I was excited to attend the 2nd Annual Holy Land Festival at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C. on July 25th. It was a wonderful Summer day at the monastery and there many people to meet from the Holy Land offering exhibits, crafts, art, cuisine, tours, and talks. The monastery is called the “Oasis of Peace” and truly is a wonderful place to come for peace, prayer, and fellowship, and that was truly represented at this wonderful gathering of all God’s people.
Fr. Greg Friedman, O.F.M. is a wonderful media priest who is a great communicator and helps produce video and audio productions for the Franciscans in the Holy Land and for Franciscan Media. It spoke with him briefly as he was working on the production of the video below.
Fr. Greg also is the star of a new introductory video at the Franciscan Monastery that gives an immersive experience in touring the Holy Land using a 4 projectors on a 50-foot wall that is very impressive. If you have not been to the monastery recently, it is well worth the visit just for this short 15-minute video.
There were many exhibits offering arabic calligraphy, making hummus and qatayef, garden and church tours. Bethlehem University was at the festival and is a Catholic university and shows us a wonderful model where all faiths are welcome and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim students study together in peace. There were also very informative panel discussions about efforts for peace and dialog between all the peoples, faiths, and cultures that make up the Holy Land region on these topics:
- “Bethlehem University: A Symbol of Interreligious Success”
- Young Palestinian Voices: “We Will Be Heard”
- “Peace: Medicine, Opportunity and Youth”
- “Preserving the Past for the Future”
Getting ready for Pope Francis visit and Canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra, O.F.M.
While in DC, I was able to see preparation for Pope Francis visit at the National Shrine. The gift shop was carrying some things for the papal visit including the prayer card for the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra. The National Shrine has a display in the Crypt area of church on the history of our new Franciscan-American saint.
The Franciscan Monastery has a tradition of lighting up the entire Rosary Portico with luminaries during Advent. For the visit of Pope Francis and honoring our new Saint Junipero Serra, the monastery Garden Guild will be having luminaries. Please consider sponsoring a luminary.
I encourage you to visit the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, and to support the important work they are doing with ministry, education, and working for a peaceful Holy Land.