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Magdala – Ancient Palestine

Join Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox for a virtual journey to the ancient city of Magdala on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Tradition tells us that Jesus and the Apostles visited this fishing port and that Christ preached at the 1st century synagogue, the ruins of which were discovered in 2009.

Our journey to this crossroads of Jewish & Christian history will include:

  • a visit to the ancient ruins of the synagogue, town market, and Duc in Altum church
  • descriptions of the Sacred Art located in the chapels of the church
  • a reflection on the stone pavement where Jesus walked and encountered the Hemorrhaging Woman
  • a look at St. Mary Magdalene and what we can learn from her example

Jewel for the Journey:
The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.         — St. Gianna Molla

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Church of Pater Noster – Jerusalem

Come along with Robert Rodriguez & Angela Sealana to a holy site on the Mount of Olives where Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. During this program:

  • learn about the significance of the Mount of Olives in the public ministry of Jesus Christ
  • we will look at the Scriptural references to the moment and place our Lord taught the Apostles the Lord’s Prayer
  • you will learn about the history of the exact site, a cave grotto, where Jesus shared the Our Father, praying it in Aramaic
  • We will delve into the meaning of this beautiful prayer and how it relates to our daily lives

Upper Room – Jerusalem

Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox as they guide you on a spiritual pilgrimage to the Upper Room, the holy place where early Christians received the Holy Spirit.  This is also the site where the Universal Church was born on Pentecost. During this program you will:

  • virtually travel to this sacred destination in the southwestern area of Jerusalem
  • reflect on the important events that took place here, including Pentecost – the birth of the Universal Church
  • gain a new appreciation for the Holy Eucharist and for the Catholic Church
  • learn about how the events that took place in the Upper Room relate to you today

Jewel for the Journey:
He pours light into our minds, arouses our desire and gives us strength. He gives us light, that we may see; rouses us, that we may will; strengthens us that we may bring about the good which we desire. From His richness our tears spring, through it our minds know compunction, our sins are confessed. As the soul is the life of the body, so the Holy Spirit is the life of our souls.— St. Peter Damian

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Church of St. Peter’s Primacy

This week on Journeys of Hope, we’re journeying to the Sea of Galilee’s shoreline where Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” and charged him with the care of the early Church. Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox for this special spiritual pilgrimage to a place of mercy and healing.

 During this hour – we will:

  • Describe how this spot looked at the time of Christ and how it is today
  • Look at the scripture story that refers to this site (John 21) about the miraculous catch of fish, Jesus cooking breakfast for the disciples, the meaning of the charcoal fire, and Jesus addressing Peter directly for the first time since his denial.
  • Apply this to our everyday life.

Jewel for the Journey:
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know him and to speak to others of our friendship with him.         – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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St. Helena Chapel – Holy Sepulcher Church

This week on Journeys of Hope, we’re journeying to Jerusalem where the Cross of Christ was discovered by the mother of Emperor Constantine, St. Helena! Join Angela Sealana & Robert Rodriguez for this timely and meaningful visit to what is the holiest site in all of Christendom.

 During this hour – we will:

  • Learn about Constantine the Great and the story of how his devout mother, Helena, discovered the Cross of Christ in Jerusalem
  • We’ll take you inside the ancient Chapel of St. Helena built on the spot, which is part of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
  • & look at the hope for healing and freedom that this story teaches us for our lives today.

Jewel for the Journey:
May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of His glorious day. A day that knows no end.
– Pope Francis, from his Urbi et Orbi Easter 2020 message

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… Listen to the archived audio recording on our website, ASAP!

When I First Kissed the Empty Tomb

Looking into the inner chamber of the Tomb of Christ in the modern day; on the right is the place where his Body was laid

We are in the Easter Season – the Catholic Church’s 50-day liturgical season. It’s a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and it’s my favorite season in the Church’s calendar year. The scripture readings proclaimed every day during Mass are about Jesus’ resurrection, his apparitions before his ascension to heaven, his promises, and the beginning of the early Church. It also reminds me of the Holy Land.

When Tom and I first traveled to Jerusalem several years ago, we were searching to learn more about the land of the Bible, about the land where Jesus walked. While in Jerusalem, we were able to attend Mass in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher that is built over the Tomb of Christ, Calvary, and the surrounding area. After Mass, we had the opportunity to enter a large marble edifice built over the ancient tomb of Jesus. Upon entering, there is a small chamber called the Chamber of the Angel, where the angel stood and addressed Mary Magdalene and the others, “He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (Matthew 28:6). Then you must bow very low to enter a smaller area where five persons can fit in tightly. To your right, you see the place where the body of Jesus was placed, wrapped in linen cloth.

Edifice surrounding the Tomb of Christ

Here is where Jesus was raised from the dead, where the resurrection occurred! You can imagine the feelings we felt as we touched this place, and recalled the Gospel stories in our minds. We knelt and kissed where his body laid, we placed our arms on this stone slab, and thanked God for this moment! We thanked God for allowing us to kiss his empty tomb. I remember thinking, “Lord, you know we are here!” It was as if time stood still for us both, recalling what occurred there 2,000 years ago! What indeed occurred there affected us and millions of others.

Even after visiting the Holy Land numerous times, leading pilgrims on pilgrimages; our time spent in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is always a highlight, as it would be for any Christian! Our pilgrim groups have Mass in the Tomb, we read the resurrection story from the Gospel, we pray, and we receive Eucharist in the Tomb. After leaving the Tomb, we are filled with great joy, with peace. Does it remain with us? Yes! If we continue to follow him in our daily lives.

When I am distraught, or experiencing a trial; I remember my time in the empty Tomb! I will call upon the Risen Lord and recall my time in his empty tomb and other sites in the Holy Land where he lived.

Whenever you need to be reminded of his presence under dire circumstances, think about your favorite scripture story, or a spiritual experience that reminds you of his presence.


Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Via Crucis – Jerusalem

Join Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox as they retrace the Via Crucis – the Way of the Cross – in the Old City of Jerusalem in the Holy Land. For over 1,000 years, the Christian faithful have traced the path that tradition says Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion.

During this program we will take you to the former Antonia Fortress, commemorate each of the 14 Stations of the Cross which concludes at Calvary in the Church of the Holy Seplchre. Our discussion will also:

  • Draw attention to the suffering & death of Jesus
  • Talk about when the Stations became a familiar feature in every Catholic church
  • Mention how the Via Crucis serves as a substitute pilgrimage
  • How the Way of the Cross relates to the life of every person

Jewel for the Journey:
The Way of the Cross alone defeats sin, evil and death, for it leads to the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection and opens the horizons of a new and fuller life. It is the way of hope, the way of the future. Those who take up this way with generosity and faith give hope and a future to humanity.
– Pope Francis

Additional Materials:

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Milk Grotto – Bethlehem

This week Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox will take a virtual pilgrimage to Milk Grotto, not far from the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square in Bethlehem. Officially called Magharet Sitti Mariam or the Grotto of the Lady Mary, tradition holds that the Holy Family took refuge in this grotto (hollowed out of limestone) on their way to Egypt as they were fleeing the Slaughter of the Innocents.

It is believed that while nursing the infant Jesus a few drops of Mary’s milk fell upon the yellowish-brown stone and turned it to white. During this program you will learn more about this sacred destination and why it is frequented by new mothers and women who are trying to conceive.

Jewel for the Journey:
Christmas isn’t just a temporal celebration or the memory of a beautiful event; Christmas is more…Christmas is an encounter!  — Pope Francis

Link to Guardian of the Redeemer – St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation on St. Joseph:
http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_15081989_redemptoris-custos.html

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Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org for more information.

Cana at Galilee – Holy Land

Join Deacon Tom Fox & Robert Rodriguez as they travel to Kafr Cana in the Galilee-region of the Holy Land. This is the site confirmed by the Vatican as Cana of Galilee where the Wedding Feast and changing of water into wine took place.

During this program you will also discover:

  • what one will encounter when visiting the site on pilgrimage
  • the significance of the Wedding at Cana in the public ministry of Jesus
  • the symbolism connected to Christ’s first miracle
  • insights from the Church, Saints, and Popes

Jewel for the Journey:
Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family – a domestic church.  — St. Pope John Paul II

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Journeys With the Living Stones – Capernaum

Come on a spiritual journey with Robert Rodriguez and guest Eddie Reyes, as they travel to Capernaum – the home of Jesus during the last three years of his public ministry. This thriving fishing port on the Sea of Galilee is where Jesus called five of the Apostles.

During this episode of our mini-series Journeys With the Living Stones you will also discover:

  • The Home of St. Peter, where Jesus resided
  • The 1st century synagogue where Jesus preached
  • The Scripture related to this Holy Site, including the Bread of Life discourse (cf. John 6: 22-59)
  • The significant miracles Jesus performed here

Jewel for the Journey:
It is written: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” — Matthew 4:4

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Visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org for more information.