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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Patriarch’s Pastoral Visit in Ramallah

Ramallah IMG_0093-300x200 

RAMALLAH – On Sunday, February 23, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem went to Ramallah for a two-days pastoral visit to the parish of the Holy Family.

Having arrived in Ramallah for a pastoral visit, His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal was greeted by several city dignitaries, the parish priest, Father Raed Abu-Sahlieh and his Vicar, Father Farah Bader, as well as communities of the Sisters of the Rosary and the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition, the Mayor of the City, Mr. Moussa Hadid and his deputy, Mr. Kamal Deebes. Representatives of the Parish Council, various parish groups and scout movement were also present.

Upon his arrival, the Patriarch proceeded to the Church sacristy to prepare for the celebration of the Eucharist. Father Raed welcomed the Patriarch, stressing the importance of such a meeting not only the shepherd with his flock, but the flock with its shepherd. An opportunity for the faithful to share with him their ideas, concerns and expectations. Fr. Raed also exhorted the parishioners to further adopt the true spirit of “family” in parish life, recalling that the Church itself is a big family.

At the outset of his homily, the Patriarch said that the visit was part of a series of pastoral visits he performs to take a closer look at new parishes of the Diocese in Palestine, Galilee and Jordan. He also stressed that such a visit is an opportunity for him to encourage and support the various activities of the parish while listening to the difficulties and obstacles it experiences.

Later in his homily, the Patriarch spoke about the difficult situations of the region at this time, especially the flow of Syrian migrants into Jordan and Asian migrants into Israel. These new realities, according to the Latin Patriarch, put new responsibilities on the shoulders of the Church and its institutions. He therefore encouraged the faithful to unite their voices with the whole Church in asking God for peace in this country and around the world.

He then called the Christians of the Holy Land to remain attached to their country and their land, and to reject any idea of ​​emigration, claiming that our presence in this land impels us to be more faithful witnesses to the message of Jesus Christ, built on peace and love.

The songs of the Mass were inspired by the Choir of the Holy Family led by Sister Victoire Marjieh, Sisters of the Rosary. During the Mass, the scouts of the Holy Family were able to renew their promises at the hands of the Patriarch. His Beatitude also performed the blessing of the new logo of the Legion of Mary.

After the Mass, a meeting was scheduled between the Patriarch and the Mayor of Ramallah, Moussa Hadid, to discuss the current situation of the city. A meeting with the pastors of other churches represented in the city was also organized as well as a visit with all the parishioners and the various parish groups.

The pastoral visit of His Beatitude to Ramallah included a visit to the sick and the elderly. He also visited the National College – a part of the Latin Patriarchate schools – and the school of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition.

Source: www.abouna.org Imad Freij.


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