by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Thirteen Franciscan friars from the English-speaking world gathered in Washington, D.C., from June 29 to July 3, 2015, to discuss the urgent need for the support of Christians in the Holy Land.
The friars, or commissaries, came from North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand as part of a worldwide network of 84 commissariats in 44 countries that support the 800-year Franciscan ministry in the Holy Land through education, pilgrimage and promotion of the Pontifical Good Friday Collection.
Reverend Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Custos of the Holy land, spoke from Jerusalem via Skype about the situation in the Holy Land.
Catholics in areas served by the English-speaking commissariats donate nearly $20 million a year through the Good Friday Collection. The collection, held in parishes worldwide at the request of the pope, provides critical funds for the Franciscan mission in the Holy land, including parishes, employment assistance, housing, care for the elderly and orphaned children, education, and maintenance of shrines associated with the life of Christ.