Interior panoramic of the Church of the Visitation

Joyful Mysteries

THE ANNUNCIATION Our pilgrimage leader, Fr. Kratz OFM, made sure to incorporate the Rosary daily into the common prayers of the whole group.  The Brothers were already accustomed to praying the Rosary daily, but for many Catholics nowadays the practice has become quite exceptional.  As pilgrims in the Holy Land, however, we were coming into direct […]

Brothers and Fr. Slaton outside the Basilica of the Nativity


The Franciscans, or Order of Friars Minor, were founded to be itinerate beggars, preaching the Gospel by their holy poverty and overflowing charity.  As mendicants, they owned no property and belonged to no particular diocese.  Many localized liturgies existed at that time in Europe, special to one city or region.  This presented some difficulties.  How could a Franciscan priest […]

Bethlehem at night.

A Child is Born to Us

We were fortunate to stay for several days at a Christian owned hotel in Bethlehem just two-minute’s walk from the Basilica of the Nativity, a large church built over the manger where Jesus was born.  Our days were kept quite full with visits to the many Christian holy places of Palestine.  We would typically return […]

From the hilltop overlooking Shepherds Field where the Angel bore tidings of the birth of the Messias.

Good Tidings of Great Joy

We began the day at Shepherd’s Field, where Scripture tells us the Angel (St. Gabriel, by tradition) heralded the birth of the Messias to lowly shepherds tending their flock at night (Lk 2:8-15).  At once the Angel was joined by the whole heavenly host rejoicing at God made man, singing Gloria in excelsis Deo. A twentieth century Franciscan shrine […]

2,000 year old tree piously thought to be the one Zacheus climbed.

The Land of Jericho

The first stop for the Israelites upon entering the Promised Land, and for us as well, was the city of Jericho.  Archaeologists will tell you that this place has been continuously inhabited for 8,000 years, making it a contender for the oldest city in the world. Jericho is a natural oasis in the desert, a […]

Promised Land seen from Mt. Nebo

Path of the Patriarch (part 3)

While in Jordan, we did not have access to a Catholic church for offering our daily traditional Latin Mass.  Fr. Slaton, instead, made use of his Greek corporale and traveling Mass kit to offer the Holy Sacrifice in the Christian hotel where we stayed.  In this picture, Father celebrates Mass on the feast of the […]

Site of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist

Path of the Patriarch (part 2)

While not part of the Promised Land, Jordan (or rather, the region called ‘beyond the Jordan’ in reference to the river) is of great Biblical importance.  The Holy See considers it part of the Holy Land, and it is home to several indulgenced sites.  Here, St. John the Baptist withdrew into the wilderness to survive […]

Jordan, gateway to the Holy Land

Path of the Patriarch (part 1)

Our day began, as usual, with the chanting of Prime.  Today, however, we also had the great privilege of our chaplain, Fr. Slaton, offering in our chapel before we left a Votive Mass for Pilgrims, followed by the traditional chanted blessing for those setting out on pilgrimage, sung by all. Our direct flight from Detroit […]

Preparations Underway!

To help the brothers maintain their traditional prayer life, Rev. Robert Slaton will be offering a daily tridentine Mass for the brothers and other interested pilgrims, but one can never be sure that every place will be equipped for the traditional Mass.  Brothers fabricate candles for their chaplain’s traditional Mass travel kit.  Click on the video link […]