The pilgrims were split into three groups traveling to the Holy Land for the pilgrimage on October 1. Group 1, guided by Father Michael Sikon flew from Pittsburgh to Newark on a noon flight. They were joined in Newark by Group 2, guided by Father John Harth, which flew in from St. Louis. These 2 groups combined to form a group of 60 pilgrims, flying to Tel Aviv, Israel. The flight was delayed to change one of the tires, but the group arrived at 10:35 am on October 2. Group 3, guided by Father Willie Lechnar, flew from Pittsburgh to New York City on a 3:50 pm flight, then boarded a flight to Tel Aviv arriving at 4:50 pm on October 2.
The pilgrims had arrived at the airport three hours before the flight as required for a transatlantic flight. When you add those 3 hours to the 12 hours flying and the layover in Newark, they have been traveling for a total of 17 hours before they arrived in Tel Aviv. Most spent the time reading, sleeping, and getting to know each other.