By: Christiane Esser
Happiness is…being on the shores of the Sea of Galilee…
I wish you all could meet Camila in person! From the moment she entered Duc in Altum in the arms of her father, I was impacted by her joy and personality. While greeting her parents and soon-to-be godparents in the Women’s Atrium, she kept pointing up to the painted cupola. Perhaps it was the bright colors or the painted stars on the ceiling that caught her attention or maybe she was somehow aware that many graces from heaven were about to be poured down upon her.
October 7th was a day that I had been looking forward to for quite some time. A young Mexican couple currently living in Israel visited Magdala in the spring and asked for my contact information. Every now and then we exchanged emails, and hoped for another opportunity to see each other. When they asked me if some good friends could baptize their new baby at Magdala, because “…it is the church that I love the most,” I was more than happy to make the reservation for them.
Camila traveled all the way from Mexico with her parents for the special occasion. Baptism, the sacrament of purification and new life is a sacred moment. It is the beginning of the life of grace in a soul and the beginning of a personal relationship with God who looks at us with love and calls us to be His son or daughter. Camila, almost 9 months old on the day of her baptism, truly seemed to sense the greatness of the moment. She was very attentive as Fr. Fernando Tamayo, L.C., one of the chaplains at Magdala, approached to anoint her first with holy oils and then to pour holy water over her head in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. What a beautiful ceremony!
New life is so important here in Magdala! As I watch the “re-birth” of an ancient town and await the inauguration of the Magdala guesthouse, I marvel at the many blessings that have brought this dream so far and trust that through God’s providence it will be fulfilled.