Patriarch Twal on a Pastoral Visit to Ain Arik
AIN ARIK – His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal wound up on Friday a pastoral visit to the village of Ain Arik, west of Ramallah, during which he took knowledge of the situation of the parish dedicated to Our Lady of Annunciation.
The Patriarch was welcomed by Latin Parish Priest, Fr Hanna Chanti, Greek Orthodox Fr Nicolas Shahin, head of the rural council Khalil Shahin, deputy Muhib Awwad, priests and nuns, officials and other figures of the village.
On his arrival Patriarch celebrated Mass with Fr Michael McDonagh, Fr Chanti, seminarian Salim Haddad. Many faithful attended. The Parish Priest said a word of welcome, stressing on the importance of such a pastoral meeting which encourages exchange of points of view, ideas and concerns.
From his side Patriarch pointed out at the beginning of his homily that his visit is part of a round he intended to different Patriarchate parishes, spread all over Palestine, Galilea and Jordan. “It is an opportunity to show our encouragement, our support to the parish activities, and to listen to the hardships they experience”.
In his homily the Patriarch alluded to the situation which prevails in the region, more especially to the influx of Syrian refugees in Jordan, and to the importance of Asian migrants in Israel. These new circumstances leave indeed a powerful impact on the Church and its institutions. His Beatitude called for prayers that the Lord grants our region a feeling of security and stability, involving an end to the conflict.
The Patriarch appealed to Christians of the Holy Land to remain attached to their homeland, to their ancestral soil, and not to emigrate: “Our presence on this land urges us to act as true witnesses to the message of Christ, founded on charity and peace”.
The Patriarch on the other hand referred to the major event which the Diocese will live on 17 May, through the canonization of two Palestinian saints, namely Mother Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, founder of the Rosary Sisters, and Sr Mariam of Jesus Crucified, founder of the Carmelites of Bethlehem, during a pontifical mass presided by Pope Francis in Rome.
“We wish to express our joy, actually the joy of the entire Holy Land, for the canonization of these two nuns, daughters of Palestine. Both are for us a source of light and comfort amidst the hardships which we live.”
At the end of the celebration, the Patriarch met embers of the parish, representatives of institutions, and then went on a visit to the sick and elderly people, before winding up his tour at the school of the Patriarchate and to Caritas Center.
Source : Abouna.org