March 17, 2017
On Good Friday, a pontifical collection is taken up in every parish in the United States. Proceeds from this annual collection supports ministries and works in the Holy Land, largely under the direction of the Franciscans. The Pontifical Good Friday Collection is providing humanitarian aid to Christians and others who have disrupted by the war in Syria.
“Presently, there are millions of refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, where the roar of arms does not cease and the way of dialogue and concord seems to be completely lost,” Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, recently said. “Senseless hatred seems to prevail instead, along with the helpless desperation of those who have lost everything and have been expulsed from the land of their ancestors. If the Christians of the Holy Land are encouraged to resist, to the degree possible, the understandable temptation to flee, the faithful throughout the world are asked to take their plight to heart.”
The Pontifical Good Friday Collection offers a direct opportunity for parishioners to be witnesses of peace. Their support is a sign of Christian unity, which helps protect the Holy Places and supports Christians in the Holy Land. This annual Pontifical Good Friday Collection unites all Christians with the Holy Land.
The Pontifical Good Friday Collection supports parishes, Catholic schools and religious education in the Holy Land. The Pontifical Good Friday Collection also preserves the sacred shrines for pilgrims and provides assistance, including housing and food, for the poor and needy.
Last year’s Good Friday Collection provided support for the Holy Land in these ways:
- Provided emergency funds to the people in Syria and Iraq
- Supported 29 parishes, four homes for orphans, three academic institutions
- Helped keep 16 schools open for over 10,000 pre-K through grade 12 students
- Funded university scholarships for 295 students
- Provided 398 homes benefitting Christian families
- Helped rehabilitate over 100 homes for Christians families
- Provided senior care facilities in Bethlehem and Nazareth
- Created more than 1,500 jobs in the Holy Land
- Preserved 74 sanctuaries and shrines from the life of Jesus and the prophets
- Supported over 100 men preparing to be priests or brothers
The Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, OFM, said, “It is important that the Christians all over the world support the church in the Holy Land, so we can continue our work.”