ENDOW Advisory Board Member, Mary Jane Fox, invites all women of ENDOW on a special Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in October 2010! This will be a very powerful experience which will include a Women’s Conference, a detailed discussion of ENDOW’s Valiant Women in the Bible study guide, a meeting with His Beatitude Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and so much more! Below Terry Polakovic, ENDOW’s Executive Director, shares about the pilgrimage she did with Mary Jane Fox in 2008.
Terry Polakovic, ENDOW executive director, reflects on her experience on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2008
I never dreamed that I would go to the Holy Land. Truthfully, even though I love to travel and have done a fair amount of it, the Holy Land was never even on my radar. That was until I met ENDOW Advisory Board Member, Mary Jane Fox. In 1993, together with her husband Tom, Mary Jane founded the Pilgrim Center of Hope, a Catholic evangelization center located in San Antonio, Texas. Among other endeavors, Mary Jane and Tom have made it their life’s work to lead pilgrimages, primarily to the Holy Land. They have a great devotion to the people and places in that region.
In June of 2008, I embarked on my own adventure to the Holy Land. With my family beside me, we joined 33 other pilgrims, boarded a plane and flew into Tel Aviv airport. That was the start of an unforgettable journey. We visited Mount Carmel and the homes of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth and spent 3 nights at Mount of the Beatitudes by the Sea of Galilee. We visited the site of the Transfiguration of our Lord at Mount Tabor, renewed wedding vows in Cana and swam in the Dead Sea. And, even though it was the end of June, we celebrated the Liturgy of Christmas at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem and spent an incredible night in the Garden of Gethsemane overlooking Jerusalem. I could go on…
As wonderful as all of these places were, it was the people we met who changed my life. Mary Jane had organized a “Woman’s Conference” in Bethlehem which featured several Catholic Palestinian women. They spoke to us about their dreams, their fears, their families and their on-going sense of vulnerability. They were beautiful and articulate and I fell in love with them. Later that day, we also met with some Muslim women who sold us handmade Palestinian crafts and embroidery, which they had carefully sewn in an effort to help support their families.
When we arrived in Jerusalem we spent an afternoon with Sarah Bernstein and Hanadi Soudah-Younan. Sarah is an Israeli Jew who is married to a reformed Rabbi. She is the mother of 3 children, the oldest of whom is serving in the Israeli Army. She is also currently working on her Doctorate in Peace and Reconciliation through a university in England. Hanadi introduced herself in the following order: a Palestinian, a Christian, and a woman. She is a professor of English Literature at Bethlehem University. Both of them belong to a “Women’s Group” which has been established to dialogue in an effort to find common ground in their search for peace. Again, our entire group was mesmerized by their presentation.
I tell you all of this because we are planning another ENDOW pilgrimage – this time to the Holy Land from October 27th – November 9th, 2010! We are still in the very preliminary planning stages, but here is a sneak preview: 1 night at Mount Carmel; 3 nights at the Mount of the Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee with visits to Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, Cana and Capernaum; 5 nights in Jerusalem with visits to Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives, and other sites pertaining to the Passion of Christ including Gethsemane, the Via Crucis and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; and 3 nights in Madaba, Jordan.
This will be a very powerful experience which will include a Women’s Conference, a detailed discussion of ENDOW’s Valiant Women in the Bible study guide, a meeting with
His Beatitude Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and so much more!
Stay tuned and start saving your money! This is a first come, first serve opportunity, and there will only be 30 spaces available. The cost has not yet been firmly determined, but it is expected to be around $5000 per person.
For a DVD copy of last year’s panel discussion and for more information on this upcoming pilgrimage, please contact Mary Jane Fox at email@example.com.