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Thank you for following my pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  This was a unique opportunity to explore my personal relationship with Jesus Christ in a new and vivid way by tracing his steps in the Holy Land.

I tell our students at Open Houses and at Freshman Convocation that I hope that they will find – as St. Ignatius Loyola did – that life is all about a relationship with God and it is the process of exploring that relationship that brings about a transformation in human beings.  I’ve always believed that to be true, but the experiences of the past week have confirmed it for me again.

The Sea of Galilee

I have tried to make these reflections something more than just a travelogue.  There is no doubt that the places we visited and the things that we saw were an important part of the experience.  We had the opportunity to see the places where Jesus actually lived, walked, preached, healed, died and rose from the dead.  We learned that not every single detail can be pinned down with absolute certainty and a certain amount of it is part of the wonderful mystery of our faith.  But, in the end, I am left with a much better appreciation of Jesus as fully human and fully divine.

Jerusalem at sunset

When our Canisius students go on retreats or service or immersion trips, we warn them at the end that it is very likely that they will be flooded with emotions because of the intensity of the experience.  I am no different, and in addition to the emotions, I’m left with some essential questions that Fr. Jim Martin posed to us on the last day of the pilgrimage:

-Where did I meet God on this journey and where did God move me?

-What did I learn about Jesus on this journey and how am I closer to him?

-What do all of these experiences mean and what difference will they make in my life?

These are lifetime questions.  No matter how holy or significant the site you visit may be, it’s never a “one and done” proposition.  Our relationship with God needs to be a lifetime journey.  Stay tuned!

Submitted by: Marketing and Communication