JERUSALEM – On 15 June 2021, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, in cooperation with the Catechetical Office of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, organized an ecumenical prayer service for students of Christian schools in Jerusalem, at the Basilica of St. Stephen of the Dominican Fathers in Jerusalem. Concelebrating were several priests from the various Churches of Jerusalem.
170 students from five different schools participated in the prayer: The Brothers’ School (Frères), School of Our Lady of Pillar, The Rosary Sisters’ School in Beit Hanina, Terra Sancta School, and Schmidt School. This prayer service aimed to encourage the spirit of Christian ecumenical unity, and to pray for peace in the city of Jerusalem.
Fr. Bashar Fawadleh of the Latin Patriarchate, Fr. Issa Abu Sa’da of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church, Fr. Boulos Khano of the Syriac Church, Fr. Farah Baddour of the Orthodox Church, Fr. George Haddad of the Franciscan Fathers, Pastor Rodney Said of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as well as Deacon Samir Hodaly presided over the ecumenical prayer.
The service included hymns, general intercessions and prayers, some of which were presented by Palestinian artist Lina Sleibi, along with pianist Jiries Boullata. Fr. Boulos Khano, alongside Lina, sang the Lord’s Prayer (Abun D’bashmayo) in the Syriac language.
In his homily, Fr. Bashar Fawadleh talked about the void that man lives and that needs to be filled through the presence of God in his life. In light of the first reading, Fr. Bashar said that young men and women resemble the city of Jerusalem, the fortified city that safeguards the word of God, and as such the Christian youth need to preserve it in their lives by getting closer to Him.
Fr. Bashar also talked about the commandment of love that Jesus taught, and in which He urged people to love one another just as He loved them, for it marks the beginning of the path to fill the void inside each one of us.
This prayer service, which was organized for the first time by Sabeel Center for the students of Christian schools in Jerusalem, was very well received by the school administrations who expressed their desire to participate in similar prayers in the future.