On the occasion of the feast of its patron saint on Saturday, October 9, 2021, the Abraham’s House offered celebrants and guests that morning a time of prayer with a breathtaking view of the Old City, after more than three years of renovation.
In the presence of the Consul General of France, Mr. René Troccaz, the new Apostolic Nuncio, H.E. Archbishop Adolfo Yllana, celebrated Mass in a chapel opposite the cenacle and the walls of the Old City, accompanied by Mgr Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar emeritus of Jerusalem and Palestine, Bishop Mar Yacoub Ephrem Semaan, Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Catholic Church of Jerusalem, Holy Land and Jordan and more than a hundred friends of the Abraham’s House.
The Bible passages were specially chosen to be in connection with this great day (Book of Genesis 12, 1-9; Letter to Hebrews 11, 8-19 and the Gospel of Christ according to Saint John 8, 51-59) and the songs animated by an Arab Christian choir.
At the end of the ceremony, Archbishop Yllana blessed the renovated buildings, surrounded by all those present.
Bernard Thibaud, the director of the Abraham’s House and his wife Sylvie, Fr. Guy Tardivy and the community of Dominican Sisters of the Presentation of Tours, with the help of all the staff of the house, then received their guests around a buffet outdoors and gave them a tour of the renovated house.
The Abraham's House, managed by Secours Catholique - Caritas France, has had the mission since 1964 to welcome pilgrims of all religions, primarily the most humble. The house is a former Benedictine monastery built in 1902 on the Mount of Olives, in the district of Ras el-Amud, to provide training for Syro-Catholic seminarians until their departure for Lebanon in 1950.
Having arrived nine months ago, in the midst of a pandemic, the new director took advantage of the forced absence of the pilgrims to carry out all the rehabilitation work on the buildings and initiate new cooperation with local actors in the fields of pastoral care, solidarity and culture.
In the middle of a terraced park planted with leaning pines and olive trees, sheltered from the noise of the city, the Abraham’s House stands tall with its majestic stone buildings facing one of the most beautiful views of Jerusalem. Now with a fully renovated reception hall and bedrooms, it awaits its first groups of pilgrims during the month of November.