Letter from the Pastor April 14

Dear Friends –

I am writing this Friday from the Holy City of Jerusalem.  Sr. Elizabeth and I and 8 parishioners (Aggie and Dave Sunderman, Joe Wasiak and Katherin Kjos, Genevieve Gallardo, Carol Ambroziak, Pat Kambourian, and Jane Butler, as well as a UofA Alum and 3 friends from other places have been here for several days on the first part of our pilgrimage.  Most of our time to this point has been in the north tracing the footsteps of the Holy Family and Jesus in the region of Galilee.  This morning we celebrated Mass in the Church at Cana in Galilee that commemorates Jesus’ first miracle at a wedding.  It is customary there for married pilgrims to renew their marriage vows.  I was happy to renew the vows of David and Aggie and Joe and Katherin.  We have also celebrated Masses on Mt. Carmel and the Mount of Beatitudes at this point.  A real highlight if the trip for all of us was our excursion out on the Sea of Galilee by wooden boat.  It was even a  special treat for me since I took no such trip during my previous sojourn in the Holy Land.  My love for this place, especially the Holy sites has been renewed and it is wonderful to share these sites with beloved friends and parishioners.

We have only just arrived in Jerusalem having come by way of the Judean Desert and Jericho – the same route Jesus and the Holy Family would have taken to avoid Samaritan territory.  Our adventure in and around the Holy City begin tomorrow.

Prior to my departure for this trip, I spent the weekend on the 1st Wildcat Awakening Retreat.  The Retreat was a raging success and I am immensely proud of the 9 students from the UofA who made up the Wildcat Awakening 1 team: Herman Johannesmeyer, Will Roddy, Sofia Battaglia, Luke Huffaker, Lindsay Wilson, Stephanie Guzman,  Jimmy Fagan, Lauren Shores, and Devan Keller.  They worked very hard and their work paid off beautifully.  I look forward to the fruit that the Wildcat Awakenign Retreat will bear in the Future.

All things being equal, I should be back in Tucson Friday and back to celebrate and preach masses next weekend.  Please pray for our safe travel and return.

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