Christians sing and dance as they celebrate Palm Sunday on the Mount of Olives.

CNS PHOTO | DEBBIE HILL

Christians sing and dance as they celebrate Palm Sunday on the Mount of Olives.

April 22, 2013
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON - Catholics in the Edmonton Archdiocese are being invited to mark the conclusion of the archdiocese's 100th anniversary year by walking in the footsteps of Jesus.

That's the name of a "faith pilgrimage" to the Holy Land that the archdiocese is currently organizing.

"The Holy Land offers pilgrims the opportunity to walk where Jesus, the Son of God made flesh, came to earth, taught, healed and, ultimately, died and rose for us and for our salvation," says Archbishop Richard Smith, who will escort the pilgrimage.

"I invite you to join me and fellow pilgrims for a journey to the place rendered holy by the very presence of Jesus himself. It will be a wonderful way to mark the conclusion of the Year of Faith and the Jubilee Year."

This 11-day journey from Nov. 29 to Dec. 9, 2013, costs $3,919.69 based on double occupancy and includes return airfare from Edmonton, most meals, hotel, local transportation, entrance fees, tips and taxes.

Pilgrims will spend three nights in Tiberias, a holy city on the Sea of Galilee, and six nights in Jerusalem.

They will visit more than 20 pilgrimage sites, including Nazareth, the Mount of Beatitudes, Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives, Via Dolorosa, Bethany, Jericho and the Jordan River. Mass will be celebrated at pilgrimage sites.

As part of the jubilee celebrations, the archdiocese has been exploring some of the tenets of the faith through catechesis on the Nicene Creed and other events, Smith noted in an April 10 interview.

"But there is no better way to discover the faith than to go to its very roots, the place where the faith first began with the Incarnation of the Lord and the redemption that he brought about in his paschal mystery and the message that he has handed on to the Church through the Apostles," he said, referring to the Holy Land.

"The faith obviously relies upon the Word of God and the privileged places for that in Scripture are the four Gospels but there is a fifth Gospel that we call Holy Land because it brings the written Gospels alive."

The archbishop said when one walks the places where Jesus and the Apostles walked, one gains new appreciation of the Scriptural imagery that is offered to convey the saving truth that God has given us in Christ.

"So it's a way to return to the source and to have our faith renewed and have the Scriptures come alive by visiting the places in which they were brought together."

To book this pilgrimage, call Jackie Abello at 780-424-8310, ext. 7871, or email jabello@geo.ca.