On the evening of Saturday, October 28th, the 13th annual Mass and Benefit Dinner in support of the Custody of the Holy Land took place at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, in Washington DC (United States).
This event aims to raise awareness among the American public about the mission carried out by the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land for over eight centuries in the Land of Jesus, where they safeguard the Holy Sites and preserve the Christian community.
This year’s initiative unfolded in an unusual atmosphere of tension due to the tragic events shaking the Holy Land. Once again, this place has become a theater of war and hostility. Yet the friars’ call for solidarity was met with a significant response, with approximately 150 attendees generously participating in the initiative of the Franciscans of the Holy Land.
This year’s edition was marked by the absence of the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, who remained in Jerusalem to express solidarity with the Christian community during these weeks of conflict. During the dinner, in a video message from, Fr. Patton urged the American public to respond to the increasingly urgent needs that Christians are facing.
In support of social works in Bethlehem
Responding to this call, the Franciscan Monastery launched a campaign to support medical and social assistance for Christian families in Bethlehem and surrounding communities.
The event also provided an opportunity to honor the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, managed by the Order of Malta, which has been carrying out valuable social work for Palestinian families for decades. For the tireless efforts of this hospital, which has developed a strong collaboration with the Franciscans over time in support of the local community, Ambassador Michèle B. Bowe, President of the Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation and Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Palestine, accepted the Grato Animo award, an honor bestowed by the Custody of the Holy Land upon those who have demonstrated exceptional support and generosity towards the Christian community of the Holy Land.
Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America