“The only way to know what this experience is like is to be here.” ~Pilgrim George Bettinger

Hi Friends,

A quick travel update before hearing more from our pilgrims. Each day brings new challenges, new triumphs, new insights, many highs and some lows when our energy flags. But that doesn’t last long. We continue to be amazed by the beauty and richness of this land we are encountering. We are truly in a rhythm with one another and continue to form a wonderful spiritual community.

Today we began the day by wending our way through a narrow covered market in the town of Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. We visited the Church of the Annunciation. Covering the Church walls were beautiful mosaics donated from countries around the world depicting the Blessed Mother. The church is quite modern unlike other churches in the Holy Land but has a very impressive design.

Next we visited Bet Alpha where archaeologists have uncovered an intact mosaic floor from the town’s synagogue dating to the 6th century. We have learned that with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, synagogues became more prevalent – people could worship locally rather than traveling long distances. After a brief video about the mosaic floor, we travelled for lunch which provided a view of the Bet Shean site, where there are extensive ruins of a Greco-Roman city. The heat requires that we make adjustments to the schedule at times, but be assured that we are looking out for one another and pacing ourselves. Currently we are headed to Jericho and then on to our hotel in Jerusalem.

Now read posts from pilgrims Sr. Pat Connolly and Ramona Gillette:


Happy Foundation Day! August 24th is my 44th anniversary of my first profession. Oh happy day!! I will be remembering all of you in my prayers and possibly Mass if we are able to have it. We have had Mass at many historic religious sites. They have been moving experiences.  We have been taking turns being lectors, Eucharistic ministers and song leaders. Sunday evening, while at the Kibbutz Lavi, we had an optional talk on the life of a kibbutz. The presenter was a young middle-aged family man from England. It was an excellent talk. Many of the principles that they live and operate by are the same as our community way of life and governing.  So we have a good ecumenical connection with the religious people of a kibbutz. I shared our similarities with Morris, our presenter.

Hope and pray all are well.

Shalom, Pat

And from Ramona:

Mazel tov from Israel! You could cook biscuits and eggs today on the sidewalk in Jericho. The interpretations of the Blessed Mother in the Church of the Annunciation intrigued me, especially the USA. But you have to see it to believe it! Another falafel for lunch. It’s the hamburger of Israel. Well, that’s it for now. We’re on a hot journey back to Jerusalem, sweating all the way. It’s water in and water out. 

Shalom and peace,

Ramona Gillette


2 Responses to ““The only way to know what this experience is like is to be here.” ~Pilgrim George Bettinger”

  1. rick gibson Says:

    i enjoy your commentary and look forward to your daily updates. say hi to sue gibson. we are all fine and miss her alot.

  2. staurosusa Says:

    Hi Rick,

    Got your message. I’m truly having the time of my life!! This is the most wonderful trip ever. I only wish you were here to share it with. Susie’s coming tomorrow — don’t forget to put the check out — Sister told me to remind you. I do whatever she says! Love you!

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