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EIGHT THOUSAND YOUNG AMERICANS belonging to the Neocatechumenal Way of the Catholic Church have arrived in the Holy Land, Israel, for a vocational encounter in which hundreds of them are expected to offer their lives to the priesthood or contemplative life.
The long-awaited event will take place next Tuesday, July 19, at 4 p.m. at the Domus Galilaeae, located in Korazim, at the site where Jesus delivered the historic Sermon on the Mount.
This is the third gathering in Israel, where Christians are a minority. The first occurred in 2000 when 50,000 young people from 70 nations participated in the visit of Pope St. John Paul II, and more than 5,000 offered their lives to the priesthood or monastery.
The second occurred in 2009 when Pope Benedict XVI met with 10,000 young people from Europe.
The meeting will be presided over by the Hispanic Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Bishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who bishops and priests will accompany. The Neocatechumenal Way has called the brothers of its communities to attend this meeting, described by the Rector of the Domus Galilee, Fr. Rino Rossi, as a “moment of grace” for the Church of the Holy Land.
Before entering Israel, some groups visited Jordan and Egypt, where they passed through Mount Sinai. During their passage through the Holy Land, the young people met with the Christian communities of Israel and Palestine, where they shared their experiences and saw the daily life of the Christian minority in the Middle East.
During the next few days, the young people will visit in groups the Domus Galilaeae to get to know the house of the Neocatechumenal Way that has been dedicated for more than 20 years to be a bridge between the Catholic Church and the Hebrews.