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HOLY LAND – On the first Tuesday of the month, the priests of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and all parish priests and parochial vicars gather in Jerusalem for a spiritual and pastoral meeting.  Starting this year, the Presbyteral Council, which organizes this activity, recognized the importance of holding the meeting three times a year at the local level, in Amman, Nazareth and Jerusalem. On February 7, 2017, about fifteen priests met with Bishop Marcuzzo in Nazareth. 

Following the decision of the Presbyteral Council, about fifteen priests met with Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel on February 7 at the pastoral center of the Vicariate in Nazareth. The meeting focused on pastoral issues, particularly on the parish council, pastoral care of the family, and youth ministry.

With regard to the parish council, the Bishop pointed out three possibilities: “Either this council exists and works well, or it exists and does not work very well, or it does not exist at all”. It was decided to designate a day of training and fellowship for parish councils and each parish priest could set up a committee to be the expression of  community co-responsibility. Father Nidhal Kanzua agreed to coordinate this initiative.

As for the family, most communities do not have a pastoral committee. The priests themselves committed to create this necessary structure. Each parish will set up a “Family Day” and promised to participate in the proposed initiatives, under the coordination of Fr. Amjad Sabbara, coordinator of the regional committee for the family.

For young people, Fr. Tony Zghendi, youth ministry assistant, presented briefly the questions of the Lineamenta for the next Synod of Bishops on “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”, for which youth groups are also called upon to respond .

To conclude the discussions on pastoral issues, the priests shared some spiritual moments with the presentation of Fr. Bruno Varriano, guardian of the Franciscan Community of Nazareth, a psychologist and psychotherapist, on “the need of every priest and religious to always have a spiritual companion.”

There was a time for prayer and confession at the Basilica of the Annunciation and the priests participated in solemnly praying the Angelus, which the Franciscans have been doing for centuries. In an aura of simple and sincere friendship, the priests shared a meal at Casa Nova hosted by the Latin Patriarchate Vicariate

Text : our correspondent in Nazareth

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