Abp. Shaw students learn about real Jerusalem

A select group of Archbishop Shaw seniors recently participated in a video call with Salesian Brother John Langan, currently residing in Jerusalem.

Brother John taught religion at Archbishop Shaw from 2014-16 and now lives at Salesian Pontifical University’s Jerusalem campus, completing
his studies for the priesthood.

Brother John’s presentation involved the historical realities of Jerusalem, especially the “holy sites” of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Utilizing pictures and personal anecdotes, he spoke of the Dome of the Rock shrine, the Wailing (Western) Wall and the Mount of Golgatha.

Brother John also gave insight into the political and interreligious tensions in Jerusalem. While surely not a land of complete peace, tensions are often escalated due to a lack of empathy and mutual understanding of religious traditions, beliefs and values.

“What is really needed” he said, “is greater communication among these groups to find greater peace.”

After the presentation, students asked questions about his experiences, covering topics from his studies at the university, celebration of the Sabbath and the differences between American and Israeli McDonald’s. Brother John had taught the students during the last academic year, so the atmosphere possessed a familial tenor and camaraderie characteristic of Don Bosco’s and Archbishop Shaw’s High school spirit.

Reflecting on Brother John’s presentation, students said they learned new facts about the Holy Land. As we work to form good citizens and honest Christians in this globalized society, educational experiences present new opportunities for our young men to understand different cultures. 

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