A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

We’re going on a pilgrimage of a lifetime to see the sacred sites of the Holy Land!

Okay, okay, so we’re not actually traveling to the Holy Land in person, at least not in the immediate future (details, details…). We are, however, virtually following along with The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land, a new television miniseries debuting on EWTN on February 17. We were thrilled to have a sneak preview of the series, and we are now honored to share a bit about it here.

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With the look and feel of the Travel Channel yet values of EWTN, The Faithful Traveler invites viewers to explore the art, architecture, history, and doctrine behind shrines and places of pilgrimage around the world. It’s a shared ministry between Diana von Glahn and her husband David. And what a great team they make. Diana researches, writes, hosts, and edits each episode; David shoots and directs. Together, they do all that is required to produce and market a television series. Talk about two becoming one!

This isn’t the first run for The Faithful Traveler. Its first season began airing on EWTN in 2010. That was a thirteen-episode series that explored many shrines throughout the United States. In The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land, Diana and crew tour popular Biblical sites including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem, the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, Cana, and the Via Dolorosa. The series consists of six episodes, 30-minutes each, providing a light-hearted yet informative introduction to these sacred spots — planting seeds of knowledge while entertaining armchair travelers. The series airs on EWTN from February 17 through 22 at 5:30 PM and again at 2:00 AM (central time). Cable-free families, have no fear. EWTN streams live for free. The series is also available on DVD for purchase.

A few notables:

** The show is certainly family friendly. In fact, its episodes sustained the interest of our five-year-old. Sure, many of the concepts were too complex for her to truly absorb, but she nonetheless enjoyed the series. I trust a seed of knowledge was planted.

** That Diana … is she ever charming! Her pleasant voice lends well to the narration, and her on-camera presence truly invites you in as a fellow pilgrim along each stop. I shared many smiles and even a few tears with her. If you don’t choke up a bit during Episode 4, you might be made of stone. But, as Pope Francis might say, who am I to judge?

** Beautiful imagery, both still photography and live videography, brings the scenic landscapes, ancient architecture, and sacred art to life.

** The soundtrack provides a subtle means to enter in more fully to the pilgrimage experience. The music does not overpower nor does it underwhelm.

** This may sound a “Three Little Bear-ish” here, but my what initiative the von Glahns have! Joel and I are full of ideas that will never, ever see the light of day. I can’t imagine all the behind-the-scenes work it takes to get a television series off the ground. David and Diana have infused their love for the Church with their passion for traveling and turned it into a ministry. An entertaining and inspiring one at that.

** The episodes are full of faith! I envision watching the series might even become an annual Lenten tradition.

**Scripts for each episode were fully vetted by EWTN. No need to worry about wacky theology here.

** This series has temporarily satisfied our collective wanderlust to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Key word: TEMPORARILY. In the event your wanderlust is still saying, “Quick! Get thee to the Holy Land!” and your budget affords, the Faithful Traveler is actually hosting what’s sure to be a fun pilgrimage this summer to the Holy Land. Check it out here.

** Bottom line, we happily award The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land with the Das Schmidt Haus seal of approval.

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With that, I’ll leave you with a clip from The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land from Episode 3. Diana and David travel to Capernaum and the house of St. Peter where hundreds of couples renew their wedding vows at the Wedding Church at Cana.

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