Venezuelan wins trip to Holy Land for Pope's visit

Gustavo Adolfo Franco Picaza of Maracaibo, Venezuela holds a sign with his gratitude for winning the contest. Credit: holyland-pilgrimage.org.

A 22-year-old Venezuelan man has won a contest held by Israel’s Ministry of Tourism to travel to the Holy Land for Pope Francis’ historic visit May 24-26.

Gustavo Adolfo Franco Picaza of Maracaibo, Venezuela, made the winning video for a contest held via Instagram at #PopeinHolyLand.

In a message to the organizers of the contest, Picaza said he would carry a special intention on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land: “To pray for peace in my country of Venezuela and for peace in the entire world.”

“I come from a very Christian family and ever since I was a child it has been a dream… [I] prayed every day to go and see the land of Jesus, the land promised by God to his people, the land where God sent his son to save the world, to visit the Holy Land, to walk its streets, but above all to pray in its churches. It’s a dream I have always had and now that by God’s grace you have given me this opportunity, I cannot pass it up,” Picaza said.

He thanked God for the chance to experience this pilgrimage during Pope Francis’ visit.

“It would be awesome to bump into the Holy Father on the street while visiting the land of Jesus and be able to tell him: ‘Holy Father, I am praying for you and for the peace of the world in Venezuela and in the land God promised to his sons and daughters.’”

“In one of his messages, Jesus tells us to go to Galilee, where we will see him and find him. This is something I want to experience. Undoubtedly visiting the Holy Land is a gift from God and a privilege that everyone in the world should have, and I am sure that this visit will help me,” Picaza said.

Picaza’s winning video can be seen at: http://instagram.com/p/mlGuwHQsYh/


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Jean Beliveau, RIP

REV. RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI

Jean Beliveau was more than an athlete, though certainly he was a one-in-a-million athlete. The record of his achievements almost defies belief. He played in the National Hockey League for 20 seasons and retired with 10 championship rings. 

 

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land

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December 20, 2014

  • Saturday, December 20

    St. Margaret's Center Christmas Program, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Morningside High School (Cafeteria), 10500 S. Yukon Ave, Inglewood. St. Margaret's Center, Inglewood School District, Doorking, Inc., and Centinela Hospital Medical Staff invite you to join them as they create a holiday wonderland with Christmas surprises for more than 1,000 poverty-level children and their parents. (310) 672-2208. Click here for more information.

    Christmas Shop at Holy Grounds, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 566-1500.

    Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat House, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. A concert by Valyermo Dancers & Co., choreographed by John West. $15. Contact Sr. Deborah for more info, (818) 784-4515.

    Christmas Dinner Dance, 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 21433 Strathern St, Canoga Park. Tickets, $28. (818) 371-0473.

    Las Posadas, 7 p.m., Parish Hall, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 600 W Mariposa St, Altadena. Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish. A religious and social celebration, Las Posadas commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ. We invite you to join us in a one-day celebration of this tradition. (626) 794-2046.

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