Dear Friends in Christ,
During Holy Week, the Gospel readings come to life in a special way as we gather to celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The readings remind us of our special connection to the land where this great story unfolded. Soon, like Simon of Cyrene, you can help to carry the cross in the Holy Land.
The annual Pontifical Good Friday Collection is requested by Pope Francis. His request continues a longstanding commitment to helping Christians in the Holy Land. In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that even St. Paul urged his missionary Churches not to forget the needs of the Church in Jerusalem. We are called to continue the legacy of supporting our brothers and sisters who live in the land made holy by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Christians living in the Holy Land today are descendants of those who first believed the Christian faith.
Today, there are new persecutions—many of which we hear about on the daily news. The political, religious, and military challenges in the Holy Land are more complex than ever, and they are especially hard on Christians.
There are hopeful signs as well. The 29 parishes in the Holy Land lead worship, offer Christian formation and education, and provide housing and food for the poor. The Christian shrines that directly connect us to the life of Jesus and the Apostles are maintained. But those serving there need our help.
Soon, you will be invited in your parish to contribute to the Pontifical Good Friday Collection. This Collection offers all Catholics an opportunity to express their solidarity with Christians in the Holy Land. A donation to the Holy Father’s annual appeal is a direct way to make a difference in the lives of those caught up in war, violence, and instability in this region.
Through the Good Friday Collection, you join with Catholics around the world to stand in solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land. And you become an instrument of peace in a troubled land.
It is important that Christians continue to live, work, and pray in the Holy Land. Please be generous when called on to support the Pontifical Good Friday Collection this year.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, D.D.
Bishop of Wilmington