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TIBERIAS – On March 25, 2017, the feast of the Annunciation, the Emmanuel Community celebrated it twenty years at the Oasis of Tiberias. It was also the Anniversary of the death of its Founder, Pierre Goursat, whose cause of beatification is presently introduced in Rome. The evening was led by a quartet of high-level musicians and the praying of the Vespers of the Annunciation on the balcony garden of the Oasis, in the light of the setting sun on Lake Galilee! 

As an extension of the Solemn Mass of the Annunciation in Nazareth, on the morning of March 25th, the Emmanuel Community continued this feast dedicated to the Virgin Mary throughout the afternoon at the Emmanuel Oasis of Tiberias. In the gardens of the house overlooking the Lake of Galilee dear to the Lord Jesus.

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem participated in the feast, accompanied by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, and Bishop Kamal Bathish, Emeritus of Jerusalem, Philippe and Florence de Boisredon, Moderator of the Emmanuel Community for Asia, and Professor Philippe Quentin of the French CNRS and the University of Bordeaux, all the members of the Holy Land Community and many friends, especially from Galilee.

The director of the Oasis, Pierre-Yves Augier, and Professor Philippe Quentin, cordially welcomed all participants and warmly expressed a Happy Feast Day, in French and English. They gave a very brief overview of the history and mission of this charismatic community and its founder, Pierre Goursat, whose cause of beatification has already been introduced in Rome. The Community now has 11,000 members worldwide, including 230 priests and 200 consecrated in celibacy spread throughout 57 different countries.

A quartet of talented young musicians led a musical mediation under the direction of Emile Bishara, a well-known lutenist in the country, Bishara Khoury, a young virtuoso violinist, Anan Awwad, percussionist, and Rula Hakim, a soloist whose voice moved all the participants with traditional melodies dedicated to the Virgin Mary. All complemented by some original musical compositions of a high level.

This form of contemplation led naturally to the Office of Vespers of the Annunciation, under the majestic sky on the balcony that opens onto the Lake of Galilee, illuminated by a setting sun, whose evening rays highlighted the colors of the verdant Spring.

Archbishop Pizzaballa presided over the Liturgy of Evening Prayer, flanked by young Father Patrick Monnier, a priest of Emmanuel and a student at the École Biblique of Jerusalem, and Father Elias Daw of the Melkite Church known to all and a friend of Emmanuel.

The liturgy of the day providentially gathered the participants of various confessions through the alternation of psalms, readings and songs and the prayer of intercessions, concluding with the blessing of the Archbishop.

The traditional French-style buffet was the perfect way to end this lovely meeting in the relaxation of the evening and everyone, strengthened by beautiful moments of music and prayer, was able to share with the friends of the Oasis of various origins and with members of the Emmanuel community who welcomed.

It was a nice evening to remember, and the Emmanuel Oasis holds other surprises for the next Feast of the Annunciation, Sunday 25 March 2018.

Text and photos by Pierre-Yves and Marie-Claire of the Oasis of Emmanuel.

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