Kirill, member of the Jaffa kehilla, reports on two days, May 30 and 31, 2017, spent by members of the kehilla in Ein Karem.

Last Tuesday, May 30, 2017, Jewish ‘Shavuot’ (Pentecost), and the feast of Visitation, several families and others from the Jaffa community gathered in the picturesque and serene village of Ein Karem. The purpose of this visit was to immerse ourselves in spiritual preparation for the upcoming feast of Pentecost in the Church. It was our sincerest wish to prepare our souls, minds and hearts to receive the renewal of the Holy Spirit, that is given to the body of Christ, the Church.

Several occasions for prayer aided in reaching this goal. A Taize style prayer that took place in the Notre Dame de Sion church with the community of the Brothers and Sisters of Sion served as an opening prayer for the retreat that instilled a reflective spirit full of prayer, thanks to the communal prayer with the Sion sisters and Brothers and representatives of the Jerusalem community, animated by Brother Tiago, Father Alberto and seminarian Benedetto. Wednesday morning was followed up with a prayer in the Visitation church for the feast of the Visitation and a celebration of the ordination of several new Franciscan lectors and acolytes.

A joyful and serene spirit characterized this time of retreat, with good food and company. And we give our thanks to all the hosts who made it possible, we ask the Lord to renew your faith, in Jesus Christ, and bless you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We also send our blessings to brother Clovis, who was ordained a deacon and who is known in Jaffa community for his service in Saint Peter’s church.

The Jaffa community also wishes a Happy Birthday to the Church, for on this day in the 1st century the church was born with the baptism of some three thousand new followers, and the beginning of the Apostles’ ministry worldwide. We ask for God’s blessings of the Holy Spirit upon all the Church in the name of love and peace.