BEIT JALA – On Sunday, June 27, 2021, Fr. Ibrahim Shomali and Fr. Yacoub Rafidi celebrated their silver jubilee of their priestly ordination during a Holy Mass presided over by Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, at the Annunciation Church in Beit Jala.
Fr. Hanna Salem, parish priest of Beit Jala, concelebrated the Mass along with several Latin Patriarchal priests, in the presence of seminarians, Religious Men and Women, the families of the celebrating priests and the faithful.
Bishop Marcuzzo began his homily by congratulating Fr. Ibrahim and Fr. Yacoub, as well as Fr. Bashir Bader who celebrates the silver jubilee of his priestly ordination this year in Jordan, and Fr. Farah Hijazin who celebrates this year the golden jubilee of his priestly ordination.
“Priestly formation does not end, said Bishop Marcuzzo, it continues every day. This jubilee gives us the opportunity to start this priestly formation anew and continue to renew it. The person who is ordained to priesthood, does good in the name of God. This is the greatness of priesthood, because God works through this person”.
The Bishop addressed the priests, and said: “God speaks to us through the circumstances we face. You have become priests at the time of the local Holy Synod. Thus, the Lord spoke to you through this Synod, by which you have been affected, and still living until this day. Today, you are celebrating your silver jubilees in conjunction with the new Synod, this time on the scale of the Universal Church, which will last for three years”.
At the beginning of the Mass, Fr. Yacoub Rafidi addressed the audience, “After 25 years of priesthood, I must take a moment to look back and look forward. I look back with a heart full of thanks and gratitude. A heart full of faith that what we have experienced for the last 25 years has been a great grace, mercy and a deep joy given to us by the Shepherd of Shepherds and the Great High Priest,” he added: “We direct our heart and conscience towards the future with great hope and high faith in Him who has called us, because this grace that has accompanied the past years, will certainly accompany the coming years”.
Fr. Ibrahim Shomali gave a speech at the end of the Mass, in which he recalled the words of his godfather Bishop William Shomali during his first Holy Mass, in which he asked him to be a channel that carries people to Christ and Christ to people, “In the face of all responsibilities, duties and tasks that the Lord has placed upon us, the Lord said: “Do not be afraid,” a phrase that is repeated 365 times in the Bible, that is, once every day! Jesus reassured the apostles during the storm. It was not an emotional reassurance, for He calmed the waves. It is God who reassures and God who manages”.
After the Mass, the attendees offered congratulations and blessings to Fr. Ibrahim and Fr. Yacoub, in the courtyard of the parish Church, while the parish scouts band played its melodious tunes.