Rejuvenate your call to ministry

with Verso Ministries

What is the Holy Land FAM Trip?

Specifically for ministry leaders, priests, and religious, the Holy Land FAM Trip is a way to reflect on your call to ministry and take a personal pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Additionally, the FAM Trip showcases the unique experience that pilgrims have on a Verso Ministries pilgrimage. Participants in the FAM trip will be able to interact with Verso staff and guides, explore all the major pilgrimage sites, and experience lodging and dining options. “FAM” is short for “familiarization,” meaning this pilgrimage also helps the potential group leader familiarize themselves with the pilgrimage sites, the logistics of traveling, and the mission of Verso Ministries to evangelize through the experience of pilgrimage.

Group Leader Special: Get a FREE trip to the Holy Land

Ministry leaders, priests, and religious who attend the FAM Trip and then decide to become a group leader and partner with Verso MInistries to bring at least 30 pilgrims on any future international pilgrimage during the calendar years of 2020, 2021, or 2022 will be eligible receive a full refund for the FAM Trip ($499 value), plus up to $1,000 in airfare reimbursement. See the FAQ section below for full details.


HIGHLIGHTS

 
  • Rejuvenate your call to ministry: So often, ministry leaders, priests, and religious are the ones shepherding a flock. How often do you get to take time to reflect on your own call to ministry and reinvigorate your vocation to serving God’s people?

  • Never read Scripture the same again: You’ve heard of these places throughout your life of faith - Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem - a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a chance to encounter these sites first-hand!

  • Live out the liturgical calendar: Pray the Stations of the Cross on the path Jesus walked to Calvary, experience the cave where the angel appeared to Mary at the Annunciation, sing Christmas carols in the Church of the Nativity, and celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre - at the site of the tomb and the resurrection of Jesus.

  • Experience the “Verso difference”: A FAM Trip is a chance to familiarize yourself with the pilgrimage sites, the logistics behind traveling in the Holy Land, and most importantly, the unique mission of Verso Ministries to evangelize through the experience of pilgrimage. You’ll experience first-hand our expertise in planning purposeful, intentional, and transformative pilgrimage experiences.

Pictures below: (1) Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem; (2) Dead Sea; (3) Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem; (4) The Old City of Jerusalem including Dome of the Rock and Mount of Olives.


SCHEDULE

 

Dates of this pilgrimage are:
January 30-February 7, 2020 (9 days / 8 nights)

  • Day 1: Thursday, January 30 - Depart U.S. (flights not included in the package)

  • Day 2: Friday, January 31 (D) - Arrive Tel Aviv, transfer to Nazareth for welcome dinner. Overnight in Nazareth.

    • Please note: If you are arranging your own airfare, please arrive to the Tel Aviv airport no later than 3:00 p.m. on January 31. One transfer will be made from the Tel Aviv airport to Nazareth on this day.

    • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designating times at Tel Aviv airport, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.

  • Day 3: Saturday, February 1 (B, L, D) - Galilee Churches, including the Church of the Multiplication, Peter’s Primacy, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Capernaum (the “town of Jesus”). Overnight in Nazareth.

  • Day 4: Sunday, February 2 (B, D) - Renewal of wedding vows at Cana. Visit to Nazareth, including Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph. Afternoon exploring Haifa, including Stella Maris Monastery and Elijah’s Cave. Overnight in Nazareth.

  • Day 5: Monday, February 3 (B, D) - Ascend Mount Tabor with Mass at the Basilica of the Transfiguration. Drive through the West Bank to Jericho with stop at Jordan River for renewal of baptismal promises. Before going up to Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea. Overnight in Jerusalem.

  • Day 6: Tuesday, February 4 (B, D) - Morning visit to Bethlehem, including the Shepherd’s Field, Manger Square, and Church of the Nativity. Afternoon at Israeli Museum and Ein Karem, including the Church of Visitation and the Church of St. John the Baptist. Overnight in Jerusalem.

  • Day 7: Wednesday, February 5 (B, D) - Mount of Olives, including Church of the Ascension, Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit, Mass at Church of All Nations, and the Garden of Gethsemane. Following lunch, drive along the Kidron Valley and visit Mount Zion, including St. Peter in Gallincantu, the Upper Room, and Dormition Abbey. Overnight in Jerusalem.

  • Day 8: Thursday, February 6 (B, D) - Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa and then celebrate Mass at Holy Sepulchre. Sing in St. Anne’s Church before visiting the Pools of the Bethesda, Antonia Fortress, the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter. Evening Farewell dinner. Overnight in Jerusalem.

  • Day 9: Friday, February 7 (B) - Depart Tel Aviv and arrive U.S.

    • Please note: If you are arranging your own airfare, please depart from the Tel Aviv airport anytime after 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 7. One transfer will be made from Jerusalem to the Tel Aviv airport in the morning.

    • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designating times at Tel Aviv airport, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.

* (B, L, D) denotes meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) that are included with the package.


DETAILS

 

Pilgrimage package includes:

  • Preparation and follow-up materials delivered via email

  • A dedicated pilgrimage guide who will accompany the group, supplemented with local guide(s)

  • Custom-designed booklet for each pilgrim

  • Tickets for included activities: Boat ride, Jesus Boat Museum, Capernaum, Dead Sea, Pools of Bethesda, and Antonia Fortress

  • Airport/hotel transfers (if arriving and departing at designated windows)

  • Transportation on a motorcoach for the duration of the pilgrimage

  • Accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, including taxes, in excellent religious guesthouses, 3 and 4-star hotels (single room supplement available on a limited basis)

  • Breakfast and dinner daily while in Israel

  • Gratuities for guide(s), driver(s), hotels, and meals

  • Online preparation meeting for all pilgrims to review itinerary, activities, logistical arrangements, and prayer resources

Pilgrimage package does not include:

• Round-trip airfare (optional add-on, published fare plus $40 per person ticketing fee)

• Passport, visa, or luggage fees

• Any personal purchases

• Meals while traveling, all lunches, and drinks at meals

• Recommended travel insurance

• Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included


REGISTRATION

 

Pilgrimage package as low as: $499 per person* for “land-only” package

*Please note that the pilgrimage package does not include airfare costs

Options:

  • Individually arranged round trip airfare: Published fare + $40 per person ticketing fee (with LUXE Travel)

  • Single room supplement: + $299 (subject to availability)

Registration Deadline & Criteria

  • Registration Deadline: November 1, 2019

  • Verso Ministries is looking for ministry leaders, priests, and religious who are interested in partnering with us to evangelize by encountering God, the mysteries of the Catholic faith, and the Universal Church through journeys and experiences of holy and sacred sites around the world. We are looking for others to partner with us as we help pilgrims find their path to God.

  • The Holy Land FAM trip is designed for people who fit the following three criteria:

  1. Have a leadership position in the Church

  2. Are looking for a rejuvenating pilgrimage for themselves personally

  3. Are seriously considering working with Verso Ministries on a future international pilgrimage for their parish, school, diocese, or other organization

Flights:

  • Flights are not included in the standard “land-only” package.

  • Registered pilgrims can contact our travel partner - LUXE Travel - to make flight arrangements. Cost of this service is the published fare plus a $40 per person ticketing fee. Instructions on how to contact LUXE Travel and book your individual flights will be made available after registration. Please contact us directly if you have any questions regarding flights.

  • Get your airfare for free! Group leaders and priests will receive up to $1000 airfare reimbursement, as well as a full refund for the FAM Trip, if they bring 30 pilgrims on any future international pilgrimages in taking place in the calendar years of 2020, 2021, or 2022.

I/we are arranging our own flights, when should we plan to arrive/depart?

  • If you are arranging flights on your own, please send us a copy of your itinerary so we know when to expect your arrival and departure.

  • Please plan to arrive to the Tel Aviv airport no later than 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 31, 2020. The group will meet at the airport at that time to make the transfer up to Nazareth.

  • Please plan to depart from the Tel Aviv airport after 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020. One transfer from Jerusalem to the airport will be made in the morning for all those departing after 9:00 a.m. on February 7.

  • If you elect to arrive/depart at times different than those listed here, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf.

    • Private transport from Tel Aviv airport to Nazareth - $330 per transfer (up to 6 pax)

    • Private transport from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv airport - $175 per transfer (up to 6 pax)

Want to extend your stay or need additional services?

  • Please contact us directly if you’d like us to quote you for additional services during your stay or to arrange pre or post-stay hotel nights. Private guides, transfers, tours, tickets, and other concierge services available.

Need a transfer?

  • Private transport from Tel Aviv airport to any location in Tel Aviv - $175 per transfer (up to 6 pax)

  • Private transport from Tel Aviv airport to Nazareth - $330 per transfer (up to 6 pax)

  • Private transport from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv airport - $175 per transfer (up to 6 pax)

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designating times at Tel Aviv airport, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.


PAYMENT

 

How do I pay?

  • During registration, the full balance of $499 can be paid online with a credit card or debit card.

  • If you prefer to pay by check, money order, electronic bank transfer, please contact us directly.

  • Checks and money orders can be made payable to "Verso Ministries LLC".

    • Payments can be mailed to:

      • Verso Ministries LLC

      • P.O. Box 986

      • Notre Dame, IN 46556

Once opened, registration is on a first come first serve basis until the Registration Deadline (November 1, 2019).

What is your cancellation policy?

All cancellations of individual pilgrims must be made in writing (email or letter) to Verso Ministries.

Cancellation fees are as follows:

  • Within 48 hours of registration - Free Cancellation

  • 31 days or more from departure - $300 per person of trip cost is non-refundable

  • 30 days or less prior to departure - 100% per person of trip cost is non-refundable

Cancellation fees are for individual pilgrims. Any cancellation charges incurred from other suppliers or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, etc.) may come in addition to the administrative fees listed above.


FAQ

 

What is the Holy Land FAM Trip?

Specifically for ministry leaders, priests, and religious, the Holy Land FAM Trip is a way to reflect on your call to ministry and take a personal pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Additionally, the FAM Trip showcases the unique experience that pilgrims have on a Verso Ministries pilgrimage. Participants in the FAM trip will be able to interact with Verso staff and guides, explore all the major pilgrimage sites, and experience lodging and dining options.

What does “FAM” mean?

“FAM” is short for “familiarization,” meaning this pilgrimage also helps the potential group leader familiarize themselves with the pilgrimage sites, the logistics of traveling, and the mission of Verso Ministries to evangelize through the experience of pilgrimage.

Who can attend the Holy Land FAM Trip?

The Holy Land FAM trip is designed for people who fit the following three criteria:

  1. Have a leadership position in the Church

  2. Are looking for a rejuvenating pilgrimage for themselves personally

  3. Are seriously considering working with Verso Ministries on a future international pilgrimage for their parish, school, diocese, or other organization

Generally, speaking, ministry leaders, priests, and religious who are interested in partnering with us to evangelize through the experience of pilgrimage are all invited to attend the Holy Land FAM Trip. The mission of Verso Ministries is to help pilgrims find their path to God, and we invite others to join us in this mission!

What does “seriously considering” working with Verso Ministries on a future international pilgrimage mean?

This means that you aren’t simply attending the FAM Trip with no intention to ever work with Verso Ministries in the future. There won’t be any contracts or agreements to sign beforehand, but we simply trust that you are seriously interested in learning more about our organization, our style of pilgrimage, and the potential of partnering together in the future to bring people closer to God through the experience of pilgrimage.

If I attend the FAM Trip, am I (or the organization I represent) required to partner with Verso Ministries on a future pilgrimage?

No, there are no obligations to partner with Verso Ministries on a future pilgrimage. We do not require participants to agree to anything before they attend. However, we are confident that your experience on the FAM Trip will leave you wanting more!

Why is the FAM Trip fee so low?

First of all, we view this as an investment in the leaders of our Church and an opportunity to serve those who are usually doing the serving! For this reason, we subsidized the cost significantly to make the pilgrimage as accessible as possible to those that are interested. Let’s be honest, most lay ministers, priests, and religious aren’t bringing home six figures each year!

Additionally, our local partners (hotels, ground operators, guides, etc.) also view this as an investment. They reduce or subsidize the typical cost for services for FAM groups, as they also hope you come back in the future with more pilgrims.

How does my FAM Trip become free?

Ministry leaders, priests, and religious who attend the FAM Trip and then decide to become a group leader and partner with Verso Ministries to bring at least 30 pilgrims on any future international pilgrimage during the calendar years of 2020, 2021, or 2022 will be eligible to receive a full refund for the FAM Trip ($499 value), plus up to $1,000 in airfare reimbursement.

Do all 30 pilgrims need to attend the same pilgrimage in order for me to get credit towards my free trip?

The 30 pilgrims may be spread over different international departures (example: 20 Holy Land, 5 Camino, 5 Ireland), as long as all travel is completed during the calendar years of 2020, 2021, or 2022. Please note: Credit for each pilgrim may only be applied to one group leader. Namely, two or more group leaders cannot claim credit for the same pilgrim. If the same person travels on two or more pilgrimages, the group leader would receive credit for each pilgrimage. For example, if Pilgrim A travels to both the Holy Land in 2020 and then also to Ireland in 2021, the group leader would receive 2 credits towards their reimbursement.

How will you keep track of which pilgrims give me credits towards a free trip?

Each leader will be given a unique referral code that pilgrims can enter during registration. This helps to identify each pilgrim as a part of your ministry. Each pilgrim who registers with your code will give you one credit towards the reimbursement. Only pilgrims who travel on the pilgrimage will give the leader credits toward the reimbursement. Pilgrims who register but then cancel before departure will not count towards the reimbursement.

Additionally, each leader will be responsible for tracking the names and number of pilgrims from their ministry and must submit a list consisting of pilgrim names and the pilgrimages they attended to Verso Ministries for verification in order to receive a refund for the FAM Trip registration fee and airfare reimbursement.

Will I receive additional compensation if I get more than 30 pilgrims?

No, you will receive no additional financial compensation. However, you will receive great satisfaction in knowing that you’ve encouraged more than 30 people to grow closer to the Lord on pilgrimage!

The dates for 2020 don’t work for me, will there be another chance?

Yes, we anticipate running the Holy Land FAM Trip each year during late January/early February, so we anticipate another FAM trip next year. Contact us to keep up to date on future FAM trips.


Questions

 

Please contact us with any questions.