On Friday, November 12, 2021, the parish Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation, in Beit Jala, welcomed many religious and faithful to celebrate 25 years of priestly ordination of Fr. Gabriel Romanelli, IVE, currently Parish Priest of the Holy Family Church in Gaza.
H.B. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over the Holy Mass, accompanied by Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar Emeritus, in the presence of many priests and professors of the Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala, seminarians, Religious Men and Women, including the Community of the Incarnate Word, among the local faithful.
After his ordination 25 years ago in Argentina, Fr. Romanelli, originally from Buenos Aires, arrived in the Holy Land 20 years ago. After a stay in Madaba in Jordan where he learned Arabic, he joined the Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala as a Philosophy and Music teacher (Choir). After a few years, he started his visits to Gaza on a regular basis to help the Catholic community there, until his appointment to the Holy Family Parish in Gaza in 2019. Then, his reassuring and benevolent presence has been a real comfort to all his parishioners.
At the end of the ceremony, Fr. Romanelli shared a magnificent cake in the midst of a joyful and friendly assembly. A nice surprise awaited him with the musical interlude offered by the disabled chidlren of The "Hogar Niño Dios", a home run by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word. Fr. Romanelli, very moved, joined them, for their greater joy.
This afternoon looked just like Fr. Romanelli's priesthood: a faultless and joyful availability put at the service of the most disadvantaged people and to the safeguarding of their dignity.