Upcoming Events

School of Discipleship

8 week course, Fall 2018

St. Paul, MN

sponsored by Catechetical Institute

more scheduled events


Pilgrimage Updates!

January 2019 Annual Holy Land Pilgrimage:

Registration is nearly full and will soon be on a waitlist for January 9-23, 2019. Click here for more information, brochure and registration form.

Please view Cavins Tours photo gallery for a glimpse of some of our past pilgrimages.

September 2019 St. John Paul 2 Pilgrimage to Poland

Fr. Josh Johnson of Baton Rouge will be our Spiritual Director for the September 9-20, 2019 pilgrimage. Details will be coming soon for our first trip to Poland to visit many significant places connected to St. John Paul 2, St. Faustina and other saints as well as a visit to Auschwitz. Brochure and registation information coming soon.


Here is what a recent pilgrim had to say about our annual Holy Land pilgrimage! 

 Thank you for a most wonderful, spiritual experience these past 2 weeks. The pilgrimage surpassed any expectations I had. Your teachings, Jeff, were so meaningful at each site. You are able to pull together all the history, the spirituality, the geography of the area, the archeological aspects, etc. so well to make the whole story make sense. You have challenged us to grow spiritually not only with questions to ask ourselves, but ways to ponder those question in our lives, and the wonderful "weapons" we have to tackle them, grow from them, and make necessary changes in our lives so that we may be better disciples of the Lord and spread the Good News to others. Certainly my times in adoration, and daily prayer will be enriched because of this Holy Land experience. ~~ Barb K

Please feel free to contact us at Cavins Tours phone number --763-420-1074.



“It’s Only Fair!”

"One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me." It's only fair! For many, these were the first words used to define "fairness" while growing up. As sophisticated adults we have adapted our language but oftentimes continue to determine our sense of worth by adding up what we have and paying careful attention to what others are getting.

In Matthew 24:1-16 we see that the owner of a vineyard saw fit to pay all his workers the same wage, even though some had worked longer than others. For those who had been laboring all day this was interpreted as an injustice; it simply wasn't fair. At first glance we may conclude that the parable is speaking about "fairness." But upon closer examination we see that the issue is not "fairness" but the generosity of God. Even more to the point the parable brings up the question, can we trust God?

Deep within our hearts we may interpret the Lord's actions as being arbitrary. In other words, He simply does whatever He pleases because He is God, leaving us uncertain as to whether we can trust Him. This, in fact, is not true. The Catechism clarifies this when it says, "God's almighty power is in no way arbitrary: 'In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God's power which could not be in his just will or his wise intellect'" (No. 271).

Often times envy rises within our hearts when we are passed up for a promotion, or our siblings are blessed monetarily. We quickly jump to the conclusion that either God doesn't love us as much or He simply isn't paying attention. Determining our relationship with our heavenly Father must never be reduced to comparison with others. In reality, God is infinitely more interested in our wants, needs, and desires than we can possibly imagine. He knows where you are at in your spiritual growth, and He knows what you need when you need it.

The bottom line is do you trust Him as your Father and are you thankful that He has extended grace to you? This parable does not teach us about "fairness" as we have defined it, rather that God keeps His word to us as individuals within the context of community. At the end of the day, we can be assured that God has kept His word and nothing was missed under His loving eye.

What about those who "seem" to be blessed more than you? Rejoice with them. Learning to delight in God's provision for others is another way of acknowledging the Lord's goodness. St. Paul wrote, "If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12:26). By rejoicing with others you are affirming the security you have within the household of God.

One more thought: Envying those who are successful but do not appear to be serving the Lord is an empty trap. Solomon once said, "Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day" (Proverbs 23:17).

Here are some action items to take this week:

1. Take some time this week to meditate on the blessings of your extended family or co-workers. Verbally thank the Lord for blessing them.

2. In all you do this week focus on the fact that you are in the Lord's vineyard and it is the Lord you are serving. Make every moment a gift to God.


Mary: Ark of the New Covenant!

This Fall I've been teaching the book of Revelation in the Twin Cities. This week I'll be speaking about "the woman" in chapter 12. I  mentioned that many times on my travels to Israel I was inspired by a statue of Mary on top of a church in the ancient city of Kyriat Yearim (Abu Gosh). The statue depicts Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant. The Old Testament Ark was in Kyriat Yearim for twenty years before Israel brought the Ark to Jerusalem.

There are some striking parallels between David bringing the Ark into Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6:1-19 and St. Luke's account of Mary's visit to Elizabeth in Luke 1:39-56.

In 2 Samuel 6:2, "David arose and went" to Judah.

In Luke 1:39, "Mary arose and went" to the hill country of Judea.

In 2 Samuel 6:9, David cries out: "How can the ark of the Lord come to me?"

In Luke 1:43, Elizabeth asks: "Why is it granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

In 2 Samuel 6:14-15, David is found leaping and dancing before the ark of the covenant.

In Luke 1:41-44, the baby in Elizabeth's womb is leaping for joy in Mary's presence.

In 2 Samuel 6:11, the ark of the covenant remained at the house of Obededom for three months.

In Luke 1:56, Mary (the new Ark of the Covenant) remained at the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah for three months.

Another interesting comparison between the Old Testament ark and the New Ark (Mary) is that the Old Testament ark contained a bowl of manna, the two tablets of stone (10 Commandments) and Aaron's budding rod (speaking of his authority). In Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant we find Jesus, the living bread from heaven, the Word made flesh and the King of Kings and Lord of Lord's.


Kelly Wahlquist

Kelly Wahlquist is the Director of Community Relations for The Great Adventure Bible Study Systems.   After serving as a nursing supervisor for ten years, Kelly began working for Jeff Cavins and has coordinated Great Adventure Bible studies at various churches in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.   She is the editor of Catholicism 101 and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Sacred Scripture at the Augustine Institute in Denver.


The Timeline in Solon, Iowa!

I had a wonderful time teaching the Bible Timeline this last weekend at St. Mary's parish in Solon, Iowa. Solon is a beautiful community just outside of Iowa City, IA. On Friday night we met with a few dozen educators who are interested in bringing the Timeline to their parishes. On Saturday we spent the whole day going through the entire bible.

(Hannah, Me, Joe Flanders, Sam, Madeline)

I want to thank Joe Flanders and his family for working hard at putting this event on. You guys did a great job. I also want to thank Julie and the fine people of St. Mary's for all their hard work.


Emily Cavins

I had the privilege of writing the book--My Heart Is a Violin. It is the autobiography of a Holocaust survivor and talented violinist, Shony Alex Braun. I am still amazed to this day of the character and depth of this man who suffered so much in his life. I feel very honored to have worked closely with him and his wife. I find it difficult at times to read portions of this book because of the great losses he suffered, but his triumphant soul is always a source of inspiration.

I hope you find this uplifting story and inspiration for your own life. I have heard from so many people that this has been one of the most powerful stories they have ever read.

To order copies of the book go to www.shonyalexbraun.com All royalties of this book purchased through his website go directly to support Shony's widow, Shari.

Or for an autographed softcover copy by Emily, send $19.00, (includes shipping) to:

PO Box 1533, Maple Grove, MN 55311

(Please be sure to include the name of person for whom the book is to be autographed.)


Emily is completing her degree in archaeology at the University of Minnesota. Over the summer she had the opportunity to dig at two sites in Israel. Here are a few photos of her experience!

This fragment of an overhanging rim jar was found at the Kedesh excavation.

This is a marble slab engraved with a cross that marked a family burial at the site of Hippos/Sussita during the Byzantine era.

Emily helped clean and restore the mosaic around the marble slab with cross.

Cleaning mosaic floors can be fun! After scraping layers of dirt off the mosaic, there really is a pattern under it all!