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Department of Religious Studies


With the aim of providing its Religious Studies students with a faith component, Fr. Peter Du Brul, S.J., frequently takes Religious Studies students on short retreats around Bethlehem. During one such retreat to the Emmanuel Monastery in Bethlehem, nearly 20 students under the guidance of Fr. Peter meditated on the role of religion teachers within Palestinian society. They read and discussed verses from the Bible in order to more easily reflect on their faith, who they are as Christians, what it means to share, to teach and how does the liturgy fit into all of this.

Fr. Peter and Sally Kaissieh recounted this particular trip in good humor, because a certain dramatic but amusing incident took place in the middle of the night that woke up the whole convent.  Sally, her classmate Ranya and Ranya's son, Laith were in their room talking when a large scorpion suddenly appeared directly above Ranya's head. In the meantime, Sally became noticeably speechless, her mouth hung wide open and Ranya was questioning her friend as to what was happening. "Sally, Sally, what's wrong?" Ranya asked. Finally Sally somehow managed to say "scorpion" and both girls ran out screaming. "They then proceeded to call everyone in our group," Fr. Peter said, "And finally, as Sally tells it, one of the nuns came forward and very easily and casually killed the scorpion with her shoe and said, ‘Oh, we have them all the time.' Apparently, the girls stayed up the rest of the night talking in the conference room instead of returning to their bedrooms! I only hope they used that time to reflect on their faith," Fr. Peter said smiling.


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