On Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6, 2014, families, representing the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities in Israel, met in Tiberias to continue their study and prayer together.

Families representing 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. They met this time to study the final document of the Synod of Bishops that met in Rome in October to discuss the challenges to the family in the modern world.


On Friday evening, the families gathered and after introducing themselves to each other, they ate dinner together. After dinner, the film “Heaven is for Real,” a new film that tells the story of a little boy’s visions of paradise, was screened.

The following day, the discussions began in earnest. These were consecrated to the Synod document and meanwhile, Kirill and Sinead took care of the children.

The discussions of the adults divided into three parts. In the first part, Father David began with a summary of the Synod document and described the process that will lead to a second Synod of Bishops next year, in 2015. A term that repeated itself throughout the document was “home church” – the foundation of the Church is the home, within the family, where the child hears the Gospel for the first time. In the second part, the participants divided into four groups and studied together the document that describes the stage of preparation for marriage, used in the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities. The aim of the group discussions was to improve the document so that young couples coming to the kehillot in order to get married receive the best preparation possible. In the third part, in the afternoon, the discussions of the morning were concluded and a new discussion began on the relationship between the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities and those of the migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel, particularly their children who are Hebrew speakers.

The weekend ended as is customary with a joyful mass in Saint Peter’s Church in Tiberias.