Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Going to the Holy Land

By the time you read this I will most likely be somewhere over the Atlantic on my way to the Holy Land. As a part of our formation here at Mundelein Seminary the third year class spends the winter quarter on pilgrimage. For the first time in 7 years we are going to the Holy Land. This means that I will be spending Christmas in Bethlehem! I’m very excited.

This is going to be a great spiritual opportunity which is truly once in a lifetime. I will get to spend 10 weeks in the land where our Lord walked. Much like the original disciples of Jesus, I hope to learn by following in His footsteps with the Gospels as my aid. Our first destination is Bethlehem where we will stay for about 5 weeks and then we move to Jerusalem for about another 5 weeks. In between there we spend a week in the Galilee region. Just to add a little more to the early church experience, I’m then going to spend 10 days in Rome.

Although this pilgrimage will no doubt be a very important time in my life, I know that this pilgrimage is not just about me. It is a great privilege to have this opportunity and I know that I’ve been given it so that I can better minister to my future parishioners. This experience is meant to be shared. I plan to start sharing even now by at least attempting to keep my website here updated as I go. We are supposed to have internet in our building in Jerusalem when we get there, but the situation in Bethlehem is a little more iffy. I will do my best to find places to plug in my laptop and upload my pictures and reflections.

Now I must go board my plane. We are flying this evening to Zurich where we have a 12 hour layover and then to Tel Aviv. From there we take a bus to the Little Town of Bethlehem. Watch for me on TV from Manger Square on Christmas Eve. Please pray for me and I will pray for you.

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