Tantur Ecumenical Institute newsletter-Jan. & Feb. 2015
Blossoms and Beginnings, by Dan Koski
“I cannot imagine Tantur green,” was the posted response of one program alumni when they saw photos of our Hill in January on our Facebook page. Their incredulity is more than understandable; with most of our program participants coming during the late Spring to Autumn, they miss the upside of winter in Jerusalem: green hills, almond blossoms, pleasant sunny days and blooming wild flowers. Of course, they also miss the other side of winter: chilly stone and concrete buildings, stormy weather with fallen stone terraces and leaky roofs on its heels, and cold, dark nights that make everyone huddle around radiators, electric heaters and portable gas furnaces once the sun sets in the late afternoon. Still, as a son of the state of Minnesota, I can’t but help feel that I am cheating Old Man Winter every morning that I enter our main gate, walk from the base of the Hill and take in the lovely walk up to our Tower this time of the year. It never gets old, especially when I think I have to do the same walk in the hot morning sun in only a few months! We had an unusually busy January at Tantur, starting off with both a meeting of our International Advisory Board and a conference organized by the University of Notre Dame’s Theology Department. 2015 is shaping up to be even busier than last, and with this being our first full year under the leadership of Fr. Russ McDougall CSC as rector, we hope that by the time winter rolls in come this December, we will look back on a year that saw Tantur moving closer to realizing the dream of Christian endurance and unity.