Persons, places and things: Join us for a Holy Land pilgrimage


By Barb Arland-Fye


Bishop Thomas Zinkula and Deacon Matt Levy are leading The Catholic Messenger Pilgrimage to the Holy Land — Sept. 22-Oct. 1, 2024 — and invite you to join us!

We will visit Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Nazareth, Cana, Tiberias, Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Mount Tabor, Jerusalem, Ein Karem, Bethlehem, Qumran, Jericho, the Dead Sea, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and the Holy Sepulcher.

Deacon Levy, who serves Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire and Church of Visitation Parish in Camanche, has led pilgrimages over the years to the Holy Land. The 2024 pilgrimage “coincides with the year of the National Eucharis­tic Congress. There is perhaps no better place on this planet to experience this gift than the place it all started, in the Holy Land,” he said.

Bishop Zinkula

“Bishop Zinkula is offering this pilgrimage so that the faithful in our diocese can experience all the holy sites we read about and hear proclaimed in the Gospel. The meditations on the mysteries of our faith, which we pray in the rosary, will come alive for pilgrims on this journey,” Deacon Levy said.

“We will walk with Jesus on the Sea of Galilee, where he introduced his disciples to a new way of thinking and, at the same time, we will reflect on the beauty of God’s creation. We will visit where angels spoke to Joseph and Mary, where disciples were transformed, where sacred bread was broken and precious blood was poured out for us in Jesus’ passion.”

“We will see the places where Our Lord was born and laid in a manger and place our hands on the rock of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. Our hands will touch the stones that Our Lord touched as he prayed at the temple and we will walk where he was laid to rest before his resurrection.”

Pilgrims will depart for the Holy Land on Sept. 22, 2024 from Quad Cities International Airport in Moline, Illinois. After arrival in Tel Aviv on Day 2, we will drive up to Galilee for dinner and overnight accommodations. On Day 3, we travel to Nazareth and Cana. On Day 4, we will visit the Sea of Galilee.

Dcn. Levy

Caesarea and Jerusalem are the focus of our pilgrimage on Day 5 and Bethlehem and Ein Karem on Day 6. Ein Karem is the village where St. John the Baptist was born. On Day 7, we visit Jerusalem where on the Mount of Olives we take in a “breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem,” Deacon Levy said. On the upper part of Mount Zion, we will visit the Upper Room, where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples.

On Day 8, our pilgrimage travels to Masada and then to the Dead Sea. Time and weather permitting, we may have the opportunity to float in the Dead Sea, the lowest and saltiest place on earth. Next, on Day 9, we will walk together in prayerful procession along the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross). We will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which marks the place of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. We will go to the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 C.E. Our journey includes a stop at Yad Vashem, the memorial to the Holocaust. On Day 10, we return home.

Register online for the pilgrimage at messenger. You can also contact Danielle at 206 Tours:  Cost for the pilgrimage is $5,576 per person. Make reservations now because of space limitations.

(Contact Editor Barb Arland-Fye at

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