On Wednesday night at St. Paul's, Salt and Light TV-collaborating with the Archdiocese of Ottawa, CNEWA Canada (a papal charity), the Holy Land Commissariat and St. Paul's University--hosted the Ottawa premiere of this very engaging film.
On the surface, campus life at Bethlehem University feels disarmingly familiar. And then you're reminded why this region is unlike any other.
Between classes, students pour into the courtyard, maybe spending a little too much time laughing and socializing. But here, each young person can recount experiences of violence and hardship. Like North American students, you can find them hastily finishing their course reading on the bus. But to commute a few miles from neighbouring East Jerusalem, students have to pass through an eight metre high concrete wall—or sometimes not pass, and wait for hours at an armed checkpoint.
And like a Catholic university in the West, stressed-out students will head to the chapel to pray. But in addition to typical freshman worries, Bethlehem students pray for an end to the cycle of war that haunts their city.
Salt and Light TV tells the story of Bethlehem University, the De La Salle Christian brothers who run it, and Christian students who will sacrifice everything for their education. Together, and with the intercession of St. Jean-Baptiste De La Salle, they aim to build a better future for the Holy Land.
After the film showing, which was very well received, I took part in a panel discussion with Carl Hetu, head of CNEWA and Kris Dimytrenko, co-producer of the film. Here are some pictures, courtesy of Paul Lauzon.
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 I was glad when they said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
2 Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
4 To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 For there the thrones for judgement were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.’ For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
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CANADIAN BISHOPS GATHER
IN PLENARY ASSEMBLY
The bishops of Canada will meet from today until Friday midday in Sainte Adele, Quebec.
Please keep our work in your thoughts and prayers.
We are praying for all the people across Canada whom we are called to serve.