Rimon gave the group the morning free to pack and prepare for the long day and night ahead. All the bags were ready to go at noon, as well as the pilgrims. We loaded the luggage onto the bus, then walked across the street to St. George’s Anglican Cathedral for our closing Eucharist.
Our first bus stop was scheduled to be the Israel Museum, but they closed early for the Feast of Purim, so we had to readjust. We went to see the viewpoint from the highest peak in the area, where there is a place revered as the burial place of Samuel, though Rimon gave convincing arguments why the place could not be the real burial place of Samuel. Regardless, the panoramic view from the place is unmatched, and there is both synagogue and a mosque there. There are also the remains of what used to be a church, and Rimon talked the guard into opening up for us to see the church.
Then we drove to Emmaus and entered the beautiful monastery and church there. We had a short time to enjoy the beautiful church and grounds. There is an ancient spring here that we saw in the crypt. It would be a place where pilgrims travelling to and from Jerusalem would stop because of the water access. It is also a place where notorious robberies and ransoms took place when the Franciscans would be transporting funds raised to help the Holy Land.
Then we visited another church and convent known originally as Kyriat Yearim, built on the area where the Ark of the Covenant had been kept for twenty years in Old Testament history (1 Samuel 5; 2 Samuel 6). The church there is known as Notre Dame Arche D’Alliance. It has a large sculpture on the top of the church with Mary holding up the child Jesus, who is elevating the Eucharistic host.
And then we moved on to our farewell dinner at a local restaurant where we toasted each other, Romin, and our driver Faris. Romin showed us a hard copy of the magazine in which he is featured this month.
Following dinner, we made it to the airport, and after the various security checks, we all made it to the gate on time. Our flight departed on time at 11: 10pm, arriving in Newark the following morning (Saturday) at 4:20am. (We see snow all around as the sun rises, though the skies are clear. The temperature is a crisp 11 degrees.) Then, after customs and immigration in Newark, we transferred to our flight to West Palm Beach, which departs Newark at 8:16am and arrives into West Palm Beach at 11:23am. We stopped along the way and did a prayer circle to send off our new St. Joseph’s friend Joan from Alabama who had been with us on the pilgrimage. I am sure we will see her at St. Joseph’s sometime in the near future. We will call those who are picking up passengers once we have the luggage at PBI.
United Flight 3450 departs Newark at 8:16am and arrives at 11:23am into West Palm Beach.
Thanks to all who volunteered to drive the pilgrims home from West Palm Beach airport on Saturday. It looks like everyone is covered, as long as Charley Goodrich and Gary Matthews can still pick up. If that is the case, then we do not need Larry Ciancolo, Bob LeNeve, Dennis Paul, or Tad Knutsen to pick up.
(Charley and/or Gary – if either of you is unable to drive, could you please contact one of the aforementioned volunteers to take your place?
Larry Ciancolo – 963-9213
Bob LeNeve 732-8496
Charlie Goodrich 968-8698 or 789-3335
Dennis Paul 441-5278
Gary Matthews: 518-253-2138)
Below is who is scheduled to be picked up by whom:
Mary Aperavich – husband Terry
Kay Baker – riding with Pedics
Karen Bice – husband Tim
Gail Drane – son Mickey
John Eastham – son Erik
Mary Lou Eastham – son Erik
Colleen Fritts – riding with Sara Schelong
Marty Knight – neighbor Phyllis
Joan Kogelschatz – flying direct to Alabama
Lu Ann Langley – daughter MacKenzie
Eloise Lee – husband Winsor
Charlotte Lees – with Leila Marconi’s friend
Bob Lees – with Leila Marconi’s friend
Leila Marconi – friend Jim McDonald
Barbara MacKenzie – with Gail’s son Mickey
Katherine Metzger – Chris Metzger
Carrie Miessau – Jerry Guthrie
Chris Pedic – husband Tony
Rochelle Prince – husband Rel
Sara Schelong – left car at airport
Bobbie Smith – with Carrie
Linda Sorenson – with Ann Vertrees
Sherry Thomas – with Metzgers
Judy Vandemark – friend Bill
Anne Vertrees – sister
Need rides from PBI to St. Joseph’s:
Elaine Christman – Gary Matthews (1 bag plus carry on)
Joan Fox – Charlie Goodrich (1 bag plus carry on)
Pat Lyren – Charlie Goodrich (1 bag plus carry on)
Dee Zlatic – Gary Matthews (2 bags plus carry on)
Marty Zlatic – Gary Matthews (2 bags plus carry on)
We will call Gary and Charlie once we have our luggage if you want to wait in the cell phone waiting area.