On Saturday evening, May 28, 2016, a shower of stones rained down on those attending the mass at Saint Therese of Lisieux community in Rehovot.

stones rehovot

The Catholic community in Rehovot has grown in the past few years. Filipino care givers, who founded the community, now welcome a wide array of other migrant care givers from India, Sri Lanka and Africa as well as students in the two academic institutions in Rehovot, the Weizmann Institute and the Faculty of Agriculture of the Hebrew University. Often mass is celebrated in an open courtyard alongside the chapel which is too small to accommodate the number of faithful.

On May 28, 2016, a solemn mass was celebrated to mark Corpus Christi, presided by Father Eric Wyckoff SDB, the community’s outgoing chaplain, Father Matthew Coutinho, the future chaplain and Father David Neuhaus, Latin Patriarchal Vicar and diocesan responsible for the migrants in Israel. The courtyard was packed with faithful. At a certain moment, the celebrants, facing the entrance, noticed a few young boys, aged about 14, looking into the courtyard with great interest. They left in a hurry and within a few moments a hail of small stones rained down on the faithful. Providentially the stones did not do any harm. The community continued its prayers.

However, a few moments later, another shower of bigger stones rained down on the faithful and this time the stones did hit a few of the people although again thank the Lord no one was seriously hurt. A number of the Jewish husbands of the faithful present went out to look for those who had thrown the stones and the police arrived during the mass, alerted by neighbors.

In the light of this event, it becomes urgent for the community to find a bigger hall to accommodate the faithful. The community will need to find benefactors who can help pay the exorbitant rent in the area.

Some of the stones were gathered before the mass ended and were laid at the foot of the cross on the altar.