Providing Care to Christians in the Holy Land
Every year on Good Friday, a collection is taken up in every Catholic church to support the people and places of the Holy Land.
The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is the home of a world-wide Commissariat of Friars Minor and monasteries who function as bridges between the Holy Land and Christians all over the world. The Commissariat offices at the Monastery in Washington, D.C. coordinate the vital support for the work of the Franciscans who work in Holy Land.
The Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land have the unique responsibility of caring for the Holy Places as well as caring for the Christians living in the Holy Land. It is vital that we care for the Christians living in the Holy Land in order to maintain a Christian presence in a land that is filled with a majority Islamic and Jewish population.
The Pontifical Good Friday Collection is applied to the following programs
Faith, Memory & Culture – The Holy Places
Holy Land Franciscans staff and maintain the Holy places and shrines. This enables those who live in the Holy Land and those who visit to deepen their faith and their spiritual and cultural connection to Salvation history.
Social & Charitable Activities
In order to assist Christians to remain in the Holy Land, including the poor and young couples, the Custody builds thousands of residential units. Additionally, they build senior care facilities. Medical assistance is provided for the needy.
Educational & Scientific Activities
The Franciscans operate and support schools open to all, regardless of religion or nationality. They provide scholarships for students to prepare them to get jobs and remain in the Holy Land as part of living Catholic communities. Funds are distributed to young men studying to become Franciscan priests or brothers. Finally, Franciscan archaeologists pursue ongoing research at the Holy Places discovering historical artifacts.
The Franciscans provide pastoral care in 29 parishes in the Holy Land offering Worship, Christian Formation, youth and family programs.
Liturgical, Ecumenical and Communications Programs
The Franciscan Media Center tells the story of the Holy Land through multimedia distributed throughout the world in more than seven languages. The friars organize Liturgical Celebrations for the local Christians and Pilgrims and share with other Christian communities in the Holy Land in ongoing Ecumenical cooperation.