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BETHLEHEM: INAUGURATION OF THE NEW NURSERY SCHOOL AND OF THE SAINT FRANCIS MILLENNIUM CENTER

Date: Sunday, October 24th, 2004
Source: Custody of the Holy Land



Today, the 24th of October, the Custody of the Holy Land had the pleasure of inaugurating the new Nursery School in Bethlehem, called Giorgio La Pira e Mariele Ventre, forming a part of the building of Holy Land College: this is an institution of higher learning with a prestigious history, being the first education institution founded by the Franciscan Friars over 400 years ago (1598) in the birth city of Jesus Christ. The conclusion of the construction of the new Nursery School completes a series of innovative work projects aimed at improving the functional and didactical aspects at the Holy Land College campus. The new school will offer, through a formation path and modern pedagogy, teaching that will educate the students on peace with reciprocal respect for all kids, whether Christians or Muslims (the student population of the Holy Land College is comprised of both Christians and Muslims).
The inaugural ceremony was preceded by a Solemn Mass, presided over by His Excellency, Most Reverend L. Giovanetti, Bishop of Fiesole, and there were more than 80 Bishop and Priest concelebrants, among whom was the Most Reverend Father Custos Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M. In particular, among the other concelebrants were His Excellency, Most Reverend P. Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio and Delegate; His Excellency, Most Reverend Bathish, representing the Latin Patriarchate; and His Excellency, Most Reverend R. Cetolini, O.F.M., Bishop of Montepulciano, who for many years has been a great friend of the Custody of the Holy Land. Also present were many Franciscan Priests, including Franciscans from Tuscany and Bolgna with their Minister Provincials, Father Giuseppe and Father Giovanni, respectively; the Director of the Antonianum of Bologna, Father Alessandro, and many other Priests who wanted to share this moment of joy with us and the faithful.
Among the civil authorities present were the Honorable Hanna Nasser, Mayor of Bethlehem, the Mayors of several Italian cities who were involved in this work of solidarity, and the Honorable Rosy Bindi, Member of the Italian Parliament.
There were many Christian pilgrims present, not only from Europe, the majority of whom were Italian, but also from Japan. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, Father Ibrahim Faltas, O.F.M., exiting Director of the Holy Land College and the promoter of the new project, invited up to the platform (constructed to increase visibility for the pilgrims of the Altar) the representatives of the many associations that contributed to the realization of the construction work, in order to give them a commemorative plaque, presented personally by the Father Custos (Guardian) of the Holy Land.
After the Holy Mass, the celebrants and locals went to the inaugural site in the Nursery School, where the symbolic cutting of the ribbon took place with Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M. Then all the Christians from Bethlehem that were present were blessed with holy water by Bishop Giovanetti. As the group proceeded down the corridors, they saw a remarkable display of the house “Graffiti,” composed of representative children of Bethlehem who were present. After the inauguration concluded refreshments followed.





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Created / Updated Friday, 8 October, 2004 at 7:48:46 am by J. Abela, E.Alliata, E. Bermejo
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