GALILEE – From July 4th to July 8th 2022, the Secretariat of the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL) organized its annual spiritual retreat for catholic priests and bishops at the Redemptoris Mater seminary in Korazim.

The idea to have a spiritual retreat for all Catholic priests and bishops goes back to 1993, and was born out of the pastoral synod of the time. Last year, the retreat took place at the Stella Maris monastery, in Haifa: this year, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land gathered in the Domus Galileaea International Center, where can be found, among other things, a Redemptoris Mater seminary of the Neocatechumenal Way. The place has deep symbolism for Christians; according to Bedouin sayings, there used to be three trees under which Jesus preached. Today, only one very ancient tree remains, but three new ones were planted next to it to perpetuate the oral tradition.  

During the week, AOCHL bishops and about 60 priests from different Catholic rites participated in liturgies, daily prayers, and times of exchanges and debates during which they shared their ideas and experiences about various news items. They also had the opportunity to attend daily spiritual lectures delivered by His Excellency Selim Sfeir, Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus, as well as conferences held by Sheikh Raed Salah, General Vicar of the LPJ Mgr William Shomali, and LPJ Patriarchal Vicar for Israel Mgr Rafic Nahra.

For the last day of the retreat, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over a conference and attended the solemn Mass that concluded the event.