Saxum’s aim is to help turn a visit to the Holy Land into a life changing experience. This Conference Centre will be a place for reproducing a personal encounter with the living Christ which the disciples on the way to Emmaus experienced: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32) After having visited the holy places, everything at Saxum will lead the pilgrim to meditate upon what he has experienced: the silence of the chapel, the selection of available reading material, the woodlands, the quiet and the views across the valley with the sea on the horizon. In addition the Multimedia Resource Centre —with an independent entrance open to the general public— will foster a familiarity of the Holy Land by means of an overview of the life of Jesus and an ample interactive audiovisual library.
The Conference Centre will provide:
• Fifty individual rooms
• Living rooms
• Study Room
• Area for administration with a Centre for Professional Development
The Multimedia Resource Centre for visitors, families and guides with their groups, will include:
• Chapel for meditation, with several confessionals
• Interactive audiovisual library
• Scale model of Jerusalem
• Exposition of biblical artefacts
• Area for relaxation and meals
To go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land is to kneel in the grotto of Bethlehem, hear Jesus’ calling next to the Sea of Galilee, kiss the earth of Calvary, pray in the empty Sepulchre; this is the dream become reality each year for great numbers of Christians, carrying on a tradition of centuries.
Blessed Álvaro del Portillo, the first successor of the Founder of Opus Dei, went in pilgrimage to the Holy Places in 1994. In this he fulfilled a desire of Saint Josemaría, which the Saint himself was not able to realize in his lifetime. Blessed Álvaro celebrated his last Mass in the Church of the Cenacle in Jerusalem, dying the following day, March 23rd, in Rome. For this reason, his memory remains intimately linked to the Holy Land. Saxum —in Latin rock— is the name which Saint Josemaría habitually called Álvaro del Portillo from his youth. He wished —in this way— to underline Álvaro’s fidelity and fortitude. As a sign of gratitude for his life of untiring commitment to the Church, this project will be called Saxum. The formative activities carried out there will be entrusted to the Prelature of Opus Dei.
Blessed Alvaro made pastoral trips to Britain in 1980, 1985 and 1987 and took a close interest in the work of NEA, visiting several of its centres and encouraging its expansion, including setting up the first NEA centre in Scotland. In memory of Blessed Alvaro, Netherhall Educational Association is adding the Saxum Conference Centre and Multimedia Resource Centre to its list of beneficiary projects.
If you wish to make a donation towards the Saxum project, please download this form and follow the instructions for making a donation to NEA.