Passport to the Holy Land

Holy Week is a time in which we figuratively transport ourselves over time and space to the Holy Land to walk with Jesus on the road to Calvary. One Director of Religious Education, Victor Valdez, invites parishioners to walk this journey in a creative and unique way by having the children of the religious education program reconstruct a miniature Holy Land on the Parish Green! The site includes displays of the areas of Nazareth, Bethlehem, Galilee, Jericho, and Jerusalem. Take a look at Victor’s flyer:

Passport_to_the_Holy_Land Flyer

Upon arrival, each family receives a passport that includes a pilgrim’s map, a pilgrim’s prayer, and New Testament references. The families first check-in and then share a food item related to the Holy Land of Jesus’ time: pomegranate or grape juice, fruits and nuts, whole grain flat bread or olives, cheese, or milk. At each of the locations mentioned above, children re-enact scenes from the life of Jesus.

What an incredible idea! Hats off to Victor and to his parish religious education program for putting so much time and energy into this wonderful idea. I hope we can see pictures when it is all over!

Victor is DRE at St. Athanasius parish in Mountain View, CA.


Update: here are pics from the event!

Passport to the Holy Land 2010

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. This is a SUPER idea. They say in the teaching world the greatest
    flattery is copying. I hope I can do something similar in 2011 to
    bring together our parish school and parish Religious Ed kids. May I use
    your passport?
    Thanks for the pictures, too.
    AND Joe, thank you for your great ministry. My catechists have really
    appreciated your many works, ideas and feedback. THANK YOU!

    • Jodie, I know of a few other folks who plan on copying Victor’s great Passport to the Holy Land idea! Victor graciously shared this with us so you can use it but it would be courteous to give him credit: Victor Valdez, Saint Athanasius, Mountain View, CA.

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