Tag Archives: Sea of Galilee

virtual pilgrimage in 18:01

26 Apr

DAY 1: Capernaum & Sea of Galilee

Where in your life does Jesus call you?

Day Two: Nazareth & Cana

Newly confident because we look at what has already happened, we are able to say, “Yes,” and something new comes out of that.

DAY 3: Sea of Galilee

Where do you get your one on one time with God?

DAY 4: Jordan River & Bethany

God stood in line with those waiting to baptized and went with his friends as they invited him to go “down there” with them. 

DAY 5: Gethsemane & Holy Sepulchre

Surrender to the future that God has is store for you. Turn yourself over entirely to God, and God will reward you with new life. 

DAY 6: Bethlehem 

God entered the world in the most vulnerable way possible, completely dependent for his care  – and also leaves the world in a vulnerable state, naked and nailed – a sign of his great desire to be with us. Even in inauthentic places there is authentic faith.

DAY 7: Jerusalem/Way of the Cross

We carry our cross in the midst of the busyness and hurriedness of daily life.

“starring” the prayers of others

24 Jul

Before we left on pilgrimage we gathered prayer petitions from parishioners, families, students, friends, co-workers and classmates. Yes, I said “classmates.” One of our pilgrims is a student in the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program of our Archdiocese. From her classmates she collected a huge stack of prayers, many of which were written in Vietnamese.

Mary Jo, a teacher at our SASEAS School, and her daughter Bridget, just weeks away from her wedding, cut and pasted all the prayers on heavy paper and created a real work of art.

All the prayers were folded into a book that was easy to pack and carry.

0 Star 14182532790_3a72a22ec5_b

The book opened up into a star shape that could rest right on the corner of the altar whenever we prayed.

0 Star 14346001206_e531929106_b

Cathy, the lay ministry student, kept the prayers with her at all times. Here she touches the prayers to the rock of Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, joining the cries of many to the cry of Jesus to his Father.

0 Star 14388058606_87c877b65d_b

The prayers rested during Mass on the altar over the stone of the holy (and empty) tomb of Jesus.

0 Star 14251977638_9c05c872a6_b

The prayers were with us as we celebrated Mass with the local Christians in the olive grove of the Cremisan Valley near Beit Jala (Bethlehem).

0 Star 14438629705_434ffb5126_b

On the Sea of Galilee we celebrated Mass at an outdoor altar on the edge of the water near the home of Peter and Andrew in Capernaeum. We opened up the prayers to God there as well.

0 Star 14502109333_6dbfca1239_b

And the prayers were with us for the last time at Mass on the Mount of Beatitudes.

0 Star DSC_0600 1 - Copy

We left all the prayers that we brought with the Sisters who live in the convent on the Mount of Beatitudes. Cathy and I were just starting to explain to one of the Sisters what we wanted to do, when she scooped them out of Cathy’s hands, “Tell the people that the Sisters will continue to pray for their intentions.” Sister knew what we wanted – and what our parishioners, families, students, friends, co-workers and classmates wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

celebrating Jesus in green, red and white

23 Jul

One of the good things about “having a priest” on a pilgrimage is that you get to celebrate Mass every day. One of the good things about “being a priest” on pilgrimage is that I get to celebrate Mass every day, each time at a site that was significant in the life of Jesus or is significant to the local Catholics today, and thus are significant to us.

The color was green when I concelebrated with Father Ibrahim, the parish priest of Beit Jala (Bethlehem) and Father Faysal, the General Director of the Latin Patriarchate Schools of Palestine and Israel.

0 1 Beit Jala DSC_0400 1

At Capernaum along the Sea of Galilee we celebrated in red, in honor of the Apostles Peter and Andrew.

??????????

In the olive grove of the Cremisan Valley, Father Ibrahim and I wore white vestments.

0 Cremisan DSC_0148 1

In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, if we had been on Mount Calvary, I would have worn red. But since we had Mass at the Holy Tomb, the color was Easter white.

???????????????????????????????

At the Milk Grotto shrine in Bethlehem the color was, well, you can see for yourself.

0 Milk Grotto DSC_0213 1

 

 

the color blue is used only three times

22 Jul

Speaking of my three teachers (yesterday’s post), I took their picture together three times – on purpose.

On any map of the Holy Land of Palestine/Israel the color blue is used only three times: the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.

Here are the St. Andrew teachers on the western shore of the Jordan River.

0 three teachers Jordan

Here they are in the front of a boat on the Sea of Galilee.

0 three teachers boat

I also have a photo of the three of them floating in the Dead Sea. You have to ask one of them to see that photo.

 

her three children

20 Jul

It seemed that, while on pilgrimage, Michelle was always remembering her three children, and was always missing them. She often reminded the rest of us that she had three children, and was constantly reminding God, too. 

Whenever she was standing quiet, we figured she was thinking of her three children, missing them, and praying for them.

While at the Sea of Galilee, I handed her three stones, of three different sizes, one for each of her children: small, medium and large; youngest, middle and oldest. I suggested that she hold the stones, one by one, as he held her children in her heart, one by one. Start with the smallest stone, I suggested, while praying for your youngest child. Hold the smallest in your hand, tell God what your prayer is for your youngest, then toss the stone into the sea. Then take up the medium sized stone and your medium sized child; make the prayer and toss the stone. And finally, the largest and the oldest.

The four photos below capture the stages: the stone, the wind up, the toss and the ripple.

It made me wonder if the four photos capture the stages of our prayer. Do they represent four parts of prayer, or four movements in prayer, or  four things that are necessary for prayer, or four things that make a prayer a prayer and not just a thought? What do you think?

I have given each photo a caption, from the point of view of the stone. What caption would you give them, if the photos were not about the stone, but about the prayer?

0 Michelle 1

Part 1: the stone (notice the white bird flying near the water)

0 Michelle 2

Part 2: the wind up

0 Michelle 3

Part 3: the toss

0 Michelle 4

Part 4: the ripple

 

 

did Jesus know/learn how to swim?

19 Jun

In our fourteen days together there were a few times when I could “steal” a few moments for myself, away from and without the teacher-pilgrims. In these not-too-frequent and much-appreciated minutes I could be a pilgrim myself rather than help them be pilgrims.

On our last morning in the Holy Land, I spent an hour alone, walking up a sweat along the Sea of Galilee. A question came from within me, probably because I thought of how pleasant it would be to take a dip that morning and probably because I did not learn how to swim until I was 35 years old.

The question about Jesus is simple enough. The answer is either satisfying or troubling, depending on whether you find  the question itself satisfying or troubling.

When I got back to our Tabgha Pilgerhaus, a German guesthouse for pilgrims, I sat down on a wobbly plastic chair as each of its four uncertain legs tried their best to wiggle into a place in the rocks of the shore, at this “beach access” which is as good as one finds into these waters.

I sat down and recorded my question. At the end there are twenty seconds of soothing water sounds that might give you time to respond to the question, however troubling or satisfying it might be for you:

Did Jesus know how to swim?

 

 

 

Photos Worth Thousands of Memories

7 Jul

 

Photo by Dan Campbell

To say that he has the patience of a fisherman, the eyes of an artist and the precision of a surgeon might be a bit of a Middle Eastern overstatement, but he is a very good photographer. Mark Bowen accompanied the second group of HOPE pilgrim-teachers from Cincinnati to the Holy Land, having also been with the first group in 2010.

Most often Mark is on the lens side of the camera. But once in a while he sets up the picture, turns his camera over to someone else, and is actually in the photo himself, like in this one taken by the café-keeper at Stars and Bucks in Bethlehem.  

He was also coaxed into being in this group photo, taken in Nazareth by our guide Rami on Jen’s camera.

Being himself quite taken by an event or a site, he is even known to have allowed his picture to be taken by someone else with their own camera, like this one by JoAnne at the Jordan River.

On a rare occasion, difficult to imagine but true, he has even “asked” someone else to use “his” camera to take his picture, like this one taken with Archbishop Elias Chacour at Mar Elias School in Nazareth.

Most often, though, people caught Mark, as he so often caught many of us, doing what he did best: taking pictures, and editing and saving and posting pictures, like in this one by JoAnne in Amman, Jordan

 and in this one by JoAnne on the Sea of Galilee

 and in this one by Cindy on the Sea of Galilee

and in this one by JoAnne at the Gloria Hotel in Jerusalem

 and in these two by Father Rob.

All that being shown and said, Mark has done a remarkable service and a remarkably good job of capturing the moments, the people, the emotions and the HOPEs of our Cincinnati teacher-pilgrims and our Palestinian teacher-friends during the HOPE Pilgrimage 2012. Acknowledging Mark’s work on the back end of so many photos and memories, on the front end we all want to express to him our gratitude, appreciation and admiration.

By the way, Mark, “Mom” (Nancy) especially wants you to know how much she loves you, as can be seen on her face (and yours) in this photo of the two of you, taken by JoAnne at the Dome of the Rock.

 

 

 

 

“We are at the Sea of Galilee”

31 Dec

Father James Martin, S.J., takes us on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The title of this video on YouTube is: “Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Part 1.” That means there must be at least one more. Yes!

I can’t help myself, being pastor of St. Andrew. I must mention that “St. Peter’s house” is also “St. Andrew’s house.”

The Cure of Simon’s Mother-in-Law in Mark 1:29-31 — “On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.”

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. He is “our” Andrew, after all.