From Monday July 4 to Wednesday, July 13, 2016, children, youth and adults from the Hebrew speaking kehillot gathered at Deir Rafat, near Beit Shemesh for days of children’s summer camps.
This year, the theme of the summer camp was “Mary, Mother of Our Lord and Our Mother”. 83 children (between the ages of 5 and 13), 28 young people and 22 adults participated in the ten days of children’s camp’ divided as always into two periods of five days each. Once again, the number of participants this year was a record since 2009.
The daily routine of the camp included: morning exercises, morning prayer, breakfast, activities (religion class about Mary, art, games, theater and sport), a small group meeting, preparation for mass, singing, daily mass, lunch, an hour of rest, swimming, quiz, dinner, a film and night prayer. For the first time, a group of older children, aged 12 and 13, had their own program of activities. There were two day trips: one day was spent at the water park on Kibbutz Shefayim and the other was spent on pilgrimage to Nazareth, where there were visits to the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Center of Mary of Nazareth.
The children and youth who participated came from the Hebrew speaking Catholic communities: Jerusalem (42), Haifa (18), Jaffa (16), Tel Aviv (4), Beer Sheba (9), Tiberias (4), the Lebanese Maronite community (17), Ramleh (1).vThere were only 16 children who participated in the camp for the first time. The youth were mostly from the youth group of the Vicariate, Desert Flower, and 15 of them will participate in the trip to Poland on the occasion of World Youth Day at the end of the month. The adults who directed the camp included 4 priests (Fathers David, Apolinary (Jaffa), Roman (Haifa) and Piotr (Beer Sheba), 7 sisters and consecrated women (Claudia from the Vicariate, Sinead from Koinonia John the Baptist, Sisters Rita and Jandark from the Sisters of Saint Dorothea, Sister Camelia from the Sisters of Nazareth, Sister Claudia from the Ursulines and Sister Sarah from the Little Family of the Annunciation), 4 seminarians (Benny from the Vicariate, Daniel from Koinonia John the Baptist and Miguel and Tarek from the Neo-Catechumenal Way) and seven lay people (Roni, Daniel, Guillaume and Amandine from the Vicariate, Abir (a social worker from the north), Samuela (a volunteer from Italy) and Maria (a volunteer from the Czech Republic).
kaytana 2016 summer2
Again, we thank from the bottom of our hearts the nuns at Deir Rafat who received us with joy, patience and love. We thank especially the team n the kitchen who prepared the meals: Sisters Maria Lied, Ines and Linael and their helpers, Rab’a (Muslim) and Neta (Jewish). We must also thank our benefactors who enable us to organize these camps: the organization “Church in Need” and the individuals who helped us with their generosity.
Finally, we than the Lord for these days of fun that we spent together. We learnt a lot about Mary in a sanctuary consecrated to her and we thank her because she always protects us and prays for us.