Holy Land Impressions by Rose Sweet

Elizabeth, Shibley, and Rose stop for a picture.

Elizabeth, Shibley, and Rose stop for a picture.

Back from our 10-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land. My heart is still in another world even though my feet are in California.

I knew I would experience emotions, but I also knew not to force it. Just sit back and let the Lord speak to me. I was unprepared for our very first visit to the Church of the Annunciation. When I stood at the steps and read the large letters HERE THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, I suddenly and literally could not catch my breath. Tears!!!

We visited so many holy places! At the Sea of Galilee, I was deeply moved at the spot where Our Lord, post-resurrection, called to the apostles to throw their nets on the other side of the boat… where ( I learned) the waters of the river Jordan flow through and draw large schools of fish. Because of my many past betrayals of the Lord, I especially associate with Peter. Jesus invited him, over breakfast, to express and affirm his love three times in contrast to his prior triple treason! At the fire, Peter denied him. At the fire on these shores, Peter accepted the Lord’s love and his mission to lead the flock. I was consoled that Jesus will still do the same for all of us. With my feet in the water, I grabbed a handful of small stones which I will give to some of my loved ones.

But the crowning moments were tracing Jesus’ steps through the rocky streets of old Jerusalem in the early and dark morning hours along Via Dolorosa. Eerily quiet and gut-punchingly REAL. Then to celebrate the old Mass in Latin mere feet from the stone where he was crucified. I hope I never become so insensitive that I forget. More tears.

Thank you to Edita Krunic and Select International for a life-changing pilgrimage. Well planned itinerary, lovely hotels, comfortable bus, skilled bus driver!! Warm and gracious welcome by local Shibly Edmond Kando and the BEST ( really!) Catholic tour guide ever, George- Sue Stephan!💕

The cherries on top were my co-leader, Elizabeth S. Westhoff, and chaplain, Monsignor C Eugene Morris. 💕😇😇😇

Please please please start saving your money so that SELECT International Tours and Cruises can make this truly life-changing experience happen for you in the near future.


Rose Sweet,

Catholic Speaker and Author

February 25, 2020