The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan has announced that the 22nd pilgrimage ceremony of Catholic Churches to the Baptism Site will take place on Friday, January 14, during which Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa will celebrate Holy Mass at the Church of the Baptism of Christ, whose construction is almost complete, in the presence of the Apostolic Nunciature personnel and heads of Catholic Churches in Jordan.
CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader said that preparatory committees are working in full swing in order to ensure that the pilgrimage ceremony will be conducted smoothly and with extreme perfection. He pointed out that due to the Corona epidemic, the number of participants has been reduced this year to only 1,000 people, so that there is social distancing in the church, which can accommodate 2,000 people, will be observed.
As has been the case every year, the CCSM will hold a press conference with the participation of Patriarch Pizzaballa and Secretary General of the Ministry of homily during the Holy Mass in which he explains the meanings of baptism and the pride expressed by all the participants that this pilgrimage ceremony is marked despite the prevailing health conditions. Prayers will be said for Jordan marking the threshold of its second centenary, and for the recovery of the sick in Jordan and the world at large.
The ceremony will also be attended by Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Petra and Philadelphia and Entire Jordan Joseph Jbarah, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Fr. Jamal Khader, Charge d'Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Amman Monsignor Mauro Lalli, Parish Priest of the Maronite Church Fr. Joseph Swede, Parish Priest of the Syriac Catholic Church Fr. Tha'ir Abba, and Parish Priest of the Chaldean Church Zeid Habbabeh.
Fr. Bader praised the coordinating efforts made by the Church committees, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Jordan Tourism Board, the Higher Committee for Baptism, the Jordan Armed Forces--the Arab Army, the security apparatuses, scouts, and the choirs. He added that the media will play a major role in covering the pilgrimage anniversary which will be broadcast live by the CCSM.
It is noteworthy that the pilgrimage of the Catholic Churches to the Baptism Site takes place annually on the second Friday of January, while the pilgrimage of the Orthodox churches is marked it on the third Friday of January.