Deacon Roy and Mary Forsythe

“After about a week of being back in our comfortable daily lives here at Ave Maria, I have had the chance to reflect a bit on the Holy Land Pilgrimage and how it had an overall effect on my life. The trip itself came during a very crucial point in my life, as a cradle Catholic I noticed that the mysteries of the faith were losing meaning to me. Going to mass became more of a box that needed to be checked every Sunday and the actual sacrifice that occurs during the mass had lost all significance to me. Overall, my faith had become dry. However, this pilgrimage has changed my life forever. I rediscovered the beauty of the mass and the significant weight that it carries. I constantly look at my new olive wood crucifix and am reminded of all the sins that Jesus carried and then suffered on the cross with. It brings tears to my eyes everyday.” ~ Clare

“I want to thank you so much for your generous donations which allowed me to experience this pilgrimage. Words can not describe how incredibly grateful I am to have had the opportunity to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity. It has forever changed my life. I want to share with you an amazing moment I had on the Sunday we got back from the trip. On Sunday evening, I went to mass, and while listening to the gospel, it was about Jesus on Mount Tabor and the Transfiguration. I was in shock because never in my life would I have imagined that I would be able to connect an experience with the gospels to a place I have been. 

On the pilgrimage, we did many activities that greatly strengthened my faith such as going to the Upper Room, attending a mass at the Holy Sepulcher, going inside Jesus’ Tomb, praying the Stations of the Cross, having mass at the Mount of Beatitudes, and many more. I know for certain that this trip will help me continue to grow in my faith as I continue to reflect on these experiences. Thank you again for making this all possible, God bless you!” ~ Maggie

Fellow Pilgrims,

It is so nice to hear from Armando, Sylvia and you Patrice, as well as Dcn. Larry. Mary and I are still trying to organize our pictures and our thoughts as we come down from the mountain top experience of traveling in David’s new bus, Amer’s great instruction from a native Israelite, and Steve and Janets’ guidance through all the Holy sites. After speaking with friends who traveled to Israel with other tour groups I realize how fortunate we all are to have traveled with Steve Ray. No one could possibly tell the story of salvation history from Adam and Eve to the life death and resurrection of Jesus while standing on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Kidron Valley to the Temple Mount without notes in 20 minutes. Amazing Steve!!! I wish I had made this trip 16 years ago right after I was ordained. Not to mention great hotels, great restaurants and how about authentic dancing with great energy during lunch at Biet Sahur. I will do my best to share the joy of this pilgrimage with all who will listen. All our best and our prayers to Allen as he begins his radiation treatment.

Grace and Peace to all, Deacon Roy and Mary Forsythe

John and Sherry

Hi Steve,

Sherry and I are watching your videos of our November Israel pilgrimage tonight. They are so well done!! What a trip. What memories! We are so grateful we had the chance to go with YOU!! We will see you on another pilgrimage soon!

Rosalind (Legatus Member)

We pilgrims are having the best time of our lives! Scripture is coming to life and experienced by us in such a beautifully spiritual way. There is such a balance of activities and holy sites and Steve and Janet Ray are masters of efficiency and logistics. The hospitality of Legatus will long be remembered as is the quality planning and delivery of the most meaningful experience.


Dear Janet and Steve,

Thank you for a wonderful pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I am sorry to see it end, but I will go home with visions of all that I saw. Your book and pictures will keep those visions alive. The Lord has spoken to me: we are disciples. I pray I will be bold, articulate and able to relay all that the Holy Land represents! God bless and thank you!

— Norma

Check out these video testimonials!