A group of seven Saint Mary’s students did something different with their holiday break — they joined two staff members to visit the Holy Land on a pilgrimage in collaboration with Lewis University.
CAPTION: Brendan Dolan, director of student life, with Saint Mary’s and Lewis students in Nazareth.
The two Lasallian universities organized the journey so that students could engage in spiritual development, academic discourse and interfaith dialogue in the home of the three Abrahamic religions.
This “place-based learning” involved visiting the historic cities of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nazareth, Caesarea Maritima and sites along the Sea of Galilee. Students walked the road to Jericho, prayed at sites of traditional spiritual importance (such as the Church of the Nativity, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Mount of Olives, the Church of the Multiplication and the Western Wall), and visited the site of the Dome of the Rock.
In the evenings, the students were joined by speakers from various political and religious organizations to discuss the present-day conflicts in the region of the West Bank, Gaza and Israel. The Saint Mary’s students also had the opportunity to network and talk with students from Bethlehem University who traveled with the group for several days. They finished their trip by visiting the old city of Jaffa and exploring the modern city of Tel Aviv.
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