Justice & Peace


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

2022 Current News


A quick overview of September 2022 in the Holy Land! 

As short video from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

“The pain that becomes love”: Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
HOLY LAND – On September 14th, the Church of Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which commemorates the finding of the relic of the True Cross, and the building and consecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

 Sr. Bridget Tighe’s farewell letter as Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem

Christian Youth Camps in Palestine – Summer 2022
This summer, the Youth of Jesus’ Homeland (YJHP) organized summer camps based on age groups during a couple of days in Jabal al-Nijmeh. Each camp opened with a Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Bashar Fawadleh, spiritual guide of the youth, except for the third group whose Mass was presided over by Fr. Nadim Jaqaman.

Mr. Anton Asfar appointed Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem

After the vote of the Ordinaries of the Holy Land, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, nominated Anton Asfar as Secretary-General of Caritas Jerusalem, a humanitarian and development organization of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.

Holy Land Co-ordination: Christians essential to Jerusalem’s identity
At the end of a visit to Israel and Palestine, The Holy Land Co-ordination 2022 upholds the rightful place of the Christian community in Jerusalem.

King bestows on Patriarch Pizzaballa King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein Order for Distinction of the First Degree

His Majesty King Abdullah bestowed on Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa the King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein Order for Distinction of the First Degree in appreciation of his outstanding role and contribution to spreading tolerance, consolidating common living in Jerusalem, and for his defense  of Christian holy sites in the city.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem encourages new narrative for Holy City
His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, spoke to a group of Catholic Bishops from across Europe about the city of Jerusalem …

Researchers rediscover original medieval altar of Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Experts say shrine was used by Catholic clergy until Muslims retook Jerusalem in 1244, after which it was used by Greek Orthodox church until 1808 when it was damaged in a fire.

Maronite Bishops Explain Lebanon’s ‘Message’ of Religious Freedom and the Struggles of Lebanese Christians
Bishop Gregory John Mansour and Bishop Abdallah Elias Zaidan spoke with the Register at the 2021 International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington this week.

Reflections from the Holy Land

By Sami El-Yousef

Two years ago, on 11 March 2020, the world went into crisis mode as the World Health Organization officially declared Covid-19 a pandemic. It is only now that life is returning to some normalcy, and it is very refreshing to see pilgrims again on the streets of Jerusalem.

Cardinal Sandri Appeal for the Good Friday Collection 2022
In Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and in many other shrines and monasteries, prayer is offered for the Church all over the world, and we are invited to remember with the heart and with a small gift all those who pronounce our name before the Lord, giving thanks for our generosity

The Cost of War – Gaza Update

Greetings from Jerusalem! Please find enclosed an update and reflection from the CNEWA/Pontifical Mission on our recent activities, projects, and programs in Gaza. The entire world has been affected by the two-year pandemic, which we hope is coming to an end.

Ukraine: Three Mideast patriarchs fear repercussions of war
Heads of three ritual Catholic Churches in the Middle East say Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could have serious repercussions in their region and in the Christian world.

Israel reopens its borders

Since 9 January 2022, the conditions for entry into Israel have been considerably eased; tourists, even individuals from “orange” countries, are now allowed to come.

Click here to read the full article.

Holy Land, Ecumenism: ‘Reception’ of the sacraments, while respecting doctrine
Henceforth, Catholic priests will be able to impart the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick for the faithful of the Orthodox Churches.

Pilgrimages to the Holy Land, looking down the road to recovery

There is no virtual replacement for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The return of pilgrims would be a light of hope to sustain the Christian communities and the Church’s mission.

Click here to read the full article.

Bethlehem prepares to receive pilgrims for overnight stays starting from November
BETHLEHEM – The city of Bethlehem is preparing to receive pilgrims again for overnight stays.

Restoration of the Holy Sepulchre: The Scientific Committee continues its studies
Despite the difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the restoration in the Holy Sepulchre continues, the result of the historic agreement between the three Christian communities (Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian) which look after the “church of the resurrection.
Pilgrimages to the Holy Land, update on health protocols
After months of total closure, bringing the tourism industry to its knees both in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, a gradual reopening to travelers is taking shape.

Patriarch Pizzaballa receives first group of American pilgrims
On July 21, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa received 23 pilgrims from Latin America, the first group since the COVID pandemic.
Reflections from the Holy Land Solidarity Visit of His Beatitude Patriarch Pizzaballa to Gaza
14-17 June 2021
By Sami El-Yousef
Chief Executive Officer

Terra Santa News:
The first group of tourists returns to Israel after more than a year.
Catholics need to pay attention to what’s happening in Israel-Palestine
What’s going on in the Holy Land—and what’s at the root of the problem? Why should Catholics care? A conversation with Father David Neuhaus—an Israeli Jesuit who brings an on-the-ground perspective to the situation.

Pope Francis speaks about events in the Holy Land. Cease-fire now in effect. 
While addressing ambassadors presenting their credentials to the Holy See, the Holy Father added these words.
In the development of a global consensus capable of responding to these ethical challenges facing our human family, your work as diplomats is of paramount importance. For its part, the Holy See, through its diplomatic representations, and its activity within the international community, supports every effort to build a world in which the human person is at the centre, finance is at the service of an integral development, and the earth, our common home, is protected and cared for. Through her works of education, charity and healthcare worldwide, the Church seeks to advance the integral development of individuals and peoples, and in this way contribute to the cause of peace.
In this regard, my thoughts turn to the events taking place these days in the Holy Land. I thank God for the decision to halt the armed conflicts and acts of violence, and I pray for the pursuit of paths of dialogue and peace. Tomorrow evening, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, together with their faithful, will gather to celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost in Saint Stephen’s Church in Jerusalem and to implore the gift of peace. I take this occasion to ask all the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church to unite themselves spiritually with this prayer. May every community pray to the Holy Spirit “that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, be patient builders of peace and justice, and be open, step by step, to a common hope, to coexistence among brothers and sisters”.  
Holy Father Appeals for Peace in the Holy Land
On Sunday, 16 May 2021, Pope Francis led the Regina Caeli prayer in Saint Peter’s Square. After the Regina Caeli the Holy Father continued:
Dear brothers and sisters! I am following with great concern what is happening in the Holy Land. In these days, violent armed clashes between the Gaza Strip and Israel have gained the upper hand, risk degenerating into a spiral of death and destruction.
Many people have been injured and many innocent people have died. Among them are even children, and this is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that they do not want to build the future, but they want to destroy it. Moreover, the growing hatred and violence that is involving various cities in Israel is a serious wound to fraternity and to peaceful coexistence among the citizens, which will be difficult to heal if we do not open immediately to dialogue. I wonder: where will hatred and vengeance lead? Do we really think we can build peace by destroying the other? “In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters” (cf. Document on Human Fraternity)
I make an appeal to calm and, to who is responsible for it, to put a stop to the din of weapons and to follow the paths of peace, even with the help of the International Community. Let us pray constantly that the Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, to be patient builders of peace and justice, opening up, step after step, to a common hope, to a coexistence among brothers and sisters. Let us pray for the victims, in particular for the children; let us pray for peace to the Queen of Peace.

Patriarchs and Heads of Jerusalem Churches concerned about Al-Aqsa Mosque worshippers and Sheikh Jarrah families
Our hearts go out to the peoples of the Holy Land. In the midst of this, the Christians are caught in the cross fire. Here is a message regarding the situation sent by the CEO of the Patriarchate, Sami El-Yousef.

Easter Message from 
Brother Peter Bray FSC, EdD
Vice Chancellor
Bethlehem University
Easter greetings to you, but this year again  from the isolated and locked down little town of Bethlehem and not in Jerusalem. . . . When I look back on the past year, there are many challenges that come to mind, but there have also been some wonderful opportunities provided for our students.

Click here for the full Easter letter.


Cardinal Sandri’s Appeal for the
Pro Terra Sancta collection 2021

“Every Holy Week, we spiritually become pilgrims to Jerusalem and contemplate the mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ, Dead and Risen. . . . May this year’s collection pro Terra Sancta be an opportunity for everyone not to ignore the difficult situation of our brothers and sisters of the Holy Places but rather to lighten their burdens.”

Click here to read the entire letter.

Click here for a short video message about the Holy Land Collection.



Holy Land Coordination 2021
Final Communiqué

Over the past week we have been privileged and moved to hear from Christians across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel about their mission, resilience and witness in these unprecedented circumstances.

Click here for the full statement.


Homily of Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa:
Feast of Mary the Mother of God and World Day of Peace

January 1, 2021

“We cannot live without love and the love from which we have to start is the love of Him who gave his life for us and our salvation. This will be the path that awaits us.”

Click here to read his homily and watch the full Mass.




United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

COVID-19 Emergency
in the Palestinian Territories
Situation Report 24

The reporting period witnessed a continuing rise in COVID-19 cases, with over 25,000 additional Palestinians testing positive. However, the number of active cases rose only slightly.

Click here for the full report.


Coronavirus pandemic brings dark times to
Jerusalem’s Old City

But a modern-day plague, the coronavirus pandemic, is now keeping the visitors away from the Old City and bringing hardship and heartbreak to residents.

Click here to read the full story.



His Holiness, Pope Francis has announced the appointment of Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa as the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem after his service as Apostolic Administrator for a period of four years.

Click here for the full story.


COVID-19 effects on
Elderly People in the Gaza Strip

COVID-19 has increased the load on the already strained health system, especially for the elderly.

Click here to download the full story.




Archbishop Pizzaballa
thanks Order of Holy Sepulchre
for its support and solidarity

“…our appeal to the Knights and Dames had a response that went far beyond our expectations …”

Click here for the full story.


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

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.



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.


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

Click here for the full story.


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


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.


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.


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

Link to the Society of St. Yves 


Sir Laurin Dodd, KGCHS

Dame Sophia Rose Dodd, DGCHS

Sir Pieter Scholte, KGCHS

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