Upcoming Events

School of Discipleship

8 week course, Fall 2018

St. Paul, MN

sponsored by Catechetical Institute

more scheduled events


Pilgrimage Updates!

January 9-23, 2019 Annual Holy Land Pilgrimage

SOLD OUT! To be put on a waiting list, a completed registration form and deposit required. Contact travel agent for more information. Bonnie Lane 952-474-0903 or Tricia Stoltz 952-679-8888 or goldeneagletraveltours@msn.com. 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

Registration is now open! This will fill quickly as space is limited. Fr. Josh Johnson of Baton Rouge will be our Spiritual Director for the September 9-20, 2019 pilgrimage. We will 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 form.

January 2020 Annual Holy Land Pilgrimage

Registration will begin in March of 2019.


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.



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!


Shony Alex Braun

Shony Alex Braun

Shony Alex Braun first encountered the enchanting spell of the violin as a frightened four-year-old child, lost in the dark forests of Transylvania (Hungary-Rumania). Rescued by gypsies and taken to their camp, little Shony was comforted and fascinated by the "box that makes music." Six years later, he debuted on Radio Bucharest as a child prodigy violinist.Shony began composing music at the age of eleven. Two years later, he received a scholarship from the Budapest Academy of Music. His musical studies, however, were cut short when he was transported along with the rest of his family, to the concentration camp at Auschwitz and, later, Dachau.

Throughout the Nazi nightmare, the violin continued to comfort Shony and, on one occasion, literally saved his life. The day before Dachau was liberated by the Allies, Shony was shot in the chest and left for dead. But he survived and his music endured.

After liberation, Shony continued his music studies and graduated from the world-famous Mozarteum Academy of Music in Salzburg, Austria. He and his wife Shari, also a Holocaust survivor, immigrated to the United States, where he studied violin with Professor Josef Gingold at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Music.

Shony Alex Braun is a gifted violinist and a prolific composer. He has written over two hundred compositions. They range from classic, romantic and gypsy music, to his stellar achievement, Symphony of the Holocaust, for solo violin and orchestra, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Shony lived in southern California, where he had appeared in numerous films and television shows. He has recorded eleven albums and performed before kings, queens and royalty in the capitals of Europe. In 1984 he performed for President Ronald Reagan in the White House.

From concentration camps to concert halls, Shony Alex Braun's life is an extraordinary saga of survival and triumph. The magic of his violin and the intensity and joy of his music have stirred and inspired audiences around the world.

Shony's Music

Shony's Autobiography