The escalating war between Israel and Gaza, resonating across the globe, has steadily drawn the attention of individuals, including those residing in Regina. A congregation of thirty-two from the Resurrection Roman Catholic Parish, Regina presently finds themselves in Jordan as a result of the intensifying conflict, which abruptly interrupted their pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
In these precarious circumstances, the forthcoming 24 hours hold immense relevance, stated Father Brad Fahlman, vocalizing the uncertainty enveloping the group’s predicament. The unforeseen emergence of tensions and the volatile environment have sparked plentiful unease.
Father Fahlman conveyed how the group was heeded of the impending danger by tour guides, yet the swift exacerbation of the conflict turned out to be startling for everyone involved. With the war now marking its sixth day, its impact permeates progressively into Regina, especially notable in the vigil conducted following a recent lethal attack initiated by Hamas.
The congregation was counselled to head to Jordan to avoid the potential entrapment resulting from a probable border seal. Describing their disquieting transition to Jordan, Father Fahlman recalled the eerie experience, “The scariest night was the Sunday when we had the meeting about relocating to Jordan from Jerusalem. Fighter jets roared across the skies all night, their trajectories echoing north and south.”
Parishioner Debbie Johnson added to this, “Every 5-10 minutes, jet planes flew overhead. Some considered it a reassuring sign of the skies being patrolled, however, it was a spectacle unfamiliar to us.”
Despite the cancellation of their flight home by Air Canada, the group pursued their tour when possible, awaiting news concerning their return flights. Subsequently, they received confirmation from the Canadian embassy concerning their documentation. According to Fahlman, in spite of the turmoil, the trip held significant worth.
“We found immense value in our journey. None of us have ever been in an actively warring country before,” he stated. “Some moments were powerful. We ventured onto the Sea of Galilee on a boat, travelling to the lake’s centre, enveloped in silence, praying together.”
Currently, the group is slated for a return journey within the week, arranged via three separate flights.