My dear friends,
I just came back from Mexico, where, on January 30th we had the presentation of the book “The Magdala Project” with the participation of the author Jesús García, Marcela Zapata, coordinator of the archeological project and myself.
We are very grateful for the presence of so many friends and benefactors, as well as the Ambassador of Israel in Mexico, H.E. Mr. Jonathan Peled, and numerous journalists who covered the event in Mexico during those days. The book is a summary of what has been happening in Magdala since its initiation. It is an attempt to highlight the Providence of God and His blessings. In it we see how He guides all things according to His good pleasure and Will.
On this occasion I want to share with you that for weeks now, we have been receiving messages like the one I transcribe here:
Please advise availability and rates once available at Magdala Center.
Group reservation- USA 55 rooms /February 2018 availability
We greatly appreciate the interest of the travel agencies in the opening date of the Guest House. It is our desire and intention to open this year 2017. To achieve this we need $700,000 USD each month and we are receiving $307,000. Therefore, we need to reach the monthly amount of $393,000 to achieve this goal.
The idea is to open 70 rooms, plus the main building, which will provisionally host the restaurant. Here I show you the advances we have accomplished so far:
- Façades and exterior finishings: 42% completed ( There are 17 people working on this and this is due by June 2017)
- Windows: 40% completed (17 people working on this and we hope to complete everything by March 2017)
- Electrical installations: finished in 45% (6 people working on this and we hope to complete everything by December 2017)
- Plumbing installations: finished in 55% (3 people working on this and we hope to complete everything by December 2017)
- Floors in rooms : finished in 23% ( 4 people working on this and we hope to complete everything by April 2017)
- Fire system and Sprinkler system: 34% completed ( 5 people working on it, to be completed ASAP)
- Ceilings in rooms: 83% completed ( 6 people working on it, to be completed March 2017)
- Furniture: We need an approximate amount of $560,000 USD to complete the interior furnishings of the Magdala guesthouse and lobby.
- Painting: We need an approximate amount of $350,000 USD to complete the painting of the walls.
- Exteriors: Finally we will need $1,000,000 USD to finish the exterior works of the new guesthouse north wing.
We are very grateful to the benefactors of Mexico who have donated the taps and bathroom finishings as well as groups of pilgrims who have donated the floors and mattresses for the guesthouse. As you can see, God’s providence continues to work. It is a challenge, but we will achieve it with the help of everyone. Above all, I ask for your prayers. As we work on the construction, the flow of pilgrims continues, and with it, great spiritual and religious experiences. Here I share one of them:
“I learned to follow Jesus’ footsteps in each and every corner of Magdala. I learned how to enjoy every moment of prayer in Duc In Altum.”
Likewise, what we call the “Magdala Experience” continues to grow. It consists of an early morning sunrise reflection followed by a visit to the Holy Sites of the Galilee where Jesus lived his public ministry.
The symposium of the women’s day to be celebrated on March 5 and the spiritual renewal course for priests are some of the activities that we will continue to have here. Next February 2018 we are planning a course on Theology of the Body. Blessed be God, we begin to see the end of this phase and the beginning of a new one: the life and activities of Magdala. Thank you for sharing this effort of God to approach us. We thank you and ask for your prayers.
Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C.