Fr. Leo Patalinghug leads a Holy Land tour with a culinary twist

We want everyone to know about this unique opportunity to travel with Fr. Leo Patalinghug as he journeys to the Holy Land and Jordan.  Many of you may know or have seen Fr. Leo on EWTN where he hosts “Grace before meals“.

Learn more about this magnificent part of the world where Jesus walked, preached, was crucified and rose from the dead. You will visit all the holy places:  Bethlehem, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Mt. of Olives (just to name a few)…..and even cross over to Jordan (“the other Holy Land”), the place where Jesus was actually baptized, visit the world famous site of Petra, and the capital city of Amman.

Father Leo will celebrate Mass daily with your group and lead you on some great culinary adventures as well!  You will dine with the locals…and even be involved in the cooking!  You will truly immerse yourself in the Holy Land experience.

You will enjoy dining with locals
You will enjoy dining with locals

Picture dining in the highly regarded Magdalena Restaurant  along the Sea of Galilee; have lunch  at the famous Bedouin Tent Restaurant in Bethlehem with a food presentation by Fr. Leo and Tent’s chefs including local bread and za’atar (great for dunking bread);  dine in the homes of local Christian families of Bethlehem for “Sharing the Bread” home-cooked meals.

You will visit the local chapter of the ‘Slow Food’ network for a cooking class: Bait al Karama is the first female-run cooking school in Palestine, run and managed by disadvantaged women living in the Old City of Nablus. Observe a local chef prepare some classic Palestinian dishes. Enjoy your creations over lunch and discover what life is like for women in this small Palestinian town.

As an expression of our solidarity with the local Christian population, the group will shop in Bethlehem to help support the local Christian families and visit the Crimson Winery, operated by the Salesian Community, where you will enjoy a wine tasting.

In Jordan you will dine at the famous Tawaheen al-Hawa restaurant in Amman;  visit the Beit Sitti cooking school, known as one of the most innovative developments in Jordan’s dining scene. You will get to cook (and eat) an authentic meal under supervision.

Then, the question we get all the time:  is it safe to travel to the Holy Land?  Yes it is probably safer here than anywhere.  Last year saw a record number of visitors to Israel….and all of them returned safely.  Check this blog article about safety in the Holy Land.

We discovered this unique pilgrimage a bit late (it take place June 17-28), but there are few spaces left.  Don’t miss out…..see this exciting itinerary and sign up at Select International Tours.

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Five Tips for Train Travel in Europe

5 tips for traveling by train in Europe

See and experience so much more by embarking on a European train adventure. Traveling by train in Europe is the quintessential method for touring Europe and it is no mystery why. The rail network is extremely developed so travelers can conquer multiple countries and cultures in one epic trip. As with any form of travel, it is good to prepare yourself to ensure that you have the easiest and most enjoyable journey possible. Here are our 5 tips for traveling by train in Europe.

Research the different rail passes available

If you are planning to see numerous countries it may be wise to consider investing in an Interrail Pass, or what non-EU citizens call the Eurail Pass. An Interrail Pass will make your train voyage easier. However, if you are on a tighter budget, individual tickets may work out cheaper (especially if you’re mainly traveling east of Germany). Consider your budget and do some research before you book your rail pass. The website saveatrain.com is the perfect place to start to help plan your trip across Europe.

Try to reserve your seats

Train tickets and seat reservations are two different things. A ticket allows you to board a train, and a reservation guarantees you a seat on a specific train. Before your trip make sure you understand whether your train requires, recommends, or doesn’t accept seat reservations.

If possible, try to reserve your seat, especially if you are traveling in uber-popular countries such as France, Italy or Spain. For most trains, you are not required to reserve your seat, however, boarding the train and hoping for the best is not a good idea. You could be told to get out of your seat mid-journey if someone else has booked it. By reserving your place, you can choose whether you would like an aisle or window seat. You can sit back and enjoy the ride knowing you won’t be interrupted to move.


Keep your belongings safe

European train travel is known as one of the safest ways to travel. However, it is important to keep an eye out for pickpocketers, particularly with trains that stop in major cities. Don’t leave your luggage unguarded on the train or in the station. On night trains, if you intend to sleep, make sure to secure baggage to the rack with a small bicycle lock. To have peace of mind, wear a waist pack under your clothes to keep your passport, phone and any important documents protected from any potential thieves.

Less is more –  tips for traveling by train in Europe

Going from country to country or city to city is a fun and exciting journey. However, the trip can become tiring if you are carrying a heavy load. Pack the essentials and leave any items or products that are not needed behind.

Depending on the train you are traveling on, there can be limited storage space in over-seat racks and shelves at the ends of carriages. Instead of carrying a big and heavy suitcase, a quality lightweight backpack is another way to lighten your load.

Pack the right supplies for the journey

Traveling through Europe provides sensational views; however, it is a good idea to bring a few key items to help you pass the time especially if you are embarking on a journey of more than 2 hours. Read a book, watch a movie on your tablet, write in your travel journal or strike up a conversation with another passenger and before you know it you will be at your next destination.

Most trains have either a restaurant, café carriages or snack carts that come by selling sandwiches, soft drinks and more. But if you are on a tight traveling budget or you have specific dietary requirements, it is wise to bring some snacks with you on your journey.

Thinking of traveling by train in Europe? Go online to check out all the exclusive fares at Save A Train and start planning your next adventure!

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We welcome guest blog posts….just fill in below.  All posts must be approved before being published.  Please keep these things in mind:

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Dedication of New Cathedral in Knoxville, TN

A new, magnificent Cathedral has been dedicated in Knoxville, Tenessee.  Among those present were five Cardinals, 21 Bishops, over 100 priests, 58 deacons, and 39 men and women religious.

 

Mass at the dedication of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Knoxville
Mass at the Dedication

Notable among them were Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, retired archbishop of Krakow, Poland, and longtime personal secretary to St. John Paul II (who also donated two relics of the saint to the diocese, including a stole frequently worn by St John Paul II); Cardinal William Levada, retired prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Cardinal Justin Rigali, retired Archbishop of Philadelphia and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States.

Find out more about the Cathedral here.

 

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Book Review …. “Come and See: A Catholic Guide to the Holy Land”

Come and See A Catholic guide to the Holy LandA gem of a guide book written from the perspective of a Catholic priest’s own travels in the Holy Land. Originally for seminarians, it is really for everyone……layperson or religious.

Loaded with photos, diagrams, Biblical references and spiritual insights, it delves deeper than most guidebooks, incorporating many footnotes and references in addition to the author’s own reflections.

Each Biblical site is organized according to the scriptural background; archaeological history; issues, such as varying Biblical interpretations; and finally (we think this is where it really shines), points for reflection as to how these places might relate to your own spiritual life.

Whether you are an armchair traveler or planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, this book is a must. We suggest you read it before you leave for the Holy Land.   Grab a cup of coffee, your Bible and mentally take yourself to those places.

Carry it with you on your pilgrimage: the durable cover will stand up to heavy travel, and its compact size makes it convenient to carry around.   While you are in the Holy Land, it would be useful to read each days’ itinerary before hand: perhaps on the bus, between stops, or at night in your hotel room.

You will want to hang on to this book after your trip as well to relive the experience over and over again.

If it is lacking anything, from our point of view, we wish it had an index. That would make it a bit easier to use when looking for a particular site.

Overall, this is without a doubt the most spiritually rewarding Holy Land Guide book that we have found.

You can order this book here through St. Paul Center and Emmaus Road Publishing

About the author:

Fr. Charles K. Samson is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and a License in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, during which time he studied language, history, and archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A doctoral candidate in the Biblical Theology department of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Fr. Samson helps lead the Holy Land Retreat and Pilgrimage of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

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Want to help the Christians in the Holy Land?

Select to Give is a not for profit foundation, founded by Select International Tours.

Select is an award winning, thirty year old, faith based tour operator specializing in group trips to Europe, the Holy Land, Canada, Mexico, South America and the USA.

The Faith Travel Association awarded the “Impact Award” to Select International Tours for innovation and quality in travel.

Select to Give Foundation exists to help the Christians of the Holy Land and the Middle East!  Through the funding and creation of programs and partnerships, we support innovative community efforts to help Christians achieve a safer and more prosperous existence.

Palestinian Christian children in the Holy Land
Palestinian Christian children in the Holy Land

Their organization’s goal is to recognize and maximize human potential in Christian communities by offering assistance in establishing programs that provide opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, social justice and community building.

For more information check out their website.

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Exciting News from Rhoda Wise Home & Grotto

One of the modern day mystics we do not hear enough about is Servant of God Rhoda Wise.  Her story is amazing (including an early encounter with a young girl who was healed after visiting here and  would later become Mother Angelica).

As her path to Sainthood continues, we want to update you on some of the improvements being made to her home & Grotto in Canton, Ohio, which is now a shrine.

Because of a generous donor, they have been able to purchase the three city parcels between the Rhoda Wise property and First Tee.

If you have visited there, perhaps you remember the blue house and garage on that property.  Thanks to a second generous donor they were able to demolish both buildings.   They will use the extra space for additional parking this year.  Thank you, generous donors!!!

SAVE THE DATE!  July 7, 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Rhoda Wise.   There will be a 10:00 am Mass at St. Peter’s in Canton, an update on the Cause, and more.  Possibly much more!!!

Watch rhodawise.com for updates especially as July 7th approaches.  Be sure to sign up for EMAIL NEWS on the website so you won’t be out of the loop.  News will be posted on their Facebook page RHODAWISEHOME as well.

Servant of God, Rhoda Wise, pray for us!!!

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It happened again!

Well it happened again:  Every so often we get an email like this one that we just received:

“Hi there
Are the Holy land tours still operating?

The news reports and government travel sites are warning people not to travel there.”

Here is a reply to that question from Edita, president of Select International Tours:

Edita, owner of Select International Tours, standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee
Edita, president of Select International Tours, standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee

 

” I am in Holy Land now with a group from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of 87 people.

We have over 40 groups traveling this year.

It’s safer than streets of any major US city.”

Thank you, Edita

This has been going on for many, many years….and as you can see by the reply above, you are probably safer in the Holy Land  than most countries in the world.

 

It saddens us when we think of how many people have been robbed of the joy of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land because of media reports, government travel advisories….or just well-meaning friends and relatives.
In fact, the number of visitors in 2017 increased to a record number…over 3 1/2 million visitors.
So we encourage you to find out for yourself….ignore the doubters and scare-mongers.  Go to the Holy Land!

 

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