My Dear People of God:
Parishes around the world this week will be taking up the traditional annual Collection for the Church in the Holy Land on Good Friday,April 14, 2017. The proceeds from the Good Friday Collection go to provide resources to the Franciscan Friars who have been caring for sacred places in the Holy Land since 1209.
In his appeal to Catholics to donate generously on Good Friday, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, said “The Collection is still today the principal source which sustains the life and works of the region’s Christians.” As we are all well aware, the situation in the region continues to be fraught with tensions and difficulties. This leaves the region in a constant state of need.
Every day the Christians in various regions of the Middle East ask themselves whether they should remain or emigrate. It has been noted that they live in danger and often
suffer violence only for the fact of professing the faith common to them and us. The Good Friday Collection, the Collection for the Church in the Holy Land, helps Christians of many different denominations remain in the region as living witnesses to Christ.
A quick look at two Franciscan websites (www.myfranciscan.org or www.custodia.org) gives an idea about the kinds of services the Collection for the Church in the Holy Land helps provide.
At the same time allow me to wish all of you a most profoundly graced Holy Week and a truly blessed and glorious Easter!