Catholic Indiana National Guard Chaplain Heading Overseas

First Lieutenant at Indiana National Guard and Director for Catholic Mission at St. Theodore Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville, Indiana is heading overseas. Fr. Joshua Janko, a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana is going to the Holy Land as the spiritual director for a group of pilgrims traveling with Tekton Ministries.

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I want the pilgrims to be able to renewal their baptismal promises at the Jordan River; to renew their marriage vows at Cana.

Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) February 20, 2014

First Lieutenant at Indiana National Guard and Director for Catholic Mission at St. Theodore Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville, Indiana is heading overseas. Fr. Joshua Janko, a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana is going to the Holy Land as the spiritual director for a group of pilgrims. Though having traveled oversees a number of times before, this will be his first trip to the Holy Land. "I'm really hoping for some time of renewal," he said. "I can't wait to walk in the footsteps of Our Lord and Our Lady."

Not only is this pilgrimage his first to the Holy Land but it was also a surprise of sorts, as Fr. Janko was able to substitute for another priest who had originally planned on making the pilgrimage but was no longer able to go.

Along with a group of Catholics from parishes in Lafayette, Indiana, Fr. Janko will “boots down” on the storied land on February 22, 2014. The group will be on pilgrimage for eleven days. He said, "During those days I want the pilgrims to be able to renewal their baptismal promises at the Jordan River; to renew their marriage vows at Cana. I want them to bring their friends and loved ones with them in spirit and pray for them in these special places."

During their trip, Fr. Janko and his fellow pilgrims will be praying at some of the most ancient Christian sites the Holy Land has to offer. After driving along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, once a majestic city where St. Peter preached and St. Paul was imprisoned, the group will visit cities mentioned often in the New Testament, such as Cana, Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes and Nazareth.

Organized and provided by Tekton Ministries, an organization that has a special relationship with the Franciscans in charge of the holy places (serving as public relations manager for the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land), the pilgrims will spend their first days near the Sea of Galilee. Afterward, they will go up to Jerusalem just as Jesus did, as the Bible recounts.

The trip to Jerusalem took days to complete for pilgrims in the time of Jesus. For Fr. Janko, it will only take hours. On the way, he and the others will stop at the River Jordan where Jesus was baptized. Next will be Jericho where the “walls came tumbling down.” Jericho is one of the oldest populated cities on earth. It is also one of the lowest cities on earth as it is located close to the Dead Sea.

Jerusalem is said to never disappoint, according to the surveys of many pilgrims who have traveled with Tekton in the past. When the pilgrims reach Jerusalem they will spend six days experiencing some of the most intense days of Jesus’ life. From the Mount of Olives they will look across the Kidron Valley through which Jesus walked many times. In the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, they will pray on Calvary, site of the crucifixion. They will silently process past the tomb of Christ, left empty by his Resurrection. They will walk the Way of the Cross. And they will see, too, the chapel that traditionally marks the place of his Ascension into heaven.

So much can be seen in Jerusalem that it would take two pages just to fill in the details. One thing is sure. When Fr. Janko and his group return on March 3, 2014, they will never read the Bible the same again. They will have concrete experiences of being at the places that before were just words on a page or images in their thoughts. Now they will have memories of the encounters they had with Christ at each holy site.

If you are interested in learning more about pilgrimages, please contact Tekton Ministries at info(at)tektonministries(dot)org or visit their webpage at http://www.tektonministries.org.