Friday, March 29, 2013

Support the Good Friday Collection for the Holy Land

Children in the Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem.

The photo above is from rough little flash movie I made six years ago asking friends to support the Good Friday collection for the Church in the Holy Land. It's about 2 minutes long and I hope you'll take the time to watch it.

Watch the movie. >>>

No matter what your politics, it's hard to disagree that our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land need our help now as much as ever or the Christian presence there may one day disappear entirely. Your gift to the Good Friday Collection will support schools and medical facilities and help keep roofs over families' heads. It will sustain communities whose existence have been a witness to hope for 100 generations.

The photos in the movie above are from my visit to Israel and Palestine 2006. They are certainly not the most sensational pictures I took. The images could all be of tanks, demolished houses, and young men with guns, but I think these catch not only the seriousness of the present situation, but also the dignity with which the these communities meet it.

The sound track is the congregation at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazereth singing the Lord's Prayer in Arabic. When the congregation began to sing this, it came home to me that these are the descendants of those first Christians who have kept their faith and identity through 1400 years as an embattled minority.

On my way out of Mass, an old woman took both of my hands in hers and said, "Pray for us." At several other times, people I met asked me to go home and tell people what I had seen. Sharing this short clip with you is part of keeping that promise.

Please give generously today and ask your friends and loved ones to do the same.

Watch the movie. >>>

Learn more about the Christian Communities of the Holy Land. >>>

The Stations of the Cross with photos from the Via Dolorosa >>>