Veilleurs de la Paix – a Franco-Palestinian Christmas in Beit Jala
Beit Jala – On Tuesday December 22th, 2015, a group of French youths arrived on a one week pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The youngest will spend three days with Palestinian families in Beit Jala.
They are about fifty, aged between 6 and 18, coming from the Diocese of Vannes in France on a weeklong pilgrimage and discovery of the Holy Land together with the Movement “Veilleurs de la Paix”. The youngest – aged between 6 and 13 – coming in the framework of twinship of their school (Saint Anne in Locmiquélic, Morbihan), twinned with the primary school of the Patriarchate in Beit Jala, will spend three days with Palestinian families on Christmas. They have been communicating in French since September and will meet to better know one another and to play together.
The project, presented to Mgr. William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, Mgr. Raymond Centène, Bishop of Vannes, Fr Stéphane Milovitch, ofm and Superior of St Saviour’s Convent in Jerusalem, earned high appraise.
This exchange was made possible thanks to an approval by Fr Faysal Hijazen, Director of LPJ schools, and Les Veilleurs de la Paix to start first an exchange by mails before hosting French people in families. School children of Beit Jala will be hosted in France during the following school year. These exchanges aim to “create solid friendships between Brettons and Palestinians” according to Fr Frédéric Fagot, who accompanies the group, headed by the school director of Locmiquélic and children’s parents – and “ to enable young French people to discover the origins of our religion and civilization. In order to know where we go and who we are, we should know where we come from. That’s what we propose to these young people”.
Fr Frédéric Fagot, Head of the movement “Veilleurs de la Paix” founded in 2012, Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Diocesan Delegate for Catholic Education, organizes several trips for students , subsequent to a writing relationship with students from LPJ schools. Last June, Zababdeh school went on a 2-week trip to Bretagne, France.
Eva Maurer Morio & Thomas Charrière