Justice & Peace

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The Equestrian Order encourages the education of members through the dissemination of accurate and timely information about the challenges affecting and needs of the Christian community in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Cyprus.

Especially with present conditions being what they are in the Holy Land, justice and peace issues are of vital concern to the Order. Maintaining the rights of Christians in the Holy Land is an issue that ultimately affects all Christians, for it calls into question the right of all of us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, Our Savior.

Among the activities taking place at the Lieutenancy and diocesan level are:

• Creating opportunities for the co-promotion of inter-religious dialogue and understanding.
• Placing articles on justice and peace issues, particularly with respect to the Holy Land, in diocesan newspapers and church bulletins;
• Attempting to get articles, editorials or letters to the editor published in local newspapers;
• Contributing to the Lieutenancy newsletter column or page on justice and peace;
• Promoting small group rosaries on a monthly basis for the intentions of peace in the Holy Land and our Christian brothers and sisters;
• Encouraging members to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land;
• Praying the Memorare each day for the intention of Peace in the Holy Land and for the intentions of our Holy Father.

Justice and Peace is in many ways what being a Knight or Dame is all about. We hope every member will be actively involved in this effort.

Justice and Peace email: JusticePeace@eohsjwesternusa.org


Justice & Peace Newsletter

Dear Knights & Dames of the Western Lieutenancy,

Here is the latest EOHSJ J&P Newsletter for the Western Lieutenancy. Our newsletters will include links to current news articles and videos with information related to the Holy Land and to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. The Justice & Peace teams of our Lieutenancy are now working to regularly collect informative current events articles and reports on topics related to the Holy Land and to the mission of our Order.

If anyone has articles to contribute or recommend for future newsletters please email them to us at eohsj.westernusa.jp@gmail.com.

Thank you & God Bless,

J&P Advisory Team

2020 Current News

9/19/2020

EOHSJ contributes $3.5 million to COVID-19 relief fund

In May 2020, the Grand Magisterium of EOHSJ launched a special “Covid-19 Humanitarian Support Fund” specifically dedicated to address consequences of the pandemic. The new funds will be forwarded to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem to meet two new emergencies: (1) basic needs of about 2,000 families, such as food, hygiene, baby care supplies, and medicines, (2) aid to about 10,000 families that will not be able to pay tuition fees due to job losses.

The Western Lieutenancy has been blessed with, and is grateful for, members’ generous response to the Grand Magisterium’s appeal. We raised more than $100,000 for this noble purpose.

Click here for the full article from Catholic News Service

Pope Francis at the Vatican greeting leaders of  EOHSJ
9/3/2020

Update on the spread of the
COVID-19 pandemic to the Gaza Strip.

Caritas Jerusalem hopes that the virus will be contained and prays for the health and safety of everyone.

Click here for the full story.

7/2/2020

Beit Jala Seminary’s activities
Academic Year 2019-2020

Fr. Yacoub Rafidi, Rector of the Beit Jala Seminary would like to share with friends and benefactors in the Western Lieutenancy the Seminary’s activities in pictures during the Academic School Year 2019-2020. This Seminary is one of the institutions our Order supports in the Holy Land through the Adopt-A-Seminarian program.

Among the highlights:
(1) Visit by seminarians from the Mundelein Seminary of Chicago, Illinois,
(2) Diaconate ordination of Wajdi Twal on December 8, 2019,
(3) Priestly ordination of Fr. Firas Abedrabbo by H.E. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa on June 28, 2020.

Click here to see the entire album.

7/2/2020  

Holy See to US and Israeli ambassadors: Unilateral actions jeopardize peace in Middle East

“Israel and Palestine have the right to exist, and to live in peace within internationally recognized borders.” – Vatican

Click here for the full story.

7/2/2020 Holy Land Economic Development Fund July 2020 Update We are pleased to keep you up to date on the good works that are being accomplished through your support of the HLEDF! Your contributions to the fund are directly and positively impacting the lives of Christian families who need financial assistance to grow and maintain the small businesses they operate in the Holy Land.
5/24/2020  

Church of Holy Sepulchre Reopens to the Faithful under Safety Guidelines

We the Heads of the Three Communities wish announce that this most Holy Place will be accessible again starting on Sunday 24, 2020.

Click here for the full story.

5/7/2020

Holy Land: Heads of Churches Voice Concern about Israel’s Planned Annexation of West Bank Land

A Statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Holy Land Churches on
Israeli Unilateral Annexation Plans

Click here for the full statement.

 
5/4/2020  

Caritas Jerusalem Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

We are truly grateful to you, our partners, those of you who contributed to the appeal during this extraordinary time.

Click here for the full story.

4/13/2020

Easter Greetings from
Hogar Nino Dios, Bethlehem

On April 11, 2020, we received an email greeting from Hogar Nino Dios, one of our projects in the Holy Land. This entity is located steps from the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The Sisters of the Incarnate Word and volunteers welcome children who have serious mental or physical needs, abandoned, orphaned or poor. The Sisters lovingly heal, educate, and care for these children.

Submitted by Dame Connie and Sir Joseph Micatrotto, Area Co-Councillors for the Diocese of Las Vegas

 

The photo, below, shows Mother Superior Roncesvalles, Fr. Marcelo, Fr. Carlos, volunteers and the children enthusiastically expressing their grateful feelings towards the Las Vegas Area and the Western Lieutenancy.

3/7/2020

Abdallah Dababneh


Yousef Ibrahim

Meet Our Seminarians

Abdallah Dababneh and Yousef Ibrahim are seminarians whose studies are supported by the Equestrian Order.

Click here to read Abdallah’s autobiography.

Click here to read Yousef’s autobiography.

Click here to watch Abdallah and Yousef’s video on DropBox.

(You can skip DropBox’s request that you register, and then just play the video.)

3/26/2020  

Coronavirus in the Holy Land

In time of Coronavirus: reflections from the Holy Land by Sami El-Yousef, CEO of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Click here for the full story.

2/10/2020

Roman Square reopens in Jerusalem after almost 2,000 years.

The historic site dating from 135 CE lies beneath today’s Damascus Gate on the north side of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Click here for the full story in the Jerusalem Post.

 
1/30/2020

 

Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People

On January 28, President Trump unveiled a proposal for long-term peace in the Middle East.

Click here to see a comment by Patriarchs and Heads of Jerusalem Churches.

Click here to see the reaction of the Catholic Ordinaries of Holy Land.

Click here to see an overview and the details of the plan on the White House website.

1/16/2020

Holy Land Coordination Bishops release final statement after visit to local Christians

Click here for the full story.

 
1/9/2020  

 

Holy Land Sets Record
for Tourism
in 2019

The year 2020 begins with good news from the Holy Land. The Israeli and Palestinian Ministry of Tourism confirms a record for tourism in 2019. The numbers are striking, 4,551,600 tourists: 10.6% more than in 2018. December 2019 set an all-time record with 358,300 visitors, 10% more than December 2018.

Click here for the full story.

11/27/2019

Holy Relics of Jesus’ Crib to be Returned to Bethlehem

Among the most holy relics in all of Christendom are wooden fragments of the crib of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. The fragments have been in Rome since they were whisked away after the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land. They will now be returned to Bethlehem, where the Holy Baby was born.

Click here for the article from Aleteia

 
11/29/2019  

 

“Is Peace Possible?
Christian Palestinians Speak”

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has released a new book, entitled “Is Peace Possible? Christian Palestinians Speak”.

The book contains a compelling collection of articles and declarations from Jerusalem that provide an in-depth understanding of who the Christian Palestinians are today, as well as the viewpoint on the Israel/Palestine conflict emerging from the Christian community.

Click here for more information.

11/20/2019

Holy Land Christians:
Threatened With Extinction, but Still Bearing Witness

Religious and political authorities as well as inhabitants’ testimonies offer instructive insights on difficult situation in the Land of Christ.

Click here for the article from the National Catholic Register.

   
11/7/2019  

 

In his prayer intention for the month of November 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that “a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.”

Click here to watch the short video.

9/16/2019

Celebration of the 800th anniversary of
St. Francis’ Pilgrimage of Peace

At the end of the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the Pilgrimage of Peace of St. Francis in the Holy Land, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, blessed the new bronze high reliefs of the Via Crucis, donated by the city of Verona, Italy.

The works, by the Veronese artist Alessandro Mutto, had already received the blessing of Pope Francis on 21st September, during a private audience held in Rome, in the Sala Clementina. Nine stations, from the first to the ninth, will be hung on the walls of the Via Dolorosa, the other five will be placed in the Chapel of the Custody of the Holy Land inside the Holy Sepulchre, respecting the rules of the Status Quo.

9/16/2019 Mr. Sami El-Yousef , Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, shares his reflections regarding his latest visit to Jordan with the Holy Land Commission.

Click here to read the full letter.
Includes picture gallery.

8/22/2019 Report on the Job Creation Project of Holy Family Church in Gaza, an initiative supported by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In the last 5 years, over 75 young men and women have received job training and the opportunity for a better life.

Click here to watch the short video.

8/1/2019 Holy Land Economic Development Fund August 2019 Update Good works are being accomplished through your support of the HLEDF that helps Christian families grow their small businesses in the Holy Land. Thank you for your continued dedication!
7/15/2019

Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala Proudly Shares Its Activities During the Academic School Year 2018-2019

The Latin Patriarchal Seminary of Beit Jala, one of the institutions our Order supports in the Holy Land through the Adopt-A-Seminarian program, has provided photographs documenting its various activities during the academic school year 2018-2019.

Click here to see the entire album.

7/9/2019  

Christians: Weavers of Peaceful Relationships

For almost thirty years, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa has been living in the Holy Land and observed the development of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Here are some of his observations.

6/29/2019 “Reflections from the Holy Land: Visit to Jordan”

By Mr. Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate.
Mr. El-Yousef will the speaker at the Western Lieutenancy’s 2019 Annual Meeting.

5/27/2019 Second phase of renovation in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
5/22/2019

Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries calls on people of Holy Land to build bridges of respect and love

“Righteousness and Peace will embrace each other”
4/23/2019 Spring Reflections from
Mr. Sami El- Yousef – Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
4/9/2019 Archbishop Pizzaballa in Rimini:
“Pray for Gaza and for the
Christians who live there”
3/29/2019 Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan during the Lamp of Peace Award Ceremony in Assisi.
3/7/2019 Egypt: 800th anniversary of the meeting between St. Francis and the Sultan Al-Kamel
2/25/2019 Holy Land Economic Development Fund February 2019 Update Your contributions to the HLEDF are directly and positively impacting the lives of Christian families to grow and maintain the small businesses they operate in the Holy Land.
2/2/2019 His Eminence Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, visits the Holy Land on pilgrimage.

 

1/12/2019 Fr. Mario da Silva: “Gaza’s Christians should not require permits to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem”
12/17/2018 Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land – Details on the National Geographic program about the restoration of the tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
   

The Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition & Prosecution“, edited by Ronald J. Rychlak and Jane F. Adolphe. Angelico Press (Kettering, Ohio, 2017).“This remarkable book should be read by all Catholics, indeed all Christians who care about the fate of Christianity in the lands of its origin, the Middle East and North Africa.”
Review of this book in the Boston Pilot

Videos
4/13/2018

Cardinal Edwin O’Brien talks about the mission of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Video
 Image result for battle of arsuf The Crusades and the Political Misuse of History
Watch this excellent video explaining the true history of the Crusades and the distorted and historically incorrect portrayal of the Crusades in 20th & 21st Century history books and current media.

Reflections from the Holy Land May 2018

By Mr. Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.


The latest update on the closure and reopening of the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

A Report from the Western Lieutenancy’s Holy Land Councillor, Sir Charles Radloff:

Wednesday, February 28th 2018

As indicated earlier today, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has reopened and pilgrims are able to enter and pray at the holy site without local disturbance.

The Jerusalem Municipality announced on Tuesday that it would halt its church property collection effort in light of the decision made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and will form a commission to find a solution to the issue of taxation of religious sites by the City of Jerusalem.

Two weeks ago the municipality of Jerusalem advised Israeli officials it would begin collecting 650 million shekels ($ 186 million USD) in 2017 taxes on 887 Church owned properties.

The Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem in charge of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Catholic Custody of Holy Sites, and the Armenian Patriarchate, issued a statement that they were following with great concern the systematic campaign against Churches in the Christian Community which is in flagrant violation of the existing “Status Quo”.

It is speculative to venture an opinion what will occur after the Israeli special commission meets to develop a solution. For comparison, the Fundamental Agreement signed in 1994 between the Vatican and the State of Israel has yet to be signed by the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.

~~~~

Background:
Closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

USCCB President Expresses Concern Over Israel’s Plan to Tax Church-owned Real Estate

Church of the Holy Sepulchre Reopens After Protest Over New Taxation and Land Policies

Rome Reports Video: 
Cardinal Edwin O’Brien on Jerusalem tax controversy

Grand Master’s Statement on
Closing of Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre Closes Over Municipality’s Tax Demands

Church Leaders’ Statement on Municipal threats and the discriminatory “Church Lands Bill”


Who are the Christians in Israel today?

On Tuesday December 6, 2016, a conference entitled “Who are the Christians in Israel today?” was held and presided by Fr. David Neuhaus, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel, at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. This article provides a detailed background to help you understand the complex situation of Christians in the Holy Land.  Click here to read the full article on the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.


Ministry Stories

Zarqa Schools in Amman Thank the Western Lieutenancy

Students at Zarqa North and South Enjoy Summer School

Since 2003 the Western Lieutenancy has directly supported the Twelve Apostles School and St. Pius X School in Zarqa, Jordan (Zarqa North and Zarqa South). In 2017 the Las Vegas Council contributed $10,000 for the Zarqa schools’ summer camp project. Below is a letter – and accompanying photos – from Fr. Eyad Bader, dated July 26, 2018, thanking the WL for its assistance in the schools’ latest summer program that benefited hundreds of children and teenagers. The children appreciated all the activities particularly the singing class and the language classes in English and Italian. Another week-long summer camp is scheduled at the end of this month.

___________________________________

Dear friends,

The previous week had been the last week for the summer school and by the end of it we finished summer school with the children of the parish. It has been three intensive but very interesting weeks, during which the children enjoyed the activities we offered. We have seen how the children appreciated all the activities, especially the singing class and the language classes such as English and Italian. They started to learn some basics of these languages which were unknown to them!

Our truly thanks for your help. We even had the opportunity to take all 300 participants on trips every Thursday, the elders to pools, while the younger ages two times to a playground and for once to a water playground. They had a lot of fun, and they are very grateful for the possibilities they have received.

At the end of this month we will have a summer school for a week with the boys and girls of the parish who are from 7th to 12th grades. They are waiting impatiently after having seen the success of the summer school with the younger children!

Meanwhile, we thank you for your great help, which is without it, we could not do much!

In Christ,
Fr. Eyad Bader

Thank You from Zarqa South School

Students at Zarqa South School in Amman, Jordan Thank The Western Lieutenancy

On September 16, 2017, we received an email from Zarqa School South in Amman, Jordan with attached photos of cute “thank you” letters from grade school students.  In these letters, shown below, the children lovingly and enthusiastically express their grateful feelings towards the Western Lieutenancy.

The Western Lieutenancy has directly supported both the Zarqa South and Zarqa North Schools in Amman, Jordan since 2003.

Our mission is to invest in the educational future of the Zarqa students by providing educational materials and financial support for the students and staff.  The Lieutenancy has in the past provided the Zarqa schools with new computers, repair and maintenance of infrastructure, and backpacks and school supplies to their students.


Society of St. Yves

Dear Friends,

The Society of St. Yves was founded in 1991 and is working under the patronage of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem to help “the poor and the oppressed” according to the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. St. Yves provides gratis legal assistance, counsel and advocacy to all members of the community, irrespective of race, colour, gender or religion. Through national and international lobby and advocacy we are able to bring the light of the poor and marginalised to the attention of communities around the world in an effort to bring pressure for change.

Sincerely,

The Society of St. Yves – Catholic Center for Human Rights

Link to the Society of St. Yves 


JUSTICE & PEACE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Sir Laurin Dodd, KC*HS

Dame Sophia Rose Dodd, DC*HS

Sir Pieter Scholte, KGCHS

Dame Teena Scholte, DGCHS

The purpose of the Justice & Peace Committee is to implement successful programs and projects within each Area of the Lieutenancy. These projects will promote an awareness and education about the plight of the Christians in the Holy Land to the local membership of the Order. They will provide material or financial aid and support while promoting prayer for our Brothers and Sisters in the Holy Land.

Justice and Peace email: JusticePeace@eohsjwesternusa.org

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