|Pope Benedict XVI spoke about his upcoming trip to the Holy Land during the general audience on May 6, 2009.|
Jerusalem, Israel. May 7, 2009. The Holy Father will be
visiting the Holy Land from May 8 to 15, bearing
encouragement for Israel’s Christians, who are “faced daily with many
difficulties.” He also comes as a “pilgrim of peace,” bearing
witness to the Church’s commitment to fostering dialogue and reconciliation,
including interreligious and ecumenical dialogue (cf. General audience, May
Part of the Holy Father’s packed program
of events includes an evening meeting on May 11 with
organizations dedicated to interreligious dialogue. This meeting will be held
in the John Paul II auditorium at the Pontifical
Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, which was entrusted to the
management of the Legion of Christ in 2004.
trip, the Pope will also bless the cornerstone of a
new retreat center that the Legion is building on the
shores of the Sea of Galilee: the Magdala Center,
located in the area of Galilee where Mary of Magdala
The Magdala Center will be an extension of
the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. Its purpose is to
serve pilgrims to the Holy Land by providing them with
a place of prayer, lodging, and cultural enrichment in a
place of unparalleled historical importance. To read a more complete
description of what the Magdala Center will offer, click here.
|Ruins in the city of Magdala, close to the site of the planned Magdala Center.|
About 1.5 million tourists, many of whom are pilgrims,
visit the Holy Land each year. About 80% of these
tourists stop in Jerusalem, and more than 70% also travel
to Galilee and spend at least two nights there. The
Magdala Center will be one more means to help them
encounter Christ more deeply during their stay.
Learn more about
the Magdala Center and the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
through these related articles:
• Walking on Water: Notre Dame
of Galilee Project approved by local bishop.
Happening in the Holy Land? The Legionary priests at the
Pontifical Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center publish a quarterly newsletter
for pilgrims and friends.
• Sunrise in Galilee, Sunset
on Calvary: a pilgrim shares her impressions.
Course for Diocesan Priests in Jerusalem: Upcoming course offers unique
opportunities to delve more deeply into the spirituality of the
priesthood in the heart of the Holy Land.
• Priests Experience Holy Week Anew After Jerusalem Retreat: Retreats organized
by the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center and
Rome’s Regina Apostolorum University, both run by the Legionaries of
• In Jerusalem, Spiritual Renewal and a Refuge
from the Hostilities: "Whatever people can do to help will
be greatly appreciated," Fr. Solana explained.