue to visit the Dormition Abbey, built over the site where the Virgin Mary is said to have “fallen asleep”. Finally proceed to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, which is built over the site of the house of the High Priest Caiaphas and the dungeon where Our Lord was imprisoned before his trial. Celebrate Mass at St. Peter in Gallicantu Church at 16:00 hours. It is also here that Peter denied knowing Jesus thrice (Luke 22: 54-62). Transfer by coach back to our hotel in Bethlehem for dinner and overnight stay at our hotel.


Friday 01st December

This morning, we will drive to Jerusalem to walk the Via Dolorosa through the Old City of Jerusalem. We will start at the Church of St. Anne and the Pools of Bethesda before continuing to Ecce Homo and the Church of the Flagellation. We then walk the Stations of the Cross to the Holy Sepulchre where we visit the Tomb of Jesus. Lunch in the vicinity (not included). In the afternoon, we continue to the village of Ein Karem, which was the home of St. John the Baptist and where Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth. We will walk up to the Church of the Visitation (please note there are approximately 100 steps up to the Church) followed by the Church of St. John the Baptist, where we celebrate Mass at 16:00 hours. We then return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.


Saturday 02nd December


In the morning, we check out of our hotel in Bethlehem and drive through the desert, stopping first at the Good Samaritan Inn, where we remember the famous parable of the Samaritan and Jesus, before we continue on to Jericho, the oldest continually inhabited city in the world and an Oasis in the Desert. We ascend by cable car to the top of the Mount to visit the Monastery of Temptation and read about Jesus’ Temptation in the desert. We then continue on to a shop selling the fruits (including the Mejdool dates) that Jericho is famous for. Lunch at Al Rawdeh restaurant in Jericho (included). In the afternoon, we have some time to float in the Dead Sea before we continue up the Jordan valley to our guest house in Tiberias for check in, dinner and overnight stay. We will celebrate Mass this evening in the Chapel at the Casa Nova.


Sunday 03rd December


In the morning, we visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where we recall Jesus’ famous preaching of the Sermon on the Mount. We then continue to Tabgha, the Church of the Multiplication, which commemorates the site where Our Lord fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish (John 6: 1-13). We then visit Capharnaum “The Town of Jesus” where He carried out the major part of His Ministry and Messianic Work. Here Our Lord told Peter and Andrew “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:12-22). Here He cured the Demoniac (Mark 1:21-28), He cured Peter’s mother in law (Mark 1:21), he cured the Paralytic (Mark 2:1-12) and the Roman centurion’s servant (Luke 1:1-10). It was also here that Our Lord made the promise of the Eucharist (John 6: 22-71). We will visit the excavation including the reconstructed fourth century Synagogue and the most recent built church on top of St. Peter’s House, where we celebrate Mass at 11:00 hours. We then proceed to the Sea of Galilee where we will take a cruise from Tiberias to Ginosar in a wooden boat at 12:15 hours. We will have some time on the water for prayer and reflection. We shall have a St. Peters fish lunch at the Lido lakeside restaurant at 13:00 hours (included). After lunch, we continue to the River Jordan, where you have the opportunity to renew your Baptismal vows. Dinner and overnight stay at your guest house.


Monday 04th December


After breakfast, we leave our hotel and drive to Cana of Galilee, where since early Christian times many have believed is where Our Lord performed His first miracle by turning water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2: 1- 11). Here we have the opportunity to renew our weddings vows and celebrate Mass at 09:00 hours. We then continue to visit Nazareth, where the Angel Gabriel announced to Our Lady that she was to bear the Son of God (Luke 1: 26-38). Visit the Basilica of the Annunciation including the Grotto, the Chapel of St. Joseph and the Old Synagogue, which tradition holds stands on the site of the Synagogue of the time of Our Lord. Also visit the Church of St. Gabriel (Mary's Well), which is built over the only freshwater spring in Nazareth, a place where Mary and Jesus must have visited daily to draw their water supply. Lunch in Nazareth at 13:00 hours (not included). In the afternoon, we continue to Mt. Tabor, which according to a very old tradition, going back to apostolic days, is the place where Jesus was “transfigured” (Luke 9; 28-36). Ascend by taxis (included) to the top where we will see the magnificent views across the plain of Jezreel. We will also visit the Basilica of the Transfiguration before we descend by cars and return to your hotel in Nazareth for dinner and overnight stay.

Tuesday 05th December


After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and visit the Primacy of St. Peter, which commemorates the place where Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter as chief amongst the Apostles took place. We then drive to Haifa, Mount Carmel where Elijah’s firelighting challenge against the Prophets of Baal took place. We will visit Stella Maris Monastery and celebrate our farewell Mass at 11:00hours. We will also view the magnificent Bah’ai shrine and gardens. Lunch en route to the airport (not included). In the afternoon, we will transfer to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport for our return flight to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion on LY317 departing at 17:15 hours and arriving at 20:45 hours. We then proceed by coach to St. Helen’s Church (to be arranged by Salvatore Burzotta). End of services. LAST DAYS ACTIVITIES ARE SUBJECT TO FLIGHT TIMES PERMITTING


Departure: 28th November - 05th December 2023

Minimum of 30 pilgrims: £1465.00 per person

Single room supplement: £325.00 per person for the dura􏰁on

The above quota􏰁on includes the following:

  • Return bus from St. Helen’s church to London Heathrow (to be arranged by Mr Salvatore Burzotta)

  • Flights with EL AL from London Heathrow. You will have one hand luggage and one check in luggage per

    person (23KG). A light meal and refreshments are currently served on board the flight.

  • Hotel accommodation on half board basis; for 4 nights in Bethlehem at the Manger Square Hotel or similar (in the Manger Square next to the Nativity Church) and for 3 nights in Tiberias at the Casa Nova guest house Tiberias hospitality/. Rates are based on sharing a double / twin room. All rooms will be with private facilities.

  • Porterage in Bethlehem only. Please note that the Casa Nova in Tiberias is a guest house and does not have porterage service.

  • 3 lunches; A St. Peter’s fish lunch at the Lido, lunch in Bethlehem and lunch in Jericho.

  • The services of an official fully licensed local excellent English speaking guide for the duration of your

    pilgrimage (airport to airport)

  • All transfers and transportation in deluxe and air-conditioned tourist motor coaches as per your itinerary.

  • All the entrance fees as outlined in your itinerary.

  • The advance booking of all the services relevant to your tour including Communion services.

  • A basic tips of $1.00 per person per day for guide, driver and hotel staff in the Holy Land


Please note that the above rates do not include the following:

  • Single room supplement £325 per person

  • Travel Insurance

  • Lunches unless specified under ‘included’ beverages and refreshments

  • Items of a personal nature, e.g. laundry, telephone, bar bills etc.

  • Passport and Visa Costs


This quotation is based on an exchange rate of £1.00 = $1.22


If you are interested in confirming your Pilgrimage please advise by 14th February 2023 and we will send you

your brochures and booking forms directly.

As this quotation is based on flights with EL AL a non-refundable deposit of £300.00 per person will be required to secure the seats and hold your booking. The fully completed booking forms and deposits will be due by Friday 26th May 2023. If we do not receive the deposits for the group by this date EL AL will release the seats they are holding. We can re request them subject to availability and possible increases in airfare, which will need to be passed on.

The balance is due twelve weeks before departure and any cancellations are subject to our standard booking conditions.


Once we receive your confirmation of travel, we will then go ahead and proceed with the necessary reservations for your tour, which will be subject to availability at the time of confirmation.


Should you like to discuss this quote or any aspect of your proposed tour, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

With our best wishes Yours Sincerely


Tamara Tahhan
Office Manager

Special Pilgrimages Ltd

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