Bishop Brouwet celebrates solemn Mass in Naour prior to his departure

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Bishop Brouwet celebrates solemn Mass in Naour prior to his departure

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader

Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes in southwestern France Monsignor Nicolas Brouwet concluded on September 22, 2018 his five-day visit to the Jordan, during which he presided at a solemn Mass before Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Naour, southwestern Amman, which was attended by a large number of believers from various parts of Jordan. With the grotto in Naour copying the names of his diocese in France, a twinship had been announced between the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in both France and Jordan.

At the outset of the Mass, Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Naour and Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader welcomed Bishop Brouwet in the name of the Catholic Church in Jordan, noting that his pastoral visit is designed to bless the grotto launched in 2105 which takes the name of his diocese. He added that the visit came on the heels of a national invitation by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity and the Jordan Tourism Board in order to apprise the grand guest on the strenuous efforts being exerted by the concerned parties in order to highlight the religious touristic sites at the global level.

Coinciding with the celebrations marking the International Day of Peace, Fr. Bader lauded the propitious and noble efforts exerted by His Majesty King Abdullah II to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the region and the world. He said: "It is peace based on brotherhood and solidarity between the children of Prophet Abraham and all those who carry propitious intentions for the attainment of peace and justice." He also expressed gratitude to all the security apparatuses that protect the security of the homeland and of the citizens.

For his part, Bishop Brouwet was delighted to have in Jordan a Marian grotto that carries the same name as that in France. He also thanked all those who organized his historic visit to Jordan, especially the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Jordan Tourism Board, and the Catholic Center for Studies and Media. He also praised the atmosphere of common living with which Jordan is distinguished, and the national unity that brings together its Muslim and Christian children who work together in an atmosphere of love and cooperation in order to serve the society in an atmosphere of security and stability. He also thanked the security men, the traffic police, and the tourist police that facilitated the visit.

The Mass, celebrated on Friday, September 21, was concelebrated by Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop William Shomali, Patriarch Fouad Twal, Bishop Salim Sayegh, and First Counselor for the Apostolic Nunciature in Amman Monsignor Mauro Lalli. The Mass was also attended by priests and deacons from Latin, Melkite, Maronite, Chaldean churches as well as nuns from various congregations. In attendance were public and diplomatic personalities as well. Hymns were sung by the Fountain of Love Choir led by maestro Tu'meh Jbara.

Bishop Brouwet had earlier visited the Baptism Site where Engineer Rustom Makegian, a Baptism Site official, presented a briefing on the historical events and the archaeological discoveries relevant to the holy site. The bishop of Lourdes also baptized a child named Omar Bashar Mu'asher by the Jordan River and poured on his head water from the River Jordan and the water of the Lourdes River in the presence of a large number of believers.

The grand guest also met with Most Rev. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem at the of the Latin Vicariate. He also visited the Memorial of Moses on Mt. Nebo accompanied by CCSM Director Fr. Rif'at Bader, where he was welcomed by Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Francesco Patton and a number of priests. He also participated in a Marian Eve, organized by the General Secretariat of Christian Youth in Jordan in coordination with the Youth of Naour, on Thursday, September 20, at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Naour.

On the first day of his visit to Jordan, Bishop Brouwet visited the Municipality of Naour and was received by municipal officials. He also met with Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Rajai Muasher in the presence of Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Lina Annab. He also visited the Iftaa' Department and met with the Grand Mufti of Jordan Mohammad Khalaileh. He also met with the Director of the Caritas Jordan Wael Suleiman and lauded the efforts being exerted by the various institutions in Jordan which aim at alleviating the suffering of the forcibly displaced and the refugees. The grand guest also met at a later time with French Ambassador to Jordan David Bertolotti.

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