From July 13-22, eighteen American pilgrims, representing six different ROCOR parishes traveled together, under the spiritual leadership of Priest Jonah Campbell (rector of Christ the Savior Church in Wayne, WV) to the Holy Land.
The Bethany Girl’s School, run by Mother Maria, provided gracious hospitality to the pilgrims, and in exchange for staying at the school, the group was able to give back through various work projects on the school campus. Pilgrims cleaned and organized, removed graffiti, completed masonry work, tended to the school grounds, and helped in many other ways.
The trip provided a beautiful balance of visiting the Holy sites, working at the school, and attending daily services. Pilgrims were able to celebrate the feast of the Holy New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth at St. Mary Magdalene Convent in Gethsemane in the presence of her relics. The nuns provided a festal meal and all were able to celebrate Abbess Elizabeth’s namesday together.
In addition to serving at St. Mary Magdalene Convent, Fr. Jonah served at the Gorny Convent (Ein Karem), as well as at the Holy Sepulcher for Midnight Liturgy. Pilgrims visited St. Sabbas Monastery, St. George Monastery (as well as many others), the River Jordan, the Sea of Galilee, Mount Tabor, Bethlehem, and the holy sites of Jerusalem.
Johanna Crowly and Natasha Klinoff coordinated the details of the trip, under the blessing of His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas. It was not only spiritually edifying for the pilgrims, but will bring many fruits to the parishes and people in America. The pilgrims expressed their hope that this trip will inspire more pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, as well as bring about a deeper awareness of the Bethany Girls’ School and all they are doing in the name of our Savior.
Bethany: Diocesan Youth travel on Pilgrimage to Holy Land, work at ROCOR Girl’s School - 07/22/19