St. Mary Parishioners Walk in Christ’s Footsteps During Holy Land Pilgrimage

Father Dindo helped lead a group of pilgrims from St. Mary and other churches to the Holy Land in early November to visit key sites from the Bible, especially the New Testament.

The journey took pilgrims from the Jordan River to the tomb of Jesus; from the Sea of Galilee to the Judean desert.

Sea of Galilee
Sunset over the Sea of Galilee

Early on during the trip, the pilgrims commemorated their Baptisms by being submerged in the Jordan River, which is the place where Jesus was baptized in the Bible.

Being submerged in the Jordan
Father Dindo and pilgrims were submerged in the Jordan River to commemorate their Baptisms.

“I wanted to know the experience of being blessed and submerged as a commemoration of my Baptism and also renew my Baptismal promises at the very Jordan River that the great Saint John the Baptist baptized our Lord Jesus Christ,” explained Father Dindo.

Throughout the trip, the pilgrims literally walked in the footsteps of Jesus. They visited the site of the Wedding Feast at Cana, went to Mount Tabor where Jesus was Transfigured, stood at the spot where He fed the 5,000, and took a cruise on the Sea of Galilee.

At Cana
The pilgrims at Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. They are standing in front of a large stone jar of wine, the kind used in the Bible.

Their journey also took the pilgrims deep into the Judean Desert,  where Jesus was tempted and wandered for 40 days and 40 nights.

Father Dindo in Desert
Father Dindo in the Judean Desert.

Of course, Jesus’ birthplace of Bethlehem was included on the pilgrimage. The 2.5-hour wait in a hot line was worth it to see the very place where tradition holds Jesus was born.

Jesus' birth
The wait in line was 2.5 hours to see the spot where Jesus was born, according to tradition (right).

The pilgrimage culminated at the holiest sites of the Bible, those of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

Father Dindo Mass
Father Dindo saying Mass at the Garden of Gethsemane Church.

This included a visit to the Upper Room, site of the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Way of the Cross, and the tomb of Jesus.

Way of the Cross
Pilgrims walking the Way of the Cross.

Parishioners saw part of the pillar on which Jesus was scourged, as well as the site of the crucifixion.

Left: A pilgrim standing beside the pillar on which Jesus was scourged. Right: The spot on which Jesus’ cross stood.

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, pilgrims venerated The Stone of the Anointing, where it is believed Jesus’ body was anointed for burial by Joseph of Arimathea.

The Stone of The Anointing
Pilgrims kissing The Stone of The Anointing.

Finally, the pilgrims visited the tomb of Jesus where He rose from the dead. Today, the tomb is surrounded by a marble facade for protection.

Jesus tomb
The three leaders of the Holy Land pilgrimage: (left to right) Father Rob, Father Dindo, and Father Mario point to Jesus’ tomb.

The biblical story of Jesus truly came alive for everyone attending the pilgrimage, as they can now put a place to the names of the New Testament.

“This was by far the best pilgrimage to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to learn about his life and teachings,” said Father Dindo. “The history of the Bible comes alive!”

See the slideshow below for more pictures from the pilgrimage—>

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s