A trip to the Holy Land proved not only to be awe-inspiring for an American group of Catholics ―comprised of mostly Maderans― but also helped Catholics abroad.
The first Holy Land pilgrimage organized through St. Joachim Catholic Church was led by the Rev. Gustavo López, OSJ, and included 30 people. Participantsincluded a resident of Los Angeles, three from Fresno and four from Union City. The rest were parishioners from the local church.
López said the parish pilgrimage came to be after a Palestinian Catholic couple, originally from Bethlehem but now residing in Bakersfield, approached their friend, St. Joachim pastor the Rev. Carlos Esquivel, OSJ, with the suggestion a year ago.
“The purpose of the trip was to support Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land because they’ve experienced persecution, hardship―many of them are leaving their homelands to come to the United States or to Europe because of the economy ― and they’re not able to support themselves,” said López...