"How could I leave this city and cross the sea without being depressed!" (Gibran)

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"How could I leave this city and cross the sea without being depressed!" (Gibran)

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader

After six years of humble service in Na’our, it is time to move over to the second parish, namely the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Tla' Al-Ali, coming from the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Na’our. A priest cannot hide the feeling of being moved by being transferred from “one village to another” following the model after Lord Jesus Christ who has the great heart in both parishes.

I thank Lord Jesus for the blessing of the past six years, namely from the summer of 2014, which is the year when we welcomed His Holiness Pope Francis and later we welcomed the forcibly displaced brethren from Mosul. In Na’our, we had the honor of hosting them and serving them with the support of Caritas Jordan which was an impression of Jordanian love for the forcibly displace brethren.

Na’our was later renowned by the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes which, praise the Lord, came into existence with the help of several friends locally and internationally. Efforts were under way to expand the halls and the square which culminated by wonderful celebrations, such as hosting the bishop of Our lady of Lourdes in France and the accompanying press delegation, the conclusion of a twinning agreement between Na’our and Lourdes, hosting the statue of Virgin Mary of Fatima, in addition to welcoming several tourist groups from different countries of the world who visited the grotto.

I like to underline the importance of love between the parish priest and the parishioners which is the cornerstone and essence of pastoral work, as well as perpetuity. Thanks to the people of Na’our, to the Latin Patriarchate for the special care it pays, the nuns of the parish, to the Christian people of Na’our and well as to its Muslims with whom we have been accustomed to lighting a Christmas tree whose name became universal, namely "The Tree of National Unity". I am also grateful to the cooperation extended by Na’our municipality officials, the concerned security apparatuses and the Association of Na’our Nashama.

These are indelible memories. I chose a headline to depict them by quoting what Gibran said when his prophet was about to leave the city of Orfles: "How could I leave this city and cross the sea without being depressed!" The depression, in this case, is an expression of the great love I hold in my heart to Na’our and its wonderful people.

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