Upcoming pilgrimages to the Holy Land:

“Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus”

Click here for a summary of the presently-scheduled pilgrimages for 2018 and 2019.


APRIL 2018

April 2, 2018  – April 14, 2018.  Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Under the spiritual direction of Rev. Sir Stephen Porter, S.T.L., KCHS and with group coordinator Lady Jenny Campbell, M.A., LCHS. Click here for the brochure with full details, itinerary, and registration.

APRIL 2018

April 9, 2018  – April 20, 2018.  Sir Joe Micatrotto, KCHS and Lady Connie Micatrotto, LCHS from the Las Vegas area are leading a pilgrimage with the Most Rev. Sir Joseph A. Pepe, KC*HS. Members from all areas are welcome. Click here for the brochure with full details, itinerary, and registration.

JUNE 2018

June 18, 2018  – June 30, 2018.  Fr. Tom Enneking, OSC, KHS (Spiritual Direction) and the Adopt-a-Seminarian Team of the Diocese of Phoenix will lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Jordan on the occasion of the Ordination to Priesthood of Deacon Khaled Gamoh. Click here for the brochure with full details, itinerary, and registration.


October 8, 2018  – October 19, 2018. Rev. Sir Mike Bucciarelli, KCHS and Rev. Sir John Janze, KCHS will be leading this pilgrimage especially for members from Orange and Tucson, but it is open to all. Details to be announced. Click here for the brochure with full details, itinerary, and registration.


October 15, 2018  – October 26, 2018. Sir Fred Strasser, KGCHS and Lady Pam Strasser, LGCHS, along with Rev. Sir Martin Diaz, KCHS, are leading a pilgrimage from the Salt Lake area, but all members all welcome. Click here for the brochure with full details, itinerary, and registration.


October 24, 2018 – November 5, 2018. Lady Ginny Clements, LGCHS and Sir Mike Marum, KCHS will be leading the pilgrimage under the spiritual direction of Bishop Sir Gerald Kicanas, KC*HS.  Click here for the brochure with full details, itinerary, and registration.


A pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Land is a moral obligation of every Knight and Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and should be realized at least once during one’s lifetime, preferably within the first three years of investiture.

A pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord and to the other sacred places is also an act of solidarity with our brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land. Our presence among them is an encouragement to the Christians in the Holy Land, and deepens a faith that comes from experiencing the Land of the Bible.

The Pilgrim Shell is the most prized decoration of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. It is awarded to Knights and Ladies who complete a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that includes visiting works of the Order, education on the situation among the Catholic population in the Holy Land and praying at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Normally it is presented by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, or his representative, and consists of a scalloped shell in silver in the center of which is placed the Jerusalem cross in red, bordered in gold. Originally, the symbol of a complete pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James the Apostle at Compostela, Spain, the shell is now the universal sign of pilgrimage. The shell reminds us that we are all pilgrims on earth and members of a pilgrim Church. It is also a pledge to aid the needy, especially in the Holy Land.



Two Pilgrims’ Personal Diary



By: Joe Micatrotto

The old saying “not our first rodeo” would have seemed appropriate for the Catholic Travel Centre’s (CTC) Cardinal Mahony’s Holy Land Pilgrimage of October 4-10, 2014. After all, this was our third trip to the Holy Land in less than six years and we had “already” visited so many sites.  Wrong!  Oh, do not misunderstand; the first two trips were amazing, especially the 2014 CTC Pilgrimage.  So, what transpired to bring the “29 STEPPERS” to a new level as pilgrims? Firstly, anyone’s trip to Our Lord’s “home base” is a private one on one experience. But, Cardinal Mahony made this trip not only unique, but also a Pilgrimage of Personal Spiritual Responsibility…PSR!

It began three months earlier when we were beckoned to LA’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for a group meeting to review this pilgrimage and what to prepare for.  Also to make us realize that we were visiting the Holy Land NOT as tourists but as TRUE pilgrims and to act as such!  We received the daily prayer and spiritual guide books personally prepared by Cardinal Mahony. The guide book contains specific readings connected to each location to be visited. The readings relate both to the days of Christ and their relevance to our current walks with our Lord.  We were given 10 books each so that we could bring “prayer partner pilgrims” to spiritually travel with us.

Everyday, the 29 STEPPERS’ designated assignments included daily Rosary leaders, Mass lectors, Eucharistic ministers, and daily previewers of the history of each site. Seemingly tedious, but enriching and allowed us to spiritually prepare for the pilgrimage. Connie said, after her opportunity to lector next to the Holy Sepulcher…”reading the words of St. Peter next to the EMPTY TOMB was indescribable!”

Our pilgrimage covered in detail the key sites: three days around the Sea of Galilee and six days throughout Jerusalem and surrounding areas. To detail our total experience would be a tremendous task, because as St John the Apostle said, “so much to write that I doubt there would be enough volumes to hold it all.”  However, here are highlights that made the pilgrimage a very memorable Holy Land trek.


October 6th, day one.  Mass next to Our Lady’s home of Annunciation in Nazareth. It’s not only where Mary’s beginning of motherhood took place, but also where our own enlightenment commenced.



Ruins of the home of the Blessed Virgin. Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth

Ruins of the home of the Blessed Virgin. Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth

October 7th, at Mt. Tabor for Transfiguration Mass. We saw a large group of Nigerian pilgrims dancing in praise of our Lord, joined by Father Ken and Sister Kathy!  Here, and at other locations, Cardinal Mahony was asked for blessings and pictures.  He was a true Rock Star!

lv_pilg_2016_cardinal-mahony-with-two-pilgrims-at-the-river-jordan October 8th. We all got a good Baptist dampening at the Jordan River by Cardinal Mahony.

October 9th. One of the most energizing days at the Seminary in Jerusalem. Our Order sponsors 100% of these wonderful seminarians and they are so grateful.  The fabulous meal they prepared for us made it clear they know their culinary ABC’s!

Sir Michael Feeley gave Connie and me the unique opportunity to do an initial visit to HOGAR NINO DIOS.  This is a home for abandoned and special needs children in Bethlehem and one of our lieutenancy’s newest causes. By far, this was one of the greatest blessings in our lives. We witnessed first hand, our Lord’s calling to each of us to be our “brother’s and sister’s keeper.”

October 10th. Cardinal Mahony gave us the very rare opportunity to be alone and meditate in a completely private area of the Garden of Gethsemane.  If there was a soul searching moment, this was it!

Not to be missed on this same day was the 29 STEPPERS’ visit at St. Vincent’s in Ain Karem, another children’s home supported by the Order.  Ask any of us to describe what we experienced, including the gentleness of Cardinal Mahony’s individual blessing of each child, without tearing up….IMPOSSIBLE.





October 12th.  A most joyous day!  Highlighted by six Area Councillors receiving their Pilgrim Shells.

Fr. Pizzaballa, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate, awarded the Pilgrim Shells to the Brehm’s, Luchetta’s and Schanzlin’s.  All 29 STEPPERS witnessed this blessed achievement, the highest form of honor granted by our Order.

At each new day, we were drawn very close to Our Lord and his Living Stones and to our Catholic Arab family and community.  Space for this article is limited but when you visit and pilgrim your way through the Holy Land, you have unlimited space for all the Lord’s blessings.

Crusaders steps. Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem

Crusaders steps. Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem

As Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a visit to the Holy Land is really a MUST. As adults, how many of us would love to go back in time and see, touch, taste and experience what our parents and ancestors did as children growing up?  What type of teenagers were they? What type of neighborhood did they grow up in? What environment helped to form and affect their lives?  When you become a pilgrim Stepper, you will see how our Lord did just that; you will see, sense and feel his true and real presence.
At Calvary, we had an incredible opportunity to spend quiet time at the site of the foot of the cross.  As we crouched down on stone steps in deep meditation, next to Cardinal Mahony, we kept repeating …”Thank you Lord”…We were both imagining that 2000 years ago, at this exact location, our Blessed Mother, her companions, and St John were mourning the death of our Lord Jesus.  We had 2000 years of praising and thanking him for coming as our Emmanuel!
Entrance to Jesus-tomb Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem

Entrance to Jesus’ tomb. Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem


lv_pilg_2016_29steppers At the last evening, we were saddened by the thought that we had to go our separate ways. Yet, so blessed that, as the Apostles did 2000 years ago, Cardinal Mahony told us to do the same. …GO proclaim…



God’s Blessings to You and Those You Love.

Joe and Connie Micatrotto