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JERUSALEM – On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Catholic Delegation for Cooperation assembled on the weekend of March 18 and 19 at the Maison d’Abraham and also during a Mass celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Anne on Saturday night the 19th, at which the French Consul General in Jerusalem, Pierre Cochard, was present

The French NGO, CDC, is an organization licensed by the state to send volunteers worldwide. Its mission: to support local stakeholders in countries of the South Coordination in their development projects. Operating in more than 50 countries, the CDC has over 500 volunteers who contribute to these projects. Of these, 14 are currently in the Holy Land. During a weekend marked by moments of rich exchanges, reminders and feedback, there was the opportunity for everyone to meet at the Maison d’Abraham with Guillaume Nicolas, CEO of CDC, Pierrick Madinier, representative of the CDC Board of Directors, as well as Marie-Bernadette Caro and Frédéric Mounier, Holy Land project managers.

A Mass at St. Anne’s Basilica on Saturday night was presided over by Father David Neuhaus, Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics with the Consul General of France, Pierre Cochard and his advisor on religious affairs, Father Luc Pareydt participating. All volunteers were invited to the celebration. “Being a volunteer is certainly to bring water, where it is lacking, where it missing; but mostly it is to enter fully into a human, psychological, spiritual experience where giving becomes receiving, where receiving becomes giving still more” Father Luc Pareydt emphasized in his homily, continuing: “The union of dispossession and realism, that is courage. Risking much but drawing from the experience to give the best meaning to one’s life”.  The Mass was followed by a convivial moment around a buffet and the opportunity for the Consul General of France to thank the CDC for its work here and in the rest of the world.

This anniversary, celebrated in the Holy Land, is part of the universal Church in continuity: on February 25, Pope Francis himself received the CDC at the Vatican. “Through your initiatives, projects and actions, you make visible a poor Church with and for the poor, a Church going out that is close to people in situations of suffering, insecurity, marginalization, exclusion” the Holy Father maintained, very encouragingly, during the meeting.

Vivien Laguette

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