Confirmation and communion in joy of two new Saints
Jaffa-Tel Aviv : On Sunday 15 February St Anthony Parish of Jaffa-on-the Sea lived a sensational moment of parish life: 15 children received the First Communion and 20 youngsters – of whom 8 Filippinos – received Confirmation. All that in an atmosphere of joy following the announcement made on the previous Saturday by Pope Francis that our two Palestinian Saints will be canonized on the forthcoming 17th May
Parish Priest Zaher Abboud, ofm, organized this celebration, jointly with Sr Maria del Pilar and Sr Alma de Christo, of the Word Incarnate of Jaffa, Mrs Noha Hefawi, Miss Juliette Khalil, and for the Filippino children Mrs Gloria and Mr. Dick. Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, presided over the ceremony.
This celebration holds its originality from the mixed and intercultural tone by the get-together of Arab children and Filippino children. A happy initiative which helps immigrants to feel yet more united to local Church and Christian Arabs to open out to foreign Christians.
The community’s abundant joy of the forthcoming canonization of Blessed Maryam Bawardi and Blessed Marie-Alphonsine Ghjattas spread its glow over the Mass. Each time their two names were pronounced, there was a spontaneous delightful uproar filling the church.
In his homily, Mgr Marcuzzo talked to Christians directly: “Considering the location of Jaffa where Chritians risk to melt within the predominant masses – says the Vicar – it is absolutely important to watch out and to work together to keep the identity of the Christian of the Holy Land, to deepen his belonging to Church and to give a good Evangelical testimonial as citizens”
Text : our correspondent in Jaffa Photos : J. K.