On Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, 2017, families, representing the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities in Israel, met in Tiberias to continue their study and prayer together.

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23 families gathered at Casa Nova in Tiberias, close to one hundred people, where they were welcomed by the parish priest, Father Giuseppe and the community of Koinonia John the Baptist, which animates the place.

On Friday afternoon, Father David introduced the program to the participants and they introduced themselves to one another other. There was time to catch up on recent news. After dinner, those present either went out for a stroll or gathered to watch an interesting Israeli film, “James’ travels in the Holy Land,” the story of an African pilgrim who comes to Israel and is arrested as an illegal migrant. The pious young man ends up making a lot of money as he is sucked into the materialism of Tel Aviv society.

The following day, discussions began after morning prayer and breakfast. While Sinead and the Koinonia team, helped by a few members of the Desert Flower youth group, took care of the children, the parents convened with Fathers David, Rafic and Apolinary.

The day was broken up into three sessions, morning and afternoon, focusing on chapter 3 of the Epistle of Saint James, dealing with the evil that the human tongue is capable of. Each session consisted of a general introduction, discussion in small groups and then a report back to the plenary. The first session, introduced by Father David, focused on a reading of the text of the New Testament epistle and in the groups, each participant could express his or her reactions to the text. In the second session, Father Rafic presented the role of the tongue at home, in the family and with friends, focusing on slander, gossip, humor and judgments. In the third session, in the afternoon, Father David focused attention on the tongue in our society at large, presenting the dangers of racism and stereotyping. The focus in each session was on how to educate our children to deal with the culture of gossip, slander and quick judgments and live according to the advice of Saint James, firmly based on the teaching of Jesus.

The weekend ended with the celebration of the mass for the third Sunday of Easter, a joyful opportunity to say thank you for a wonderful weekend.

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