The community in Israel
The Community of Chemin Neuf has been present in Israel since the 1970s through the various pilgrimages it organizes there.
1983-1985: the Community sends a France couple to live a fraternity of life experience with the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion in their house located in Ein Karem. In addition to the sharing of fraternal and community life, they work together in the activities of the house and in the development of Francophone bible formation. A few brothers and sisters from Chemin Neuf join this brotherhood of life as part of their formation in theology.
1986-1987: a couple of two years sent by the Community to continue this experience of brotherhood of life and to develop relations and friendships with the local populations of the country.
2001: the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion officially requested the Community of Chemin Neuf to collaborate with them in the administration of their pilgrimage homes and their francophone biblical training programs. The Community accepts this proposal and sends a first international and ecumenical fraternity of the Chemin Neuf, composed of a couple, singles and young people, who settle in Ein Karem. The wish of the Community is also to enable some members to train themselves in interreligious dialogue and ecumenism.
2006: at the request of the Sisters of Zion, a second fraternity joins the Convent of Ecce Homo in Jerusalem to take part in the administration of this pilgrimage house. This collaboration between our two communities brings a lot of fruit and allows the Community of Chemin Neuf to share around it the charisms it has received from the Holy Spirit, in terms of hospitality, fraternal life, ecumenism, liturgy and the prayer group, theological and biblical formation and spiritual accompaniment. The pilgrimages proposed by the Community are also undertaken, beginning with a pilgrimage of young people and an inter-parish pilgrimage a little later.
In 2005 the Association of Mary of Nazareth (www.mariedenazareth.com) envisages the creation of a Centre of Evangelization in the heart of the City of Nazareth. This project, known as the International Centre of Mary of Nazareth, aims to make known the Christian faith through Mary using the most modern multimedia tools. It sees the light of day in 2012. The concern to make it a place of ecumenical welcome leads the Association to entrust the animation of the Centre to the Community. This is how community brothers and sisters began to participate in the design and construction of the site from 2005 onwards. The Centre has welcomed thousands of visitors, both local and foreign, since its opening on 1 January 2012. The Bible Multimedia Course, available in 14 languages (including Arabic and Hebrew), is accessible to visitors of many origins.
2009-2010: The Sisters of Our Lady of Sion of Ein Karem choose to continue their mission with the Brothers of Sion. The Community therefore has had to leave this place while continuing the collaboration with the Sisters of Sion in Jerusalem.
2010: The Community chooses to collaborate with various communities in Jerusalem for the animation of the Easter Triduum and to welcome pilgrims to these celebrations: mainly the Assumptionists, the Oblate Sisters, the White Fathers and the Sisters of the Work. The adventure continues every year until today.
We also witness the birth of the David cycle, a spiritual, biblical and theological formation animated by the Community.
2013: Signature of the contract between the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion and the Community of Chemin Neuf to mark the choice of a collaboration in the administration of the Ecce Homo convent for a period of 20 years.
In the summer of 2015, a group of Arab Christian youth from Israel and Palestine participated in the Welcome to Paradise gathering at Hautecombe Abbey in France. In the summer of 2016 another group participates in the WYD (World Youth Day) in Poland and the Lodz Preparatory Festival “Paradise in the City”. This is the birth of the Community Youth Mission in Israel.
In December 2016, Bishop Georges Bakouni, the Greek Catholic bishop of the Archieparchy of Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and all Galilee, entrusts the House of the Pilgrim Abuna Naraj of Nazareth to the Community. This residence of 18 rooms allows the Community to deploy its charisma of hospitality in Galilee.
In 2018, extensive work on the rooms and common areas of the former Melkite seminary will increase the number of accommodation units in the pilgrim’s house to 40. This makes it possible to accommodate larger groups or several groups at the same time.
May 2021: End of the community presence at the Center of Mary of Nazareth. It will be entrusted to the Custody of the Holy Land. To date it has not been reopened.