The Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land are responsible for caring for the holy places and Christians living in the Holy Land which includes Israel and Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Rhodes and Cyprus.
Friar Mario Debattista ofm said these countries faced their own difficulties, particularly Christians due to their minority status.
In addition to losing the offerings of pilgrims to support their work, the disruption to last year’s Good Friday Appeal has led to a collection of only one-third of a normal year in Australia. This loss has been repeated around the world, often much worse, and Friar Debattista said this could well be the case again this year.
“All this makes this year’s Good Friday collection extremely important,” he said.
“The hope is that as our life in Australia returns to normal and our churches are open, Australian Catholics will be able to be as generous as they have been in past years.
“The Franciscan Friars have been caring for the churches and shrines of the Holy Land as part of their everyday pastoral ministry for centuries. But it is not just churches and holy places that make up the Holy Land. The presence of Jesus can be felt strongly in the local Christian community who make up less than 2 per cent of the population.Jump to next article