The Mellios in France…May 24 Our Lady of La Dreche & St. Dominic

You can tell Tommy wrote this  .. I always correct typos .. he does not
like when I change things …  Enjoy!

Bon Jour:

Saying goodbye to our host and hostess...Dave & Jane
Saying goodbye to our host and hostess…Dave & Jane
A B&B is one of the great parts of our pilgrimage....especially with great hosts.
A B&B is one of the great parts of our pilgrimage….especially with great hosts.

We awoke refreshed and ready to go.  We had a long drive today and  2 stops along the way.  Dave and Jane had our breakfast on the table for us before 8.  We had already showered so after breakfast we said  our good byes, took a couple photos together and we were off.   Dangerous Dave came through again and the bags were at the car in no  time.  I carried one down because we ate the food and I didn’t  want to appear to be lazy.
 

It was Pentecost Sunday and our plan was to make the 10:30 Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Dreche. “The queen” got us there early so we explored the grounds and went into the church as the 9:00 AM Mass ended.  This was a beautiful place and they were refurbishing the exterior. The Statue of  Our Lady and Jesus sat high above the altar and to the right they had a replica of Her where you could place your candles for your intentions.  To the left of this copy in a bucket was the Miraculous water from  the spring below the altar.  Of course we got a bottle (this makes 5 and we missed 1, some of our things are going to be left behind to get all  the water home and we haven’t been to Lourdes yet.)
 

Statue in the Basilica at La Dreche
Statue in the Basilica

Mass was beautiful and after the mass we got to venerate the silver replica of Our Lady and Jesus.  We went to the gift shop and purchase a memento for our shrine at home.  They had a toilet here so I did Utilize it since we had about 2 hours  to our next stop. Yes I did take the mountain roads. (Saving a lot of euros on tolls but spending a lot of money on xanax for poor Susan.)  Susan actually enjoyed most of the ride as I tried to keep the speed limit. On the  way we stopped for a picnic in the center of a small town.  We didn’t care…. we were hungry.  The sandwhich was marvelous.
 

Sister Jane Dominique at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary
Sister Jane Dominique at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary

We were supposed to meet Sister Jane Dominique at Our Lady of the Rosary in the Monestary in Prouille, the place of the apparition to St. Dominic received the rosary from Our Blessed  Mother,for a tour and we were invited to lunch if we could make it on time, but we didn’t.  One of the Sisters let us in to the cathedral that was started in the Early 1900’s and is still a long way from being finished. We got chased out since they were preparing for the 800-year celebration on Mon. of the order but they did invite us back for the mass and  lunch which was going to be piella.  I was in, until she said they  expected over 1000 people!  UGH.  To many people for us, we like our quiet time in the mountains.
 
We were disappointed that there wasn’t anything on the grounds in memory of St. Dominic who had been given the Rosary here in 1206 by the Blessed
Mother.  I have enclosed a long story but it is worth the  time.
 

Our B&B in Esperza, France
Our B&B in Esperza

Having planned to say our Rosary there we decided to pray it on  our way to our next stop of 2 glorious days in our next B&B in Esperza,  France. We
met Jo and Roy the owners who were out for a walk and returned just as we arrived.  Roy showed us to our room (and yes I did carry a  bag up with me) and we proceded to unload all of the car and drag all the  bags up to reorganze. There is something to be said for hotels but you can’t  replace the feeling of being in 200 year old home with a wonderful room and friendly owners. (British by the way so English was the language of the  day.)
 

Re-organizing at our B&B in Esperza, France
Re-organizing at our B&B in Esperza

We unpacked and repacked and piled up the dirty laundry which we will  have to address soon. Around 6 we shared the small stub of the left  over
sandwhich we had eaten earlier each fighting over the last  crumb.

Best to go to sleep early,  we were hungry again, probally because we had
nothing to eat and  everything was closed. (another Sunday in Europe). Roy invited us down for a glass of wine, (as we went we hoped they would have something to eat, even just a bowl of nuts, cheese would have been good).   I wanted to bring a sign we work for food just to give them a hint!  We sat and chatted for quite awhile until the wine kicked in (we were on an empty stomach) and it was time to go to our  large queen beds, yes we each had our own, We were both going to sleep  tonight after we gnawed on a couple pillows.  With all the  growling I don’t know how we fell asleep.
 
Au Revoir
 
Holy Mary,
help those in need,
give strength to the  weak,
comfort the  sorrowful,
pray for  God’s people,
assist  the clergy,
intercede for  religious.
Mary all who seek your  help
experience your  unfailing protection.
Amen
 
Susan and Tom

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The Pilgrims Have Landed

Bon Jour:
 
Well we made it…..and it gets harder every year!  Sat in the plane for an hour before they moved and  Business class was great with the reclining beds if they only had room for my other leg.  The service  was also good, right on thru customs, which literally took 2 minutes.  Then the luggage, 30 minutes later and we headed for Avis and the you know  what. 
 
Well 40 minutes later we loaded the BMW and headed out.  You’re saying  what happened to the Mercedes?   Well the crooks tried to put us in a VW hatchback that wouldn’t even fit our luggage if we even tried and I wasn’t going  there. 

They claimed they were the same class of cars, and they didn’t have  any Mercedes except the one I saw 3 cars over in slot 23 from the VW. When I went out again to the lot the Benz  mysteriously disappeared.  They must have towed it since they said it wasn’t theirs and they didn’t have  keys.
 

Not what I was expecting, but still very nice.
The BMW was not what I was expecting, but still very nice.

This happened to us once before in Paris so we knew the drill.  We got  the BMW for 1/2 the difference of the higher price and when  I come home I will fight them again as I have before and get the difference  back.  Oh, by the way, the BMW is really Pretty Nice.
 

The church at Bar-sur-Sein
The church at Bar-sur-Sein

We went to Bar-Sur-Siene anyway since, as I told you we doubted we would get in and it was on the way.  Suprisingly we did get in to the really old Church of St. Etienne.  This is were the icon of Our Lady was taken after it was found and every day it would end up back in the oak tree in the woods. They  finally got it and built a chapel around the oak where She was found and where She happily remains today.  Unfortunately, the chapel as the well of the holy water well were locked.
 
With less than an hour to our B&B we headed there after a quick stop  for supplies and tonights’ lite dinner.   

Sue fired me from the packing job....now she is taking over and things will be much better organized.
Sue fired me from the packing job….now she is taking over and things will be much better organized.

We had to reorganize the luggage since I started packing a week ago and couldn’t remember where I put anything. Sue fired me and I’m not allowed to pack anymore. Susie has us ready and as the sun goes down so do we.   

We are exhausted, but can’t wait for tomorrow’s adventure.  A good night’s sleep, and we will be as good as new.

Until then,
May the grace and peace of Christ be always with you’
 
Susan and Tom
 

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Buying trip insurance from a cruise line?

Those of us over a certain age remember when you bought a plane ticket, checked your bags and were on your way.  We got good service, free meals and no extra fees for baggage or whatever.  

Is that going to be the trend with cruise lines now?   We all know that cruises are a great deal….lots of bang for the buck as they say.  But the cruise lines, with all their discounts and special offers, may also need to add on some extras in order to stay afloat (pun intended).  After all, if the food is so great in the main dining room, why the need to pay $25 or more per person to eat in a “specialty restaurant”? 

One major cruise line is now automatically adding trip cancellation insurance to all their quotes on the phone.  Now, we consider trip cancellation insurance to be a good investment….but not necessarily the plans sold by the cruise lines.  Often times you can get better coverage at a lower cost by booking through a travel agent that will offer insurance from another company.  The particular cruise line we mention will remove the insurance from the price they quote you, but you have to request it.  

For more about trip cancellation insurance click here.

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An Unexpected Blessing: My trip to Jordan

A week ago, Diana von Glahn of The Faithful Traveler contacted me. She wanted to know if I was interested in traveling to Jordan with other members of the press. She would pass my contact information along to key organizers of a Jordan Religious Press Tour if I was interested.

Are you kidding me? Of course I said yes.

Within one week, I had filled out the application and received word that I was chosen to go to Jordan and visit key sites from April 9 to April 19. Next month.

And I had been lamenting that I would have to wait until August for the Catholic Press Association pilgrimage to Poland before I would be making my next trip! But God has a way of filling our cup to overflowing and taking us places we never dreamed we would be able to go. Abraham learned that late in life. So did Moses. And now, at fifty, I am feeling the call to go … to meet my Lord in many places.

So, April is Jordan–Eastern Holy Land.

August, Poland–Sts. Faustina, John Paul II, & Maximilian Kolbe

November, Israel & Bethlehem–Holy Land.

December, Mexico–Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Have I mentioned lately that I love pilgrimages, and travel writing about places of faith is right up there at the top of my “favorite things” list? I can stay up until two in the morning writing while on pilgrimage (which I do almost every night) and still get up for a six o’clock wake-up and a day of prayer at holy places. That’s grace. At home, I need a solid eight-hour night.

Well, the official itinerary arrived just a few days after I submitted the application. I eagerly read through each day’s events.

By day four, I had to stop reading. I was overwhelmed by the gift that was unfolding before my eyes:  

Bethany Beyond the Jordan: considered to be the actual site of the Baptism of Jesus
Bethany Beyond the Jordan: considered to be the actual site of the Baptism of Jesus

Leave Amman behind to travel south toward the wilderness on the eastern banks of the River Jordan known as Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan. According to the Bible, it was here that the prophet Elijah ascended to heaven on a chariot of fire, and where John the Baptist came centuries later preaching and baptizing in the spirit of Elijah“.

Pope John Paul II overlooking Mount Nebo (photo courtesy the Wall Street Journey)
Pope John Paul II overlooking Mount Nebo (photo courtesy the Wall Street Journal)

Then, drive a short distance to Mount Nebo, where the Bible says Moses climbed after his long Exodus journey to see the land he would never enter, and where he was buried nearby by God himself.”

I slipped out of my chair and knelt beside my office desk. My heart was full, and prayers of gratitude seemed the only appropriate response.

I have been working out to meet the physical demands of making pilgrimages. I have increased the incline of the treadmill when I work out, setting the incline as steep as I can handle because the itinerary says we will have the opportunity to climb Mount Nebo, if we feel we can handle the hike up the mountain.

I’m going to do it. So it is time to get into even better shape.

Through words, I will take you back to those moments in salvation history.

I’m going to Jordan.

You come, too.

 

Denise Bossert:

Denise is a convert to the Catholic Church. She is the daughteDenise Bossertr of a Protestant minister. In 2005, she converted to Catholicism after reading books by Carmelite saints. Her syndicated column called Catholic by Grace has been published in 63 diocesan newspapers. She has also written for Catholic magazines and appeared on EWTN’s Journey Home and Women of Grace. She is a Catholic travel writer and pilgrimage leader with Select International Tours and Cruises. Her first book is entitled Gifts of the Visitation and explores the Blessed Mother’s journey from Nazareth to Ein Kerem where she remained with St. Elizabeth for three months prior to the birth of St. John the Baptist. Website: denisebossert.com

Denise Bossert, Catholic columnist & author  

(636)352-8705

www.denisebossert.com 
www.amazon.com/author/denisebossert.com 
www.facebook.com/denise.bossert

 

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Viking River cruises coming to New Orleans

Viking River Cruises has announced that it will begin offering river cruises, with New Orleans as its home port, beginning in 2017.

According to the press release from the mayor’s office, “With the launch of cruise operations on the Mississippi River in late 2017, two boats will be deployed per year, for a total of six new boats in the first three years. Cruises will take passengers on a journey along the Mississippi River from New Orleans to itinerary stops in St. James, East Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes; continuing upriver to Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis; or St. Paul, Minnesota, depending on the season.

The specialty-built riverboats will have a full complement of luxury amenities and host up to 300 passengers at approximately one-tenth the size of oceangoing cruise vessels. Viking’s cruises are renowned for their locally oriented educational and entertainment programs.”  

This will be a great alternative who look for something other than an ocean cruise or simply do not want to travel far.  And, of course, New Orleans is a great destination in itself, with a rich Catholic tradition.  The ships will dock close to the French Quarter, which means that you can add a few nights in New Orleans as well.  

We look forward to more details in the future.

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Pricked by a thorn on Mount of Beatitudes

The Mount of Beatitudes is an essential part of any visit to the Holy Land
The Mount of Beatitudes is an essential part of any visit to the Holy Land. The Sermon on the Mount comes alive here, where it was preached over 2,000 years ago.

Terry was sitting beside her husband at the outdoor Mass we attended on the Mount of Beatitudes. She leaned into Chris’ side and felt the joy of praying the Mass with him, the enormity of hearing the words of the divine liturgy on this mountain where Jesus Christ proclaimed the Sermon on the Mount.

Then, Terry suddenly reached up and swiped at the back of her neck as though she had been stung…….it was no bee.

When I looked behind her, I had to smile. The branch she had just swept away was from the Zizyphus Spina Christi plant, a tree believed to have been used to make the Crown of Thorns that was placed on Our Lord’s Sacred Head before the crucifixion.

The significance of that moment on the Mount of Beatitudes and the grace of being pricked by the thorns of that plant in the middle of Mass still resonate with me. Yes, it was a grace: it is a grace to share in His Passion, just as it is a grace to share in His Resurrection and triumph over death and sorrow, and little pricks of pain from countless things that trouble us.

A little thorn on an obscure branch on a hill where the gospel was
proclaimed and is still proclaimed today.

This tree was most likely the one from which the Crown of Thorns was made
The Zizyphus Spina Christi bush was most likely the one from which the Crown of Thorns was made. It grows wild here on the Mount of Beatitudes and elsewhere.

The thorns were not big, like those we imagine or see in Hollywood depictions of that day. They were little. So sharp. Like needles, but so small that one has to look closely to see them. The first time I visited the Holy Land and walked along that Mount of Beatitudes, I paused to snap a little branch from one tree as we descended the mountain and approached the Sea of Galilee below.

The thorns pierced me three times, drawing blood. It was painful, but I had to laugh at the irony of it. Such a little thing, this thorn.

Such little things to cause such pain. And there was a little joy in knowing I was sharing in a very small way in the pain my Lord had experienced. I treasured that little thorn. It is now between the pages of my Bible – resting in the crevice of a page that tells about the Passion and a crown of many thorns.

As we approach Lent, I am thinking again about the Mount of Beatitudes and the Zizyphus Spina Christi plant.

I am thinking about our thorns, the countless sufferings we embrace and consider a share in His great suffering.

I think of Our Lord, who walked down that same mountain, passed thorny plants such as these, and yet had His eyes on the path that led all the way to the Cross of Mount Calvary.

Oh, my Jesus. Let me take up your suffering and wear it with you.

Let me see each prick as a grace.

And let me say what you said.

Thy will. Only Thy will.

 

Denise Bossert:

Denise is a convert to the Catholic Church. She is the daughteDenise Bossertr of a Protestant minister. In 2005, she converted to Catholicism after reading books by Carmelite saints. Her syndicated column called Catholic by Grace has been published in 63 diocesan newspapers. She has also written for Catholic magazines and appeared on EWTN’s Journey Home and Women of Grace. She is a Catholic travel writer and pilgrimage leader with Select International Tours and Cruises. Her first book is entitled Gifts of the Visitation and explores the Blessed Mother’s journey from Nazareth to Ein Kerem where she remained with St. Elizabeth for three months prior to the birth of St. John the Baptist. Website: denisebossert.com

Denise Bossert, Catholic columnist & author  

(636)352-8705

www.denisebossert.com 
www.amazon.com/author/denisebossert.com 
www.facebook.com/denise.bossert

 

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A month’s pay for one airline ticket?

Americans flying to Europe these days have a few complaints about the hassles of air travel; however, you may be interested in comparing how far we’ve really come in terms of cost, convenience and comfort of flights.  In 1960, according to U.S. government figures, US airlines carried about 62 million passengers, by 2010 it was over ten times that number at 720 million.  Here are a few ways that air travel has actually improved!

1. Cost of flying: Think air fares are through the roof? Better think again.  Few people could afford to fly back in the 1960’s.  A flight from New York to Paris was about $370 in 1960, when median family income was only about $450 per month.  That is $2800 in today’s prices, and almost a whole month’s income. So compare that to the $900 or so that you can get if you shop around,  and you’ll quickly see that today’s prices are actually a bargain.

2.  Convenience: Today we have hundreds of convenient, non-stop flights; however, prior to 1960 these options did not exist.  For example:

Flying from Chicago non-stop to Rome in 1960? Not without at least one stop along the way–and there were only two flights per week.  Here is a Chicago newspaper article from 1960.  Flying non-stop from Houston to Istanbul…you’re kidding, right?  Atlanta to anywhere outside the U.S……forget about it in the 60’s.  

In the 1960’s Pan Am* began using Boeing 707’s from New York to Paris/London. It was at this time that they introduced their “round the world” flights.

Pan American DC-8
Pan American Airways DC-8 (photo courtesy Wikimedia)

Pan Am flight #1 was westbound, and flight #2 was Eastbound.  So, if you wanted to fly from New York to New Delhi, flight #2 had six stops along the way:  London (Paris on alternate days), Frankfurt, Vienna, Istanbul, Beruit, Karachi, and finally New Delhi.  From there it continued on to Burma, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Honolulu and then finally San Francisco.

3. Comfort: This is the only one where you might have a valid complaint.  Seats in coach were comfortable, and planes were often half-empty it seemed.  Sure there is less room nowadays…in some cases a lot less, but that is one of the trade-offs.  And the meals were better (Pan Am advertised meals catered by Maxim of Paris) as well as free.  

But there are also some things that are better:  There is also a lot less cigarette smoke (none, in fact) which is certainly an added plus for non-smokers.  Did we think the smoke really did not venture into the non-smoking area?  Were we really that naive?  

 Gone are the days when you were satisfied to catch up on your reading on a long flight.  Now, however, we are spoiled.   We expect…DEMAND….movies and more.  And we get them…often for a fee.

*Want to know more about the history of Pan Am?  Check out this article that we found.

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God Trekking and the Pilgrim Journey, by Denise Bossert

Like Simeon and the Magi, the Church has always known the simple truth: we are on a quest to encounter the Lord. This truth turns Magi into pilgrims. It sends Simeon and Anna into the Temple. It turned St. Helena and St. Francis of Assisi into Holy Land trailblazers. The Church takes up the call to be a pilgrim people who go to the places where Mary and Jesus have been.

This faith quest goes back even further. To a man called from Ur of the Chaldeans. To Ruth who followed Naomi out of Moab. To the Israelites called back from exile. We see it as the page turns from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. The Blessed Virgin Mary is inspired to visit Elizabeth and leave behind a disbelieving Nazareth. The Holy Family is directed to flee into Egypt, away from Herod’s rule and the murder of the Holy Innocents.

While it is part of Church tradition, and reaches back into the depths of salvation history, pilgrimage is not a strong part of the American Catholic schema. We go on retreats. We do parish missions. But pilgrimage is also necessary for the Catholic soul.

Bill Howard, former editor for The Colorado Catholic Herald, believes in making pilgrimages. “A pilgrimage reminds us how universal the Church is and challenges us to see the Lord working through different traditions and practices than our own. A pilgrimage gives you a much greater appreciation for the beautiful history and teachings of the Catholic Church.”

I met Bill Howard last May when we both traveled to the Holy Land with the Catholic Press Association as guests of the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT). “I loved the Israel Ministry trip,” he says, which he describes as a fast-paced overview of the Holy Land and an intense media immersion surrounding the Holy Father’s visit. “One had to work to make private pilgrimage moments.” Bill encountered one of those sacred moments on the Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee is a favorite pilgrimage site. The faithful gaze at the shoreline where Christ walked. They look across the water and think of a night when another boat was so tossed about by storms that even seasoned fishermen were terrified. They replay the Lord’s words and remember how even the wind and the waves obeyed his command. Our Lord calls to them.

Bill Howard believes in pilgrimage, whether it is deliberately seeking out moments while on a trip to Uganda or to the Holy Land or while on a cross-country trek that includes a side visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help near Green Bay, Wisconsin. “There is a great purification in the journey to a sacred place.”

My second visit to the Holy Land was thoroughly a pilgrimage. We began our day with prayer and had daily Mass in places like the Basilica of the Annunciation (Nazareth) and the Church of the Visitation (Ein Kerem). One night in Bethlehem, we participated in a program called Sharing the Bread, in which pilgrims meet in the homes of Palestinian Christians. Thirty years ago, the Christian population in Bethlehem was ninety percent. Now, they make up just two percent of the population.  Why do they stay? They stay because this is the birthplace of their Lord Jesus. It is an inheritance on a spiritual level, and even if things are difficult, they will stay. And we will have holy sites to visit on pilgrimage because of their faithfulness.

Select International Tours and Cruises, a premier pilgrimage company, created the Select to Give Foundation. The shared-meal program is part of that foundation. The meal was the full expression of pilgrimage, which is about people, lodging, and culture, and how these things have a divine synergy. They expand our hearts and help us to see Christ beyond our parish, beyond our diocese, beyond our country.

Each year, a group from the Holy Land sells olive wood carvings at my parish. Even then, I never specifically thought about Palestinian Christians. To be honest, until the trip with the IMOT, I didn’t even realize Bethlehem was in Palestinian territory. In May, I met Palestinian Christians, and I found their stories to be compelling. They became real to me. I let them into my heart. Pilgrimages lead to conversion, to metanoia. A change of heart and mind. Now, I have faces with names, people with homes and stories that will remain with me always.

When I converted, nobody could keep me quiet about this gift of our Catholic faith. A similar thing has happened to me when it comes to pilgrimage. Some say that going on a pilgrimage is dangerous. And then they look at me strangely because I don’t strike them as the kind of person who courts danger. I’m not into extreme sports. I don’t have a death wish. I’m from their parish, their archdiocese, their state. They had me pegged as the reclusive writer.

I feel safe the entire time I’m on pilgrimage. Yes, even in the Holy Land, I felt safe every moment. We are a pilgrimage people. It is who we are. It is in our DNA. Just one pilgrimage makes a person remember that.

As Catholic journalists and bloggers, we need to be trailblazers like St. Helena and St. Francis of Assisi. We can open the doors on this aspect of Catholic life that is under-utilized in our culture.

As writers, we can introduce them to these amazing pilgrimage destinations. As photojournalists, we can capture the beauty and grandeur of the people and the places that Jesus and His Blessed Mother chose to visit.

Let’s remind the faithful that we are a pilgrimage people. And then, let’s lead the way. People who make one pilgrimage want to make another one and another one. I’m planning pilgrimages to Mexico and the Holy Land in 2015 and plan to join pilgrimages to Knock and Lourdes as soon as I am able to fit them into my schedule.

Denise Bossert:

Denise is a convert to the Catholic Church. She is the daughter of a Protestant minister. In 2005, she converted to Catholicism after reading books by Carmelite saints. Her syndicated column called Catholic by Grace has been published in 63 diocesan newspapers. She has also written for Catholic magazines and appeared on EWTN’s Journey Home and Women of Grace. She is a Catholic travel writer and pilgrimage leader with Select International Tours and Cruises. Her first book is entitled Gifts of the Visitation and explores the Blessed Mother’s journey from Nazareth to Ein Kerem where she remained with St. Elizabeth for three months prior to the birth of St. John the Baptist. Website: denisebossert.com

Denise Bossert, Catholic columnist & author  Denise Bossert

(636)352-8705

http://www.denisebossert.com <http://www.denisebossert.com/>

<https://www.facebook.com/denise.bossert

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Ever written a bad review about a hotel? Or a tour company?

In the last 10 years or so, the number of reviews written on hotels must be in the millions, I suppose.  Most of us rely on these reviews to some extent, although you have to wonder sometimes when one person gives a great review and the other one gives a negative review.  We have seen this in tour company reviews as well.  One says it was the “best ever” and the other one says “never again”.  How do two people on the same tour have such opposite opinions? 

Well, one hotel in England decided to do something about a negative review that will certainly give them a lot of publicity.  They retroactively charged 100 pounds ($156 U.S. dollars) to the credit card of the person who wrote the review!  

Here is the whole bizarre story.  Now I don’t know what they hoped to accomplish by doing so, but I doubt that they wanted this kind of publicity.  

The closest thing we have heard was a U.S. Catholic tour company refusing to book someone on a tour after they had posted a negative review on our forum.  But in our opinion, this action is probably justified.  And, as it turned out, someone else had written that review, which we subsequently removed.

 It does bring up a point….as Catholic Christians we are called upon to “do unto others”…..etc.  So we urge you to consider the damage that can be caused to someone’s reputation, and their livelihood, if you get a little too critical of the service you receive.  The internet has provided us with sources of information, but with that comes a responsibility.  After all, there is a sin called “calumny” that can apply to businesses as well as individuals we suppose.  

Certainly if a business fails to provide anything near the service the promise, it is fair to let others know.  On the other hand, just because your mattress was too soft or you did not like your tour guide is no reason to trash the entire operation.

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Safe Travel to the Holy Land?

It is pretty much a theme of ours to say that there is never a bad time to travel to the Holy Land.  You would be hard pressed to find an incident where a pilgrim traveling to Israel encountered any real danger.  

But it does seem a bit odd when we see a Tweet from a tour organizer saying “it depends upon who you go with“.  Now, competing with other tour operators is fine, but really…..to suggest that somehow your tours are safer than others borders on being mis-leading, not to mention more than a bit prideful.  

Just about any company you travel with will be a safe bet so far as safety is concerned.  And, don’t put it off.  Over the years many people have and then regretted the fact once their friends return with stories of how wonderful a trip to the Holy Land is and how safe they felt…..with any number of professional tour companies.

.

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