“Dar Mamilla”, the new guest house, near the convent of the sisters of St Vincent de Paul in Jerusalem, was officially inaugurated with the blessing of the Custos of the Holy Land. On Tuesday 4th February, the facility, which was recently opened, run by ATS Pro Terra Sancta Association, welcomed the Father Custos Fr. Francesco Patton, the Custodial Vicar, Fr. Dobromir Jasztal and a small group of friars. After a prayer of blessing, they were accompanied to visit the guest house which is near Mamilla, five minutes from the Jaffa Gate and the New Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem. ‘Dar’ means ‘house’ in Arabic and this is what the place aims to become for the pilgrims who decide to stay there, for short or long periods of time.
In 2018 the NGO of the Custody of the Holy Land decided to take on the renovation of some premises belonging to the sisters of St Vincent de Paul, to build a small guest house. “The objective is also that of helping the sisters of the congregation, who run a nursery school and look after some disabled people, with our donations,” Clara Borio of ATS Pro Terra Sancta Association explained. “The sisters welcomed us very well and our first guests arrived in the middle of October 2019. We are starting to receive more and more requests, through word of mouth and the site of the Christian Information Centre. We are also preparing a website for the guest house.”
There are thirteen rooms available on two floors, for a maximum of about twenty-five guests. In addition to the necessary for breakfast, there is also a kitchen and a laundry in the house.
The sisters of St Vincent de Paul were also present at the blessing of the guest house and they wanted to show the Custos of the Holy Land the facilities of the convent where they work. Their nursery school today is attended by 230 children and their reception centre looks after thirty people with disabilities. There are only four sisters from the congregation who look after all the activities, with the help of about eighty employees. The convent is also undergoing renovation to extend the areas for the disabled and the elderly. Thanks to the income from the “Dar Mamilla” guest house, ATS Pro Terra Sancta Association will be able to guarantee support for its projects and for the invaluable work of the sisters of St Vincent de Paul.