Today was an awesome day in Jordan.

Deacon Greg Kandra did a masterful job illustrating the beginning of today’s adventures on his blog here, including photos of our hotel and of me getting some pick up footage of the Jabbok or Zarqa River.

It was a fun, albeit cold and rainy day, but the best part came at night, when I got to see one of my all-time favorite people, Abouna Nabil Haddad, a Melkite priest I met during my last trip to Jordan in May and who I was blessed to interview for my upcoming series, A Papal Pilgrimage in the Holy Land.

The Faithful Traveler Shepherds Fields

Father Nabil is more than just a priest. He is the is the founder and executive director of the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center, and an amazing man. But I love him because he is good and humble and kind. He is salt of the earth, and I am blessed to know him.

We were blessed to celebrate Easter Vigil Mass with Father Nabil and his flock and it was just amazing.

But the funny thing is, first, we went to the wrong church. Instead of going to the Melkite Catholic Church, we went to a regular Catholic Church, where we heard them celebrate Easter Vigil as we do, with the Latin Rite, just in Arabic.

The Faithful Traveler Shepherds Fields

Hearing the Exultet of the Easter Vigil Mass sung in Arabic was amazing. It really hammered home the universality of the Catholic Church–we are brothers and sisters with these strangers! It was awesome.

Then, we figured out were were at the wrong church and headed over to Father Nabil’s where we celebrated Mass with our Melkite brothers and sisters. It was awesome.The Faithful Traveler Shepherds Fields

I’d say more, but I’m exhausted. Suffice it to say, today really hammered home the fact that God wants us to pray for one another–no matter who we are or where we are. He wants us to love one another. And by praying for unity and peace, we change our hearts and minds to help make that happen.

Keep praying. These people are awesome and I love them.

Happy Easter to all of my Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ! And happy Easter to the rest of you, too!

Hallelujah! He is Risen!


Be sure to check out what some of my traveling companions are writing about their stay.

Frank Weathers wrote a little blog post about a movie he saw on Jordan on the flight out.

Denise Bossert tells about her second day’s experiences here.

Anna Carroll is one of my new friends, and she’s writing about her Jordan Journey here.

Marge Fenelon tells about her travel woes amidst tornadoes.


UPDATE: Deacon Greg just posted this: Journey to Jordan: The most amazing Easter of my life


Sounds like he had an awesome night, too. 🙂

You guys. COME TO JORDAN. It is amazing.