Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated in Nazareth
Nearly a year after the beatification of Mother Marie Alphonsine, the Rosary Sisters of Jerusalem celebrated in St. Joseph Church their feast on October 7th, feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The Rosary Sisters of Jerusalem was founded by Blessed Marie Alphonsine in the late 1800’s here in the land of Jesus and Mary.
Father Amjad Sabbara,ofm, pastor of Nazareth, presided over the celebration, with Father Philippe Hourcade, of the Sacred Fathers of Betharram, and Father Jean Boucary, of the Brothers of Charity. Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, sent his greetings and best wishes to the Rosary Sisters from Rome, and recommended the intentions of the Synod for the Middle East to their prayers.
The celebration took place in a solemn and beautiful atmosphere, centered on the Gospel of the Annunciation (Luke 1.26-38), of Mary’s total surrender to the Lord’s will. The offertory song was composed by Mother Marie Alphonsine herself which conveyed a message of vibrant and radiant hope of inner peace. Every year on this feast, the Rosary Sisters renew their vows, again offering their entire lives to the Lord.
In Nazareth, the Sisters run a house for pilgrims and kindergarten school, in the spirit of their congregation of ministering to the needs of children, young people and older people, serving the poorest with a moral commitment to overcome poverty and guarantee everyone opportunities for education and in deep faith live with dignity. The three superiors of the congregation’s centers are Sister Sylvia, Sister Scholastica, and Sister Emerence, are all from Palestine. Despite the challenges in their ministries, Sister Scholastica confided that after nearly 50 years of consecrated life: “If I live my life all over again, I would choose no other life than this.”
Praying the Rosary is the path traced by their foundress for the Sisters. They pray at dawn in their chapel, drawing on the spiritual power that energizes their work day.
Bishop Marcuzzo will preside over the first anniversary celebration of Mother Marie Alphonsine’s beatification in Nazareth on Sunday, November 21, 2010.