Pope Francis wants you and your family in Ireland

Denver’s Religious Travel International offers pilgrimage to World Meeting of Families 2018

Vladimir Mauricio-Perez

Beauty, faith, joy, culture and Jesus will all be present at the World Meeting of Families this Aug. 18-27 in Dublin, Ireland – and Pope Francis wants you to be there.

The event will celebrate the family as the cornerstone of our lives, society and the Church, with the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.” The pope will join thousands of other families from around the world for the event.

“The pope is trying to give families some pragmatic ways to live their vocation as a family in society,” said John Magee, vice president of Religious Travel International based in Denver. “I think that if families can come away from the race of life to be able to pray together and experience the Universal Church and the message of this WMOF, they will see great fruits.”

RTI provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for families who would like to attend. It’s organizing not only a trip, but a pilgrimage that seeks to make the experience truly transforming for the whole family, through faith and history.

“We do everything in our hands to prepare a meaningful journey to add to the spiritual life of the person,” said Jane Luzietti, owner and managing director of RTI. “Many people hold back from these opportunities because sometimes they don’t know what comes out of a pilgrimage. [But] the Spirit works on these journeys. We’ve had great testimonies from people in the past.”

The conference will consist of a program of workshops, talks and discussions for adults; an engaging program for young people and fun activities for children – not to mention the festivals, exhibitions and charitable activities that will be available for families.

Other than providing a faith-filled trip through the WMOF and daily Masses, the pilgrimage will include trips to explore the beauty of creation and learn about the historical richness of Ireland.

“Many people trace their ancestry to Ireland and perhaps have never been or explored Ireland within the context of their faith,” Magee said. “Especially for them to be able to do that in a multigenerational way is an incredible thing to offer [to their children and parents].”

The group’s stay in Dublin will be at the Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge, one of the finest in the city and located within walking distance of the conference center.

This privilege will allow families the space and freedom to embrace the message of the conference while being able to attend to the needs of their children and spend time together, Magee said.

Luzietti hopes to have representation from a variety of parishes in Denver and encourages parents to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity: “Being as a family is a big part of the conference. It shows your children that faith is important to you. Sometimes families don’t talk about the faith as much as they could.”

To contact RTI with any questions or to register by April 15, visit rtijourneys.com.

What:                 World Meeting of Families pilgrimage

When:                 Aug. 18-27, 2018

Where:                Dublin, Ireland

Cost:                    $4,142 (based on double occupancy)

Register:              rtijourneys.com

Deadline:             April 15

COMING UP: Don’t miss ‘the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century’

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Don’t miss ‘the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century’

Denver’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to life Judaism at time of Jesus

Vladimir Mauricio-Perez

“Welcome to Israel, the Biblical land of milk and honey at the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia… an archaeologist’s paradise”: These words mark the start of a once-in-a-lifetime immersion into ancient Israel that the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition brings to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science March 16 to Sep. 3.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Denver, not only displays the authentic Dead Sea Scrolls that have captivated millions of believers and non-believers around the world, but also a timeline back to Biblical times filled with ancient objects that date back to events written about in the Old Testament more than 3,000 years ago.

“We are convinced that the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the Judean desert are the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century,” said Dr. Uzi Dahari, deputy director of the Israel Antiquities. “These scrolls, written in Hebrew, are the oldest copy of the Bible.”

In fact, some of these manuscripts are almost a thousand years older than the oldest copies of the Bible that had been discovered, providing a great wealth of knowledge about Judaism at the time of Jesus.

“So many things have changed [since this discovery],” said Dr. Michael Barber, professor of Scripture and Theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver. “We now understand first-century Judaism in a way we didn’t in the past and see how the Biblical authors are breathing the same air as other ancient Jews.”

An exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be on display until Sept. 3. (Photos by Andrew Wright | Denver Catholic)

The air of first-century Israel was filled with expectations for the coming of the Messiah. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have been associated with a unique religious Jewish community that lived a structured life, are a witness to this reality, he explained.

“[These communities] were trying to live in such a way as to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. They looked forward to a new covenant and the restoration of the glory of Adam” Dr. Barber said. “We see so many overlaps of how the New Testament is a fulfillment of the Jewish expectations of the time.”

The exhibition immerses guests into the history of the chosen people of God, from artifacts impressed with seals belonging to Biblical kings, such as Hezekiah, to an authentic stone block that fell from Jerusalem’s Western Wall in 70 AD.

“We preferred to select scientifically important items, some very small, some very large… but all of great significance,” Dr. Dahari said.

“Israel’s archaeological sites and artifacts have yielded extraordinary record of human achievement,” added Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn, curator of the exhibit and professor at San Diego State University. “The pots, coins, weapons, jewelry and other artifacts on display in this exhibition constituted a momentous contribution to our cultural legacy. They teach us about the past, but they also teach us about ourselves.”