Summer is a golden opportunity for young people to find the space and time to focus on their faith life, and in the Latin Patriarchate this is judiciously and steadfastly accompanied by the pastors of the various churches that belong to the Diocese of Jerusalem and by the priests who support the group Youth of Jesus' Homeland Palestine (YJHP).
While carefully observing health and safety measures dictated by the current pandemic, 22 parishes in Jordan, 2 in Israel and 7 in Palestine organized a summer camp for children and young people this summer. This allowed them to spend time together and devote themselves to their spiritual formation as well as recreational activities such as workshops, theatre and drama, sports, games and dance at the end of a year during which socializing was not always possible.
The Knights and Dames of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre are happy to have been able to financially support these initiatives with about 120,000$ through the fund for pastoral activities thanks to which the local population can take concrete steps nourish and strengthen their faith.
As well as over thirty parish summer camps, in July YJHP organised an additional summer camp for young workers and in August for the university students at the Cremisan Monastery in Beit Jala. The theme of the 4 days was "Where do we go from here?" (Halla la Wain), encouraging the 70 young men and women already in the working world to reflect on the challenges of faith facing them today through the experience of biblical figures such as Abraham and Mary. Discussions also addressed hot topics such as abortion, euthanasia and bullying, as well as self-esteem and love as a couple.
The experience of the young university students was similar but focused on the theme of the sacraments: "My faith x7" was the title chosen in reference to the number of sacraments that were rediscovered during the days of the retreat as a fundamental support for the Christian faith.
Trips, moments of relaxation among games and dances, accompanied by conferences on specific topics, all nourished by Eucharistic celebrations and moments of prayer, spoke to the hearts of these young people, reinvigorating them ahead of the resumption of the academic and working year after the summer break.
From a distance we continue to joyfully support the path of human and spiritual growth of these young people, deeply grateful for the opportunity we have - through the contributions we send - to be able to help the realization of these important moments in the life of faith.