Holy Land Pilgrimage

So That They May All Be One

March 11, 2018

Recently we had the opportunity to visit the Armenian Seminary in Jerusalem. We started our visit with a time of liturgical prayer called vespers. Following this we met one of the Priests who explained to us some things about the Armenian Church and their Cathedral in Jerusalem, Saint James. Following this we moved to a soccer field where some of our guys played against the Armenian Seminary. It was a time of good fun and brotherhood. During this time we even acquired some fans from the other team that cheered us on.

When the game ended we had dinner with them at their seminary. There we experienced true Christian hospitality. During dinner they sang hymns for us, one of which was full of patriotic pride for their home country of Armenia. Talking with them we entered into their world and learned about their history, culture, and family. This was a moment of great unity between our two Churches.

At the end of the day when reflecting on the experiences something was very evident: the desire for unity and peace. I remembered Christ’s words “That they may be one” (Cf. Jn 17: 21). One of the things I realized that day was that there is much more that unites us than separates us. That is why I encourage us all to pray for Christian unity and for peace around the world.


By Gerardo Olivera, Archdiocese of San Juan

Photos by Declan McNicholas, Diocese of Gary, and Peter Pedrasa, Diocese of Tucson

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