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Galilee, from Mount Tabor
“And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.” Mt 4:25
Web Link: Mount Tabor. The Mountain of Glory

NEWS FROM AND ABOUT THE HOLY LAND

bullet 31.1.2005: Israel tells U.S. it will look into East J'lem land seizure
Israel has promised the United States that it will reexamine a decision made last summer to confiscate East Jerusalem property owned by Palestinians, who have been cut off from their land by the separation fence. (Ha'aretz)

bullet 31.1.2005: A Study Mission to Israel
Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI and Sr. Veronica Weygand, MFIC of Franciscans International visite Israel as part of a group mission to study the complex situations within the region. (Franciscans International)

bullet 29.1.2005: Christians from every denomination meet where Jesus was baptised
About 15,000 Christians from Jordan and the Holy Land came today to the shores of the Jordan River to the spot where, according to tradition, Jesus was baptised. They travelled to the holy site, which is just a few kilometres south-west of the Jordanian capital of Amman, to celebrate the Feast of the Theophany. (AsiaNews)

bullet 28.1.2005: New program attempts religious reconciliation
Last month the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel and the El Rafah Association for the Welfare of the Community hosted the first KEDEM conference at the Dead Sea and the first public interreligious symposium in Jerusalem. (Miami Herald)

bullet 27.1.2005: Israel-Vatican negotiations resume thanks to US bishops
Parties will meet on February 15-16.  The US Bishops’ Confrence writes to US Secretary of State and Israel’s Ambassador in Washington calling on both parties to fully implement the Fundamental Agreement. (Asianews)

bullet 27.1.2005: What It Takes to Help Ecumenism Along
Thus, prayer is the condition for Christian unity, explains the priest, who is minister general of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, in this interview with ZENIT. (Zenit)

bullet 27.1.2005: Joint Israeli-Palestinian tourism seminar at Fitour '05
Israel and the Palestinian Authority will hold a joint seminar on tourism, sponsored by the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church at the Fitour 2005 tourism exhibition in Spain on Thursday. (Globes)

bullet 25.1.2005: 1000 Children from Palestinian Christian Towns Join in Historic Christmas March to Bethlehem
Fr. Emil Salayta: "Please allow me to thank you on behalf of the 1000 Christian Children of the Holy Land, and on behalf of their parents, and parishes." (Hcef)

bullet 24.1.2005: More Than Half of Palestinian Property Threatened in Holy City
The Palestine National Authority (PNA) condemned the Israeli cabinet’s decision to apply the so-called Absentee Property Law of 1950 in occupied east Jerusalem as a violation of the Oslo accords signed with the PLO, as Israel quietly expropriated large tracts of land owned by West Bank Palestinians who were cut off from their property by the Wall the Jewish state is building on occupied Palestinian land. (Palestine Media Centre)

bullet 24.1.2005: Archbishop expresses solidarity with Palestinian Christians
Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool has expressed solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land, following a visit there. He was part of a delegation of Catholic bishops from Europe and North America who visited Christian communities and Church leaders in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Galilee. (Ekklesia)

bullet 24.1.2005: Pope Urges Prayer for Unity of Christians. Addresses Young People in Particular
Continuing effort to improve and solidify Christian-Israeli relations, MKs of the Christian Allies Caucus took part on Thursday in a daylong seminar on Christian churches in Israel. (Zenit)

bullet 24.1.2005: Israeli Rabbis and MKs Upgrade Christian Relations
Continuing effort to improve and solidify Christian-Israeli relations, MKs of the Christian Allies Caucus took part on Thursday in a daylong seminar on Christian churches in Israel. (Arutz Sheva)

bullet 22.1.2005: Building bridges
Breaking bread to build understanding between cultures is the concept behind an interfaith dinner set for Jan. 30 in Leawood. Called “Salaam Shalom Celebration,” the event will feature middle-eastern cuisine prepared by a Christian Arab from Israel, Samir Dabit. (Kansas City Star)

bullet 22.1.2005: A wine farm and the coastal plain of Israel in the 2nd century BC
The village and the farm buildings were part of a series of settlements built in the environs of two large urban centers near the ports of Jaffa and Yavne-Yam. Like the other settlements, the ones discovered near Gan Sorek flourished until the middle of the second century BCE. The main reason for their decline seems to be the expansion of Hasmonean rule from Jerusalem and the Judean Hills westward toward the coast. (Haaretz)

bullet 22.1.2005: Students find Mideast trip 'eye-opening'
For nine days during winter break, the student body presidents from Drake University and Iowa State University debated with Israelis and Palestinians about ongoing political clashes. They floated in the Dead Sea, attended Jewish religious services in Jerusalem, and met Middle East political leaders. (Des Moines Register)

bullet 22.1.2005: Week of Prayer for the Christian Unity in Jerusalem
Programme for the week: 23-30 January 2005. (CTS)

bullet 21.1.2005: The Franciscans congratulate the Armenian Community of Jerusalem on the occasion of the Christmas celebrations
Fr. Artemio Vítores, the Custodial Vicar, and a good number of friars, went to reciprocate the Christmas greetings to His Beatitude the Patriarch Torkom Manoogian and the Armenian community. The Armenians had come to the Franciscan friary of Saint Saviour to give their Christmas greetings on 27th December 2004. (CTS)

bullet 21.1.2005: NCC Letter to Bush Says Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Threatens U.S.
Leaders of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical churches and institutions urge President Bush to have the courage to seize the opportunity and bring his leadership to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (National Council of Churches USA)

bullet 21.1.2005: Land lords
As a result of a secret Israeli government decision, thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank who own land or homes in East Jerusalem lost all rights to their holdings. And there are already plans to build on the expropriated land. (Haaretz)

bullet 20.1.2005: U.S. Urged to Press Israel on Pact With Holy See
President of the U.S. bishops' conference. "We are deeply dismayed by the lack of progress, and we fear a lack of commitment, on the part of the Israeli government in negotiations with the Holy See over economic matters and other vital concerns to the Catholic Church and the wider Christian community in the Holy Land." (Zenit)

bullet 20.1.2005: Israel strips Palestinians of their East Jerusalem property
Palestinian landholders from Bethlehem and Beit Jala requested permission to continue working their fields, which are within Jerusalem's municipal jurisdiction. The state's response stated that the lands "no longer belong to them, but have been handed over to the Custodian for Absentee Property. (Haaretz)

bullet 19.1.2005: 1000 Children from Palestinian Christian Towns Join in Historic Christmas March to Bethlehem
On Saturday, January 8, 2005 the second day of the Orthodox Christmas celebrations, HCEF organized a special program for children “A Journey to Bethlehem” where buses filled with gleaming children pulled into the “Salesian of Bethlehem” schoolyard. (HCEF)

bullet 19.1.2005: The Holy Rosary for Peace in the Holy Land's Campaign
In several occasions the Holy Father the Pope John Paul II has asked every catholic to pray for the peace in the Holy Land. Therefore B'NEI TZION has taken the decision to work in a global praying campaing, to create a big prayer chain asking to Lord the peace for the country of Jesus the Messiah. (link sent by one of our readers)

bullet 18.1.2005: Jewish Group to Thank Pope at Vatican
A group of 160 Jewish leaders, rabbis and cantors will attend an audience Tuesday to thank John Paul II for his work to reconcile the two faiths. The meeting was requested to celebrate this year's 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council declaration "Nostra Aetate," which signaled a key shift in the relationship between Catholics and Jews. (Zenit)

bullet 17.1.2005: The Custos about Pope Pius XII and the holocaust
The ongoing Jewish-Catholic dialogue should not be influenced by political events, which are contingent, but should rather be based on the truth and brotherly and friendly relations, which alone can preserve us from conflict. (Asia News)

bullet 17.1.2005: Talking peace despite extremists' cross fire
According to Rev Maroun Lahham, Rector of the Latin Seminary of Jerusalem, violence like the Kami crossing attack will not stop until “we are equal in terms of rights and duties”. Only a “just and lasting peace for two peoples and two independent nations can be everyone’s solution”, for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. (Asia News)

bullet 17.1.2005: The struggle to keep the faith in Bethlehem
After 2,000 years Christianity is in danger of extinction in the land of its birth. (The Times Online)

bullet 17.1.2005: Pius XII: Saintly defender of European Jews
The Church and papacy saved Jews as much and in as far as they could save Christians. There would have been many more victims had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII. (WorldNetDaily)

bullet 16.1.2005: Loveless in Jerusalem, young Armenian forced to leave Israel
Balekdjian, a 30-year-old native of Jerusalem who worked at the Armenian Patriarchate, could not celebrate Christmas this year with his family. He was forced to leave Israel because government officials would not allow his 26-year-old bride, Yvette Iskandarian, to come to Jerusalem to be with her husband. (AZG Armenian Daily)

bullet 16.1.2005: A statement by the members of the Episcopal Coordination for the Holy Land
The Episcopal Coordination works to support the Local Church in its mission of justice, peace and reconciliation. During these last few days we have visited the President of Israel and the President of the Palestinian authority and have brought them both the following message. (CTS)

bullet 13.1.2005: The Custody reciprocates the Christmas greetings to the Orthodox Communities
On 10 and 11 January 2005, the Franciscans of the Holy Land Custody accompanied the Custos, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, to reciprocate the Christmas greetings to the Orthodox Communities. (CTS)

bullet 10.1.2005: VI Piano Competition "Carlo Tavasani"
From the 7th to the 9th of January 2005 the VI Piano Competition "Carlo Tavasani" took place, organized by the Magnificat Institute, the school of music of the Custody of the Holy Land. At the competition, organized into age brackets from ages 6 to 30. (CTS)

bullet 11.1.2005: Bishop Skylstad, in Holy Land, calls Palestinian election 'historic'
Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the Palestinian election Jan. 9 a "historic day" for the Palestinians. "The elections might mark a new day for people who are looking toward the future with hope," said Bishop Skylstad, who was in Jerusalem at the invitation of the bishops in the Holy Land for an annual meeting on the problems faced by the region's Christians. (Catholic news)

bullet 10.1.2005: Abbas’s win, an invitation and challenge to Israel
People voted for him “because the US and Israel want him, and we hope they can start to negotiate an end to the occupation. Catholics hope for full freedom and equality between Muslims and Christians. The return of the lock to the Basilica of the Nativity is a sign of good will towards the Catholic Church. (Asia News)

bullet 10.1.2005: Group wants emblem to symbolize Middle East peace
Hank and Su Kraus think they have created an emblem that could come to symbolize Middle East peace. The symbol features a white dove flying with a wreath in the background along with the Palestinian and the Israeli flags set on either side above the slogan; Peace is Possible. (North County Times)

bullet 10.1.2005: The "Jerusalem syndrome" psychosis
A mental syndrome that has seen scores of visitors to Jerusalem become convinced they are characters from the Bible is the subject of a major new exhibition in Scotland. (The Scotsman)

bullet 9.1.2005: Hope Still Lives In The Middle East
While there are extremists on all sides, we found reason for hope in the courageous Jews, Christians and Muslims who work together for peace, three of whom are highlighted here. (The Day)

bullet 8.1.2005: Solemnity of the Epiphany in Bethlehem
The procession with the Child Jesus is a very moving moment for the local population, for both elderly people as well as for young people and children. This is what one felt during the singing of the “Gloria in excelsis”, which was repeated unceasingly. (CTS)

bullet 8.1.2005: Mideast at Heart of Pope's Prayer This Month
John Paul II is praying this month of January "that all those working in the Middle East may intensify their efforts for peace." The general intention was announced by the Apostleship of Prayer, an intention the Pope makes his own, to offer his prayers and sacrifices together with thousands of faithful worldwide. (Zenit)

bullet 8.1.2005: Bishops Meeting in Jerusalem
The annual meeting of bishops of episcopal conferences of a number of countries with participants in the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land will be held in Jerusalem starting Saturday. The meeting will be presided over by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic delegate in the Holy City. (Zenit)

bullet 7.1.2005: Bethlehem, 5th of January. Inauguration of the feast of Epiphany by the Custos
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Custos of the Holy Land, inaugurated the feast of the Epiphany during a solemn entrance into Bethelem. (CTS)

bullet 7.1.2005: Orthodox Christmas Celebrated on All Continents of the Earth
January 7, Orthodox Christians celebrate the birth of Christ today, the second greatest Church holiday after Easter. At the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, 5000 people gathered for the Christmas service.
The Jerusalem, Serbian and Georgian Orthodox Churches also celebrate Christmas today and Christmas is being observed today on all continents, including Antarctica. (Kommersant)

bullet 7.1.2005: Vatican to share holy medieval texts with Israel
The Vatican will loan the work of Moses Maimonides, one of Judaism's most celebrated rabbis and sages, to Israel this year in a gesture meant to improve relations between Catholics and Jews. (Sun Sentinel)

bullet 6.1.2005: Let me travel in peace
Having been to Israel before, I was prepared for the security procedures, including the cross questioning by security officials there. But I feel bound by duty to object this time, seeing as the whole procedure at the airport took on a surreal - and I must say incomprehensible - turn. (Haaretz)

bullet 3.1.2005: A just peace for Israelis and Palestinians
Edmund R. Hanauer, an American Jewish human rights activist, the director of Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel, a Boston-based human rights/peace group: If Bush is serious about Israeli-Palestinian peace, he would be wise to heed Pope Paul VI: "If you want peace, work for justice." (Sun Sentinel)

bullet 3.1.2004: Solemn Profession of Brother Félix Apaza Guanto (“San Antonio” Prov., Bolivia)
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, presided over the Solemn Profession of Brother Félix Apaza Guanto, from the Missionary Franciscan Province of “San Antonio” in Bolivia. The profession celebration took place within the context of the community Mass in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, the place of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (CTS)

bullet 1.1.2005: Terra Sancta College of Jerusalem Reopening
From October 2004 a stable Franciscan Fraternity is again living at the Terra Sancta College in Jerusalem, which has been partially renovated and restructured by the Holy Land Custody. At the conclusion of the solemnity of Mary Mother of God, on Saturday 1st January 2005, the Holy Land Custody officially inaugurated the Terra Sancta College of Jerusalem. (CTS)

bullet 1.1.2005: Homily of the Patriarch H.B. Michel Sabbah (in french)
"Les dirigeants de l’humanité ont besoin d’une grande opération d’éducation des consciences, afin que les rapports entre les peuples changent et deviennent des rapports qui respectent la loi morale universelle et que cette loi ne soit pas limitée par les intérêts nationaux égoïstes. Pour l’année nouvelle, nous continuons à prier et à agir, et à communier avec tous les habitants de cette terre, dans leurs joies et leurs peines." (Latin Patriarcate of Jerusalem)


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