From the 3rd to the 10th of May 2013, Fr Carlos Walker, IVE, visited our missions in Palestine and Israel. It was something that he had wanted to do since he took office.
Thanks be to God, he was able to visit all the houses of the Fathers, and could meet all the sisters.
Of particular importance and interest was his visit to the St. Porphyry of Gaza IVE Community which is responsible for the pastoral care of the Holy Family parish and two schools. Also he stopped by the SSVM Community working pastorally in the Gaza Strip, and the school of the Sisters of the Rosary.
He also visited the communities of IVE in Beit Jala and Jerusalem and the Monastic Community in Sepphoris (a holy place where there is conserved the remains of the birthplace of St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Grandma of Child Jesus).
Providentially, he presided over the Solemn Mass of Our Patroness, the Virgin of Lujan. The Sacred Liturgy and the subsequent celebrations were in the chapel and the hall of the Child Jesus Home for the Disabled run by the SSVM in Bethlehem.
Fr. Walker also went on a pilgrimage to the principal Holy Places of our Redemption and met with His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal and the Bishop of Nazareth, Bishop Marcuzzo.
Fr. Walker spoke with all the priests present. He thanked them for the welcome. He congratulated all of them for their dedication and good spirit in the mission and for the inculturation achieved by our missionaries in the Holy Land. He encouraged them to move forward, bearing in mind the importance that the mission of our religious in the Holy Land holds for all the members of Our Religious Family.
For all of us his visit was a great occasion for our superiors to know firsthand the complex and fascinating reality of our presence here. So also we grow in our desire to serve the Church better each day in accordance with the spirit embodied in our Constitutions.
We thank Fr. Walker for his presence, advice, and homilies.
P. Gabriel Romanelli, IVE