April 6, 2017
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In these challenging times in the Middle East, Christians are experiencing unique hardships. Each year during Holy Week we are challenged by the Scriptures to see the light of hope amidst darkness and despair. Holy Week is about finding hope from despair and, as St. Francis prayed, “that we may be instruments of peace.”
Christians living in the Holy Land struggle to live their faith and to be stewards of the sacred places as Christians arrive in pilgrimage day after day. Catholics worldwide are invited each year by the Holy Father to support our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land by making a donation to the Good Friday Collection. Keeping Christianity alive in the Holy Land is the urgent goal of the Church. In fact, the call to support the community in the Holy Land dates back to the days of St. Paul when he called upon various communities to support their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem.
Your support helps the Franciscans and others to minister in parishes, provide Catholic schools and offer religious education. You contributions assist the Catholic community with housing, food, health care and employment. In these times of crisis, you also help in providing humanitarian aid to refugees and bring the sacraments and hope to Christians in places like Syria.
Please be generous in this year’s Good Friday collection in your parish. I invite you to visit www.myfranciscan.org to learn more about the good work made possible thanks to you response to this pontifical collection.
Pray for peace during this Holy Season so that we may preserve the past and offer hope for the future.
With every prayerful best wish, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester