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Department of Religious Studies

World Youth Day

Marie von Mirbach-Harff, a German graduate of Hebrew University, hosted in her home a group of Bethlehem University students, including some from the Religious Studies Department, in Cologne, Germany, for World Youth Day in 2005. Marie arranged daily Mass for the students in preparation to join Pope Benedict and the two million youth who gathered each day for seven consecutive days. As a group we joined the official Mass for all Arabic speaking countries that was arranged by the Patriachate and lead by his Beatitude Michel Sabah in another Parish Church nearby in the area, whe  we drove as a group to another church and meet allother groups from other Arab countries there.  However the group had festive a mass before the theatre performance with one of the auxiliary bishops of Cologne Dr. Klaus Dick in our farm.

Also, the Palestinian and German students performed a play about the Three Kings for the local community as an effort at bringing people together to reflect on the coming of the Savior and the occasion of World Youth Day.

"It was nice to converse with people about who we are and where we come from," Imad Abu Sa'da (BU '05), a chaperone for the trip, said. "Most people living abroad do not know that Palestinian Christians exist, so it was good for them to meet us. We value their acknowledgement and appreciate their spiritual support also."

"It was a very rich experience," Imad added. "Marie wanted to do something special for Bethlehem University. And we are most grateful."

A group of 10 students and two faculty members are currently planning to attend World Youth Day in Australia in the summer of 2008.

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine