Monthly Archives: July 2009

Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 7: Bethlehem

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July 31 – BETHLEHEM – The day will be spent at the Basilica of the Nativity, the site of our Lord’s birthplace, and the Milk Grotto, the home of the Holy Family before their exile to Egypt. The group celebrates a Christmas Liturgy in the Basilica of the Nativity. This is the only place in the world where the Christmas Mass may be celebrated outside of the Christmas Season, because it is here where it began!

Prayer: The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us! He shared our humanity that we might share His divinity. Thank you for the overflowing love which burst forth and is found in the arms of Mary. May you Lord be born again in our hearts!

Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 6: River Jordan, Jericho and Judean Desert

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July 30 – RIVER JORDAN, JERICHO & JUDEAN DESERT

An early morning Mass on the Mt. of Beatitudes will begin the day. We will drive along the Jordan Valley, southward to the Jordan River, the site of our Lord’s Baptism. The group will renew their Baptism vows where St. John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord. After lunch in Jericho the group will experience floating in the Dead Sea. The area of Jericho and the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth below sea level. The Judean Desert is nearby; our Lord spent 40 days and 40 nights in prayer and fasting in the Judean Desert. The group will spend 40 minutes in this desert, contemplating the Lord’s time in that area, then on to Bethlehem!

Prayer: Because of the Holy Spirit who has been poured forth in our hearts, we are no longer slaves but children of God and can sing…Our Father who art in Heaven…..!

Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 5: Mt. Tabor and Cana

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July 29 – MT. TABOR & CANA

On Mt. Tabor, the Lord Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John on Mt. Tabor. The Father said “This is my Son, my Chosen one, listen to him” (Luke 9:36). ) Mass today is at the Church of the Transfiguration. Lunch will be at the Franciscan Casa Nova on Mt. Tabor overlooking the valley of Sharon. In Cana, the site of the First Miracle, the changing of water into wine, the servants obeyed Mary’s request, “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:5) Couples in the group that have received the Sacrament of Matrimony will renew their wedding vows in Cana. Later, they will celebrate with wine from Cana!

Prayer: “Lord slow us down. Sometimes we get so busy that many distractions challenge our values and priorities. Take us apart with your Son so that we may listen to Him and not become confused or empty. Speak, Lord, we desire to listen to your voice! Mary, pray for us to “Do whatever He tells us.”

Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 4: Sea of Galilee

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July 28 – SEA OF GALILEE

The Lord Jesus spent three years of His Apostolic life in this area. The group will spend three nights in Nazareth, which is considered the Galilee area. They will also visit the House of St. Peter in Capernaum, Mt. of Beatitudes, the site of the Multiplication of the Fishes and Loaves and take a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Mass will be at the Church of St. Peter the Primacy, where Jesus appeared to the disciples after His Resurrection.

Prayer: Lord, we, unlikely as we are, are your disciples now, because those first disciples said ‘yes’, and went forth to be fishers of men. We were caught in their nets and brought to you, Lord Jesus, so that we might become your disciples. That voice from the Sea of Galilee is still calling…… ‘Whatever you are involved in, whatever you work at, no matter how unlikely you may think you are; follow me, and I will make you fishers of men!’

Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 3: Nazareth

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July 27 – NAZARETH

The group will drive to Nazareth where the Basilica of the Annunciation is built over ancient Nazareth and the House/Grotto of Mary. It is here that the Angel Gabriel came to Mary (Luke 1). Nearby is a church named after St. Joseph, built over the home of the Holy Family. Mass will be at the Basilica of the Annunciation, by Mary’s home.

Prayer: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Blessed Mother, pray for us to have the grace to say “Yes” to God’s will in our lives! St. Joseph pray for our families, our households to remain in God’s protection and peace!

Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 2: Mt. Carmel

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July 26 – MT. CARMEL – Site of Elijah the Prophet’s cave (1 Kings 18)

The Carmelite Order was founded on Mt. Carmel. Today, the Basilica of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is built over the cave of St. Elijah. Mass will be in the Basilica of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Prayer: Elijah, you were a prophet with courage and zeal for God’s Truth, I ask your intercession for a courageous and zealous heart and to live and share my faith!

Spiritual Pilgrimage Day 1: Depart to The Holyland

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July 25 – DEPART TO THE HOLY LAND – Excitement, anticipation, joy and wonder accompany the pilgrims in their thoughts and conversation as they travel half-way across the world to the land sanctified by our Lord. Upon arrival in Tel Aviv airport, the group will travel to Mt. Carmel in Haifa for one night.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you call us each by name. Thank you! We ask your blessing upon each pilgrim. May their journey of faith bring them closer to your heart. May they have a safe journey to the Holy Land. Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…

Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox

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We believe that our Catholic faith should be alive at every moment of our lives. Let us introduce ourselves; we are Deacon Tom Fox and Mary Jane Fox; evangelists and full-time servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.

After encountering the Risen Lord on a Holy Land Pilgrimage; we believed we were called to leave our respective careers in hotel management & the travel industry to work full-time for the Church. We thought of becoming missionaries in a foreign land; we were ready to sell our house, cars and whatever else to make the transition. Our parish pastor, Msgr. John Flynn, in hearing about our desire to become missionaries offered us a full time position St. Matthews Catholic Church through a Home Visitation Ministry. For almost seven years, our main ministry was door-to-door home visitation, which resulted in establishing many outreach ministries in the parish. Tom was ordained to the permanent Diaconate in August 1988.

Remember in the 1990’s John Paul II’s call to a “new evangelization”? In 1993 we founded the Pilgrim Center of Hope with the blessing of Archbishop Patrick Flores to serve the Archdiocese of San Antonio as a Catholic Evangelization Center. The mission of this Apostolate is to guide individuals, families and neighborhoods toward finding a deeper relationship with Christ through evangelization (living and sharing the faith).

This Apostolate is about Catholic Evangelization, organizing annual Catholic Women’s Conferences and Catholic Men’s Conferences, pilgrimages to the Holy Land and other destinations in Europe and a Holy Land mission.

Since 1984, we have traveled to the Holy Land over 35, leading numerous groups on pilgrimage. Our experience of meeting the Christians in the Holy Land has given us education as well as a spiritual experience of the Holy sites.

Among the work of Evangelization, we enjoy co-hosting a weekly television “live” series on Catholic Television of San Antonio (CTSA/15) called “Catholicism Live!” which is simulcasted on Guadalupe Radio 89.7FM. A great opportunity to reach many in South Texas!

We have been the opportunity to give presentations on the experiences of our ministry at parishes in California, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mexico, and Texas. We have also assisted the pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Belize City, Belize, Central America in June of 1989 and June 1990, in a parish-wide evangelization effort

Articles have been written on the Home Visitation Ministry as well as The Pilgrim Center of Hope in 5 nationwide Catholic periodicals. The Pilgrim Center of Hope was presented on The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) show, Living His Life Abundantly in 1995 in the video I Am The Bread of Life produced by Stepstone Productions, Inc.

A Spiritual Pilgrimage to The Holyland: July 25 – August 6

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Fr. Mary David Hoyt of the Congregation of St. John, Deacon Tom & Mary Jane Fox of The Pilgrim Center of Hope and 33 pilgrims invite you to join them on their Holy Land Pilgrimage through prayer!

The family and friends of all those traveling on this pilgrimage will be offered in prayer during daily Mass while in the Holy Land. Join us on this “spiritual pilgrimage” by RSS subscribingto this blog or visiting us here daily from July 25 – August 6th.

Please pray for the pilgrims in the Holy Land, as well as your own intentions and those of the Church.

“Although I cannot be there physically, I nevertheless feel that I am spiritually a pilgrim in that land where our reconciliation with God was brought about, to beg the Prince of Peace for the gift of redemption and of peace which is so earnestly desired by the hearts of people, families and nations – in a special way by the nations, which inhabit this very area.”
John Paul II (April 1984)

“On one hand, faith must keep us in a constant attitude of humility before God, more than that, of adoration and praise in relation to him. In fact, what we are as Christians we owe only to him and to his grace. Our radical belonging to Christ and the fact that ‘we are in him’ must infuse in us an attitude of complete confidence and immense joy. ”
Pope Benedict XVI (November 2006)