AMMAN- Since November 2016, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has undertaken work in the parish of St. Joseph in creating the first Catholic bookstore of the Hashemite Kingdom, called “Shabibé Bookstore” or “Youth Bookstore”. Its inauguration is scheduled for May.

A project inspired by Jordanian Young Catholic Students (YCS)

It was during the annual Youth Conference of Jordan Catholic Students (YCS) in 2010 that the idea of a Catholic bookstore germinated. The goal: to meet the needs experienced by young Jordanians to form and deepen the foundations of their faith. The project first emerged in 2011, with the launch of an online bookstore (www.jecjordan.com). In order to awaken even the youngest to the Faith, the YCS also created a DVD collection dedicated to the foundations of the Catholic faith, inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

Given the success of this initiative, the Office of Projects Development of the Latin Patriarchate  decided to develop within the parish of Saint Joseph a physical shop that is also a meeting place for the faithful.

The inauguration scheduled for late May

The bookstore, which will open in May 2017, will offer more than 11,000 titles, including Bibles, lives of saints, and many more theological works. “Today, it is still very difficult to obtain religious books in Jordan. This project meets a vital need for the Catholic community,” says Father Wisam, parish priest of Saint Joseph. For the launching of the store, Father Wisam can count on the dedication of the parish faithful, like Maher, an Iraqi refugee hosted with his family in the parish.

If the main beneficiaries of this project are Catholics, the library wants to be open to everyone, Christian or not. A great initiative that will perhaps appeal to others!

Claire Guigou and Remy Brun

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