Bethlehem and Jerusalem, and later Nazareth, also join the list of places where the 100th anniversary of the pontifical approval of the Teresian Association is commemorated, with mind and heart in the present situation, as Pedro Poveda would say.
Aware of the hardships and sufferings of our brothers and sisters, we on the other hand cannot stay with dampened spirits. We may be paralyzed by fear but not forever immobile. The Lord calls and heals us and tells us not to be afraid. On the joyous occasion of the TA centenary and powered by the hope for what the future holds for us, the members of the TA in the Holy Land have joyfully decided to organize Thanksgiving events in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.
First to be celebrated was the Thanksgiving Mass in Bethlehem University (11 Jan. 2024, Thursday) presided by Fr. Peter Du'brul, SJ, who he was joined by a fellow Jesuit, Fr. George Schultze, and Fr. Iyad Twal, Executive VP of Bethlehem University.
Agnes Sleibi, ACIT member, said the opening remarks while Monnitte Monana closed the Mass with a thanksgiving note.
An unexpectedly overwhelming response was evident in a capacity-filled-chapel with our friends –former members who have grown up to be professionals, who have their children and who are currently sending them to the Pontifical Mission Educational and Cultural Center PMECC cherishing their own experience of formation and of being loved by Teresians; our friends and colleagues at Bethlehem University, the Christian Brothers, the Jesuit Fathers, Fr. Iyad, loyal friends who continue to appreciate the TA mission.
A simple reception was offered at the PMECC where the cutting of the centennial cake highlighted the event, amid the welcoming applause of all the invitees. There was evident peace reigning in the hearts of everyone there, in the backdrop of an undeniable existence of hostilities in a “not-so-far-away” region.
On 19 Jan., Friday, the TA members convoked our friends, supporters, benefactors as well as Church authorities to the celebration of the Eucharist in the chapel of Our Lady of Peace, Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre.
HE, Arch. Adolfo Tito Yllana, Nuncio to Israel gladly accepted to preside over the Eucharistic celebration, joined by the emeritus auxiliary Bishop Giacinto-Bulous Marcuzzo and priest-friends from the Franciscan, Jesuit, Legionaries of Christ, Passionist and Salesian congregations as well as the Benedictine Abbot Nikodemus Schnabel with whom we worked closely when he was Latin Patriarchate Vicar for Migrant-workers and asylum-seekers.
While the Jesuit Father Peter Du'Brul zeroed in on the Teresian mettle of Saint Teresa of Avila citing how Pedro Poveda exhorted Teresians to acquire and pray for, this spiritual mettle, HE Arch. Tito Yllana spoke of the love and fraternal support of the First Christians. He likewise highlighted how important it is for the members to be steeped in their prayer life while carrying out their professional life in the fields of education and culture.
The accompanying photos will hopefully share the prevailing joy and friendship that prevailed during the encounters after the Eucharist.
Our next projected Thanksgiving celebration will be in Nazareth on the 24th of February 2024, to be presided by the Latin Patriarchate Auxiliary Bishop for Israel, Msgr. Rafic Nahra, who has welcomed with open arms this gesture of honoring and thanking the Holy Family.
Twenty five years of living in Nazareth (1972-1997) and serving the people through the Al-Bishara Library saw the Teresian Association rooted in the land of Mary's FIAT. We are grateful for those years of countless blessings sown and reaped for all TA Members world-wide.
TA in Holy Land.
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