Located Near Birthplace of St. Mary Magdalene
Benedict XVI blessed the cornerstone of a retreat center that the Legionaries of Christ are building on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
The Magdala Center is an extension of the Pontifical Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, where the Pope visited Tuesday to lead a meeting for interreligious dialogue.
After the meeting the Pontiff participated in the dedication ceremony, led by Legionary Father Juan Solana, the director of the Pontifical Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. Father Solana gave the Holy Father an explanation of what the project will entail, showing him a short video presentation of the center’s multimedia center.
The Holy Father blessed the cornerstone, which was sculpted with a figure representing Peter’s boat and the Latin phrase “Duc in altum,” meaning “Set out into the deep.” The Pontiff gave the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center a silver-plated tabernacle with the image of the Good Shepherd on the door, and signed the guestbook.
Benedict XVI was accompanied by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, his secretary of state; Bishop Fouad Twal, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem; Bishop Antonio Franco, the apostolic nuncio in Israel; Father Álvaro Corcuera, the general director of the Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement; and Father Luis Garza, the vicar general of the Legion of Christ.
The Magdala Center, located in the birthplace of St. Mary Magdalene, will be built on a 20.5-acre plot on the Sea of Galilee. It will offer services to the more than 2.5 million Christian pilgrims who visit the Holy Land each year, including a hotel with a capacity for 300 guests, a multi-media center to help pilgrims to envision life in the times of Jesus, a Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene and an international center for women studies.