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Vocations “come and follow me”

The Christian Media Center takes over the FMC

This year, the presentation of the Christmas message by the Latin Patriarch, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, was held for the first time at Terra Sancta College, at the entrance of the Rehavia neighbourhood in the new city of Jerusalem. The fraternity of the Custody is the one hosting the studios of the Franciscan Media Center (FMC).

It was the opportunity to highlight and inaugurate somehow the change of a name: the Franciscan Media Center (FMC) has become the Christian Media Center (CMC). One change the Holy Land Custos Pierbattista Pizzablla called (in an interview granted to the SIR agency) "small Christmas gift from the Custody of the Holy Land and the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS) to the Church and its communicators.”

The FMC was originally a project intended by the AOCTS. The Assembly entrusted the construction to the Custody of the Holy Land. Its construction started in 2006 under the name of Franciscan Media Center. After eight years of work, it appeared increasingly evident that the project could reach more mature undergoing changes. The first changes were made in recent months. With the arrival of a new director, Sobhy Makhoul, a deacon of the Maronite Church, writing has multiplied: there is from now on an international writing and other one in Arabic. Meetings are conducted in English, Arabic, French, Italian and Portuguese in a sort of renewed Pentecost.

While the international writing aims to let the world know the Holy Land and its realities, the Arabic writing is intended to approach to all local Christians in their language, according to their own aspirations.

Changing the name is also the outcome of this maturation. "To change the name, explained Sobhy Makhoul, is to express the desire to open an even larger ecumenism. The Christian Media Center will address to all the Christians of the Holy Land and will talk about everyone. The way we work will change to better highlight this ecumenical dimension". “The Centre, he said, remains under the patronage of the Assembly of Ordinaries and the Custody remains the main supervisor."

The Custodial Vicar, Fr. Dobromir Jazstal also stressed: "The most important is the role of the Centre as a means of transmitting the message of the holy places, and as mirror of the local Church life. It will continue under a new name which expresses the wish of the churches to act together”. With this change, the Assembly of Ordinaries and the Custody show also their attention to the expectations of the Christians of the Holy Land. They already live in the heart of their families where various rites coexist in a real ecumenism. Besides political tensions between Israel and Palestine, the developments in the rest of the Middle East concern Christians who feel the need to get closer in order to support and encourage each other. A movement Pope Francis encourages as well in his prayers, wishes and actions for rapprochement between the churches.


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Events calendar


Vigil of Christmas. Bethlehem: 13.30 Entrance of the Archbishop & I Vespers - 16.00 Procession - 23.30 Office & 00.00 Mass - 1.45 Procession to the Grotto


Nativity of the Lord. Bethlehem (St. Catherine): 10.00 Mass Shepherds' Field (Greek & Catholic): 14.00 Pilgrimage


Feast St. Stephen, Protomartyr. St. Stephen: 16.00 Pilgrimage


Feast of the Holy Innocents. Bethlehem:10.00 Mass - 14.00 II Vespers (Vicar CTS)


Octave of Christmas. Beit Sahour: Holy Angels ad pastores

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