Here is a great article by Deacon Joshua Allen. He spent the Summer at St. Philip Benizi in 2009 and was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on Oct 7, 2010 in Rome. He was chosen to sing the Gospel at Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s and has written a very nice reflection on the experience.
May you share your gifts and talents throughout the new year. Here is the Gospel reading for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Jan 2 2010. There are many images from the Holy Land.
I came across this news piece posted for Christmas Eve. I thought today at Mass, while singing “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem”, that once you have been to Bethlehem the song gets a new depth of meaning. Check out this video to get a taste of what it is like to visit today — a message of peace and unity. They are enjoying more Christmas pilgrims than usual which is good for them.
Here is another video by the same news source that discusses some of the tourism economics of Bethlehem. During my pilgrimage, they were celebrating the 10th Annual Olive Harvest Festival and were promoting locally grown fair trade. My motivation in buying my shawl there was to support local handmade goods.
While in Bethlehem, I wandered by shops on a small street that runs off of Manger Square. I wanted something locally handmade — something I could wear. This handmade cross-stitched shawl became “the” purchase of my pilgrimage — something that ties me to the people. I pray for the hands that made it.