29th July-5th August. “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. We thank the Lord who gives us the strength and the grace to continue to proclaim His kingdom to the world, following the example of St. Francis of Assisi”: this is how the nineteenth Franciscan March came to an end.
This year, 130 young people took part forming, with volunteers and religious men and women the large group of 155 people. Together we spent a week deep in prayer and in thought, examining the duty of looking for a deeper reconciliation with ourselves, with God and with our neighbour. This was the theme of the march, chosen in collaboration with the Father animator from Lebanon, and also involving the Father animator from Syria. Each collected and pooled the material on this subject, then together we planned the work to be done with the young people.
The Franciscan March was accompanied by the blessing of the Lord: it started in Mujedel to reach Nazareth-Reneh-Mount Tabor, with helpfulness and generosity always being shown along the route by the friars of every convent/sanctuary that we passed. The different lectures were given by the friars, who also officiated at daily Masses. There were also daily periods of silence and adoration of the Eucharist…
Each March aims to be a special time offered to young people so that they can seriously ask themselves how they wish to spend their lives, listening in silence and in prayer, in meditation on the Word of God and helped by brotherly exchange, which is what the Lord asks of each one of us in the intimacy of our own heart. We all have to feel the need to pray for vocations, because this is what Jesus told us, to pray so that there are a lot of Masses and few workers… And we have prayed so that the young people who question themselves on their future can listen to the will of the Lord and answer His call with generosity, although it takes time to fully understand how to commit oneself and time for the period of accompaniment and training which must lead to meditated and lasting choices. And so now, we ask for your prayers for a young man from Jerusalem who has started on the vocational path and is now in Italy, with Fr. Bruno.
Thanks to everyone; to God who has once again guided this march, to the young people who took part; to the Father Custos and all the generous brothers who offered their kindness and collaboration; to the Religious men and women from other congregations who helped, encouraged and followed us…. Goodbye until next year…
Peace and good!
Fr. Rami Asakrieh ofm
Vocational animator of Galilee and Judea