Fr. Evelio Menjivar, a native of El Salvador, is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Washington presently serving as pastor at Saint Mary’s Parish in Landover Hills, Maryland. He has previously served at Our Lady Queen of the Americas parish, Washington DC, the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle, Washington DC, and Mother Seton Parish, Maryland. Fr. Evelio studied at Saint John Vianney Seminary in Miami, FL and at the North American College in Rome, Italy. He speaks Spanish, English and Italian. Fr. Evelio’s greatest passion is to walk with others in the journey of faith to a greater intimacy with the Lord and fellowship with the Church.
Day 1. Monday, September 16: Transatlantic flight
Day 2. September 17: Amman
Welcome to Jordan! Upon arrival in Amman, transfer to your hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight. (WD)
Day 3. Wednesday, September 18: Amman – Jerash – Mt. Nebo – Petra
Today visit the ancient city of Jerash, nestled in a quiet valley among the mountains of Gilead. Outside of Italy, this ancient Roman city is one of the most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world. Continue to visit the traditional site of Our Lord’s baptism at the Jordan River. Then, see Mt. Nebo, where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. While here, tour the holy site where Moses died and was buried. Finally, visit the Monastery of St. George in Madaba to see a 6th-century mosaic floor map of the Holy Land, which includes Israel, Palestine, and Southern Egypt. Arrive in Petra for dinner and overnight. (BB, L, D)
Day 4. Thursday, September 19: Petra
Enjoy a full day of guided sightseeing in Petra. Walk through the “Siq,” an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone, which some say could be the very “rock” that Moses split in two and from which water poured forth. 2,000 years ago the Nabateans carved a city out of the rose red rock. Admire the Treasury, known as Al Khazneh, one of the most elegant remains of antiquity. In the Old City of Petra one can see the ruins of an ancient pagan temple and many tombs carved into the rose red rock face. Next, visit the Monastery, for those able and willing to climb the 800 steps leading up to it. View the ancient passageways across the Arava Desert along the spice route leading to Port of Gaza, which most probably was taken by the Magi coming from the east heading toward Judea along the ancient roads. Dinner and overnight in Petra. (BB, L, D)
Day 5. Friday, September 20: Petra – Jericho – Dead Sea – Tiberias
Cross the border into Israel and arrive in Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities, for a distant view of the Mount of Temptations. In Jericho, Our Lord healed Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, and dined with Zaccheus, the rich tax collector. Then, wade in the salty mineral water of the Dead Sea. Arrive into Tiberias for dinner and overnight. (BB, L, D)
Day 6. Saturday, September 21: Sea of Galilee
This morning visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the scene of Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. Then, visit the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes to commemorate the miracle. Continue to the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, where Our Lord appeared to the Apostles after His Resurrection. For lunch, sample the famous St. Peter’s Fish at a local restaurant. See the Valley of Doves: the route Jesus Christ would have taken from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee. Continue for a short visit to the fishing village of Magdala, where St. Mary Magdalene lived. Next, enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and finally in Capharnaum, visit the church built over the ruins of St. Peter’s house and the synagogue where Our Lord used to preach. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias. (BB, L, D)
Day 7. Sunday, September 22: Tiberias: Excursion to Mount Carmel, Mount Tabor, Nazareth & Cana
Begin with a visit to Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery in Mount Carmel, where the Carmelite order was founded. Below the monastery is Elias’ Cave, where the prophet Elias meditated before defeating the pagan prophets of Baal. Continue to visit to Mount Tabor, the site of Our Lord’s Transfiguration. Then, travel to Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, erected over the house of the Virgin Mary. Also visit St. Joseph’s Church, built on the site of St. Joseph’s home and workshop. Finally, visit Cana where Our Lord performed His first miracle at the wedding feast. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias. (BB, D)
Day 8. Monday, September 23: Tiberias – Jerusalem
Leave Tiberias and journey to Caesarea Maritima, where St. Peter established the church in which he baptized the centurion Cornelius. St. Paul often sojourned there and was imprisoned there. Continue to Ein Karem to visit the Church of St. John the Baptist, built over the Grotto of the Nativity of St. John, and the Church of the Visitation that commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s visit to St. Elizabeth. Then, stop at Shepherds’ Field, where the angels appeared to the shepherds on the first Christmas night. Before reaching Jerusalem, travel to Bethlehem and visit the Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Our Lord was born. Connected to the Church of the Nativity, visit St. Catherine’s Church; descend to the grottoes of the Holy Innocents, St. Joseph and St. Jerome. Inside, visit St. Jerome’s Chapel, where the saint wrote the Vulgate. Arrive in Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 9. Tuesday, September 24: Jerusalem: Temple Mount, Mount of Olives & Mount Zion
Start this morning with a visit to the Temple Mount, traditionally the Temple of Salomon, and since 691 AD an Islamic site. Then, to Mount of Olives for a beautiful panoramic view of Jerusalem. Visit the Chapel of the Ascension and the Church of Pater Noster, where Our Lord taught His disciples how to pray. On to the Church of Dominus Flevit, where Our Lord wept over the city of Jerusalem, and the Church of All Nations, officially named the Basilica of the Agony, built over the rock on which Our Lord prayed the night before He was crucified. In Mount Zion, see the Last Supper Room, where Our Lord shared the Last Supper with His Apostles. Afterwards, visit the Church of the Dormition, where tradition reveals that Our Lady was laid in the tomb before her body was assumed into heaven, and the Church of St. Peter in Gallicanctu, where St. Peter denied Our Lord, and the Palace of Caiaphas, where Our Lord was imprisoned. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (BB, D)
Day 10. Wednesday, September 25: Jerusalem: Via Dolorosa – Holy Sepulcher – St. Anne’s Church & Pool of Bethsaida – Flagellation Church – Ecce Homo Church
Early this morning, carry the cross and follow the Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross, and end with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Then, enjoy an in-depth tour of this church, including a visit to the tomb of our forefather Adam and the tombs of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, as well as a tour of the Holy Sepulcher chapels. In the afternoon visit the Church of St. Anne, erected over the traditional site of the birthplace of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Continue to the Pool of Bethsaida excavations, identified as the scene of the healing of the paralytic. Then, visit the Flagellation Church that enshrines the spot where Our Lord was flogged. Next is the Ecce Homo Church that commemorates the place where Pontius Pilate presented Our Lord to the hostile Jewish crowd. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (BB, D)
Day 11. Thursday, September 26: Jerusalem
A free day in Jerusalem. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant to celebrate a beautiful pilgrimage. Overnight in Jerusalem. (BB, FD)
Day 12. Friday, September 27: Homebound flight
Transfer to Tel Aviv airport for your flight home.
Buffet Breakfast (BB); Lunch (L); Dinner (D); Welcome Dinner (WD); Farewell Dinner (FD)
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information, please contact Group Coordinators: Helen Awatefe at (240) 423-7858 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Deacon Steve Robinson at (301) 577-8844 or email@example.com. Or you may contact Catholic Heritage Tours.