June 13, 2013

Journey to the Holy Land with The Catholic Foodie

Journey to the Holy Land with The Catholic Foodie

Food Meets Faith in the Holy Land with The Catholic Foodie

A unique pilgrimage experience combining food and faith in the Holy Land is set for February 2014. Jeff Young, “The Catholic Foodie,” will lead the trip to Israel together with spiritual director Fr. Michael Werkhoven of the Diocese of Memphis. The dates for the pilgrimage are February 5-15, 2014.

Israel, referred to as the Holy Land, is the place where Jesus walked, talked, ate and drank with his companions over 2000 years ago. Pilgrims will get to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, visiting many of the significant locations of Jesus’ life like Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Emmaus, celebrating Mass in most of those locations.

A Unique Holy Land Pilgrimage Experience Combining Food & Faith

Some of the traditional pilgrimage experiences will include:

  • Renewal of marriage vows in Cana of Galilee, the site of Jesus’ first miracle where he turned water into wine
  • Renewal of baptismal promises in the Jordan River
  • Traveling to Nazareth to visit Mary’s Well and the Church of the Annunciation
  • Celebrating Christmas Mass at the Church of the Nativity
  • Traveling to the ancient city of Jericho to see the Mount of Temptation, and later going for a swim in the Dead Sea
  • Visiting Jerusalem and praying the Stations of the Cross on the original Via Dolorosa, then celebrating Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Visiting the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Empty Tomb of the Virgin at the Church of the Assumption

In addition to the traditional pilgrimage experiences, pilgrims will also be treated to a deliciously “foodie” buffet of events that will include:

  • Sailing on the Sea of Galilee before touring Kibbuz Kinnert, the famous shop with little dates (and date honey!) harvested on the kibbutz
  • Visiting and touring the Bethlehem Winery, where pilgrims can sample the wine and also purchase bottles to bring home
  • Learning about biblical foods and exploring the fascinating question, “What Would Jesus Eat?” with talks by Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie
  • Visiting a local family restaurant in Bethlehem where pilgrims will join The Catholic Foodie and local chefs in the preparation of the day’s meal
  • Sharing a celebratory meal in Bethlehem prepared by Chef Johnny Goric and Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie, in an open kitchen, and learning about Chefs for Peace, an organization founded by Jewish, Muslim, and Christian chefs whose objective is peace through local cooperation, cooking and breaking bread together
  • Shopping with local chefs in the most famous food market in Israel
  • Attending cooking classes that will highlight Middle Eastern cooking styles
  • Dining at a restaurant that reportedly has the best hummus in Israel (and pilgrims get a copy of the recipe!)
  • Meeting local villagers from Taybeh, the only Catholic Village in the Holy Land, touring the local brewery and, later on, taking a cooking class with Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie
  • Journeying to Ein Kerem and Emmaus, where Jesus met the disciples on the road after his Resurrection, and enjoying a delicious farewell dinner with your fellow travelers

Organized by Select International Tours, this unique once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage experience will put pilgrims in touch with the daily life of Jesus, as well as the locations associated with the main events of his life.

Who is Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie?

Food Meets Faith in the Holy Land with The Catholic Foodie

A former seminarian and educator, Jeff Young is the founder of The Catholic Foodie, an apostolate to strengthen families through food and faith around the family table. Jeff firmly believes that God created us to seek communion – with himself and with others – and one of the primary ways we experience communion is around the table, both the table of the Eucharist at Mass and the family dinner table at home. Jeff notes that, from Genesis to Revelation, food plays an important role in God’s relationship with his people and in our relationship with each other. It’s all about communion.

Born and raised in south Louisiana, it is in Jeff’s blood to be passionate about both food and faith. With his unique down-home style, he shares recipes, reviews, and culinary inspiration through The Catholic Foodie blog and podcast, and through the weekly Around The Table Food Show on Catholic Community Radio (690AM in New Orleans, and 1380AM in Baton Rouge). He is currently working on a book that celebrates food and faith “around the table.” Jeff is also a conference speaker who has spoken on various topics ranging from “growing in faith around the table” to “using social media in the New Evangelization.”

Who is Fr. Michael Werkhoven?

Fr. Mike Werkhoven

Fr. Mike Werkhoven is a priest for the Diocese of Memphis in Tennessee.  He is the pastor of the Church of the Holy Spirit in east Memphis, and has been a priest for 11 years.  Before entering the seminary in 1994, Fr. Mike was an art major in college and worked many years as a professional artist.  He finished up his undergraduate studies in philosophy at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, LA.  Fr. Mike studied for one year in Rome at the North American College before coming back home to finish his studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, MO.  Besides the Catholic Church, Fr. Mike’s two main loves are art and food, and his hobbies are creating both and tying them both into the divine life we share with Christ and our universal call to holiness. Just as there is “sacred art”, Fr. Mike believes there is “sacred food” and it all starts with the “holy trinity” of onions, peppers, and celery.  Besides being a pastor, Fr. Mike also serves as the spiritual director for the diocesan SEARCH youth retreat and is the chaplain for “Fishers of Men” of the Diocese of Memphis.

How to Register for the Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage is limited to the next 42 registrants. The full itinerary can be found at /holyland.

Registration forms can be downloaded by clicking here.

For technical questions about the trip, call Select International Tours at 800-842-4842.

Help to Spread the Word!

There are many ways that you can help us to spread the word about this once-in-a-lifetime trip!

For starters, you can share the promo video below on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and any other social networks you are a part of. As a matter of fact, you can email the link of this article to your friends and family… anyone who might be interested in making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Here is a list of ways you can help to promote this once-in-a-lifetime trip: