Holy Land Coordination 2020
We must not ignore the voice of people in the Holy Land
Every year we come to encounter and hear the people of the Holy Land. We are inspired by their enduring resilience and faith in a worsening situation.
In their recent powerful message, the local Catholic Bishops lamented the international community’s failure to help realize justice and peace here in the place of Christ’s birth. Our governments must do more to meet their responsibilities for upholding international law and protecting human dignity. In some cases they have become actively complicit in the evils of conflict and occupation.
The local Bishops also warned that people are facing further “evaporation of hope for a durable solution”. We have witnessed this reality first-hand, particularly how construction of settlements and the separation wall is destroying any prospect of two states existing in peace.
In the same message, the local Bishops have sounded the alarm about living conditions becoming “more and more unbearable”. This is painfully clear in the West Bank where our sisters and brothers are denied even basic rights including freedom of movement. In Gaza the political decisions of all sides have resulted in the creation of an open air prison, human rights abuses and a profound humanitarian crisis. We were welcomed by families whose focus is now day-to-day survival and whose aspirations have been reduced to bare essentials such as electricity and clean water.
Amid these circumstances we are moved by the sacrifice of religious sisters, lay people and priests who are reaching out with respect to every side, in order to build a better future for all. They offer vital services, especially education, job opportunities and care for the most vulnerable people. We give thanks for their witness.
We encourage Christians in our own countries to pray for and support this mission. The increase in people making pilgrimages to the Holy Land is encouraging and we call for those who come to ensure they encounter the local communities.
At the same time we implore our governments to help build a new political solution rooted in human dignity for all. While this must ultimately be shaped by the peoples of the Holy Land in dialogue, there is an urgent need for our countries to play their part by:
Insisting upon the application of international law;
Following the Holy See’s lead in recognising the State of Palestine;
Addressing the security concerns of Israel and the right of all to live in safety;
Rejecting political or economic support for settlements;
And resolutely opposing acts of violence or abuses of human rights by any side.
In taking these steps the international community can meaningfully stand in solidarity with those Israelis and Palestinians who are refusing to give up their non-violent struggle for justice, peace and human rights.
We pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Bishop Declan Lang (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination)
England and Wales
Bishop Udo Bentz
Archbishop Timothy Broglio
United States of America
Bishop Peter Bürcher
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden
Bishop Rodolfo Cetoloni
Bishop Christopher Chessun
Church of England
Archbishop Richard Gagnon
Bishop William Kenney
England and Wales
Bishop Alan McGuckian
Bishop William Nolan
Bishop Marc Stenger
Bishop Noel Treanor
Archbishop Joan Enric Vives Sicilia
Fr Antonio Ammirati
Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe
Dr Erwin Tanner
Our beautiful actual project AVEJMJ!
AVE as Ave Maria (Hail Mary) and JMJ as Jornada Mundial de la Joventud and Jesus, Mary, Joseph!
"Here is the servant of the Lord; let all happen to me according to your word! "(Luke 1,38) will be the theme of the WYD of Panama 2019.
Among his many projects to help the Christians of the Holy Land, Bishop Peter Bürcher, Member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, has pledged to accomplish a wish of Pope Francis: to encourage young people to pray for peace in the world. They will pray the Lord through the intercession of Mary, thanks to the simple prayer of the rosary. This is the AVEJMJ project: AVE as Ave Maria (Hail Mary) and JMJ as Jornada Mundial de la Joventud or as Jesus, Mary, Joseph!
To this end, an olive wood rosary made in the Holy Land by needy families, young unemployed, refugees and families of detainees will be offered to all the young people who will participate in the next WYD in Panama in January 2019 and who will pray for peace in the world. Caritas Jerusalem has kindly facilitated this arrangement. They will be able to give work for several months to hundreds of needy families in Bethlehem and surroundings
To meet the deadlines and reach the goal of the 1,5 million rosaries needed, we must raise a minimum of 200’000 per month. It’s costs us a CHF/USD coin to produce.
Donations can be made immediately to the account of the Association Saint Jean-Marie Vianney Lausanne, Switzerland:
Bank Postfinance SA BIC: POFICHBEXXX
From Switzerland: IBAN CHF: CH49 0900 0000 1721 5224 5
From Europe: IBAN EUR: CH36 0900 0000 9153 3233 5
Others: IBAN USD: CH98 0900 0000 9172 0700 5
Marked « AVEJMJ ».
The ASJMVL www.sjmvlausanne.org and Caritas Jerusalem thank each and every one of you for contributing, even modestly, to the financing of this magnificent global project in this time of evangelization!
Let’s raise the Mystery!
The Rosary is a form of repetitive, contemplative and very simple prayer, during which one meditates on the place of Mary in the Mystery of Salvation, to associate with it, reciting the "Hail Mary". It also refers to the instrument used to pray, a set of pierced grains, threaded one after the other on a thread and held in a loop, with at its end a cross. Strictly speaking, the rosary is a "little hat" or a kind of crown. It was indeed customary in the Middle Ages to crown the statues of the Virgin with roses, each rose symbolizing a prayer, hence the word rosary.
The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is instituted on October 7, 1573, making the practice of the rosary universal and making October the month of the rosary par excellence.
While a rosary includes fifty « Hail Mary", a complete rosary includes 200 "Hail Mary". The 200 "Hail Mary" were divided into four parts. Then each part in five tens, each preceded by an Our Father and followed by Glory to the Father, in honor of the Holy Trinity.
This prayer is not a pure mechanical repetition of formulas: it is meditation, a reception of the mystery of God that touches and rejoins our lives. The Rosary is thus a meditation of the Gospel, and the reception for the believer of the life of the Lord.
Holy Land Coordination final communique 2019
The Holy Land Coordination stands in solidarity with all Christians in Israel and Palestine. Our ongoing advocacy for a just peace is informed by an annual pilgrimage to meet with our sisters and brothers, listen to them, and witness the challenges they face. This year our focus has been those Christians who live in the state of Israel.
Standing in solidarity with Israel’s Christians
Throughout our visit we have experienced how there are Israeli citizens from many different backgrounds who coexist and work together for the Common Good of their society. We recognize that Israel was founded on the stated principles of equality between all its citizens. This urgently needs to become the lived reality.
Israel’s Christians wish to live as full citizens, with their rights recognized in a plural and democratic society. We have seen the vital contribution that they make especially through schools, hospitals, involvement in public life and attempting to build bridges between different faiths.
Yet it is clear that at the same time they face profound difficulties across all aspects of their lives. We have heard that, along with other Palestinian Arab citizens and migrants living in Israel, many Christians find themselves systematically discriminated against and marginalized.
Those we met expressed particular concern about the Nation State Law that was passed since our last visit to the Holy Land. Local Christian leaders have warned that this creates a “constitutional and legal basis for discrimination” against minorities, undermining the ideals of equality, justice and democracy.We stand with Israel’s Christians and all those challenging discrimination, in support of their call to protect the country’s pluralism.
As we approach this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we reaffirm our solidarity with all of the Churches here, and pray that Christians may work more closely together in the pursuit of justice and peace.
Human dignity under occupation
Our delegation also travelled to Palestine, where despite the faith and resilience of those we met, the misery of occupation has been deepened by severe cuts to humanitarian funding by the US government.
Healthcare, education and other basic services for refugees are being increasingly threatened, exacerbating the ongoing violations of their fundamental human dignity. This cannot be ignored or tolerated.
We call upon our own governments to help meet the funding gaps now faced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and redouble their efforts towards a diplomatic solution, with two democratic sovereign states of Israel and Palestine existing in peace.
Hope for the future
We are a people who believe in the truth of the Resurrection and so we have hope for the future. As we return to our home countries we echo the words of Pope Francis: “Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts!”
We admire our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land for not losing hope and we commit ourselves through prayer, pilgrimage and practical solidarity, to helping keep that hope alive.
Bishop Declan Lang – England and Wales (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination)
Bishop Stephen Ackermann - Germany
Archbishop Stephen Brislin – South Africa
Archbishop Timothy Broglio – United States of America
Bishop Peter Bürcher – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden
Bishop Rodolfo Cetoloni – Italy
Bishop Christopher Chessun – the Church of England
Bishop Michel Dubost – France
Bishop Lionel Gendron – Canada
Bishop Felix Gmur – Switzerland
Bishop William Kenney – England and Wales
Bishop Alan McGuckian – Ireland
Bishop William Nolan – Scotland
Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho – Portugal
Bishop Noel Treanor - Ireland
Association Saint Jean-Marie Vianney Lausanne
CH - 1018 Lausanne