Dear Friends of Magdala:
I would like to wish all a peaceful and joyous summer that I hope you can enjoy with some days of rest and alongside your families. (at least in the northern hemisphere).
We are living in the month of July when for the first time we celebrated the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, following in the wishes of His Holiness, Pope Francis, to recognize in this extraordinary woman the importance that the church has always given to the apostles.
It is an honor and a great responsibility for us to be custodians of this holy place that is of such relevance to the gospel and also for the Jewish faith, as revealed by the archeological discoveries found on site. We are continually uncovering new discoveries during our current excavation season.
The project at Magdala continues to grow… it is like a snowball that we launched a few years back that has been growing and growing as the time has passed. Because of this that I want to inform you today of an important change in the terminology we are using.
We have often used the term “guesthouse” to describe the project. It is obvious that we are building a pilgrim guesthouse and the progress of the last six months of this is obvious from the images.
Yet, today I want to introduce a new concept that we believe will better reflect all that Magdala encompasses. We want to call the Magdala Campus. The Magdala Campus includes hospitality but is not limited to only this as it includes much more. This is because Magdala is creating a spiritual awareness and is calling people from the academic, ecumenical, inter-religious and pastoral fields. To simply call it a “pilgrim guesthouse” I think is unfair. It is true that for many “Campus” has an academic connotation. Nonetheless I think this term can be applied more broadly to encompass a place where we certainly offer hospitality, but also one where we host congresses, symposiums, retreats and seminars — the Magdala Campus.
Moreover, the Magdala Campus, in addition to the Guesthouse, also includes Duc in Altum, the archeological park, the Visitor center and everything else that is to come.
Dear friends, as we bring this month of July to a close, remembering the wonderful celebration of the Feast of Mary Magdalene we ask that you please continue supporting us with your prayers and finances. Magdala is now a precious reality and a wonderful experience in the lives of many people. Yet, we must continue with its development and take it to its conclusion. Thank you for all your support.
I wish you a very happy summer season.
Fr. Juan María Solana, L.C.