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Rome Reports

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Nourishing Catholic Hebrew speakers with new and innovative project

Fr. David NeuhausPatriarchal vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel “What we are facing is the huge challenge of having thousands of Hebrew speaking Catholics who belong to the migrant communities. They are predominantly children of migrant workers or asylum seekers who have reached Israel.”Father David Neuhaus lives in Jerusalem. He?s the Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew speaking Catholics. In Israel, he says immigrant workers are mostly from the Philippines and India. Those seeking asylum are predominantly from Sudan ; and Eritrea. Since their children now go to school in Israel, they speak and are taught in Hebrew. To prevent them from loosing their Christian roots, a new project is underway. Fr. David NeuhausPatriarchal vicar the Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel “The publication of Catechism books in Hebrew, which is a totally new project. Teaching religion classes within these communities of migrants.”This and other issues were discussed by the Latin Bishops of the Arab Region, who recently met in Rome for their annual conference. It?s a challenge they welcome. Especially, since in a way, it brings Christians closer to their roots in the Holy Land. Fr. David NeuhausPatriarchal vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel “To think through our faith in a language which is the original language of the Old Testament which has never been used by Christians as a Christian language. That too, we embrace with enthusiasm.”Despite some challenges, Father Neuhaus says it?s a key moment for the Catholic Church in Israel. Not only because of its collaboration with the immigrant community, but also, he says, because of its reconciliation efforts with the Jewish community. KLH FFJMPR