RAFIDIA, Nablus - On Sunday, August 22, 2021, Fr. Miguel Perez Jimenez took possession of the Parish of Rafidia in Nablus, during a Holy Mass presided over by Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Palestine, and concelebrated by Archbishop of Tunis Ilario Antoniazzi. The Mass was attended by Fr. Davide Meli, Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate, the Sisters of the Rosary, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity and the parishioners of Rafidia.
At the start of the ceremony, at the main entrance of the church, Bishop Boulus Marcuzzo handed the key of St. Justin Church to Fr. Miguel, who in turn blessed its door with incense and Holy Water. Inside the church, Fr. Davide then read the Decree of appointment. The Patriarchal Vicar then handed the new Pastor three items that represent his new mission; the stole, which he placed on his shoulders as a sign of the priestly ministry of the Good Shepherd, the Lectionary as a sign of the ministry of the Word of God, and finally the key of the Tabernacle which symbolizes the grace of giving the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
In his homily, Bishop Marcuzzo spoke of the beautiful coincidence that connected the location of the celebration and the First Reading, the story of the gathering of Joshua and the tribes in Sichem, where they abided by the commandments of God.
The Patriarchal Vicar also underscored the importance of the celebration as it took place in presence of Christians who belong to the early Church and have a message of hope for everyone, serving as the light, salt and leaven that Jesus spoke in the Gospel.
The celebration concluded with Bishop Marcuzzo congratulating Mr. Nicola Saadeh, on behalf of Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, for having obtained the highest exams score (99.4) in the Tawjihi (General Secondary Education Certificate Examination) in all Latin Patriarchate Schools in Palestine.
After the Mass, in the Parish Hall, the parishioners congratulated Fr. Miguel and thanked Bishop Marcuzzo. The new Parish priest then addressed the crowd and thanked them for their presence.
Fr. Miguel, accompanied by the bishop and clergy, took some time to visit the residents of an elderly home administered by the Missionaries of Charity. They also visited the Greek Catholic Church and Fr. Manuel Moussallam, a retired Latin Patriarchate priest, in his home in Birzeit.
Born in Murcia in Spain, Fr. Miguel is the 32nd priest who takes possession of the Rafidia Parish. He joined the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Galilee, where in 2016 he earned a Bachelor in Philosophy. In 2018, he was ordained priest and served as Vicar in Fuheis Parish in Jordan.