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TIBERIAS – On Saturday, 18th of February, 2017, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa presided a mass to celebrate, according to the tradition, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, in Tiberias, in presence of many parishioners, local religious men and women, visitors and friends.

After a week of wet weather and grey skies the sun came out over Tiberias for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter anticipated to Saturday, 18th of February for the parishioners. The Church was overflowing from early morning as the first guests arrived from Nazareth and the guesthouse itself was already buzzing with the presence of the Superiors of the Koinonia John the Baptist who had gathered from many parts of the world. Parishioners, local religious men and women, visitors and friends soon filled the small Church before the authorities arrived.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, accompanied by Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, Bishop Kamal-Hanna Bathish, Emeritus Auxiliary, Bishop Devprasad John Ganawa of Udaipur, Fr. Ricardo Argañaraz and Fr. Alvaro Grammatica, Founder and Superior General of the Koinonia John the Baptist respectively, and many other priests both local and from abroad. The Mass was joyful with beautiful music and was rich with many languages as the local parish members come from many backgrounds. Readings and prayers were heard in English, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Tagalog and Polish. In his homily, Archbishop Pizzaballa, gave a profile of Peter in the gospels, encouraging all to follow Jesus to Jerusalem.

As a conclusion to the ceremony the faithful gathered around the statue of St. Peter in the courtyard and said a prayer for the Pope.

A sumptuous buffet and a stunning (and tasty!) cake was offered by the koininia with the help of Ibrahim and Paula of the parish community.

Source: Koinonia community in the Holy Land

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