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bullet Today's photo

Pope John Paul II departure from the Holy Cenacle (Mar. 23, 2000)
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. Cf. Acts 2:42-43
Web Link: The Holy Father pilgrim in the Holy Land

NEWS FROM AND ABOUT THE HOLY LAND

bullet 31.3.2005: FI Addresses Franciscan Human Rights Concerns at the UNCHR
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) at Geneva is the pre-eminent forum to evaluate and examine human rights issues from around the globe. For the ninth consecutive year, Franciscans International's delegation will draw on the experiences of grassroots Franciscan brothers and sisters, in presenting interventions to international policymakers at the CHR. (Franciscans International NGO)

bullet 31.3.2005: Clerics urge J'lem to ban gay parade
The clerics warned that the 10-day festival would seriously disrupt the peace, and called on the Israeli authorities to prevent it. (Ha'aretz)

bullet 29.3.2005: Easing of restrictions oni Palestinian Christians visiting holy sites in Israel
On the occasion of the Catholic Easter holiday being celebrated this week, Israel has promised its help in permit Christian Palestinians to take part in religious ceremonies that will take place in Jerusalem and Nazereth, including special permits to allow freedom of movement for the purpose of family visitations during the holiday. (Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria)

bullet 29.3.2005: Fr. Louis Bohte speaks in Geneva at UN Conference on Human Rights
I am back home after almost one week in Geneva. It was not as I hoped it, but I think that the experience of last week is helpful for next year. (CTS)

bullet 28.3.2005: Emmaus: Solemn Eucharistic Exposition
(CTS)


bullet 27.3.2005: H. Sepulcher: Pontifical Mass and Solemn Procession
(CTS)


bullet 26.3.2005: Holy Saturday
H.Sepulcher: Easter Vigil. Evening Prayer, Pontifical Celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours with the Custos of the Holy Land officiating. (CTS)

bullet 25.3.2005: Good Friday in Jerusalem (25.0.2005)
Calvary: Celebration of the Passion of the Lord. Way of the Cross: Starting from the Station with the Franciscan Friars, followed by vatious groups.H.Sepulcher: Service. "funeral" Procession. (CTS)

bullet 26.3.2005: Holy Land custodian fights against wall of injustice
"The Israeli construction of the Wall is a great injustice: it impedes many people to go to work or to school," said Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custodian of the Holy Land, in an interview with AsiaNews released today. (AGI)

bullet 26.3.2005: Holy Thursday in Jerusalem
H.Sepulcher: Pontifical Mass (Washing of the Feet). Procession of the Blessed Sacrament. Adoration of the Blesses Sacrament. Service. Gethsemane: Holy Hour in the Basilica of the Agony. (CTS)

bullet 25.3.2005: Jerusalem: the Cross breaks down the wall of fear
Jerusalem, the place of the Cross, is the city where one can feel close to God, but also where one can see the abyss caused by violence and man’s pretensions. (AsiaNews)

bullet 25.3.2005: Marathon to Promote Peace in the Holy Land
Palestinians, Israelis and pilgrims from around the world will participate April 14 in a marathon-pilgrimage, from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, to promote peace in the Holy Land. (Zenit)

bullet 24.3.2005: Our Lady Queen of Peace, Birzeit - Easter Wish
I am writing to you to wish you a blessed Easter with our Lord resuscitate, Who defeated death, every injustice and oppression. He gave those who believed in Him peace and serenity. (Hcef)

bullet 24.3.2005: The joy of the Risen in the midst of the trials of the Mideast, says Patriarch of Jerusalem
Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, begins his Easter message by inviting Christians in the Holy Land to rejoice and live their lives to the fullest despite their present trials and tribulations because Christ has truly risen.(AsiaNews)

bullet 23.3.2005: Vatican encourages Good Friday donations for the Holy Land
The Vatican has asked Catholic churches throughout the world to collect funds for Christians in the Holy Land during their Good Friday services. (cwnews)

bullet 23.3.2005: Easter, the‘Light of Christ’, from Jerusalem to the Jordan
For Easter, the‘Light of Jesus’ comes directly from Jerusalem. Paschal tradition in this predominantly Muslim country demands in fact that candles be lighted on the eve of Easter Sunday with a lighted candle brought by the archbishop who celebrated mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. (AsiaNews)

bullet 23.3.2005: More Pilgrims Going to Jerusalem for Holy Week
The pilgrims arriving in Jerusalem for Holy Week are more numerous than last year, but they are still few compared to the crowds that visited before the 2000 intifada. (Zenit)

bullet 22.3.2005: A new Bethlehem blog. Voices from the Bethlehem Ghett
This site is a portal for us to communicate to the outside world and tell the stories of our lives in Bethlehem, occupied Palestine. It is also a window for you to look in; to see past the walls, barbed wire fences, and the media distortions; to hear from the people in Bethlehem themselves.(Bethlehem bloggers)

bullet 22.3.2005: Holy Land towards peace or towards a Third Intifadah?
There  is an air of cautious optimism in the Holy Land, fed by an extraordinary amount of political and diplomatic activity from the  Sharm el-Sheikh meeting of the Palestinian. (AsiaNews)

bullet 22.3.2005: Palm Sunday, when hope lies with the young
Celebrations took place in an atmosphere highly charged by recent terrorist attacks, the most recent of which was a car bomb that wounded 11 people in predominantly Christian neighbourhood of New Jdeideh. (AsiaNews)

bullet 22.3.2005: Appeals for Support of Christians in Holy Land
The Congregation for Eastern Churches launched an appeal to Catholics worldwide to give financial support to Christians in the Holy Land. (Zenit)

bullet 22.3.2005: 20th March 2005 Celebration of Palm Sunday in Jerusalem
During the afternoon, at the sanctuary which the Holy Land Custody administers in Bethfage, an immense crowd of Christians gather together. They are the local Christians from all parishes in the Holy Land and the pilgrims coming from all over the world. (CTS)

bullet 21.3.2005: Calm welcomes thousands of pilgrims to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday
Thousands of Christian pilgrims, waving palm fronds, marched Sunday from the Mount of Olives into the Old City of Jerusalem to retrace Jesus' triumphant return to the holy city 20 centuries ago. (CBC News)

bullet 20.3.2005: Bethlehem Mayor urges help for Christians
Slowly the Christian presence in the Holy Land is waning. Hanna Nasser, Mayor of Bethlehem, today launched an appeal to world public opinion to do something for the Christian population of the city forced to leave because of high levels of unemployment caused by a downturn in religious tourism. (AsiaNews)

bullet 20.3.2005: 4th century bible to be scanned and put online for public study
An ambitious international project to reinterpret the oldest Bible in the world, the Codex Sinaiticus, and make it accessible to a global audience using digital technology and drawing on the expertise of leading biblical scholars has been launched. (Public Technology)

bullet 20.3.2005: Leaves from palm that's native to Jerusalem are used in Palm Sunday services
On Sunday, Christians around the world will celebrate Palm Sunday, signifying Jesus' triumphant entrance into the holy city of Jerusalem five days before he was crucified. While palm trees are associated with the deserts of the Mideast and the beaches of California, palms are nowhere to be found in Northeastern Pennsylvania. (Citizens' Voice)

bullet 18.3.2005: Christianity's empty cradle?
According to Amram Mitzna, the former mayor of Haifa and a candidate for prime minister in the last Israeli elections, police refused to intervene to protect the Christian community. Writing with the frankness for which Israelis are well-known, Mitzna ask. (Hcef)

bullet 18.3.2005: The Wall Around Bethlehem
It breaks my heart to drive into Bethlehem every morning to witness an additional block being added to the so-called Israeli security wall. Inch by inch, the width of the wall is blocking the main street that leads into the heart of the holy city of Bethlehem. (Hcef)

bullet 18.3.2005: Holocaust Museum a Warning for World, Says Cardinal
John Paul II's representative to the inauguration of Yad Vashem's new Holocaust museum in Jerusalem says that the building is a "warning" and an "appeal" to the world. (Zenit)

bullet 17.3.2005: Bishop suggests occupied Palestinian territory could become part of Third World
The Bishop of Bath and Wells has called for international pressure on Israel to withdraw troops from occupied Palestinian territory suggesting that it could soon become part of the Third World. (Hcef)

bullet 17.3.2005: Palestinian refugees free to leave church sanctuary
AN EXTRAORDINARY SAGA of perseverance begun in the Middle East has had a happy conclusion in Canada. Three elderly Palestinian Christian refugees have been granted landed immigrant status, after well over five decades of hardship and disappointment. (Hcef)

bullet 16.3.2005: New Holocaust Museum opens at Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem today inaugurates its new Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Some 40 dignitaries from all over the world, including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, nine heads of state, six prime ministers and four foreign ministers will be there. (AsiaNews)

bullet 16.3.2005: Christian Aid Sees Hope in Continued Palestinian Peace Effort
Christian Aid Sees Hope in Continued Palestinian Peace Effort "It is not too late to seize the opportunity for a revival of the peace process." (Hcef)

bullet 16.3.2005: Rosary for peace, against wall, says a Bethlehem nun
The Elizabethan Sisters working at Bethlehem’s Baby Caritas Hospital and local Christians have been praying the rosary in front of Israel’s wall every Thursday. (AsiaNews)

bullet 15.3.2005: March 13, 2005 Piano Concert by Paolo yergan
On March 13, 2005 he played in Jerusalem at the “Immacolata” hall of the Custody of Holy Land. (CTS)

bullet 15.3.2005: Significance of Jerusalem in Islam, Judaism and Christianity
With peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians once again picking up steam, many are reminded that the status of Jerusalem is going to be one of the key issues, and probably more difficult to resolve than even the size of the future Palestinian state. (Global Politician)

bullet 14.3.2005: Way Of The Cross To Emphasize Dignity Of Human Life From Conception
Catholics of Seoul archdiocese are finding new meaning in a traditional devotion by praying the Way of the Cross "for life" this Lent. The archdiocese's One Heart One Body Movement introduced special prayers it scripted to emphasize the dignity of human life. (AsiaNews)

bullet 14.3.2005: Peace and Good 13th March
Last Thursday my friend Purwanto and I visited the village, from where Asma, a volunteer, comes. It was a moving experience. Coming from Bethlehem it is just at the other side of Herodion, a peculiar mountain looking like a table. (CTS)

bullet 14.3.2005: Franciscans and the Holy Land, Interview With Vicar of Custody
The Custody of the Holy Land was the first to promote dialogue and peace in the Middle East, a mission the Franciscans continue today, says a religious. Father Artemio Vitores, vicar of the Custody, has been in the Holy Land for 34 years. (Zenit)

bullet 13.3.2005: Palestinian National Authority to curb preachers’ violent sermons
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has decided to impose restrictions on preachers who deliver Friday sermons. Under the new rules, Muslim clerics preaching in the Occupied Territories must submit their sermons to be vetted by a special PNA bureau. (AsiaNews)

bullet 11.3.2005: The new Rector Magnificus of the PUA
Br. Johannes Freyer is the first Rector Magnificus of the Pontifical University“Antonianum”. Br. Johannes Baptist (Hans Jürgen) Freyer was born in Waldshut (Baden), Germany, on the 13th July 1953. (ofm)

bullet 10.3.2005: Courses in Jerusalem Aim at Spiritual Renewal of Priests
The Vatican congregations for Clergy and for the Evangelization of Peoples are planning two courses of spiritual renewal in Jerusalem for priests from all over the world. The first course runs July 15-Aug.3, the second Jan. 21-Feb.9. (Zenit)

bullet 9.3.2005: Some hope as Israel withdraws and terrorists are no longer praised
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is expected to take control of Tulkarem after Israel completes its pullout from the West Bank town. (AsiaNews)

bullet 9.3.2005: Arab and Christian: a Complex Identity in the Muslim Mideast
This is the second of a two-part series, Part I discussed the strains on Christian communities in the Middle East and their often dissimilar conditions. Part II looks at the identity of Arab Christians and the state of Christian-Muslim dialogue in the Middle East. (Aina)

bullet 8.3.2005: Cal State San Marcos series to focus on peace in the Middle East
A North County man who came back from a trip to Israel in the mid-1990s full of optimism that peace is possible in the Middle East has set out to spread the message through a series of talks at Cal State San Marcos. (NCTimes)

bullet 8.3.2005: Papal Well-wishers Turn to E-mail
Over three days, more than 20,000 e-mails were sent to John Paul II expressing best wishes and guaranteeing prayers for him as he recovers from his tracheotomy. (Zenit)

bullet 5.3.2005: Pope’s illness prompts special prayers and gestures of inter-religious friendship: he is truly a great Pontiff, a great ‘bridge-builder’ says Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land
Father Pizzaballa told us that in Lent Catholics still keep the centuries old rite of pilgrimage to the places where Jesus suffered during his Passion. „This year our prayers were offered for the universal Church and for the Pope in particular. We are spiritually close to him in this season of Lent” he said. (Fides)

bullet 4.3.2005: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Israel and the occupied territories
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor - February 28, 2005. Israel's population is approximately 6.8 million, including 5.2 million Jews, 1.3 million Arabs, and some 290,000 other minorities… The population of the Gaza Strip was approximately 1.4 million, of the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem) approximately 2.4 million, and of East Jerusalem approximately 414,518, including 177,333 Israelis. (US Department of State)

bullet 4.3.2005: Archaeology magazine raises questions as Israel awaits big artifacts fraud trial
Soon, Israel will be conducting archaeology's trial of the century, which involves precious artifacts linked with the Bible that supposedly are thousands of years old. Nonsense, say prosecutors, who charge that the items, valued in untold millions of dollars, are fakes. They have accused five men of operating a sophisticated, long-running forgery ring: the owner of one of Israel's largest antiquities collections; three Israeli antiquities dealers, including the former chief conservator of the Israel Museum; and a West Bank Palestinian involved in one transaction. (NC Times)

bullet 3.3.2005: 75% of Maghar's Christian students still absent from school
Some 75 percent of Christian students in the village of Maghar have not returned to school in the three weeks since clashes between Christians and Druze residents of the Upper Galilee village, Deputy Education Minister Michael Melchior said Wednesday. (Haaretz)

bullet 3.3.2005: L.A. Jews, Christians and Muslims return from Holy Land pilgrimage
Due to Shabbat observance, the enormous, beautiful new terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv was virtually empty Feb. 11 as a group of 45 interfaith pilgrims from Los Angeles arrived in the Holy Land. (Tidings)

bullet 3.3.2005: Is nothing sacred?
Father Athanasius's Texan drawl sounds as steady as ever down the phone from Jerusalem but the tale he's recounting is hair-raising: "... I refused to close the door to our chapel and then the Greeks, priests and deacons and acolytes attacked the Israeli police standing by the door and I was pushed away and fell down, and someone was kicking me, and more police arrived..." . (groupsrv - Religion)

bullet 2.3.2005: Use religion to help reconcile Palestinians and Israelis
Taking up the metaphor of "a window of opportunity,"one might point out that someone bent over in pain will be hard-pressed to see any light from the window, or even believe it exists. (DailyStar)

bullet 2.3.2005: Rabbi mends fences
Israel’s Ashkenazi chief rabbi has paid an unprecedented official visit to the headquarters of the Armenian Patriarch in Jerusalem in what is seen as a drive by Israeli officials to improve Jewish-Christian relations in the Holy Land.  (Anglican Journal)

bullet 2.3.2005: Christianity's empty cradle?
This is the first of a two-part series. Part I discusses the strains on Christian communities in the Middle East and looks at the conditions Christians face in different countries. Often these are quite dissimilar. (National Catholic)

bullet 1.3.2005: February 27, 28/March 1, 2005: Concerts performed by the Pianist Alessia Orlandi
The pianist Alessia Orlandi performed a series of concerts, organized by the Holy Land Franciscans. (CTS)

bullet 1.3.2005: Druze Leaflet Threatens to 'Shoot Christians'
Fears of renewed rioting swept the mixed Galilee village of Maghar over the weekend after a new leaflet distributed by an unknown, presumably Druze group warned local Christians they must leave town or risk being shot. (ICEJ)


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