The deans of the international program shared about the experience for the students when they went to the Holy Land over Easter break:
Boys International Program
“The Holy Land was a mind-blowing experience for the boys, this was the first time in their lives that they have a personal encounter with what Jesus saw, touched, and smelled – which created in the boys an intimate encounter with the Creator. The boys did not have many expectations going into the trip. Their pilgrimage began in Magdala, where their first encounter with RC members in Holy Land took place. The group had the pleasure of meeting volunteers who are giving their time to explain the beautiful discovery that took place there. It was the best way to start this trip to encounter Christ. After being in Magdala, Capernaum was the group’s next step, getting to know where St. Peter lived and how this ancient city played an important role in Jesus’ life.
The trip continued on to Nazareth and Bethlehem with stops at Mary’s home, the birth place of Jesus, and the house of the Holy Family. Before heading to their final destination of Jerusalem, the group couldn’t miss the experience of the saltiest sea, the Dead Sea, with relaxation time for the boys and an incredible experience floating around this unique sea.
Finally, the group reached Jerusalem and it was time to start walking with Christ his passion, by visiting the iconic places of his last days of life, from the place Jesus cried over Jerusalem following his steps to the places were he was buried and crucified. In Jerusalem, the boys stayed at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, received an explanation of a replica of the Shroud of Turin, and got a chance to rest before their long trip home. There is no doubt boys had a personal encounter with Christ, left with knowledge of Christ, and came back with an experience of Christ. This was an Easter trip they will never forget!”
Girls International Program
“Quicker than we could imagine, the year is coming to an end, bringing with it experiences that become the wrap-up of all the formation received during these months: finals are around the corner, the last sports season already started an,d most importantly, after the very powerful experience of God’s personal love for each one of us during Holy Week, came the time to visit the place where He came from.
We departed on a warm and sunny Easter morning, the first one after a long and cold winter, bringing with it the promise of the Resurrection. Right after landing we made our way to Galilee and dedicated two days to visit those places that witnessed the wonderful miracles of Jesus. We saw the sea and the mountains that heard his voice while he preached the Beatitudes. We dipped our feet in the Lake of Tiberias, where he invited Peter to make an act of trust and walk on the water, to “be not afraid.” In each place, there was a moment of prayer, singing, and reading the Gospel narrating the events that took place there. In Nazareth, we went to the place where Our Lady was visited by the Angel Gabriel and was invited to be the mother of our Savior. There, we had the wonderful grace to be able to stay to pray in silence for quite a while, which is uncommon in any of the Holy places, since millions of people around the world from three different religions go to visit each year.
While traveling south to Judea, where Jerusalem is, we stopped by the Jordan River where we renewed our Baptismal Promises. Then we went to the lowest point on the Earth’s surface to float on the salty waters of the Dead Sea where we had a blast.
We arrived to Jerusalem ready for two full days there: on the first one we visited Bethlehem where we celebrated Christmas in April and lined up for more than two hours to get a glimpse of the spot were Jesus was born. It was worth the wait! We also paid a visit to the Children of Bethlehem, which is an orphanage run by nuns for children with mental disabilities. There, we were able to expand our hearts to take all the love that these beautiful children had for us. The last day we pretty much went through all of Jesus’s Passion in the streets of Jerusalem, and we went to the places where he shared His Last Supper with his closest friends, which is also where He gave us the greatest gift ever given: His very Body and Blood. We followed his steps into the Mount of Olives, where he agonized at the trials He was about to face and to the very places where he was flogged, crucified, buried, and where He, on the third day, vanquished death with His Resurrection. Finally, we had the opportunity to visit Notre Dame, the pilgrim center run by Regnum Christi, where we saw an exposition on the Holy Shroud and got to deepen more into the suffering that Christ went through for us. We couldn’t have left without a visit to the market inside the Old City of Jerusalem. That’s how we pretty much covered the entire Gospel in four days! We will never be the same.”