Letter from Father Juan Solana, Chargè of the Holy See for the PINDJ
Updated: Oct 17, 2017
Photo: Fr. Juan María Solana, Chargè of the Holy See
Dear Friends of Notre Dame of Jerusalem:
I send you my cordial greetings from Jerusalem. On this occasion, I want to present to you for the first time our newsletter "HIC", to bring you news from Notre Dame, Jerusalem and the Holy Land. In most of the holy places on this land, we find the inscription in Latin: HIC IESUS, meaning Here Jesus. This reminds us that these places were witnesses to the very core of our faith.
The reason for the launch of a new Newsletter is very simple: through Notre Dame or Magdala, Divine Providence has united us in one of the most beautiful experiences of life: the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We want to maintain this relationship over time; we would be glad to think that some of our news, or photographs or faces, can renew in your hearts what it was to walk the paths of the Patriarchs, the Prophets, Mary Magdalene, the apostles, Jesus himself and so many pilgrims who for centuries have wanted to do this experience.
The Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem is not new. It started long ago. In fact, next year will be 130 years of the arrival of the first group of pilgrims. At that time, it started as an initiative of the French Assumptionist fathers, hence the name Notre Dame. After the vicissitudes of the world wars and the wars that this land suffered , especially in 1948 and 1967, Notre Dame was partially destroyed.
Photo: NDC South wing after Six Day War
That was when the Vatican intervened, and on March 2, 1972 acquired this property, renewed it and opened it to the service of pilgrims and visitors, as well as local communities. Nothing would cheer us more than the fulfillment of the mission and the knowledge that behind each face found here, there is a person, a history, a family, a great experience of God.
Photo: Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
Because of this, Notre Dame has become a great family. May this be a way to help us stay connected, to grow in friendship and to develop our love for this Holy Land.
Photo: Monastery of St Saviour
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Franciscan Order for their tireless work preserving and rendering the Holy Places where our faith originated. We join you in celebrating your 800 anniversary of presence in the Holy Land. Receive our gratitude and congratulations in this joyous celebration.*
Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C.
Chargè of the Holy See for the PINDJ.
*For more information on the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land visit: http://www.custodia.org/