Two priest from the Diocese of Davenport and the 27 pilgrims they are leading on pilgrimage Oct. 2-13 in Israel were unaffected by the violence that erupted in southern Israel on Oct. 7.
Father Paul Appel, pastor of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton, and Father Ben Snyder, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf, are the pilgrimage’s leaders. Lourdes pastor Father Jason Crossen said he has been in contact daily with the priests and travel agency, even before war broke out primarily near the Gaza Strip. The priests and their pilgrims were north of the violence, in the areas of Jerusalem and Nazareth.
The priests have seen a few fighter jets flying overhead but otherwise have not observed signs of the violence. In an update Oct. 10, Father Crossen said the travel agency expected to move 19 of the pilgrims to the Jordanian border Oct. 10 after a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Fathers Appel and Snyder, along with eight other pilgrims, planned to complete the pilgrimage.
“Keep praying for peace in the Holy Land and the safety of comfort of travelers,” Father Crossen said.