About this Ministry
The Antonian Charitable Society was founded in 1913 and has provided 109 years of service to the people of Bethlehem. Its slogan, “in service of God and man,” is the heart of the society. The society still seeks to provide social services and networks to the individual and community.
The Antonian Charitable Society (ACS) is the first Home for the Elderly established in Bethlehem, providing care for lonely widows, as well as homeless women, who receive no moral or financial support.
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.Matthew 13:31-32
The Antonian Charitable Society also provides a Day Centre for elderly people, the ‘Nadi,’ which supports around fifty people three times a week. They meet to spend their mornings in good company, to take part in recreational activities, play cards and chat about the old times. They also find hope, care and love, offered by the nuns and volunteers.
Many of Bethlehem’s elderly find themselves living on their own in their old age and experience poverty, deprivation, and solitude. The Antonian Charitable Society, located just steps away from the Bethlehem checkpoint, is a place that represents hope and newfound tranquility for many.
The ACS is operated by the Pro Terra Sancta Foundation under the Franciscan Custodia of the Holy Land. Local and international volunteers are always there to provide the special care for the elderly that is truly needed. This charitable organization is giving the people of Bethlehem and Palestine the opportunity to improve their lives while being of service to God.
Volunteers provide entertainment for the elderly in the garden.