In June, three members of the Franciscan society, a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi, applied for scholarships to travel to the Holy Land and visit the holy sites there as well to work as volunteers at the Tent of Nations for two-three weeks this summer. Here is what one volunteer, Father Michael McCue, had to say about his experience:
“I am writing to thank you all for our enormously valuable travel to Palestine and Tent of Nations. Just being on the farm with the positive attitude that flourishes there taught me so much. Being in Palestine, being taught by Daoud, meeting Palestinians changed all my previously unchallenged presuppositions.
Just this week I was talking about the trip with a really great young Israeli-American. He grew up somewhere in Israel until he was about 13. When I told him we stayed in and traveled in Palestine, right away he cautioned me about how unsafe, etc., that was. —Reflexive fear, unexamined prejudice and assumptions.
Travel, staying with you all, has done so much to teach how much more complicated the world is that headlines and political slogans and received assumptions can convey.
I am very grateful. I have also been trying to cook food similar to what you all served us at your table.
I am inspired by your work and your generosity. I keep talking about it.
Thank you. God bless you, Fr. Mike McCue”