The annual Pontifical Collection for the Holy Land will be held this week – Sunday 13 September – and Australian Catholics are called on to support Christians in the Holy Land.
The collection is normally held over Good Friday, but was postponed by Pope Francis until September, due to the closure of churches over Holy Week as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addressing the people of the Church in Australia, the Australian Commissary of the Holy Land, Fr Mario Debattista ofm, explained, “2020 is proving to be a year like no other. As in so many parts of the world, the COVID-19 Pandemic has thrown up enormous challenges for the people of the Holy Land particularly in terms of health and the huge drop of income due to travel restrictions preventing pilgrims, and the closure of all shrines.”
Fr Debattista explained how vital pilgrimages to the Holy Land are, creating work for local communities, local Christians and schools and social works.
The Holy Land Collection offers all Catholics an opportunity to express their solidarity with Christians in the Holy Land. A donation to the Holy Father’s annual appeal is a direct way to make a difference in the lives of those caught up in war, violence and instability in this region.
According to the Australian Commissary, Australian Catholics donated $1.3 million to last year’s Holy Land Collection, which:
- Supported 29 parishes, four homes for orphans, three academic institutions
- Helped keep schools open for over 10,000 pre-K through to Grade 12 students
- Supported 120 men preparing to be priests or brothers
- Helped rehabilitate 80 homes for Christian families
- Provided senior care facilities in Bethlehem and Nazareth
- Created 1,500 jobs in the Holy Land for Christians
- Preserved 54 shrines connected with the life of Jesus and the prophets
Through this Collection, you join with Catholics around the world to stand in solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land. When you contribute to the Holy Land Collection, you become an instrument of peace in a troubled land.
“On behalf of the Church and people of the Holy Land, I sincerely thank you in advance for your kind assistance with this act of solidarity of the Universal Church with the people of the land of Jesus,” the Commissary said.
Contributions to the Holy Land Collection can be made during any weekend Mass across the Diocese of Parramatta on 12-13 September.
You can also donate online by visiting https://myfranciscan.org/donation-page-pontifical-good-friday-collection/