The Passover Easter program in Jerusalem included participants from many countries and continents. The students were guided by highly qualified professors who focused on themes in the Biblical texts of Exodus, Isaiah, and the Gospel of John, which were enhanced by excursions. Some of the highlights mentioned by the students were: processing from the Mount of Olives on Palm Sunday to St Anne’s Basilica on the Via Dolorosa, and celebrating the Chrism Mass at the Holy Sepulchre.
During their time in the Galilee, guides shared their vast knowledge of the history and archeology of the area. Another highlight was a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee accompanied by the reading of pertinent New Testament passages which brought Scripture even more alive for them.
Some had the opportunity to visit families who generously welcomed them to their family Seder meal.
At the Ecce Homo Basilica and in the Lithostrotos (Roman paving below the Convent considered as the place where Jesus suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers), there were inspiring Holy Week liturgies created by the NDS sisters and the students. Many went out to experience various liturgies in Jerusalem as well.
Everyone noted how the central location of Ecce Homo in the old city allowed them to explore in their free time and make deep connections with the presence of Christ in the land and in the faces of the people.
During their integration reflections, the students commented on the important work being accomplished by the sisters of Our Lady of Sion to enhance relationships between Christians and Jews based on deeper understanding of the beauty of our respective traditions.
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