Friday, June 25, 2010

Today we had a lecture on Desert Monasticism. This basically is about Monks who have gone out into the desert to be hermits for awhile and loved the desert so much that they set up monasteries. Most of them are very small places but seem to survive. These is to get us ready for a trip to Jericho on Saturday. In the afternoon the whole group went to Bethany where there is a Passionist Order House. One of our group is a Passionist Priest from Scranton PA.. We saw their place. They say that this was the site of Lazarus, Martha and Mary’s home. But now the new Wall separating Israel from Palestine runs right through their property and separates them from Bethany. It’s a real shame. It makes it very difficult for their ministry. There is also a convent of Comboni Missionary Sisters next door. They run a Pre-school for 3 - 5 year olds. The children have to walk through the New Wall to go to School. They put in a small door for them to get through but not their parents. The Israeli Police even showed up when we walked very close to the wall to get a better look. The pictures are of Martha & Jesus and a picture of the New Israeli wall dividing Bethany. The Vatican had to intervene so that they could keep their ruins of Bethany on their side of the Wall.