WASHINGTON (CNS) — In an economy hit hard by the pandemic and the lack of pilgrimages and other tourism for two years, Christians in the Holy Land “are in desperate need of support,” said an April 5 news release about the 2022 Good Friday Collection that continues to support the work of the Franciscans of the Holy Land.
The Washington-based Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America issued the release about the collection taken up at the request of the Holy Father in most parishes around the world on Good Friday, which this year is April 15.
Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington shared a video encouraging support of the collection.
“Without pilgrims for the past two years, our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land have particularly suffered,” he said in his message. “What’s at stake is not only the dwindling number of Christians in the Holy Land, but also the preservation of the very places made holy by the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
He urged all Catholics to donate to the collection at their local parish church the Friday before Easter.
The collection is administered by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land and the Congregation for Eastern Churches.
The funds collected are used to pay salaries of Custody employees — including teachers; maintain Franciscan sanctuaries; support tuition subsidies at the Custody’s schools; and provide university scholarships. The funds also support projects in the Holy Land, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
Photo: Franciscan Father Francesco Patton, custos of the Holy Land, sprinkles holy water during a baptism ceremony by the Jordan River near the West Bank city of Jericho Jan. 9, 2022. (CNS photo/Raneen Sawafta, Reuters)