Tag Archives: Holy Land Outreach Promoting Education

at a time (and in a place) of your convenience

1 Sep

Cremisan prayer September 2, 2015

Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 2, the doors of St. Andrew the Apostle Church, Milford, Ohio, will open wide to anyone who would like to pray silently before the Blessed Sacrament for our family in Beit Jala (Bethlehem), West Bank, Palestine.

Exposition will begin at 10:00 a.m. and continue until 7:00 p.m. We invite you to join us in prayer at a time (and in a place) of your convenience.  The closing ceremony will be around 6:30 p.m. with a rosary, prayers to Our Lady of Palestine, and the hymn, “Jerusalem My Destiny.”

(The photo above pictures HOPE teacher/pilgrims at Mass in the Cremisan Valley of Beit Jala.)

my three teachers

21 Jul

0 Three Teachers 14182509429_11c56653c4_b

Abby, Christy and Sharon, you honored me by accompanying me to Jordan, Palestine and Israel. Having known you as teachers in our parish school, it delighted me for these fourteen days to travel, eat and pray with you in the Holy Land. It was like I was taking you home to meet my people, especially in my beloved Beit Jala, and to see the land in which I grew up, in Christ, that is. I wanted you to have an experience as life-giving as I have had. I wanted you to come to love the land and love the people as I much as I do. I knew that each of you would meet a partner teacher and be her house guest for two nights. I was confident that you would be in loving hands in her home and in her care. But a tiny part of my soul was a bit nervous about how things would be for you. I knew you had seen a photo of your partner-teachers, and had corresponded by email with them. But the father-worrier in me wanted to know for sure that you would feel comfortable, loved and safe.

0 Three teachers DSC_0648Myrna, Niveen and Sally, however much I would thank you would not be enough. As the teachers from St. Andrew came off the bus in your church yard, you embraced Abby, Christy and Sharon, as if they were your long-lost sisters who had finally come back home. After just a few moments, you whisked the teachers away. They were in your arms, in your hands, in your cars – and they were gone. Then I left for two days, wondering how things were going, and hoping that each of you would bond with the teacher that you took home and to school with you. When I returned to pick up Abby, Christy and Sharon to move on to Jerusalem. I got my answer. The smiles on the faces of all six of you were proof and evidence of the friendship and solidarity that was built up in less than 48 hours.

Myrna, Niveen and Sally, I cannot ever thank you enough for what you have given to Abby, Christy and Sharon. They are better teachers, better women and better Christians because of you! You are also “my three teachers” now, too. I owe a debt to you that I cannot repay. But God can repay you. I will remind God often of my debt to you, and will ask God to pay you back for what you have given to the teachers from my school – and to me. May God continue to bless you, your families, your students and your homeland. Keep hope. Stay holy. Remain happy. Be brave.


inside homebound luggage (1/4)

24 Jun

My first try with a VinniBag worked, let me say, deliciouly.

Taybeh beer 01

The only brewery in the Palestinian West Bank is in Taybeh, near Ramallah. The brew makers are a Christian family, whom I have come to know over the years of visits back and forth to the Holy Land. One day, while the HOPE (Holy Land Outreach Promoting Education) teachers were busy at their partner schools, I had a day to be about on my own with two other non-teacher pilgrims. We set out on the road to Emmaus and on the road to Taybeh. The hour at the brewery produced a tour and a beer in Taybeh – and eight bottles of beer for me to bring home for that “special occasion” yet to be determined.

Taybeh beer 02

Four varieties are in the collection that made it safely home in my suitcase: golden (light), amber (regular), dark and the yet-to-be marketed “white” with a twist of citrus.

Taybeh beer 03

The beer is not yet imported in the United States. Taybeh brewery is waiting for the label to be approved by the U.S. for import into the country. So, I will be careful with my present inventory. I have not decided if guests are to be treated to the Taybeh brew. I might just make my way through white, golden, amber and dark – and do a second round. With my drinking habits these eight beers will last me at least eight months!

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