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.



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


Top Ten Hebrew Words

At the conclusion of the Adventures in Revelation study, someone asked if I could post the top ten Hebrew words Jeff uses in his teachings. This didn't seem too difficult a task, seeing as how I have the privilege of hearing Jeff's lectures over... and over... and over. What proved to be the most daunting aspect of this task was the request to limit it only to ten words. After reviewing the many times Jeff interjects Hebrew terms into his lectures, I realized it wasn't worth the added stress in my life to try and make a top ten list,so I didn't. Instead, I have put together a list of Jeff's top 39 most commonly referenced Hebrew words. So, without further ado, here's Jeff's Top 39 Hebrew Lexis List. (OK, so it doesn't have quite the ring of David Letterman's Top Ten List, but it certainly will be more helpful to you in your study of Scripture.)

Adonai: Lord. (Since pronouncing YWVH is considered sinful, Adonai is used instead in prayers.)

Al Beit: Above the House/Over the household. A reference to the one left in charge while the king was away. (i.e., Prime Minister) (See Isaiah 22:20-22; Mt16:18-19)

Beit: House

Bet Lechem: House of bread/Bethlehem

Bekhorah: Birthright

Berachah: Blessing

Chet: Archer's term meaning to miss the mark, to sin, to stumble.

El: God. Often used as an element in proper names. (Daniel, God is my judge; Gabriel, strength of God; Michael, He who is like God; Raphael, God's medicine.)

El Shaddai: God Almighty

Elohe Israel: God, the God of Israel

Elohim: First name used in Scripture for God.

Eliyahu: (Elijah) My God is my Lord

Gebirah: Official title of Queen Mother: a position of authority an honor.

Gehinnom: Gehenna in Yiddish. Literally a garbage dump in the narrow valley outside Jerusalem where a fire constantly burned in order to consume refuse and keep down the stench. (Syn. of hell) Ge bene Hinnom (Valley of the son of Hinnom): A place where children were sacrificed to the God Molech.

Halleluyah: Praise the Lord

HaShem: The Name. Word used by Jews as they will not pronounce the name of God out of fear of the potential misuse of the divine name.

Hekesh: Rabbinic teaching method which compares two scriptures that are mentioned together in one verse. Banging two Scriptures together to produce a greater effect.

Hillel: One of the greatest Rabbis recorded in the Talmud who lived during the reign of Herod (37 BC - 4 AD). Rabbi Hillel was considered to be more liberal than his counterpart, Rabbi Shammai.

Kadosh: Holy, separated, distinct, set apart

Manna: Literally translated as, "What is it?" Manna was the food that miraculously appeared and sustained the Israelites as they wandered the desert in the book of Exodus.

Nahash: Serpent

Rabbi: Great or distinguished (in knowledge). Teacher or great one. My master, my teacher, my great one.

Remez: Hint. Rabbinic teaching method which uses hints to express a point.

Shammai: One of the greatest Rabbis recorded in the Talmud who lived during the reign of Herod. Rabbi Shammai adhered strictly to Jewish Law.

Shem: Name

(The) Shema: Affirmation of the monotheistic message of Judaism. A Confession of belief in one God from Deut 6:7. Jews are required to recite the Shema twice daily. "Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad." (Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.)

Sheol: 'Abode of the dead' Underworld. Comfortless place beneath the earth.

Sheva: Seven. To swear an oath.

Shlomo: (Solomon) Peace. Shalom

Tallit: Prayer shawl. Shawl-like garment worn during morning service with tzitzit attached to the corners.

Talmud: Authoritative record on rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, customs, legends and stories.

Todah: Thank You. Sacrifice of Thanksgiving (zevah todah).

Torah: Law. (From the root Yarah) Law of Moses. Five Books of Moses. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. (In Greek, the Pentateuch)

Tzitzit: Long fringes on corners of tallit (prayer shawl) which serve as a reminder of the commandments

Yarah: Archer's term meaning to hit the mark.

Yehoshua: (Joshua) Yahweh (Jehovah) is my salvation. Also, Yeshua (Jesus)

Yehuda: Praise (Judah)

YHVH: God's name represented by four letters (Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh)


The Exclusion of Dan

In Revelation Chapter 7, why was Dan the only one of the ten tribes of Israel that was excluded or set aside, since all ten tribes fell into idol worship?

In order to address why the tribe of Dan was symbolically set aside in the image of the 144,000 people marked in heaven as the "new Israel", we need a little history about the 12 tribes of Israel. Bear in mind that the audience during the time of Revelation knew the history of Israel and would instantly see the meaning behind the omission of the tribe of Dan.

In 930 BC the royal kingdom of God's chosen people, which consisted of the twelve tribes of Israel, was divided into two separate kingdoms: Israel and Judah. Israel, consisting of 10 tribes, was in the north and ruled by King Jeroboam. And, Judah which was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin was in the south and ruled by King Rehoboam. The center of worship for both kingdoms, the temple, was in Judah in the south. This posed a problem for Jeroboam, the king of Israel; for he knew that he could lose the loyalty of his people if they continued to worship in the temple in Jerusalem. Fearing a reunification of the twelve tribes of Israel, Jeroboam's solution was to make a parallel mock religion. He instituted his own priesthood, feast days, and high places, and made two golden clave (false idols) for the people to worship, and said to the people, "You have been going up to Jerusalem long enough. Here is your God, O Israel, who brought you from the land of Egypt.' And he put one (golden calf) in Bethel and one in Dan. This led to sin, because the people frequented these calves in Bethel and in Dan" (1 Kings 12:28-30).

With the placement of the golden calf in the northern most boundary of Israel, the tribe of Dan completely lost its identity and fell into idolatry. So extensive was their worship of a false god that the tribe itself eventually disappeared. This idolatry, the bestowing on a creature the reverence due to God alone, is in itself the greatest of mortal sins. And with the gravest sin, comes the gravest punishment 'eternal separation from God. Those reading the book of Revelation would have received the message loud and clear and known why the tribe of Dan was not counted among the 144,000 protected by the seal of God; for those who choose to worship a false god, choose their own demise.


Revelation & Ezekiel Chart

I mentioned in my class on the Book of Revelation that there is a parallel between the book of Ezekiel and the book of Revelation. All you have to do is Click Here for the pdf download of that chart. Enjoy!


Mary, Ark of the Covenant

Mary, Ark of the Covenant

This Fall I've been teaching the book of Revelation in the Twin Cities. Today we spoke about "the woman" in chapter 12. I had 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.