CINPEC - Comite Interdiocésain National des Pèlerinages Catholiques
On August 23, a specially chartered airplane by Vered Hasharon brought a group of 340 participants from Dakar, Senegal, led by Monseigneur Paul Abel MAMBA, to the Holy Land, for the first leg of the exciting and spiritual annual CINPEC pilgrimage tour of the Holy Land, Rome and Lourdes.
The pilgrimage began with 14 days visiting the Christian holy sites of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth and the Galilee region. In Jerusalem, the pilgrims followed the route of Jesus’ suffering along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, drove to Bethlehem to the Church of Nativity and Church of St Catherine and visited the Church of St John the Baptist in Ein Karem as well as visiting many more churches and holy sites in the region. One of the highlights of their time in Jerusalem was the meeting with the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
There was also some time for relaxation after a visit to Jericho and then Qumram where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found the group had some free time for relaxing at the Dead Sea with the opportunity of swimming (floating) before returning to Jerusalem.
Before travelling north, the group visited the small town of Taibe on the West Bank which has a Christian Community living there since the early days of the Church.
While in the Galilee they visited Capernaum, the Church of Tabgha as well as the Mount of Beatitudes, site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, as well as other wonderful places of interest. They also experienced an unforgettable cruise on the Sea of Galilee that included a wonderful late afternoon 2 hour Mass on the boat in the middle of the Lake. In Nazareth at the Church of the Annunciation the group took part in the torchlight procession of the Rosary.
After 14 days of visiting the wonderful and exceptional biblical places in the Holy Land, the group left Israel for Rome where they visited the many exceptional historic sites of ancient Rome as well as religious landmarks and beautiful churches, and a Papal audience at the Vatican.
From Rome, the pilgrims travelled to Lourdes. While in Lourdes they walked the Jubilee Way, took part in the Torchlight Marian Procession and participated in the International Mass in the Underground Basilica ST Pius X. The group, with the aid of Vered Hasharon, received an international platform when they got the chance to lead a main procession as well as leading a prayer in Wolof. (The most widely spoken language in Senegal).
After all the excitement and spiritual experiences of this 21 day pilgrimage, it was time to board the Vered Hasharon chartered airbus to take them back home to Dakar.