March 20, 2015

Pilgrims reflect on visit to Jerusalem

After walking the Way of the Cross in Old City Jerusalem on Feb. 11, pilgrims pose on steps that used to lead to the Chapel of Golgotha in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

After walking the Way of the Cross in Old City Jerusalem on Feb. 11, pilgrims pose on steps that used to lead to the Chapel of Golgotha in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

“When we had Mass at the Garden [of Gethsemane], when I went in and was able to touch the rock that he suffered on and agonized over, it brought the whole thing to life.”
—Anne Kuhn, a member of St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis
 

“Looking at the steps that Jesus actually walked, I stood and stared at that for a very, very long time, just knowing that he walked those steps. It was very powerful.”
—Sheila Dropcho, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis
 

“Seeing the Our Father written in so many languages was just amazing. Our guide Tony read the Our Father in Hebrew and in Chaldean, the oldest language. That was so impressive.”
—Gloria Lieb, a member of St. John Vianney Parish in Fishers in the Diocese of Lafayette, Ind.
 

“I think the celebration of the Eucharist on the top of Golgotha was a moving experience for all of us. I could sense it among the people, and I could certainly feel it myself.”
—Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin
 

“I’m at a loss of words, to know that we stood on the place where Jesus was crucified. I just kept thinking, ‘If I had lived then, would I have stood by the cross there with the women, or would I have fled?’ ”
—Katie Rushing, a member of SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral Parish in Indianapolis
 

“The Way of the Cross was not what I expected. It was just a crowded marketplace that we were walking through. People were bumping into us, and some people were annoyed that we were there and shooting us looks. I imagine that [part] was more authentic because people were spitting on Jesus and cursing him and calling him names.”
—Cathy Flood, a member of St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg
 

“It was exciting to see where Mary delivered and then placed Jesus in the manger. It was thrilling to be there. It says something to your heart to go there and then go back home to Nativity Parish.”
—Betty Schmidt, a member of Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Indianapolis
 

“The last week has been amazing. I was unsure about coming [on the pilgrimage] because it isn’t like your usual vacation, but it’s been awesome, especially getting time to spend with my family.”
—Elizabeth “Lizzy” Maher, a member of SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral Parish in Indianapolis
 

“Most inspiring was just going into the churches, sitting and meditating. They’re all so beautiful. I’m so thankful I was able to come.”
—Joann Pierotti, a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Wanatah in the Diocese of Gary, Ind.
 

“It’s almost overwhelming to think we were at the place where Jesus was buried. I’ll never look at Easter the same again.”
—Joni Greulich, a member of St. Simon Parish in Indianapolis
 

“[The Chapel of the Tomb in the Holy Sepulcher] was a special place, but what I was thinking was, ‘He’s resurrected. He’s not here.’ ”
—Larry Dougherty, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis
 

“The word ‘awesome’ is overworked these days, but that was really a feeling of being in awe, standing there [in the empty tomb]. Knowing that the mysteries we were celebrating on that altar were the mysteries of the cross and the empty tomb.”
—Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin
 

“The whole pilgrimage we were witnesses to the archbishop, and Father Joe [Newton], too, as our leader and servant, both leading and serving us. I think it strengthens our kindness toward each other to see that in our leaders. I think that added a lot to the pilgrimage.”
—Sheila Sterrett, a member of St. Lawrence Parish in Indianapolis

 

Related story: Life for Catholics in Holy Land involves persecution and economic hardship

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