Amidst Guns, We Light Candles

By Sr. Norma More DC

In the strife-torn Holy Land, Filipino missionary Sr. Norma More, dc, together with her companions of different nationalities, strives to look after the handicapped children from each of the three religious communities – Jewish, Muslim, Christian – which make up the population of Palestine. St. Vincent’s Home, amidst present political and racial disharmony, in its own way bears witness to God’s call to peace. Sr. Norma tells us about their trials and joys. (Ed.)

St. Vincent’s Home is one of the places in Israel where one can just be himself irrespective of creed, race, nationality and political ideologies. Yesterday evening was one of the several celebrations that gave concrete evidence to this. One of the employees who has worked here for many years was leaving for good. A thank you party was held in the garden and it was attended by almost all of the personnel including the sisters and some of the children. Everybody danced to the sound of the tamtam, Jews and Arabs alike plus the volunteers from different countries. There was a deep joy radiating from each and everyone present. For me, it wasn’t just an ordinary gathering, it very much resembled that of a “Messianic Banquet”.

Angels In The Land Of The Magnificat

By Sr. Norma More dc

Up to 1948 Ein-Kerem was a predominantly Arab village but in the war of Independence the Israeli army conquered the territory and the village is now a Jewish stronghold with many families here living sturdy, beautifully constructed homes. The place is famed as the birthplace of John the Baptist Benedictus prayer. Close-by at the foot of the hill is the “Virgin‘s Fountain”, the spring where Mary would have fetched water for the household and where she would have refreshed herself. Countless pilgrims visit every year, praying at the Church of the Visitation which marks the site where Mary visited her cousin and the child in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy and the words: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb” were spoken. Mary replied with the Magnificat and this prayer can also be seen on the walls surrounding the church in all the languages of the world even in Tagalog.

A Call to Love: From Bethlehem to Dublin

By: Sr. Marcelle Bual, SPC

Sister lived through the tensions of the INTIFADA- the uprising of the Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank. She also witnessed the Gulf War and tells us how, hiding in a sealed room as the Iraqui scud missiles skimmed across the sky, her thoughts often strayed to a certain faraway place...

I am a Sister of St. Paul. My first foreign mission assignment was in Bethlehem University, first teaching the Palestinian students Business Administration and then, at the start of Intifada, working as the accountant of the university.