December 20, 2022 – January 11, 2023
Three Weeks: One week in the Holy Land and two weeks in Rome
In our new Domus Winter Program, we are offering an opportunity to spend one week in the Holy Land and two weeks in Rome. This is a journey that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime, that is, to be in the Heart of the Holy Land at Christmas and in Rome and Assisi for the Christmas season. The Holy Land tour will be conducted by a priest assigned by the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, an office of the Diocese of Rome, a ministry of the Holy See.
You will arrive in Rome on Tuesday, December 20. After a day of rest, you will depart for Tel Aviv on Thursday, December 22, and return to Rome from Tel Aviv on Tuesday, December 29. You will spend December 29 to January 11 in the Eternal City and Assisi.
December 22: ROME – TEL AVIV – NAZARETH.
Departure with direct flight from Rome to Tel Aviv. Arrival at Ben Gurion airport. Transfer to Nazareth. Hotel accommodation in Nazareth.
December 23: MOUNT TABOR – CANA – NAZARETH.
In the morning an ascent to Mount Tabor to visit the Sanctuary, recalling the Transfiguration. Then a stop in Cana. In the afternoon a visit in Nazareth: the Basilica of the Annunciation with the archaeological Museum; the Church of St. Joseph, the house of the Holy Family, the Orthodox church of St. Gabriel, where the “Fountain of Mary” is found.
December 24: THE LAKE OF TIBERIAS – CAPHARNAUM – MAGDALA
Departure for the Lake of Tiberias, where Jesus accomplishes his work of evangelization, calling the first disciples and healing the sick; climb to the Mount of the Beatitudes, recalling the “Sermon on the Mount”; a visit to Capharnaum and the house of Peter and the synagogue; at Tabgha the Benedictine church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fish and the Franciscan Church of the Primacy of Peter. Crossing of the lake by boat. In the afternoon, Magdala in memory of Mary Magdalene, disciple of Jesus. Continue on to Bethlehem where there is the hotel accommodation (there is room in the inn!)
December 25: BETHLEHEM – AIN KAREM
In the morning, in the Basilica of the Nativity, a visit to the grotto of the birth of Jesus and participation in the Solemn Mass of Christmas. Visit to the Field of the Shepherds. On to Ain Karem to the Church of the Birth of St. John the Baptist and the Sanctuary of the Visitation where Mary pronounced her Magnificat. Visit to the Garden of the Just (Yad Vashem). Return to Bethlehem.
December 26: MASADA – JERICHO – DEAD SEA
Departure in the morning for Masada, the plateau on the edge of the Judean desert, transformed into a fortress by Herod the Great. Here from 70 to 74 A.D. Zealots offered resistance to the Roman army. Ascent by cable car for a visit of the archaeological site where there are found the spectacular royal palace and the church of Byzantine monks. Pass through Jericho and renewal of baptismal promises at Qasr el Yahud, the sight of the baptism of Jesus. Break at the Dead Sea. Return to Bethlehem.
December 27: JERUSALEM
In the morning, transfer to Jerusalem for a visit of Mount Sion: the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, recalling the denial of Peter; the Cenacle, with the reading of the Gospel account of the Last Supper and of Pentecost; the Church of the Dormition of Mary. Walk through the Jewish Quarter to the Kotel, the Western Wall of the Temple. In the afternoon a visit to the Church of St. Anne and the Pool of Bethesda. Continue along the Stations of the Via Dolorosa, from the Church of the Flagellation to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. Return to Bethlehem.
December 28: JERUSALEM
In the morning climb to the Esplanade of Mosques (conditions of security permitting) and continue to the Mount of Olives; descent on foot from the panoramic terrace to Gethsemane, passing by the Church of Dominus Flevit. Reading of the account of the Passion of the Lord in the Grotto of Gethsemane and in the Basilica of the Agony, remembering the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Olives. Visit to the Orthodox crypt with the Tomb of Mary. In the afternoon, in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, prayer with the Gospels of the Resurrection. Return to Bethlehem.
December 29: BETHLEHEM – TEL AVIV – ROME
Transfer to the Ben Gurion Airport passing by Emmaus Nicopolis (depending on the flight schedule). Departure with direct flight to Rome.
(The program is subject to change without modifying the proposed visits.)
ROME AND ASSISI with Sister M. Regina Pacis, FSGM
Designed as a pilgrimage, the program will include:
A papal audience with His Holiness, Pope Francis; a Sunday Angelus in St. Peter Square decorated with a life-size nativity scene and a huge Christmas tree.
The Basilica of Saint Mary Major where the first Christmas Eve Mass in the western world was celebrated. In the confessional below the main altar there are pieces of the original manger. Displayed in the museum of the Basilica is the oldest permanent presepio or nativity scene, carved in the late 13th century, a commission for the first Jubilee Year in 1300.
The Basilica and Convent of Saints Cosmas and Damian, locale for the General Curia of the T.O.R. Friars, where we will see one of the largest Neapolitan-style nativity scenes that dates to the 18th century.
The Church of the Ara Coeli and the statue (made of wood from Gethsemane) of the Santo Bambino. We find here also the relics of St. Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother, who played a significant role in building the churches at Bethlehem and on the Mount of Olives, and the one who found the True Cross on which Christ was crucified.
Holy Mass in various churches throughout Rome and visits to the four Major Basilicas.
Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill, the Mother Church of the Dominican Order. The Church of Saint Anselm on the Aventine Hill together with the adjoining monastery that form the Primatial Abbey of the Benedictine Order.
The Colonnade of St. Peter’s Square where 100 presepi, nativity scenes, from all over Italy and other parts of the world are on display.
Two nights and three days in Assisi, the city of St. Francis, who invented the first living Nativity Scene in history. Here we will visit:
The exhibition: “All nativity scenes of the World” in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
The Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare.
The monumental crib in the meadow of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi with human size terracotta figures, the huge Christmas fir tree at the entrance of the Lower Basilica, and the artistic works that every year the Italian region chosen to honor the Patron of Italy gives to the Convent.
The tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the one-time cathedral of Assisi. His beatification took place in Assisi on June 10, 2020 in the Basilica of St. Francis.
Attend a Christmas concert.
The cost for the program is $2,500 and includes lodging and meals; travel to and from the Holy Land; transportation in the Holy Land, Rome, and Assisi; and guided tour and admission costs. Travel to and from the program is not included. A $500 deposit will be due upon registration. The deadline for registration is September 1, 2022. Final payment will be due by November 1, 2022. All payments should be made payable to the CMSWR.
This program is open to all CMSWR communities. The Program is supported in part by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.