From 14 to 19 January, 2017, the Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and Vice President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), will participate in the annual meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land. The meeting's themes of this year will include migrants, dialogue and peace process. This annual international gathering involves representatives from Conferences of Bishops in Europe and North America who meet with the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS). Bishop Gendron will be accompanied by Mr. Carl Hétu, National Director of CNEWA-Canada.
The visit will include a tour of Hebron and East Jerusalem. There will be meetings with the Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land, staff and students of Bethlehem University, diplomats and politicians, as well as an Ecumenical afternoon with the Christian Leaders of the Holy Land to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The delegates will also visit various Catholic parishes in the Bethlehem district to celebrate Sunday Mass. Part of the delegation will also visit the Latin Parish in Gaza City on 12 and 13 January, including Bishop Gendron and Mr. Hétu.
The bishops participating at the annual meeting in the Holy Land are from the following Bishops' Conferences: United States of America, Canada, England and Wales, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Spain, the Nordic Countries, South Africa and Switzerland, as well as the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE) and the Commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE). Catholic Aid Organizations, Pax Christi, the Equestrian order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and Friends of the Holy Land are also represented. Finally, journalists from various media sources are also present throughout the week.