On Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1, 2012, twenty two families, representing the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities in Israel, met in Tiberias to continue their discussions.

Following the trip to Susita and Tabgha, on Friday, November 30, 2012, families representing all the Hebrew speaking Catholic kehillot gathered at Casa Nova in Tiberias, alongside the Saint Peter parish church. Here they were once again warmly welcomed by the community that animates the place, Koinonia John the Baptist. More than 75 people (half adults and half children) participated in this weekend.


Friday evening was consecrated to an initial introduction to the weekend. The adults met with Father David, Vicar of the Hebrew speaking communities, whilst the children began a weekend of fun activities animated by Kirill from the Vicariate community in Jerusalem, assisted by Lioba and Sinead from the Tiberias kehilla. Those who participated in the day trip were too tired to do anything else and so the adults joined the children in watching a movie.

Discussions began in earnest on Saturday morning. After morning prayer and breakfast, Father David launched the day of reflection. Initially, subjects were raised for general discussion. In particular, time was spent preparing the children's camps for 2013 (Easter and summer camps) and there was a brief presentation of the latest catechism book "Get to Know the Mass".

Thereafter, Father David introduced the main theme of the day: In this Year of Faith, how can families create the circumstances at home in which their children can encounter Christ? After a brief introduction to the theme, Father David presented three pointed questions to be discussed in three discussion groups:

- What do we do at home already in order to create an environment in which our children learn to pray and become aware of Christ's presence?

- Do we exploit the opportunities presented in Israeli society by have one day a week (Saturday – Sabbath) as a more relaxed time in which spiritual issues can be introduced?

- Do we prepare our children before attending Sunday mass?

The discussion in small groups of these questions went up until lunch time. It was in the afternoon session that the groups came together again in order to present the discussions that had been had in the groups and to discuss more deeply the subject. There was evidently a tension between the definition of the ideal and the application of the ideal in the living, day to day realities of the family. Father David insisted that these meetings were not to tell people what to do but rather to evoke possibilities and awareness.


At the end of the day, the families expressed their gratitude for the time together and a new date was fixed for the next meeting. The theme suggested for that meeting was how to read the Biblical readings at mass and how to prepare them within the family. This seemed an appropriate continuity with the subject discussed at this weekend.

The weekend ended with a joyful mass in the church, filled to capacity this Saturday evening during which the celebration was of the first Sunday of Advent. The mass was celebrated by Father David together with Father Giuseppe, responsible for the Tiberias kehilla, Father Sergey, responsible for the Russian speakers in the north of the country and Father Simon-Pierre.