Some time ago ATS pro Terra Sancta launched a new project to support the small Christian community in Jericho, which is centered around the Good Shepherd Parish. For three months, Rosalie – a volunteer working with ATS pro Terra Sancta – has been in Jericho helping out with the needs of the community through the project “Jericho, aid to Christians in need“.
“In the small village of Jericho- at 5:45 pm every night of the week, amongst the prayer of the towering mosque, only a few meters away, church bells can be heard ringing through the streets calling all the 208 Catholics for the evening Mass.
As the smell of incense fills your senses from the hour of Adoration that has just finished, the pews begin to fill with the young and old, and the humble heart of the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd begins to beat loudly. During the Homily, the quiet hum of the Franciscan sister Mayssa from Syria, can be heard, as she translates the sermon for her Maltese sister Luigina- and the children hush each other so that Fr. Ibrahim Sabbagh words can be heard. When asked after mass what he thought of the Homily, John, one of the young parishioners responded; ‘Abuna Ibrahim speaks in a way we can understand.’ When questioned as to why they come to Mass, Boulos the thirteen year old alter server said strongly; ‘coming to Mass and serving, is a way for me to serve and say thank you to God.’
The community here in Jericho is far from large, but with it’s strong and beautiful individuals, and the good Shepherd to lead them, it is a warm, welcoming, Christian family to visit, appreciate and quickly become a part of.