SHEFAAMER – On Saturday, March 18, 2017, the Latin parish of Shefaamer gathered to celebrate Saint Joseph, patron saint of the parish. Twenty-two children made First Communion and received the Sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel.
The church hall of this town in northern Israel was was filled with faithful to celebrate St. Joseph: parishioners, relatives and friends of the twenty-two children who responded to the invitation of Father Elie Kurzum, pastor of the parish. The Betharram community was also present, accompanied by Father Jean-Luc Morin, Regional Superior, who was in town for canonical visitation. The Melkite, Maronite, Orthodox and Anglican parish priests, whose presence was a witness to a good ecumenical life in a city marked also by the presence of Muslims and Druze.
In his homily, Bishop Marcuzzo wished everyone in the parish that bears the name Saint Joseph, a happy “family feast” The Bishop recalled the simple, heroic and great holiness of St Joseph: his fidelity and reverence to God’s plan for him, and for the Virgin Mary and his human paternal role on Jesus. Speaking to the twenty-two children who received first communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation, he reminded them of the spiritual beauty of these sacraments and invited them to follow the path of Saint Joseph, to live this on a daily basis. He emphasized that: “Like him, we are called to listen to God’s will for us, to respect and to commit ourselves to the mission of the Church which today is the body of the whole Christ.”
At the end of the Mass, the parish priest presented the new parish council to the Bishop. Bishop Marcuzzo, the Betharram Fathers and all the parish priests were invited by Fr. Elie Kurzum to share a fraternal and ecumenical agape.
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