Aussie Franciscan joins community on Moses' mountain

An Australian friar will join a Franciscan community to be established on the slopes of Mt Nebo, the Jordan mountain from where Moses saw the Promised Land.

Zenit reports that the decision was confirmed by Franciscan Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, in a letter last Saturday to all the religious of the custody.

"For a long time the custody has wished to do something in that very beautiful centre," Fr Pizzaballa wrote. "The arrival of new missionaries in the Holy Land has enabled us to reinforce our presence in Jordan, in our only shrine connected to a memory of the Old Testament, which has already become a constant object of pilgrimage."

From the summit of Mt Nebo, Moses saw the Holy Land without being able to enter it.

The community is made up of three brothers from Australia, Italy and Syria. They will revive contemplative life and prayer, combined with hospitality for pilgrims, explained the custos.

In the future, the custody hopes to make the site suitable for retreats and hospitality, especially for the local Church.

In 1932, the Custody of the Holy Land acquired the lands of Mt Nebo. Every year campaigns of archaeological excavation are undertaken there under the guidance of Fr Michele Piccirillo.

Franciscan Community To Be Founded in Jordan (Zenit 11/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mt Nebo, Jordan (Wikipedia)
Order of Friars Minor

13 Jul 2006