Donors Make Seminarian Holy Land Study Tour and Pilgrimage Possible06.21.22
Each year seminarians from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology have the opportunity to participate in a special study tour and pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This trip is made possible each year through contributions from the Mathile Family Foundation and the David R. and Margaret C. Clare Foundation.
Due to COVID-19, our seminarians were not able to participate in 2020 or 2021. This year four seminarians, Tony Sanitato (St. Rose of Lima, Cincinnati), Tony Losekamp (St. Margaret-St. John, Cincinnati), Ben Mersch (Our Lady of Good Hope, Miamisburg) and John Grusenmeyer (Sacred Heart Parish, New Carlisle, all from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, along with Rev. David Endres, Dean of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, will depart on July 8 for a 10-day trip of the Galilee region and Jerusalem.
The Holy Land is often referred to as the fifth Gospel, a land where the people, places and events of the Scriptures come to life. Much of the land is as it was centuries ago making it easy to imagine walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee listening to Jesus and his early disciples.
“It is a tremendous blessing to have the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land and to walk in the very places that Jesus walked. The gospels will come alive in a new way through this experience,” said John Grusenmeyer. “I pray that through my time in the Holy Land I may draw closer to Jesus, grow in my understanding of the Gospel and that this experience will enrich my future homilies.”
Fr. Endres explained that the timing of the Holy Land trip is important in the overall formation process. This experience is generally for MTSM seminarians who have just completed their pastoral internship year where they’ve spent a year learning and assisting in a parish and before they enter the year in which they will petition to be ordained transitional deacons.
“Visiting places significant to both the Old and New Testaments allows our seminarians to connect their classroom knowledge with the insights that can only be gained by experience — by seeing the landscape, people and culture of the Holy Land,” said Fr. Endres. “Here, they make the connections that assist their prayer and preaching. It helps enliven their reading of the Scriptures when they remember visiting the Sea of Galilee, the synagogue at Capernaum, the location of the Annunciation at Nazareth or the site of Jesus’s death and resurrection in Jerusalem.”
Seminarians will have the opportunity to participate in the celebration of Mass at various holy sites, including Mount Tabor (place of the Transfiguration), Bethlehem (place of Jesus’ birth), the Holy Sepulchre (place of Calvary and the Tomb), and Abu Gosh (where Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection — called Emmaus in the Bible).
“This is an experience of a life-time that helps enhance the ministry of our future priests with a better understanding of the Scriptures and preaching.,” said Rev. Anthony R. Brausch, Ph.D., President and Rector of MTSM. “We are truly grateful for the donors who make this possible.”
MTSM is the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s graduate-level Catholic Seminary and School of Theology. Founded in 1829, our 75-acre campus prepares men for ordination to the priesthood and permanent diaconate as part of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. In addition, our School of Theology offers classes for graduate and certification programs for laity, clergy and religious.
For additional information about MTSM, visit www.athenaeum.edu or call 513-231-2223.