By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Archdiocese is planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land early next year.

Father Dennis Gill, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, and Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Divine Worship, will lead the pilgrimage from February 1st through February 11th, 2018.

Why now?

“People have expressed a need, that’s why we’re doing it. Priests have expressed a need for this opportunity. There seems to be a real desire and hunger for people to visit the Holy Land. And, so through the goodness of the archbishop, we’re able to provide for that,” said Gill.

Gill says the last pilgrimage to the Holy Land run by the archdiocese was in 2011. He says there will be plenty of security for this visit, but there is an exit ramp for unforeseen circumstances.

“If there’s a national situation or crisis either here or in the Holy Land that would prevent the trip from taking place, there’s insurance already in place to compensate those who made a commitment to the pilgrimage,” he said.