Holy Land January 7-20, 2011

We are delighted that you are considering a trip to the Holy Land with us next January. 

Click here to view the brochure and registration form

We are now taking deposits for the pilgrimage. To save your spot, fill out the registration form and mail with your deposit to Bonnie Lane at Golden Eagle Travel, 21250 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior, MN 55331. 

Fr. Chris Walsh and Fr. Matthew Guckin from Pennsylvania are joining us as spirtual directors as well as Msgr. Pricco who travelled with us two years ago and was a wonderful minister of the sacraments. Our cantor is Julia Waletzko who cantors at St. Vincent de Paul in Osseo, MN.

Contact us or Bonnie if you have questions or concerns. Cavins Tours phone number --763-420-1074. If you wish to have information sent to any of your friends, let us know and we will email the information or mail it depending upon preference.

We so enjoy bringing pilgrims to experience the Holy Land accompanied by dynamic priests, partaking together in daily mass, learning about the holy sites with friendly and experienced guides and walking in places where Jesus, Mary and the Apostles walked! It is a life-changing experience and we hope you can join us!

Hear what others are saying about our past pilgrimages!

This was the most organized trip I have ever been on.  When I found out that there were going to be 115 people, I got very nervous.  I do not hear very well and was very worried that I would not be able to hear but the ear pieces worked so very well.  I didn’t miss anything said by the guide, Jeff, Emily, Bonnie, or Father. You couldn’t have made us feel more welcome.  I was travelling by myself (my husband had died a yr. earlier).  It was the first time I had gone on a tour not knowing anyone.  I certainly didn’t have to worry—everyone was so very friendly. Donna D.

I have found that the greatest part of the trip is afterward...each time I hear or read the scriptures some sight or sound returns.  The words and readings in Mass have come alive....it is truly a gift that keeps on giving.  I hope that I can return with you to the Holy Land...once is not enough to take in all that it has to offer us. Barb from Illinois



Cruise to Alaska Update

We have recently returned from our "Sailing with the Psalms" Cruise to Alaska. Ninety of us set sail from Vancouver on the Holland America Volendam for one week of beautiful scenery, whale sightings, fabulous weather and best of all, fellowship with Catholics from the US and Canada. We were privileged to sail with 5 priest who celebrated daily mass for us. One special event was celebrating the Feast of St. John Vianney with them as the Church honors priests on that day. Jeff taught the adults 8 sessions on the Psalms while Fr. Mike Schmitz taught a group of 10 teens the book of Matthew. For the younger children, Kristin Rau and her friend Chrissey Zaum did a great job giving them a big overview of the Bible using Great Adventure Kids materials and plenty of great ideas of their own. 

Holy Land January 2010

We are delighted that you are considering a trip to the Holy Land with us. The next trip will be January 5-16, 2010 with a pre-tour to Egypt departing on January 1.

Here is the brochure and registration form. We are still taking deposits, so in order to reserve your place, please fill out the reservation form and mail it with your $300 per person deposit check to Golden Eagle Travel, 21250 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior, MN 55331.

We are also offering a pre-tour to Egypt to see the pyramids and climb Mt. Sinai! Our travel agent Bonnie Lane will accompany those interested in the extension who will then join the main tour as it arrives in Tel Aviv. Several are already signed up for that adventure and space is limited.

We are excited to let you know that Fr. Steve Ulrick will be the spiritual director. He is from Nativity of Mary Parish in Bloomington, MN and has hosted the Great Adventure live Bible study at his current parish as well as his previous parish in Chanhassen, MN. His friendly and pastoral manner as well as his grasp of the story of salvation history will be a terrific addition to the tour, not to mention the invaluable gift of his ministry to bring us the Eucharist in daily mass.

Contact us or Bonnie if you have questions or concerns. Cavins Tours phone number --763-420-1074. If you wish to have information sent to any of your friends, let us know and we will email the information or mail it depending upon preference.

We so enjoy bringing pilgrims to experience the Holy Land accompanied by dynamic priests, partaking together in daily mass, learning about the holy sites with friendly and experienced guides and walking in places where Jesus, Mary and the Apostles walked! It is a life-changing experience and we hope you can join us!


Holy Land Pilgrimage with Egypt pre-tour option, January 2010

Join Jeff, Emily and Fr. Steve Ulrick on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where you will find a new dimension of understanding Christian history and the life of our Lord.

Brochure               Registration Form

Greece/Turkey March 2010 
In the Footsteps of St. Paul 

Join Bishop Aquila of Fargo and us on a pilgrimage to Greece & Turkey with daily mass, including 4 day cruise of the Greek Isles. 

Brochure             Registration Form

Family Holy Land Pilgrimage
June 2010 

Bring the whole family for a pilgrimage/vacation with activities geared for kids of all ages! Join Jeff, Emily and their younger daughters and Fr. Mike Wehmann.

Brochure       Registration Form

Day 11 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

TUE,   MAR 24

This morning we drove to Ancient Corinth, which was the most beautiful city of Roman Greece.   We visited the Doric style temple of Apollo, the market place, the fountain of Pirene, the Bema of St. Paul and the Agora, where St. Paul preached.         Dinner and overnight in Athens. Then we pack up and head for home! Though the trip has been meaningful, we all will be so grateful to be back home with those we love.

Day 10 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

Monday, March 23

A short flight took us to Athens to see the Acropolis and the Parthenon.   Beneath the Acropolis is the Areopagus or Mars Hill, where St. Paul made his famous 'Men of Athens' speech. Jeff was able to teach about Acts 17 on that site as well. For mass we went to St. Dionysius just down the street from our hotel. St. Dionysius was a convert of St. Paul's. We enjoyed a free afternoon in the city. Overnight in Athens.

Day 9 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today it was overland along the ancient route of St. Paul to Ancient Philippi where we renewed our baptismal vows at the river where St. Paul prayed. We visited two early Christian basilicas and saw traces of the Egnatian Way, the Roman Forum, the citadel and the ancient theater. We even visited the jail where St. Paul was imprisoned.   Then we drove to the ancient site of Thessaloniki and had mass celebrated by Fr. Innocenti at the hotel before dinner and overnight.

Happy Birthday to Matthew Schmitz today!

Day 8 of Greece/Turkey Pigrimage

March 21

This morning we visited the legendary city of Troy, the site of the Trojan War described in The Iliad. Then we drove through the Gallipoli Peninsula, across the Dardanelles Straits by a car ferry, cross the Turkish border and continue on to Alexandroupolis in Greece. Fr. Schmitz celebrated mass at our hotel before dinner and then we had the opportunity for confession. Overnight Alexandroupolis.

Day 7 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today we visited Pergamon, one of the Seven Churches which John addresses in the Book of   Revelation. We visited the Acropolis where there is a great Hellenistic theater and Trajan's Temple are located as well as the famous Altar of Zeus, the Temple of Isis and Serapis, and the Temple of Athena. After visiting a carpet factory, we drove north to Canakkale, visiting Alexandria Troas. Overnight Canakkale.

Day 6 of the Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

Thurs, MAR 19

After breakfast we left for Thyatira and Philadelphia, both of which are one of the Seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Jeff gave a summary of the 7 Churches in Revelation on each of the buses as we travelled. Returning to Izmir, ancient Smyrna, we toured the city including a visit to the Hellenistic ruins. Fr. Peter Richards celebrated Mass at the Church of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John, and returned to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

We are excited to have the 6th-8th grade religion class students of Resurrection School in Wichita, KS are eagerly following the pilgrimage via the web. We will pray for you at mass!

Day 5 of the Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today we visited Miletus, the city where St. Paul stopped on his way to Jerusalem, and Ephesus. Once in Ephesus it's to an archaeological site where we see the great theater, Celsius Library and the fabulous Curetes Street. We stopped at Mary's House for mass with Fr. Mastey presiding. Recently this site was visited by Pope Benedict in 2006 and John Paul II in 1979. We also visit the Basilica of St. John and viewed the Temple of Artemis. We will stay the night at the Hotel Princess in Izmir. Tonight the priest graciously offered a time of confession for the pilgrims at the hotel.

Day 4 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage


Today we visited the site of Heiropolis where Jeff gave a talk about the nature of pilgrimage. Then we traveled a short distance to Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches addressed by John in the Book of Revelation. Jeff spoke here about the similarities of the Christians of Laodicea and Christians in the US today. We finished our day by driving to Kusadasi, the biblical Ephesus which is now a touristic port town on the Aegean where we will spend the night.

To view the photos you may click the arrows to go forward or backwards.

Day 2 of Greece/Turkey Pilgrimage

Today, we began with Mass at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Instanbul. Then for our first full day of touring, we visited the Topkapi Palace, and the Hippodrome, the former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople.   Next we visited the legendary Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also called the Blue Mosque. Later we visited the Hagai Sophia Church, now a museum and the Chora Museum. In the evening we enjoyed a leisurely cruise on the Bosporus.

Here are photos of the day!

Pilgrims Have Arrived in Istanbul!

Dear Friends and Families of the Greece/Turkey Pilgrims:

Jeff and the tour group has arrived safely in Istanbul. After a short bus ride through the city they have arrived at their hotel for mass, dinner and a good night's rest. The tour has two buses each with three priests on board! As they travel to the sites of Paul, let us continue to pray for their spiritual enrichment.

Here are some inspiring words from Jeff's friend, Keith Moore, the musician accompanying the tour.

"St. Paul is why I am here in Turkey today. Pope Benedict has declared this the year of St. Paul, and I am traveling with a pilgrimage, leading the music for the Mass. What a world of wonders we live in! This is a strange and exotic place. It brings out the superlatives in one's thinking. When he was ministering here, St. Paul used words like, "always", "everywhere", "all things", "ceaselessly", etc. He was about telling the people of this land about the Beloved. And he didn't just tell his readers to pray without ceasing, but he did it himself. I can only imagine what it was like for him to travel to this frantic place of milling humans. I am sure though the cities themselves have changed, but I bet the atmosphere hasn't. I bet there were people walking around in Paul's day that could walk by me today in Istanbul and I wouldn't know the difference. As I walk through old town's cobble streets, I can almost hear St. Paul speaking. His words and life are still a guide and inspiration. He said to follow him as he followed Jesus. Were he with me today, he would still be about the one thing, bringing Jesus to anyone who would listen. St. Paul, pray for us that we will use your words more often in our lives following Jesus. "Always", "Everywhere", "Giving thanks", "Run with endurance", "Pressing on.", and that these words will become our way too."

Emily Cavins

Alaskan Cruise Update

New discount for children on the Alaskan Scripture Cruise!

Holland America has reduced the price for 3rd or 4th passengers in any cabin and has cancelled the fuel surcharge!

$200 off the price of each child!

Tri and Quad rooms are limited, so call Bonnie Lane of Golden Eagle Travel for detail on this great savings!   Bonnie Lane: 952-474-0903

We can now offer a lower cost for children on the Alaskan Scripture Cruise.   If your child is the 3rd or 4th person sharing the cabin, the total child's cost, including cruise, children's program, and all taxes/fees will be reduced from $687.15 to $459.15.   Anyone who has already been invoiced at the higher rates will receive a new invoice with the new rates.

Adults who are 3rd or 4th passengers in any cabin will also save.   The rate is now $759.15, rather than $887.15, for the cruise, seminar and all taxes/fees.

In some cases we are able to reduce the 1st and 2nd passenger rates also, as Holland America Line has offered some special discounts.   If there is an applicable sale rate, you will have that benefit as well.

Sailing with the Psalms

We are excited about the adventurous and inspiring cruise we are taking to Alaska this summer, July 29-August 5 with many fellow Catholics who are eager to learn how to pray the Psalms. During our time at sea, we will have a seminar, "Sailing with the Psalms." During our time in various ports, you can take advantage of all the activities Alaska has to offer. We are really excited that also while on-board, we will have a teen and children's Bible study program.

Holland America is offering different sales which may apply to the cabin you are interested in booking. Please contact Bonnie Lane (GoldenEagleTravelTours@msn.com) to find out more details. Canadians traveling from Vancouver may benefit, as they may be eligible for extra savings on cruise cabins.   Contact Bonnie Lane to find out the exact savings available per cabin!

Summer may feel like a long time from now, but it'll be here before you know it. Be sure you don't miss out on this great trip!

If you have been considering joining us, we want you to take advantage of the advertised pricing by sending in your deposit now. We were able to extend the deposit deadline to March 31, but after that date we may not be able to guarantee the lowest price or availability. For a full look at cabin pricing and information, please visit www.cavinstours.com.

Our family is looking forward to traveling with yours!

Jeff and Emily Cavins

Holy Land Pilgrimage -- Day Nine

Perhaps the most meaningful day of the tour, we walked the 14 stations of the Via Dolorosa, meditating at each and ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for mass. In the afternoon we visited Ein Kerem, where John the Baptist was born, to visit the Church of the Visitation. We drove to the Elah Valley where David fought Goliath and heard an encouraging talk from Jeff. We had a lovely farewell dinner in the town of Abu Gosh. The group traveling El Al headed for the airport and the rest will be boarding after a very short night.

Walking the Via Dolorosa

Church of the Holy Sepelchur

Walking Though the Bazaar

The Valley of Elah where David and the Israelites defeat the Philistines

Farewell Dinner

Holy Land Pilgrimage -- Day Eight

The morning started with a tour of the Temple Mount and viewing the Eastern Gate from outside within the Muslim Cemetery. Then we attended mass at St. Peter in Gallicantu, which is on the site of the High Priest Caiaphas' home. We walked on the 1st century steps where Jesus most likely walked on his way to face Pontius Pilate. We returned to the Old City to walk along the Roman Cardo to the Jewish Quarter for lunch. Then we spent time at the Davidson Center where Jeff taught on the steps leading to the Temple Mount. From there we went to the City of David excavations and on to the Pool of Siloam. Then we visited the Western Wall and walked through the rabinnical tunnels that run along the foundations of the Temple Mount.

Temple Mount

Eastern Gate

1st Century Steps near   Caiphas' House

Lunch American style!

The Temple Mount Steps

The Western Wall

Rabbinic Tunnels


Holy Land Pilgrimage -- Day Seven

Today we headed for Bethlehem to visit the shepherd's fields, Church of the Nativity and the Cave of St. Jerome. Mass was held at the Church of St. Catherine's near the Church of the Nativity.   In the afternoon we toured   Yad Vashem, the museum commemorating the Holocaust. After dinner we heard a bit from Fr. Frechette and his work in Haiti.

Group from Peoria, IL at Church of the Nativity

Viewing mosaics in the Church of the Nativity

Mass at St. Catherine's in Bethlehem

St. Catherine's

Shopping in Bethlehem at a Christian Palestinian store

Cave of St. Jerome

Cave of St. Jerome

Group from Wisconsin with Sr. Jackie at the Church of St. Jerome

Fr. Rick sharing at the hotel