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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
From Easter Sunday until the Saturday of the Octave, by the grace of God, we had the visit of the Superior General of the Institute, Fr. Carlos Walker. On that same Sunday, having just arrived, Fr. Walker participated along with the Bishop of Barbastro, Don Alfonso, in the blessing of the bust and the enthronement of the relic (blood) of Blessed John Paul the Great, in our beloved sanctuary of Our Lady of Pueyo. At the end of the event, and after a simple toast in the dining room of the guest house, he met with the bishop for an hour to discuss various issues relating to the Institute’s presence in the diocese of Barbarstro. Then we had dinner along with Bishop Alfonso.
The next day, Monday of the Octave of Easter, we received the first group of pilgrims to the Virgen del Pueyo, those from Berbegal and Barbastro, and with that, the cycle of pilgrimages for 2013 was initiated. At the request of the Bishop, the pilgrims were received by Fr. Carlos Walker, who gladly performed the traditional meeting of the crosses, presided at the Holy Mass, and reminded the faithful present of the importance of this holy place, where entire generations had prayed and were sanctified through their devotion to our Mother in Heaven, and of the eloquent testimony of the monks – martyrs, who will soon be beatified.
From Tuesday the 2nd until Thursday the 4th, we participated in the on-going formation meeting for the religious of the Province of “Nuestra Señora del Pilar”, in which Fr. Walker joined us. On Wednesday, he presided and preached at the Mass in the morning, and gave us two conferences: in the morning, on the theme: “The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church” and, in the afternoon, on the proper law and spiritual life of the religious of IVE.
On Thursday morning, Father visited the Museum of the 51 Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro, a living and most eloquent testimony of fidelity to Christ.
On Friday the 5th, he was able to visit the city of Zaragoza along with another priest, and in particular he visited the Basilica of the Virgen del Pilar, patroness of Spain and of the Hispanic world.
On Saturday the 6th, after an intense week of canonical visit, he departed for the Eternal City.
We are immensely grateful to God for this fruitful and kind visit of our Father General, who wanted to share with us the Octave of Easter and to join us for the first on-going formation meeting of the nascent Spanish-French province “del Pilar”.
Fr. Emmanuel Ansaldi, IVE