Your Holy Land Experience 2019-10-03T19:14:47-05:00

Some of the well-known pilgrims we’ve hosted

Walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Visit the places where He, His parents, and His disciples lived, worked and served.

Touch and venerate the places where Jesus was conceived, born, bled, died, and rose again.

Listen to guided scripture meditation standing in the places that set the scenes of those biblical readings.  

Stand in the places where miracles happened and where people still pray for them.  

Sail on the Sea of Galilee and swim in the mineral-laden Dead Sea.

Travel through the desert of Jericho and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Carry the cross with other pilgrims along the Via Dolorosa.

Meet other Christians on a journey of faith and build new friendships.

Eat local fare and shop gifts, such as olive wood and mother of pearl, handmade by Arab Christian Artisans.

See what other pilgrims are saying about their journey!


I had very high expectations for our pilgrimage in January, 2017, but my expectations were all exceeded! This Order of Franciscans are the Custodians of the Holy Land, which means Fr. David Wathen, who has been doing this pilgrimage ministry for over 20 years (and was personally recommended by my Bishop) is the perfect tour guide. Fr. David had Mass every day, many on the most holy sites, provided a wealth of background information (including spiritual, geographical and cultural), and had the experience and savvy to provide perfect planning, beautiful buffet meals and clean accommodations. It all came together to give us a seamless, overwhelming experience that left us overloaded every evening with new insights and dramatic observations. This trip should be on the top of everyone’s bucket list!

                                                                                    Deacon Jim Prosser

Overall, our experience with the Holy Land Franciscan Pilgrimages was amazing!

Our Holy Land Pilgrimage was in January, 2017, and it was one of the most memorable and enriching trips we took as a family. It felt so surreal walking on the land that our Lord walked on and see things with our very own eyes… the places that we only used to read in the Bible and hear about in stories. Father David Wathen was an amazing guide. He made all of the stories come alive with his in-depth knowledge of the sites while we were visiting the different notable spots. He was also the perfect guide because he never seemed to rush the group. We were always at a comfortable pace, and one of the greatest blessings was that he somehow always knew when to go to a site because there was never a crowd. Sometimes we would be the first ones there. The morning mass we had at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, our group was literally the only ones there along with a group of nuns who joined us for the Mass. Prior to getting to the Holy Land, I was in touch with Maureen Shepherd and Elsa White, who were both very nice and most importantly very patient in answering all of our questions.

The Lipnica Family

If I have to describe my traveling to Israel, I would say that it was an unforgettable, unique, and indescribable experience where I got close to the Lord and Virgin Mary. I am looking forward to traveling with the Franciscans in the near future. Going to the Holy Land was a dream. I traveled alone, but never felt lonely since I met beautiful people, and everybody in Israel speaks English, and surprise… Spanish too. Father David was a fantastic travel and spiritual guide. Having mass every day was great. It did recharge my spirit.  Also, I felt our Lord Jesus so close.

Felicia Lopez

The pilgrimage to the Holy Land was a truly amazing experience. As an ordained Catholic priest, I have studied, meditated on, and heard others’ stories about the Holy Land, and I thought that I had a pretty good grasp of what it was going to be like. My experience however, was above and beyond my expectations. You cannot truly interiorize the sights, the sounds, and the feelings of the Holy Land without actually being there. Fr. David as our pilgrimage leader also made the trip that much more enjoyable and interesting, with his vast knowledge of the history of the Holy Land sites, as well as what was currently happening there. I am continuing to reap good fruit from my Holy Land experience that is directly affecting and strengthening my priesthood. I consider myself very lucky and blessed to have been able to go.

Fr. Sean Timmerman

“The most awesome part of our entire pilgrimage was having Mass performed in the tomb of Jesus. We were blessed with 3 priests and they performed the most memorable mass that I have ever participated in. I will never stop thanking our Lord God for the Greatest blessing I have ever been given by him, the blessing of starting my 60th year of the Life with mass in His tomb.
The Franciscan Holy Land Pilgrimages group is the by far and away the best way for ALL pilgrims to go to the Holy land. They have dedicated their lives to taking care of and preserving the Catholic churches & Holy Land sites, so that everyone will be able to see where our Lord and savior lived and walked. They show and tell the story and give true meaning of what the Bible has been telling us our entire lives. God Bless the Friars and I will always pray for them and the dire needs of the Catholics in the Holy Land

Gerald, #HLP1017 (October 2017)

Oceanside, CA