St. Catherine of Sienna parishioners Bonnie Stone and Kalama Schreiner recently returned from a tour of Israel where they had a marvelous time and brought home a lifetime of good memories.
They flew into Tel Aviv and, for two weeks, traveled through the country on what many historians believe was the path Jesus followed in his ministry. They visited biblical sites and were awed at the possibilities of walking in Jesus’ footsteps.
Highlights of their trip included going to Cana where Jesus turned water into wine in his first miracle and going to Bethlehem to see the Church of the nativity. Bonnie and Kalama went to the Western Wailing prayer wall, surveyed the Mount of Olives, and walked down the Palm Sunday Road. They reported that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was especially remarkable.
They also went to Qasr Al Yahud where Jesus was baptized. At the River Jordan, fifty people in their tour group were either rededicated or baptized for the first time.
Bonnie reported that “Every day was another notch higher than what we expected. The last day we walked from eight in the morning to three in the afternoon to see where Jesus walked. From the garden of Gethsemane to the tomb…The way of the cross”.
The one spiritual activity that stood out for Bonnie was their day at sea. She said “We were in theboat on the Sea of Galilee which was calm and looked like glass. The motor was turned off andwe sat there in silence, and then we listened to soft Christian music. I looked up to take a pictureof the bow of the boat and the clouds opened up and the sun shined through. I felt like Jesus was saying “Welcome – I am here with you”
Kalama’s favorite day was the last day of the trip. They walked all over Jerusalem. They started with the Upper Room where historians believe was where the Last Supper was held. They saw where Jesus was arrested, the Mount of Olives, Palm Sunday Road, Garden of Gethsemane, St. Anne’s Church – where Jesus healed an infirmed man, the Path leading to the crucifixion, and the ancient tomb.
Kalama and Bonnie said that the trip went too quickly. Every day was an adventure. They felt very safe at all times during the tour and would highly recommend that others visit Israel.
How was the food? Bonnie laughed and said “Most people enjoyed trying new things. We did not. Hummus was the best food there!”