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Notre Dame: A Catholic Heartbeat in Jerusalem

Updated: Oct 17, 2017

Photo: Statue of the Virgin Mary Queen of Peace, NDC

Among the hills that make up the city of Jerusalem, there is one that holds an imposing historical structure. With its air of castle or fortress, the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center is distinguished mainly by its majestic statue of the Virgin Mary - a replica of Our Lady of the Salvation in Paris . She watches tirelessly over all the east of the city from the top of the building. And it is surrounded by two towers with medieval battlements that complement its unmistakable beauty.

Notre Dame is characteristic for its almost 130 years of experience in hospitality, hosting thousands of pilgrims from all over the world who have come to this holy city seeking an experience that surpasses the physical. This particular building has been a standing witness to the history of this peculiar city. Originally built by the French Order of the Assumptionist Fathers; now owned by the Vatican and more recently entrusted to the administration of the Legionaries of Christ.

What has not changed in all this time is its essence as a guest house for pilgrims who come to the Holy Land in search for something transcendental. It’s because of this that today Notre Dame is known as a Catholic heartbeat in Jerusalem.

Photo: Pope Francis at NDC Chapel on his visit in 2014

This task does not stop there. The Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem is much more than a guest house. It is a generator of opportunities for the local Christian community with the large number of jobs it provides; It is an educator of hundreds of young Christians from the Holy Land with its school: the PPHS; It is a local center of cultural and religious events, with its large auditorium, its restaurants, its chapel, its museum/exhibition of the Shroud of Turin, and so on. This is how day by day Notre Dame lives the mission that St. John Paul II established for this place: "to offer the world a place of fruitful spiritual development."

Photo: NDC Staff

But what is much more appropriate to affirm, is not what Notre Dame is, but what it generates: a feeling of unity that breathes through the doors, is lived among all its members and is transmitted to all arriving pilgrims to stay. It generates a feeling that causes a smile to all visitors and friends. It generates a warm homelike feeling to all who remember this place. This is the feeling of "family" and that is why today NDC wants you to be a part of it.

Welcome to the NDC Family.

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