Chronology and dates
From 1966 until 1999
The annual summer camp for children takes place in Beit Yannai at two different times, from July 3 to 17 for children between the ages of 8 and 12, and from August 14 to 28 for children between the ages of 12 to 15.
From October 5 to 8, Father Alfred Delmée directs a group of 40 youth during three days of prayer, study and pilgrimage at Tabgha, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
In June, a war breaks out that would change the face of the country. The State of Israel occupies vast territories that include the Old City of Jerusalem. Not only the Western Wall is now under Israeli sovereignty but also the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Church of the Nativity and other Christian and Muslim holy sites. Christian Israelis can now visit these Holy Places.
At the end of June, the children participating in the annual summer camp visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and other holy sites. They are also received by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Msgr. Gori.
On October 19, a Hebrew mass is celebrated at Gethsemane.
During the course of the year a number of families who are members of the Hebrew speaking communities leave the country.
On November 11, a first mass entirely in Hebrew is celebrated in the home of the Little Sisters of Jesus in Jerusalem. Brother Yohanan and his collaborators begin to translate the new rite that has been published in Rome as a result of the liturgical reform.
On February 13, a meeting of Protestants and Catholics takes place in preparation of the ecumenical translation of the New Testament into Hebrew.
In July, the Little Sisters of Jesus go on retreat. The director is Father Daniel Rufeisen and this might be the first retreat preached in Hebrew.
On November 30, the new Latin rite missal is published in Rome. The work of translation must begin again from scratch.
Father Michel de Goedt, a Carmelite priest, arrives in Israel.
The death of Father Samuel Stehmann, a Benedictine of Jewish origin, in Jerusalem.
Father Marcel Dubois OP receives a post as professor of philosophy in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Later he would serve too as head of the philosophy department.
Father Marcel Dubois as professor
During the course of the year a large number of Jewish immigrants arrive from the Soviet Union and among them are a number of Christian families and individuals.
Father Norbert Schwake resigns from his position as responsible for the community in Jerusalem. Father Michel de Goedt replaces him.
Father Gregor Pawlowski, a Polish Jew, arrives in the country and resides with Father Alfred Delmée in Jaffa.
Father Gregor Pawlowski
In Beer Sheba, Father Jean-Roger Héné purchases the land upon which would be built the community house of Beer Sheba.
At the end of September, two bus loads of members of the communities go on a trip to Sinai lead by Father Daniel Rufeisen. A mass is celebrated in Hebrew atop Mount Sinai.
On April 1, the Easter vigil takes place according to the new rite with ideas contributed by Father Jacques Fontaine OP.
From December 4 to 15, a Protestant-Catholic meeting is held in Jerusalem (at Christ Church at Jaffa Gate), to discuss the possibility of translating together the epistles of Saint Paul. Brother Yohanan Elihai begins a collaboration with a Messianic Jew, Joseph Atsmon.
On July 18, the translation of the Pauline epistles is completed and accepted. The rest of the New Testament must now be translated. The translations are reviewed every six months by a team which included a Baptist pastor, Robert Lindsey, Father Gabriel Grossman OP, a couple from Yad HaShemonah and a Lutheran pastor in Haifa, Magne Solheim.
New Testament translation committee with Brother Yohanan Elihai and Father Gabriel Grossman
On April 13, a group of Russian immigrant families come to the Jerusalem community for the Easter vigil. Sophie Grunberg translates many of the texts into Russian and ten copies, including the readings, are printed.
On December 17, Sophie Grunberg leaves Jerusalem to move to England.
On December 30, the blue mass booklet in Hebrew is published for the first time.
Following the hijacking of an Israeli plane to Entebbe, Father Marcel Dubois OP initiates an idea by which a group of Catholic religious would take the place of the Israeli hostages. In a rescue operation the hostages were released on July 4.
Father Jean-Baptiste Gourion, a French Benedictine from an Algerian Jewish family, arrives from France together with two other monks to establish a Benedictine monastery within the Israeli milieu. They settle in Abu Ghosh on May 1.
On November 7, the inauguration of Gertrude Luckner House in Nahariyah. The vision is that of Elisheva Hemker and the Haifa community to establish a parents’ home for Christians who saved their Jewish spouses during the Shoah and then immigrated to Israel with them. Later it would also become a home for elderly Christians who live within Israeli society.
On April 1, Marion Reich, a long time member of the Jerusalem community passes away. She bequeaths the means to the Jerusalem community to purchase a home that would become “Beit Marom” in central Jerusalem.
On April 16, the new translation of the New Testament is put on display at the Anglican Church in the Old City.
On December 27, the Israeli Knesset legislates a bill against missionary activity in Israel.
In October, a new initiative – during the period of the Jewish holidays, families meet together in Tabgha, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee for days of holiday, prayer and study. In the first year, the families come from the Haifa community but in the succeeding years these days are enjoyed by families from all the communities.
On September 3, Father Jean-Roger Héné dies. Until the arrival of Father Paul Colin in 1991 there is no stable priest in Beer Sheba and the continuity of community life is ensured by two Sisters of Saint Joseph, Sister Johanna and Sister Anne.
In June, Father Michel de Goedt leaves Jerusalem and is succeeded as responsible for the Jerusalem community for a short time by Father Jose Espinoza, A Nicaraguan Jesuit.
On January 3, Brother Yohanan Elihai is chosen as coordinator of the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities.
From March 3 to 5, study days in Rome on Jewish-Christian relations. Participating in the discussions are Father Marcel Dubois OP and Brother Yohanan Elihai who together with Father Pierre Médebielle represent the Holy Land.
The committee of Saint James with Bishop Hanna Kaldany, 1983. From left to right: Elisheva Hemker, Father Marcel Dubois, Cecile Pilverdier, Bishop Hanna Kaldany, Father Jose Espinoza, Brother Yohanan Elihai, Sister Miriam Nothmann, Father Alfred Delmee, Father Joseph Stiassny, Father Gregor Pawlowski, Sister Johanna Borg and Father Daniel Rufeisen
On August 3, Brother Yohanan Elihai is received by Pope John Paul II.
On November 15, Father Daniel Rufeisen is received by Pope John Paul II.
Father Daniel with Pope John Paul II
At the end of December, five days of study on the subject of the Eucharist are held at Ratisbonne with Father Rey OP.
On October 26, Father Alfred Delmée is killed in a car accident together with Mrs Nothmann. Sister Miriam Nothmann SJA, assistant of Father Delmée, is gravely injured. Father Jose Espinoza, Nicaraguan Jesuit, serves as responsible for the Jaffa community.
On April 13. Pope John Paul II visits the synagogue in Rome.
In December, the official opening of the Haifa community house in the German Colony.
On May 1, the beatification of Edith Stein.
On May 19, Father Paul Colin arrives in Jerusalem.
On January 6, ordination in Rome of the new Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, the first Palestinian appointed to the post.
On July 10, the new Patriarch visits Isaiah House and meets with the Dominicans and the Jerusalem community. He celebrates Sunday mass with the community.
On April 30, Sister Maroussia NDS returns to France because of health problems.
Father Michel Remaud named responsible for the Jerusalem community (until 1991).
On September 17, Father Paul Colin arrives in Jaffa as responsible for the Tel Aviv – Jaffa community.
On May 28, the Patriarch of Jerusalem presents Father Jean-Baptiste Gourion OSB, head of the Benedictine monastery in Abu Ghosh, to the central committee of Saint James as his vicar, responsible for the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities.
On June 14, Father Gabriel Grossman OP dies in Germany.
Father Gabriel Grossman OP
In the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of immigrants arrive from the countries of the ex-USSR. Among them there are thousands of Christian families.
On April 27, Father Paul Colin is appointed responsible for the community in Beer Sheba.
On May 4, Father Bruno Hussar celebrates his eightieth birthday at Neve Shalom.
Father Bruno is 80 at Neve Shalom
On June 1, the community house and chapel are inaugurated in Beer Sheba.
On September 13, the new annotated version of the New Testament in Hebrew is published.
On November 9, Pierre Rendler, a French seminarian studying in the diocesan seminary of the Holy Land in Beit Jala is ordained deacon for the Hebrew speaking communities.
On November 16, Father Jean-Baptiste Gourion, Vicar for the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities, preaches the retreat of the diocesan clergy.
On May 22, a meeting of twenty members of the communities with Father Jean-Baptiste Gourion in Ein Karem.
On October 17, one of the pillars of the Haifa community, Jeanne-Marie de Montalembert dies.
On December 19, Brother Eliyahu Petel, a Little Brother of Jesus in Israel, dies.
On December 30, the Vatican-Israel Fundamental Accords are signed, inaugurating a new era of Church-Israel relations.
Official Israeli coin commemorating Holy See-Israel accords
Father Abraham Shmueloff, a priest from a Persian Jewish Jerusalem family, dies and is buried on March 23.
Father Abraham Shmueloff (Abouna)
On April 24, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger delivers an address at Tel Aviv University.
On February 8, Father Bruno Hussar dies.
Father Marcel Dubois OP receives the Israel Prize.
In May, a month of lectures on the Eucharist by Father Chauvet.
On June 1, the opening of the diocesan synod for the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities. About 280 people participate at Kiryat Yearim. An opening mass is celebrated by the Patriarch assisted by Bishop Marcuzzo and Father Jean-Baptiste Gourion.
The official closure of Isaiah House.
On September 27, a community day celebrated by 200 Hebrew speaking Catholics with Father Jean-Baptiste Gourion and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah.
Father Jean-Baptiste Gourion and the Patriarch at the annual synod meeting
On March 23, the Patriarch Michel Sabbah visits the Chief Rabbis of Israel – a first visit.
In June, Mrs. Yosha Bergman, one of the earliest lay activists in the community dies.
Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, an Italian Franciscan, is named responsible for the Jerusalem community.
On July 30, Father Daniel Rufeisen dies and is buried in Haifa on August 2.
On August 23, the Jerusalem community prays for the last time in Isaiah House and on August 30 the community meets for the first time in temporary premises at Terra Santa College.
The chapel at Isaiah House
On October 11, Edith Stein proclaimed a saint. The affair arouses much controversy among Jews and in circles connected to Jewish-Christian dialogue.
On June 11, Father Elias Friedman, a Carmelite from a Jewish South African family dies.
On October 16, the annual synod meeting in Ein Karem in the presence of the Patriarch.