Dear Friends of Magdala,
We are coming to the conclusion of 2015, the first full year of life for Magdala since its official inauguration in May of 2014. During this year we hosted more than 100,000 visitors. We are very happy and thankful to God for this.
As the Christmas feasts and the New Year quickly approach we wanted to reach out and send you our warmest and most sincere holiday greetings. We want to wish the very best for you and all your loved ones.
As 2015 comes to a close, we have seen amazing growth with our beloved project of Magdala, especially as many of its programs and internal projects start to become institutionalized.
- In March and October we had special activities to promote the dignity of women.
- Through the summer we advanced in the archaeological dig, which unearthed:
- A fourth mikveh
- 300 coins
- A ceramic jar
- A grinding stone
- Various rooms within a building complex from the first century.
- On the 22nd of July, the day of the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, we added the last touch to Duc In Altum. A painting of the hemorrhaging woman created in Santiago, Chile, is now housed in the Encounter Chapel.
We are very happy to know that many of our visitors are local. Additionally, many of our visiting pilgrims are from English speaking countries, followed by those from Spanish speaking countries and other languages. We can indeed say that that the more than 100,000 visitors we hosted at Magdala this past year have come from all cardinal points of the world. In particular, we have begun to see the arrival of many visitors from China.
Magdala has also been represented at numerous international and academic events of great importance. It has also been featured in many renowned publications. Recently, the New York Times published an article on the Magdala Stone by Isabel Kershner, and Smithsonian Magazine featured Magdala in an article written by Ariel Sabar. We thank all our friends who have collaborated with us to help to spread the good news of Magdala, crossroads of Jewish and Christian history.
Additionally, this year we launched the second phase of construction focusing on the pilgrim’s guesthouse – featured in our last newsletter. We continue to ask for your support of this project in our 1000-day campaign, Bringing The Vision To Life. We have 835 days left … and a long way to go!
Lastly, we thank all our donors and friends and for their generous support no matter how that support has been expressed. All your support is greatly appreciated. We also thank the more than 200 volunteers who have worked constantly, day in and day out, to keep Magdala operating properly.
Finally, we are very happy to announce that this newsletter will now be available in Spanish as well as English!
As always we ask for your prayers for peace.
With my most warm greetings and blessings I am fraternally yours,
Fr. Juan Solana, L.C.