Since April 20th, Israel has begun its deconfinement and life is gradually returning to normal as in other countries around the world: reopening some shops, then shopping malls, and finally schools, but places of worship remain closed, even in such a religious country as Israel. The humming of cars has replaced the silence of a long Shabbat as well as the singing of birds, which even Ramadan, lived this year behind closed doors, could not disturb.

Life at the École has changed very little: the library is still closed (while libraries in Israel are cautiously reopening), the students are finishing their semester, our brothers are still enjoying a gentle French exile, and everything remains very calm. A birthday party or a barbecue come from time to time to provide a bit of entertainment. The natural and historical parks and archaeological sites have also reopened and the students, deprived of topography in the field, will finally be able to visit a site under the scorching heat that has fallen on the country.

On Sunday, May 17th, we had the joy of celebrating a public mass outside, in our atrium: “social distancing”, wearing a mask is mandatory, 50 people maximum. It was a beautiful moment of reunion with some faithful whom we had not seen for more than a month. It was an opportunity for them to take part in the Mass and to receive communion after a long period of imposed Eucharistic fasting.

On the day of Pentecost, we will have five confirmations in our church-atrium which will be given by Father Rafic Nahra, episcopal vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics (Vicariate of St. James) and for migrants. The Mass will be preached by Fr. Olivier Catel. Symbolically, on the day of Pentecost, the nascent Church comes out to announce the Good News: in front of the door of our basilica, we will be able to send the newly confirmed and invite them to come out of their fears and confinements to bear witness in the world.