NAZARETH – On Sunday, October 16, 2016, the Catholic community of Nazareth and surrounding areas welcomed with great joy, the new Apostolic Administrator, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa. Procession, Mass, lunch, and meetings at different stages of the day was an opportunity for joyful and prayerful exchanges between Archbishop Pizzaballa and the faithful of Galilee.
At the central roundabout of the city, Archbishop Pizzaballa was welcomed by Father Amjad Sabbara, OFM, pastor of the Latin community of Nazareth along with many faithful waiting to go in procession to the Basilica of the Annunciation. Casa Nova street reverberated with joyful hymns of the Magnificat.
Father Bruno Varriano, guardian of the Basilica, recited the prayer of the Liturgical Rite of Reception of Bishops, then Bishop Giacinto Marcuzzo welcomed the new Apostolic Administrator in the name of all the faithful of the Vicariate of Israel (full text of Bishop Marcuzzo’s speech in Italian).
Mass was celebrated in Arabic, which brought together almost 800 people in a packed Basilica. Mass was presided by Archbishop Pizzaballa with Bishops and about 30 priests as concelebrants. Other priests who were not present had to stay in their parishes for the Sunday services. The seminarians of Domus Galileae assisted during the Liturgical celebration along with a group of children and the parish choir.
During his homily, Archbishop Pizzaballa spoke in English translated to Arabic, encouraged the faithful to repeat the “yes” of Mary, the “yes” to trust in the Lord, then proclaimed the Eucharistic prayer in Arabic.
At the end of Mass, the parishioners had the opportunity to congratulate and welcome the new Apostolic Administrator. Cards of his ordination with illustrations of the mosaics at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, were widely distributed.
After the meal with priests and superiors of religious communities in the region, Archbishop Pizzaballa made himself available during the afternoon in the parlor of the Vicariate for people who wanted to meet with him. School principals or those responsible for pastoral activities presented their programs and discussed their projects.
The meetings and encounters with the people filled the day with joy and a spirit of collaboration and cooperation shared by everyone present for this special occasion.
Our pictures :
Solemn entry of Archbishop Pizzaballa into Nazareth
Pontifical mass in the Basilica of Annunciation, presided by Archbishop Pizzaballa
Fraternal “agape” with Archbishop Pizzaballa
Greetings of the parishes, communities and associations to Archbishop Pizzaballa