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Children’s Easter camp for Hebrew-speaking Catholics

Children’s Easter camp for Hebrew-speaking Catholics

For three days, from Wednesday, April 11, until Friday, April 13, the children of the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities gathered in the Deir Rafat convent (Our Lady of Palestine), near Beit Shemesh .

Children’s camp is usually associated with summer, however this year the Saint James Vicariate decided to hold a short spring children’s camp during the Passover school holidays, which fell this year during the week after Easter. 46 members of the kehillot (Hebrew speaking Catholic communities) – children, youth and seven adult counselors went off to the convent known as Deir Rafat (Our Lady of Palestine), near Beit Shemesh for three days during which they relived Holy Week and the Easter celebration but this time in order to transmit the Easter joy and the message of the feast to the children.

Children from all the different kehillot participated as well as nine members of “Desert Flower”, the youth group and there were seven counselors, including Father David, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics. Games to get to know one another helped the children new to the group to get to know the veterans but most of the children are already used to come to this place in summer for the annual summer camp in Deir Rafat.

Every morning began with prayer. After the meal, the children gathered in the classroom for the first of three lessons that focused on Easter, the meaning of the feast, the preparation time before hand, Holy Week and the seven weeks that follow the feast ending with Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Father David, who taught the classes, also emphasized the roots of the feast in the Scriptures of Israel and the many connections between Jewish Passover and Christian Easter. The important activity for these three days of camp was the preparation of a show on the Holy Week:  the actors were chosen from among the children, they painted the sets for the show and learnt songs for each scene of the Triduum. On Friday,  the parents arrived for a solemn mass. Then the children proudly presented their show, which was warmly applauded, and everyone gathered for a festive lunch.

According to an article from the Latin Patriarchate Vicariate for Hebrew-speaking Catholics