by PAT McCARTHY
Catholics in New Zealand are being asked to come to the aid of three religious sisters living in cramped and substandard quarters in Nazareth, the city of the Annunciation.
The sisters live in a tiny wing of the Nazareth vicariate of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (the Catholic archdiocese of the Holy Land), where they cook, clean and do other household work.
All from Poland, they belong to the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, which was founded by a Polish noblewoman, Blessed Franciszka Siedliska, in 1875.
The sisters’ convent has a severe humidity problem, and does not comply with minimum health and safety standards. The inadequate kitchen also functions as workplace, dining room and community room. The poor living conditions even affect the sisters’ prayer schedules.
New Zealand members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – a lay institution that supports Christians in the Holy Land – have launched an appeal to raise $25,600 to help renovate the sisters’ quarters.
The appeal has come at a time of great need in the Holy Land. Covid-19 has cut off the flow of pilgrims and tourists on which many people depend for their livelihoods.
Even the worldwide Good Friday collection in Catholic parishes for the upkeep of the holy places fell to half the usual amount this year.
Information on supporting the appeal is available from Pat McCarthy at email@example.com