8:30 am Milford – and – 3:30 pm Beit Jala

8 Feb

Mass has been celebrated in Cremisan valley every Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in a prayer-protest of a proposed new section of what is called a separation wall by the Palestinians and a security fence by the Israelis. Whether it is for separation or security, it is definitely a wall, and not a fence, in this section of the structure that divides Beit Jala and Jerusalem.

Earlier in January Father Ibrahim Shomali, the pastor of Annunciation Catholic Church in Beit Jala, celebrated the Mass in the cold and snow, after an unusual snowfall a couple days before.fr_ibraheem 2

We see on the altar a blue-green pottery chalice. Father Shomali has used this chalice for the weekly Mass ever since June.

We brought it from Cincinnati as a gift to him and the parish. So, after we used it when we celebrated Mass in that olive grove in Cremisan valley on the edge of the town of Beit Jala in the Bethlehem-area, we left it behind, so that they might remember us in prayer as we remember them in prayer. ibrahin snow bend over 7

Today – Friday, February 8 – will be the last day that Father Shomali will celebrate Mass in that olive grove before the final decision of the Israeli government.  A final decision of the Israeli Court will be handed down on February 12. Will Israel take control of the Cremisan valley? Or will the Cremisan valley remain in the hands of the Palestinians?

PRAY. At 8:30 a.m.(Milford time) pray in solidarity with Father Ibrahim and the people of Beit Jala as they celebrate Mass at 3:30 p.m. (Beit Jala time).

ACT. As urged by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, sign the petition that will be taken to Israeli authorities in protest of the proposed building of this section of the wall.

4 Responses to “8:30 am Milford – and – 3:30 pm Beit Jala”

  1. JoAnne Travers Lacey February 8, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    You bet I will be praying in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Beit Jala! Thank you, Father! Great post! May God hear their cries, especially the ones of the moms, dads and the Sisters whose plea is for the children.

  2. Mandy Wallace February 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    I will pray. I will again tell others. God bless the living stones.

  3. Mary Kay Turner February 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    I have been to this area of Cremisan in Beit Jala and know exactly where this routing of the wall is going. I will pray with all my heart that the routing is changed and the Palestinian Christians can exercise their freedom of religion.


  1. Pray for Catholics in Bethlehem | The Catholic Beat - February 10, 2013

    […] Fr. Rob Waller, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Milford (OH), posted this photo of Fr. Ibrahim Shomali saying Mass in the Cremisan Valley of Israel on his blog, With Open Doors. […]

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