Tabgha celebrates the Feast day of Multiplication of Loaves
TABGHA – On November 14th, 2015, the Patriarch of Jerusalem H.B. Fouad Twal, presided over the mass on the feast day of Multiplication of Loaves at the Benedictine Sanctuary of Tabgha.
This celebration is an old-time tradition, launched by the Benedictine Fathers of Tabgha and by the Latin Patriarchal Vicar. It came within the context of preparation of the Jubilee of Mercy and the spirit of the Pastoral Synod of the local Church which sought to bring the Christian community closer to the Holy Places.
Mass as concelebrated by Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Mgr George Bacouni, Melkite Archbishop of Galilee, Fr Basilius, osb, Prior of the Monastery, Mgr Ludger Bornemann, Spiritual Director of Tabgha Pilgerhaus, and almost thirty priests from the area. Liturgical service and the singing were secured by students of the German Theological Stadium of Jerusalem.
Over 200 people attended the celebration, including Mr. Bernd Mussinghof, Director of the Deutscher Verein vom Heiligen Lande, Mr. Gabriel Mashael, new Director of the Pilgerhaus, and their respective teams, the Benedictine Sisters of Christ the King, staff of Beit Noah, a group of young volunteers, two groups of the Legion of Mary of Nazareth and the faithful coming from the entire Galilee.
The celebration went off in a climate of solidarity. In fact it was the first celebration of this kind since the vandal and fanatic attack which hit the Basilica and the Monastery on June 18th. In his homily, the Patriarch talked about the compassion of Christ in the Gospel of Multiplication of Loaves. He called on the worshippers to remain united, strong and merciful, facing the challenges which affect the church in the Holy Land and the Middle East. In the heels of the recent Synod of Bishops, he reminded that the family is the base of our unity, power, evangelical compassion, and the Year of Mercy which will take place soon.
At the end of the mass, The Prior announced, that works of repairs and reconstruction of the section damaged by the arson would start after Christmas holidays. Everything should be brought back to normal for next year’s celebration.
As tradition goes, all participants were offered a delicious Pita, baked in the Eastern way, and enjoyed a warm reception in the garden called Dalmanouta on the shore of Lake Tiberias.
Text by our correspondent in Galilea