Voices from the Holy Land
The Saint James Vicariate – which brings together Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel – serves extremely active parish communities with highly involved youth groups.
The realities of the Holy Land that the Order supports have not only faces but voices too.
During the summer period, we decided to share two short podcasts to report on various initiatives for the benefit of the local population so the Knights and Dames of the Order can discover more about them through the voices of those directly involved.
Father Piotr Zelazko, Patriarchal Vicar for the Saint James Vicariate, which unites Catholics Hebrew-speaking in Israel, tells of the five communities who, unlike the historic Catholic community in the Holy Land, speak Hebrew rather than Arabic. These are extremely active parish communities with dynamic youth groups, groups for young adults and activities such as summer camps for children, and weekend retreats which, as of this year, are not only for families, but also for the elderly. Another special ministry carried out by this Vicariate is to support prisoners who speak Hebrew. All of this alongside the spiritual life nourished by the sacraments that is central to each parish.
The Saint James Vicariate is comprised of small communities which, in addition to the normal needs of a parish, also experience the challenge of having to translate their texts into another language and thus cover the expenses this incurs. Through the words of its vicar, the Vicariate is deeply grateful to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre thanks to which it is able to carry out its mission. This particular reality of the Catholic Church also has the privileged vocation of acting as a bridge of dialogue and encounter with the Jewish and Israeli world, given that it speaks the same language. “We try to build bridges between Israeli society and the Catholic Church. We try to teach our Jewish friends something about the Church and also our Catholics something about Judaism. We are pursuing various projects for dialogue,” Father Piotr concluded.