Lent & Easter Schedule 2017

Masses at 6:15 AM, 9:00 AM, 5:30 PM, 7:00 PM

PRAYER FAIR - March 11-12 after all Masses

March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, April 7 at 6:00 PM

MEN’S CLUB FISH FRY – March 17, 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM

DAY OF MERCY – March 22 , 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM

5:00 PM (Vigil, April 8); 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 6:00 PM

9:00 AM – Morning Prayer
7:00 PM – Mass of the Lord’s Supper

GOOD FRIDAY – April 14
9:00 AM – Morning Prayer
9:30-10:30 AM – Confessions
3:00 PM – Stations of the Cross  (with choir)
7:00 PM – The Passion of the Lord

9:00 AM – Morning Prayer
9:30-10:30 AM – Confessions
8:00 PM – The Great Vigil of Easter
* No 5:00 PM Mass

Masses at 7:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 10:15 AM and 12:00 PM
* No 6:00 PM Mass

Traffic Flow on Easter

Due to the high volume of traffic on Easter Morning there will be modified traffic pattern. See the map below for more information.


Adoration During Lent

Jesus invites us to dwell within His Presence. And there to come to know the breadth and depth of His love, mercy and kindness that He shows to us. While it’s nice to read or study about the love and mercy of God, how radically different it is from experiencing His love and mercy.

So I invite you this Lenten season to carve out a few extra minutes every week to be still before God in our Adoration Chapel. Quiet your heart that you might hear His heart speak: Cor ad Cor. Heart to heart.

Yes, come with all your concerns and worries; come with all your hopes and desires; come with all your fears and unmet dreams; come with all your sin and what burdens you down; come as you are. But most importantly simply come with your heart. Place it all before Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. Quietly sit in His presence. Gaze upon Him as He tenderly gazes upon you. Listen to His quiet voice: Cor ad Cor.Heart to heart.
How blessed to experience the love of God in so intimate a way in our Adoration Chapel.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

“Jesus went up on a mountain by himself to pray.” (Matthew 14:22)

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

“My soul finds rest in God.” (Psalm 62:1)

In Christ,
Father Kevin Finnegan


You'll notice cards on the North Common's wall over the course of Lent.  We invite each of you to take one of these cards off the wall when you go to spend some time with our Lord in adoration.  There will be a basket in the chapel for you to leave the card after your visit.

Testimonies of Adoration

"Adoration gives me time to not only petition our Lord in peace, but also the silence to listen when he speaks to me." - Ben, Adorer for 4 months

"It is my one reliable chance each week to find silence, to be alone with God, and to ask Him to remind me of all that is good, and true, and beautiful in my life. I never regret going." - Karen, new adorer at Our Lady of Grace

“Adoration allows me to thank God for all the blessings He has given me.” - Dan, adorer for many years

“It's about him looking at me and me looking at him; undisturbed.” - Peter, adorer at Our Lady of Grace

“I get more out of Adoration than I put into it.” - Doug, adorer at Our Lady of Grace

“I love my hour, at the end of the day, to pray quietly, with no distractions. Just Jesus and me.” - Mary Jo, adorer for 15 years 

"Adoration helps to renew and re-energize me during a busy week.  It's a wonderful time to pray, reflect, and spend time with Jesus.   Although I've only been doing adoration for four months, I've fallen in love with it and highly recommend it to others." - Jason, adorer for 4 months

“I adore because it gives me personal and intimate time alone with Jesus.  No distractions. No agenda.  Just resting in His graces.” - Mary Jo, adorer at Our Lady of Grace

“I have been making visits to the Adoration Chapel for almost eleven years, sometimes only for a minute, other times longer than an hour. When I sufficiently quiet myself and humbly reach out to God during Adoration, he makes his presence known to me. I receive great peace and renewal.” - Julie, adorer at Our Lady of Grace

"Eucharistic adoration has been a great blessing in my life for the past 10 years.  It centers me each week and is a quiet respite from the rush of every day life.  I always feel more at peace and thankful at the completion of my hour." - Karen, adorer for 10+ years

“Adoration allows me to take everything from the past week -my successes, my shortcomings, my joys and my struggles- and give it all to Jesus. It is during this time that I receive gratitude, clarity, grace and peace.” - Tricia, adorer for 4 months

“Lately I've been struggling with my anxiety. I was researching meditation as a calming technique and then in mass Father Kevin spoke about the need/call/benefits for people to come and sign up for eucharistic adoration.  The Holy Spirit was telling me I should give adoration a try, even though I seem to busy to carve out an hour every week.  I just signed up!  I can't begin to tell you how fabulous the experience has been!  Being alone at peace with Jesus is exactly what I needed. Thank you Father Kevin and Holy Spirit for leading me to do this.” - Jill, new adorer

Holy Land Pilgrimage Recap - Part 1 of 3

Link to Part Two

Link to Part Three

by Father Neil

It all started with a visit from our school principal, Maureen Trenary, in early December asking about the details and the price of an upcoming pilgrimage I was going to be leading in March.  We both knew the Holy Spirit was at work on this project and that this was going to be a great adventure for everyone involved.  We received a grant from the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence which covered some of the cost, and had some very generous benefactor's who were interested in this great opportunity to reward and give these educators a new opportunity to experience our Lord's life up-close-and-personal!

After selecting 13 educators from Our Lady of Grace Catholic School to join me on this pilgrimage with 206 Tours, we began planning and meeting.  This was certainly going to be a trip they would NEVER forget!

DAY ONE - Traveling...and more traveling.

We arrived into Tel Aviv on Sunday, March 5th to a beautiful Sunset!  

After Mass and dinner, went for a walk along the Mediterranean Sea, to the ancient city of Jaffa, where we ran into a wonderful priest who gave us a private tour of Saint Peter's Church!  He was headed out to buy peanuts, and willingly took us in for a look around!

This is what the Church of Saint Peter looks like during the day.


After a good nights sleep, we awoke to a beautiful scene along the sea!

Caesarea Maritima

We departed Tel Aviv and headed north up the coast, to the Herodian city of Caesarea Maritima.  This ancient port city was built by Herod during 22-10 BC, and features a Roman theater, aqueduct, and hippodrome - a stadium for horse racing and chariot racing.

Remnants of the tile floor, in the original bathing pools of the Herodian palace.

Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery

North of Caesarea about 26 miles, is another ancient port city of Haifa.  It sits at the foot of a very large mountain range, atop which sits the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery.  This is where the Carmelite Monastery finds it's home, and the order claims it's roots. Located in this area is a cave where it is recorded in scripture that Elijah setup lodging (1 Kings 19:9-18).  Today, the Carmelites have a very beautiful Church located on this Mountain top!


On our way to Nazareth, we passed through the Jezreel Valley - a large, fertile plain and inland valley south of the Lower Galilee region.

Basilica of the Annunication

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary." - Luke 1:26-27

The Basilica of the Annunciation sits atop the cave where the Angel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary, our Mother, and the Word became flesh.  The first shrine was likely built sometime in the middle of the fourth century, but the current sturcture dates to 1969.

Many nations have sent mosaic images of the Annunciation scene to be displayed in this Church.  The one below is from Japan, and is comprised of real pearls.

The cave where the Angel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary and the Word became flesh.


We had Mass in the Chapel of Saint Joseph, built over the excavated workshop where Saint Joseph worked.  We celebrated the Mass of the Annunciation.  It was a beautiful Mass - Mrs. Deb Skinner, our music teacher, played the organ!

Near the workshop, an important discovery was made - they found a baptismal font, where many Christians in the first centuries of the Church would have been baptized!


Next, we went to Cana - the site of Jesus' first Miracle.  Here we offered to the married couples on the trip, the opportunity for them to renew their wedding vows.

"On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples." - John 2:1-2

DAY THREE - The Sea of Galilee

Getting up bright and early the next morning, we embarked on a morning boat cruise on the Sea of Galilee.

"And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." - Mark 4:37-39


Jesus first preached in the city of Capernaum, and began His public ministry in his area.  This is where He called his disciples Peter, Andrew, and James, and healed Peter's mother in-law.  Our tour guide told us a joke - "Why did Peter deny Jesus three time?  Because he healed His mother in-law!" :-)

Synagogue where Jesus first preached.

"The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?' So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.'  This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum." - John 6:52-59

The shore where Jesus called his disciples.

"And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” - Mark 1:16-17 

The city of Capernaum.

Many of the homes would be grouped into multi-units.

The home of Peter's mother in-law.

"And immediately he left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him of her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them. That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered together about the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him." - Mark 1:29-34


We celebrated the Mass of the Apostles - calling to mind how we are all unified under the headship of the Apostles in the Church, and how Jesus left us a Church and a mission to spread His Good News of Healing and Peace to all the world!

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves

"And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces." - Luke 9:16-17

We had fish for lunch.  Our Vice Principal Rikki loved it - head and all!  :-)

Primacy of Peter

"He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'  And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,§ and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ." - Matthew 16:15-20

Mount of the Beatitudes

"Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven....'" - Matthew 5:1-3

End of Day 3

...to be continued.  Onto part two!

Archdiocesan Reorganization Update from Archbishop Hebda

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

One year ago this month, Pope Francis bestowed on me the honor and responsibility of leading this Archdiocese. You may recall that it was a time of considerable uncertainty and unrest. We were trying to make sense of unspeakable harms that occurred over many decades. The abuse crisis had led to resignations, other personnel changes and legal challenges. There was a call for justice and a need for healing, reform and action.
Since arriving in our Archdiocese, I have come to know this local Church  and many of you  and I consider that a blessing. I want to take a few moments to offer some updates, seek your advice, and express my gratitude.

First, I can assure you that through consultation and purposeful corrective actions, and with an unwavering commitment to improve, we are together building a healthier, more responsive and more accountable local Church. Your prayers have undoubtedly been a huge part of that.
As you may recall, just over a year ago, the Archdiocese entered into a Settlement Agreement with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office relating to the protection of children. Since then, the Archdiocese has been periodically reporting on our progress in Ramsey County Court. Not only have we been found to have complied with the spirit and letter of the Agreement, but the Archdiocese has been commended for our cooperative work with the county attorney’s office - and others - to protect children.

Over the past few months, many of you have asked about our remaining legal challenge: bankruptcy. You want to know if the Archdiocese is doing everything it can to ensure that those who were harmed receive fair compensation. You have also asked how your parish and the entire local Church will survive this and continue with their missions.
I can assure you that our goal has been to provide fair compensation as soon as possible. We have liquidated possessions, sold buildings, collected other assets, and negotiated with insurance carriers. We have managed to gather more than $155 million, all with the hope of compensating claimants and finally bringing an end to the bankruptcy.

We know that those who have been harmed deserve justice sooner rather than later, and we realize that prolonged litigation works counter to our desire to maximize the amount available for victims because legal fees and costs, which are already substantial and grow the longer this goes on, reduce the proceeds available to victims. We also know how that the uncertainties of the ongoing litigation have made it difficult for many of our parishes and parishioners to stay focused on our mission. Please join me in praying that the matter might soon be brought to a resolution.

At the same time, I ask for your continued prayers for those who have suffered abuse. I can attest that many have suffered in silence for a long, long time. It may be someone sitting next to you at Mass, on the bus or a train, or at your family dining table. We want to create welcoming environments for those who have been harmed while embedding into our culture the changes necessary to create the safest possible environments for all.
If you know of a way that our Church could do more to help, please let me know. Reach out in whatever way is best for you. We want your advice. My contact information is at the bottom of this letter.

I thank you. We are, together, setting a new course. To be sure, we have much work ahead. But, through your efforts, this local Church is positioned to accomplish so many positive things and to continue the vital acts of service it performs every day. In taking stock of where we have been, where we are now and where we are headed, I am most grateful for our present opportunities. God willing  and with your help  we will continue moving toward a better future.

May God bless you and your families.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis


Feed My Starving Children Volunteer Opportunity

Our Lady of Grace is sponsoring a two-hour shift at Feed My Starving Children in Chanhassen on Monday, April 10th, 12:00 - 2:00 PM. April 10th is an early release day for the Edina schools, so here’s your answer for what to do with your bored children. This is a great family activity during Holy Week—an opportunity to help feed those who otherwise might go hungry. Please join us and know that you are making a difference in many lives. We are specifically in need of adult chaperones for this trip.

FMSC's mission 

Feeding God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit.

The Approach

"Our process is simple. Donations given by people just like you fund the meal ingredients. Volunteers hand-pack the meals. Meals are donated to FMSC food partners around the world, where kids are fed and lives are saved!" - FMSC

For more information or to sign up, contact:

Melissa Miller: melissamiller@olgparish.org
Sharon Hierlmaier: sharonhierlmaier@olgschool.net

Marian Consecration to Jesus Through Mary 4/11

Offered for 6 Tuesdays beginning April 11, 10:00 - 11:30 AM or 7:00 - 8:30 PM  and Saturdays beginning April 15, 10:00 - 11:30 AM in the Parish Library.

Mary's task is to give spiritual birth to Christians, to help us grow in holiness and form us into saints. Marian Consecration basically means" giving permission to Mary to do her work in us, which is truly the surest, easiest, shortest and most perfect means to becoming a saint" (St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary). 

Prayerfully consider joining us for 33 Days to Morning Glory: Preparation for Consecration to Jesus through Mary Fr. Michael Gaitley's book and DVD. Materials fee is $35.00. Consecration day is May 13, 2017, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in this 100th Anniversary year of the visitations.

 To reserve a spot or for more info, call or email Maureen Wong: 952-927-0089 or maureenw0089@gmail.com

Funeral Notice: Don Omodt

Sheriff Don Omodt is shown in 1989. Photo by: CHARLES BJORGEN, STAR TRIBUNE

Sheriff Don Omodt is shown in 1989. Photo by: CHARLES BJORGEN, STAR TRIBUNE

Don Omodt, Hennepin County’s longest-serving sheriff, died Friday at the age of 89.

Omodt, a native of St. Paul who most recently lived in Minneapolis, served as sheriff of the state’s most populous county for seven consecutive terms, from 1967 to 1994, according to the Sheriff’s Office. At age 66, he considered running for an eighth term, but changed his mind at the last minute, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

As the son of a St. Paul police detective, Omodt preached the importance of professionalism, and his rules sometimes earned him a reputation as a taskmaster among the rank and file.

“I insist on excellence and expect excellence,” he said in 1993, shortly after announcing his retirement. The motto “A public office is a public trust” guided his time in that role, according to a tribute written by his family.

Before his career with the Sheriff’s Office, Omodt served as in the Airborne division of the U.S. Army during World War II and Korean War eras. He worked as a special agent with the FBI and as an assistant Hennepin County attorney for seven years before running for sheriff in 1966.

During his 28-year tenure as sheriff, Omodt was also elected president of the National Sheriff’s Association, the Minnesota State Sheriff’s Association, the Metropolitan Sheriff’s Association and even the Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association.

Hennepin County Sheriff Don Omodt. ORG XMIT: aMTWHcJxGgt1iRnAuLf8

Hennepin County Sheriff Don Omodt. ORG XMIT: aMTWHcJxGgt1iRnAuLf8

Many current employees of the Sheriff’s Office joined under his leadership, according to the department.

At his retirement party at Minneapolis City Hall, Omodt was praised by staff members for aggressively adopting new technology to aid law enforcement, including computer-assisted dispatching and computerized photo-imaging of such records as mug shots.

“Sheriff Omodt took a Midwestern country sheriff’s office and developed it into one of the most respected law enforcement offices in the country,” inspector Michael Postle told the Star Tribune in 1994. “He developed in us a sense of pride, trust, history.”

As a local history buff who wrote extensively about the state and county, Omodt occupied the vacant basement office area of City Hall to do research. Upon retirement, he worked to sort through nearly 100 boxes of sheriff-related files, some of which he planned to donate to historical archives.

Raised a devout Catholic, Omodt graduated from St. Paul’s Cretin-Derham Hall in 1945 before attending the University of Minnesota. He earned his law degree at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and completed training at the FBI National Academy.

Omodt taught constitutional law and police tactics at Normandale Community College, and according to his family, also quietly volunteered his time at area charities, helping found the Arc Greater Twin Cities to support people with developmental disabilities.

He was also interested in family genealogy, serving proudly as a member of Torskeklubben, a club celebrating shared Norwegian heritage.

Omodt and his wife, Helen Ann, were known for opening their south Minneapolis home to strangers, often welcoming foster children, foreign exchange students and travelers over the years, according to the obituary written by his family.

He was preceded in death by his wife, who died in 2007, and a daughter, Debbie. He is survived by children Sue, Chris, Steven, Tom, Paul, Amy and Mark; his sister, Nancy Krawczak of Mahtomedi, and 14 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Our Lady Grace Catholic Church in Edina.

Holy Land Pilgrimage Recap - Part 2 of 3


We began with a winding drive up Mount Tabor, to the site of the Transfiguration - my favorite place in the Holy Land!

"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, 'Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.' For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, 'This is my beloved Son; listen to him.' And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only." - Mark 9:2-8

Church of the Transfiguration

"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.' He was still speaking, when behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.' When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, 'Rise, and have no fear.' And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only." - Matthew 17:1-8

"And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, 'Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.' And the disciples asked him, 'Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?' He replied, 'Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.' Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist." - Matthew 17:9-13

Camel Riding

In Jericho, we found a camel...and the teachers rode it.  :-)

Mount of the Temptation - Jericho

"And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.' And Jesus answered him, 'It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’" - Luke 4:1-4

Shepherd's Field - Bethlehem

We sang Christmas songs in the shepherd's cave...

"And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, 'Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.' - Luke 2:8-20

"When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.' And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." - Luke 2:15-20


Ein Karem - the village in Jerusaelm where Elizabeth lived, where Mary visited, and where John the Baptist was born.

Church of the Visitation

"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” - Luke 1:39-45

"And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.  He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.' And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home." - Luke 1:46-56

Church of the Nativity

"In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." - Luke 2:1-7

The spot inside the silver star denotes the place where Jesus was born.


In the Chapel of Saint Jerome, we celebrated the Mass of Christmas, and sang Christmas songs!  Saint Jerome spent 30 years translating the Bible here in Bethlehem, from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek.

The wall...

Bethlehem is in Palestine, which is surrounded by 500 miles of wall...built by Israel, funded completely by the United States, to keep Palestinian citizens from entering into Israeli territory.  Most of the 160,000 Christians that call Israel home, live in Palestinian territory, and many live in Bethlehem; behind this wall.

The wall restricts access to jobs, money, and opportuntity.


Church of the Pater Noster

"He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.' And he said to them, 'When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.'” - Luke 11:1-4

The cave, where it's thought that Jesus taught His disciples to pray the Our Father.

Overlooking Jerusalem

Dominus Flevit

We had a Mass at Dominus Flevit Church.  Dominus Flevit is Latin for, The Lord Wept.
"And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, 'Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.'” - Luke 19:41-44

The Church is shaped like a teardrop.

This is the view from just behind the altar

Garden of Gethsemane

"Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, 'Sit here, while I go over there and pray.' And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, 'My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.' And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'” - Matthew 26:36-39

This is thought to be the rock where Jesus sweat blood.

"And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, 'So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.' Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, 'My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.' And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, 'Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.' - Matthew 26:40-46

Tomb of Mary

This is a Greek Orthodox Church, which commemorates the death of Mary.  We, in the Latin Rite Church, do not believe that Mary died, but fell into a deep sleep called a dormition, and then was assumed body and soul into heaven.  There are some cool things in this Church, however...such as the Icons.  These two icons below are unique, because they show Jesus standing above Mary, who appears to be dead, and show Jesus holding the child Mary.  Typically we see Mary holding the child Jesus...  This new image symbolizes the protection Jesus has for Mary in her death (Greek) / dormition (Latin). and that He has the power to take her now to Heaven.

The Upper Room

"Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' And he took a chalice, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.'” - Matthew 26:26-29

The original room was destroyed, but a Church was built on the site during the Crusader period.

Today, the building is a muslim mosque.

There is a pillar remaining from the crusader Church, which shows two infant pelicans (the symbols of Christ...or Christians) feeding from their mothers flesh.

Church of the Dormition of Mary

The Church that commemorates the dormition (falling asleep) of our Blessed Mother, before being assumed body and soul into heaven!

Saint Peter in Gallicantu

"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, 'You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.' Peter declared to him, 'Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.' Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.' Peter said to him, 'Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.' And so said all the disciples." - Matthew 26:30-35

"Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a maid came up to him, and said, 'You also were with Jesus the Galilean.' But he denied it before them all, saying, 'I do not know what you mean.' And when he went out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, 'This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.' And again he denied it with an oath, 'I do not know the man.' After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, 'Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.' Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, 'I do not know the man.' And immediately the cock crowed.  And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, 'Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.' And he went out and wept bitterly." - Matthew 26:69-75

"Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' Jesus said to him, 'You have said so.' But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer. Then Pilate said to him, 'Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?' But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge; so that the governor wondered greatly." - Matthew 27:11-14

Western Wall

The Western Wall is a small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, left over from the Second Jewish Temple, built by Herod the Great.  It is considered Holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount.  It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries; a place for mourning the destruction of the temple.

...to be continued. Onto part three!

Holy Land Pilgrimage Recap - Part 3 of 3



"Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.' Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.' Martha said to him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.' Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?' She said to him, 'Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.' - John 11:17-27

"Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.' When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and he said, 'Where have you laid him?' They said to him, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept. So the Jews said, 'See how he loved him!' But some of them said, 'Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?' - John 11:32-37

"When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out.' The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, 'Unbind him, and let him go.' - John 11:43-44


Celebrated in the crusader chapel, dating from the 14th century.  We celebrated the Mass of the raising of Lazarus.

Deb Skinner rides a camel!

The fruit in Israel is fantastic!

Jordan River

We went down to the Jordan River and renewed our baptismal promises.


This is the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest manuscripts we have of the Old Testament.


Via Dolorosa - The Stations of the Cross

4:30am wake-up call, in order to get started with the stations at 5:30am, so that we could avoid all the cramped street traffic, and shop owners which would soon be occupying the space, along the path to Calvary.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you - because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

As the sun rose, we approached the final stations, which are located inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The site of clavary.  You can see the rock, on which Jesus was crucified, just below the glass.

The Tomb of Jesus

"When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb." - Matthew 27:57-61

The final station is in the tomb - where Jesus was laid after He was lowered from the cross.

This is a newly installed window, that allows you to view the actual rock of the tomb where Jesus was laid!


We were extremely fortunate to be able to have Mass in the Tomb.  I celebrated the High, Chanted Latin Mass for the Franciscans, which was a great honor and priviledge.

It was Easter Mass, of course!  HE HAS RISEN!

Day of Mercy: 3/22/17 UPDATED WITH PHOTOS

Wednesday, March 22, 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Soup Supper in the Dining Room

Last year, a woman left our Day of Mercy beaming. She said she “felt light as a feather.” Reconciliation can do that. We all want to be in right relationship with each other and with God—and sometimes we need to stop and mindfully consider what we have done or left undone that needs forgiveness.

Sin is a tricky thing. Sometimes we are fully aware that we crossed the line, we did something thoughtlessly or perhaps even intentionally hurtful. We let our lesser selves exact some petty revenge on another, we gossiped because the news was too scandalously delicious not to share, we put ourselves and our own needs and desires above everyone else, even God.

But other times, we dance with the “sin of omission”, perhaps we knew our action could make a difference for good and we simply didn’t bother to help. We ignore the nudging of the Holy Spirit in our life; we don’t mindfully offer our life each day to our God. We act as if we are in charge and only touch base with God when things go astray.

Asking for God’s mercy through reconciliation has a way of lightening our load. It sets us on a straight path again and helps us realign our life and our heart with God.

Maybe reconciliation is a part of your weekly worship experience. Maybe you haven’t considered reconciliation since fourth grade. Either way, join us. We will have plenty of resources handy to guide you through the process. Come encounter the healing mercy of God!

Our Lenten Day of Reconciliation is Wednesday, March 22nd. Come by anytime between 1:00 PM-9:00 PM. Our Stephen Ministry Team will welcome you and help you navigate the process if this is a homecoming for you. We’ll even feed you! We are offering a simple soup supper after reconciliation in the Dining Room.

Lent is the time to prepare our hearts. Make straight our paths. Join us for the Day of Mercy.