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Jews celebrating Sukkot in Jerusalem
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Dt 6: 4-7
Web link: Shema Yisrael. What's behind the most famous Jewish prayer


bullet 31.10.2005: Jerusalem (al-Qods) Day marked in Beirut and Damascus
Today, last day of Ramadan is Jerusalem Day—al-Qods Day—, an important and strongly felt event throughout the Islamic world dedicated to solidarity with Jerusalem, a city dear to Muslims, home to the al-Aqsa Mosqu. (AsiaNews)

bullet 31.10.2005: Holy See: Iranian's Comments About Israel "Unacceptable"
The Holy See described as "unacceptable" the recent statements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who called for doing away with the state of Israel. (Zenit)

bullet 28.10.2005: Greece: Orthodox Patriarch demands Israeli government recognition
The newly-appointed head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land has filed suit in the Israeli Supreme Court, demanding that Israel recognize his status as patriarch. (newsfromrussia)

bullet 28.10.2005: Visit the Holy Land in a New Way with HCEF
The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) encourages you to join us in January 2006 on a Christian pilgrimage and fact-finding mission to see the holy sites in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. (HCEF)

bullet 27.10.2005: Holy Land Delegates to HCEF's 7th International Conference Express Urgency for Peace and Justice
Over 300 persons representing 19 states and five foreign countries attended HCEF's 7th International Conference on October 21-22, 2005 in Silver Spring, MD. (HCEF)

bullet 27.10.2005: ITALY: Arab and Jewish schoolchildren find common ground abroad
A group of Palestinian, Jewish and Israeli Arab teenagers attended high-schools in Rome and Florence this month - an initiative offering them welcome respite from the escalating violence in the Middle East and a chance to stand back from the conflict. (localhost)

bullet 26.10.2005: A Palestinian Christian Appeal for an Open and Shared Jerusalem
This year we are blessed to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays at the same time as the Holy Month of Ramadan. Both Ramadan and Yom Kippur call for repentance and fasting, and Sukkot invites pondering the wanderings in this life, as it commemorates the Heb. (HCEF)

bullet 25.10.2005: West Bank Christian Town of Aboud will Disappear with Building of Separation Wall
Parish Priest, Fr Firas Aridah, makes an urgent appeal to Western Christians for assistance in helping to prevent the disappearance of his Christian town which faces de facto destruction due to the building of Segregation Wall and settlement expansions. (HCEF)

bullet 24.10.2005: A letter from Louis
I will focus on what happened on Wednesday the last week. The day started with a blood red sunrise, a sign for the coming rain that day, which meant the beginning of the winter season. There was that day unusually much rain. (CTS News)

bullet 24.10.2005: Opinion
"An official Vatican newspaper has reported that during his upcoming visit to the Vatican, President Moshe Katsav will sign an agreement giving parts of David's Tomb over to papal control." (israelnationalnews)

bullet 24.10.2005: Bethlehem on the hunt for tourists
Victor Batarseh simultaneously painted a bleak picture of a war-racked city and a historic one with twinkling Christmas lights celebrating Jesus’ birth. Through a privately financed visit to five states, Batarseh hopes to get Americans to help rebuild the West Bank city’s infrastructure and book trips that include lodging in his city. (kansascity)

bullet 24.10.2005: Bethlehem Palestinians more optimistic
Bethlehem in the West Bank is almost completely enclosed by the separation wall and guarded by Israeli military checkpoints. Most Palestinian residents have not left the city in more than five years. (speroforum)

bullet 23.10.2005: Franciscans International sponsors peacebuilding conference
Capernaum, the historical place where Christ made a promise to institute the Eucharist, will host a celebration to conclude the Year of the Eucharist. (Zenit)

bullet 23.10.2005: Custody of Holy Land Concludes Year of Eucharist in Capernaum, Site of a Key Discourse
Religious institutions must be ordered to the service of humanity if they are to achieve their transcendent ends, says Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, Franciscans International (FI)’s Africa Desk coordinator. (Franciscans International)

bullet 23.10.2005: Los Angeles pilgrims hear challenges of Holy Land Christians
Thirteen delegates from the Diocese of Los Angeles embarked on a 10-day pilgrimage to Israel and the Palestinian Territories October 16, building on existing partnerships with Episcopalians in the Middle East and expressing solidarity with Christians and others in the Holy Land. (Episcopal News Service)

bullet 23.10.2005: Two killed and dozens wounded in anti-Christian demonstration in Egypt
Muslims are up in arms against Copts for a play dubbed as “offensive to Islam”. Christian leaders: “The work is against extremism, not Muslims”. This could well be a strategy of the Internal Affairs Ministry to create tension before the election. (Asia News)

bullet 23.10.2005: Message of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist
During the Twentieth General Congregation held yesterday, Friday 21th October 2005, the Synodal Fathers approved the Message of the Synod of Bishops to the People of God, at the conclusion of the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. (Zenit)

bullet 22.10.2005: Temple Mount tour
A rare, exclusive video of holy site, after an Israeli was able to sneak camcorder into Mount. Prominent archeologist who watched video says Muslim renovation did not damage shrine (YnetNews)

bullet 20.10.2005: Holy See Reaches Out in Friendship to Muslims
In a message sent on the occasion of Ramadan, the Holy See invited the world's 1.2 billion Muslims to continue on "the path of dialogue." (Zenit)

bullet 20.10.2005: The Franciscan Presence in the Holy Land
With Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., will be held at the Washington Theological Union, 6896 Laurel St., N.W., Washington, at 7:30 p.m. For information go to or call 202/726-8800. (catholicherald)

bullet 20.10.2005: Vatican manuscripts at Israel Museum
High ranking Vatican officials were amongst the special guests at the official opening of an exhibition of paintings from the Vatican library at the Israel Museum last week. (ejpress)

bullet 19.10.2005: Conclusion of the Year of the Eucharist at Capharnaum
The Custody of the Holy Land, at the conclusion of the Year of the Holy Eucharist, is organizing a special celebration: “I am the bread of life”. The celebration will be held at Capharnaum on Saturday, October 29, 2005 - hrs. 16.00. It will be presided by the Most Rev. Custos of the Holy Land. (CTS News)

bullet 19.10.2005: Religious disputes over Jerusalem require diplomacy
Wars have been fought over Jerusalem since its inception. It is a city that is holy to three major world religions. The Jews want Jerusalem because it is the city that King David ruled ancient Judea from. The Muslims want Jerusalem because it was there the prophet Mohammed ascended into heaven. The Christians want Jerusalem because they have always wanted the Holy Land. Maybe nobody should have it. (dailyvanguard)

bullet 19.10.2005: Christian prophetic voices face many battles
The Reverend Donald Wagner, professor and director of the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University in Chicago for the past 10 years, has had his tenure appointment blocked and, with two other prominent Palestinian clergymen, is being subjected to a campaign of criticism and vilification in the American and Israeli press. (HCEF)

bullet 19.10.2005: Holy See Wants "Digital Society" Accessible to All
New technologies should be tapped for "concrete efforts to build a more inclusive digital society which will reduce the widespread 'info-poverty,'" the Holy See urged at the United Nations. (Zenit)

bullet 19.10.2005: AP Interview: Bethlehem mayor pleads for financial aid
The mayor of Bethlehem, West Bank, said Tuesday his city is in such financial straits that it couldn't make its payroll last month, and is getting "zero" help from Christian churches that regard the city as Jesus Christ's birthplace. call “collective punishment”. (boston)

bullet 18.10.2005: Israel cracks down, puts on hold talks with Palestinians
The Israeli government temporarily suspended all contacts with the Palestinian National Authority after three Israelis were killed in the West Bank accentuating its pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the eve of his trip to Washington. Palestinians protest against what they call “collective punishment”. (AsiaNews)

bullet 18.10.2005: Media representatives share their perspectives at HCEF's 7th International Conference
Representatives from the Christian and secular media will present the advantages and challenges to reporting on issues of peace and justice in the Holy Land. (HCEF)

bullet 17.10.2005: Stations of the cross
More than a dozen Knesset members are part of the ‘Jewish-Christian’ lobby in the Knesset, and have traveled all over the world to address Christian groups and to drum up support for Israel. (ynetnews)

bullet 16.10.2005: The "Crisis in the Holy Land" video
Watch the "Crisis in the Holy Land" video, produced by the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land in cooperation with Stepstone Productions, Inc. Saint Louis, Missouri. Available on the FFHL website, as seen on EWTN. (CTS News)

bullet 15.10.2005: Benedict XVI addressing the general audience:
"It is the hope of blessing on the faithful who love the Holy City, on their physical reality of walls and palaces in which the life of a people pulsates, on all brothers and friends. In this way, Jerusalem will become a home of harmony and peace." (Zenit)

bullet 14.10.2005: Abbas meets Theophilus III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, in Ramallah
The president of the Palestinian Authority (PNA), Mahmoud Abbas, yesterday met Theophilus III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jersualem. The meeting was held in the headquarters of the president in Ramallah.  (AsiaNews)

bullet 14.10.2005: New Dead Sea Scroll Fragments
“No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert since 1965,” said Eshel. “The common perception has been that there is nothing left to find there, but that is clearly wrong.”  (israeltoday)

bullet 13.10.2005: Vatican offers swap deal to regain site of Last Supper
THE Vatican is hoping to regain control of the Room of the Last Supper in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred sites in Christianity. (timesonline)

bullet 12.10.2005: Abbas-Sharon summit postponed . . . again
Tomorrow’s planned summit between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been postponed for several weeks, and will likely take place in late October or early November, Palestinian official Nabil Abu Rdeneh said. (AsiaNews)

bullet 12.10.2005: Birzeit's Seniors Honored at Weekend Luncheon
More than 100 seniors from Birzeit gathered with Fr. Issa Khoury of the local Greek Orthodox Church and the Latin Patriarchates Fr. Aziz Halaweh this past Saturday to celebrate International Seniors Day in the gardens adjacent to Birzeit's Latin Church. (HCEF)

bullet 11.10.2005: Peace and all good (11.10.05)
Sometimes a lot of things happen on the same day. Last Tuesday was such a day. On the first place it was the feast of Saint Francis. For the celebration I went to Jerusalem, where I met several young friars, who I know from the time they studied in Bethlehem. (CTS News)

bullet 10.10.2005: 5 New Solemn Professed in the Custody of the Holy Land
This morning, the 9th of October 2005 in the Parish Church of the Friars Minor of St. Savior’s in Jerusalem, five Franciscan brothers took their solemn vows of obedience, poverty and chastity in the hands of the Custodian of the Holy Land Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa. (CTS News)

bullet 11.10.2005: Turkey transfers Ottoman land records to Palestinian Authority
The Turkish government on Sunday gave the Palestinian Authority a copy of the Ottoman archive containing all documents pertaining to land ownership in pre-state Israel through 1916. (haaretz)

bullet 11.10.2005: Chicago Sabeel Conference 2005: will Justice and Peace Embrace?
Director and President of the Sabeel Center in Jerusalem, Rev. Canon Naim Ateek opened the 2005 Chicago Sabeel Conference at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  (amin)

bullet 8.10.2005: Udeagu urges FG to support Christian pilgrimage from Nigeria
Imo State Deputy Governor Ebere Udeagu has urged the federal government to assist state governments in sponsoring Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 9,512 Christians undertook the pilgrimage in 2004, adding that the figure was the highest so far recorded in the country. (The Tide News)

bullet 7.10.2005: The Synod on the Eucharist: The Bread of Life vs the culture of death
As for the link between the “Eucharist and peace”, the Patriarch invited his peers to remember Jerusalem and Palestine, spiritual home to all Christians, and say a word for peace in the Holy City and the Holy Land, key to peace in the Near East and in the whole world. (Asia News)

bullet 7.10.2005: Edizioni Terra Santa is launched as the voice of the Custody of the Holy Land
A new publishing house, Edizioni Terra Santa, opened in Milan. The objectives of the publishing house are to publish the magazines of the Custody of the Holy Land in Italy and to set up an Internet portal to the holy sites and the Middle East. (Asia News)

bullet 7.10.2005: October: And the Solemnity of St. Francis, Also in Jerusalem
"Let us all rejoice in the Lord and the Solemnity of the Serafic Father, St. Francis, with us rejoice the angels and praise in the chorus the Son of God". So begins the entrance antiphon of the Mass that is being celebrated today in the church of St. Savior’s in Jerusalem’s Old City. (CTS News)

bullet 6.10.2005: Synod Reflects on a Key Ecumenical Question
The synod's working document acknowledges that "the manner of presenting the mystery of the Eucharist in ecumenical dialogue still needs clarification, so as to avoid two opposite extremes: complete exclusion beforehand and a relativism." (Zenit)

bullet 6.10.2005: Jewish and Muslim Holidays Coincide in Holy Land
The ram's horn was blown, as Israelis gathered in synagogues to observe Rosh Hashanah. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians were called to prayer. The Muslim faithful fast from dawn to dusk during the holy month, Ramadan. (VOA)

bullet 6.10.2005: Patriarch Theofilos of Jerusalem said...
Patriarch Theofilos of Jerusalem said yesterday that the Orthodox Church is investigating the full extent of the land deals that the deposed patriarch, Irenaios, made with Jewish investors. (Ekathimerini)

bullet 5.10.2005: Episcopal Ordination of His Excellency Monseigneur Maroun Lahham
El 2 de octubre del 2005, en la iglesia del Seminario del Patriarcado latino de Jerusalén en Beit Jala, se ha tenido la ordenación episcopal de S. E. Mons. Maroun Lahham, rector del mismo seminario. (CTS News)

bullet 5.10.2005: The challenge to deal with another culture
Letter from Louis Bohte, Bethlehem: "To deal with another culture is not always easy and is a challenge. I have to take in account the differences. But also the opposite is important." (CTS News)

bullet 5.10.2005: Remember Arab Christians, Melkite patriarch pleads
The cause of peace in the Holy Land, he said, is "of the utmost importance for the preservation of the Christian presence in the Arab world." (Catholic World News)

bullet 5.10.2005: Evangelicals Get a Piece of the Promised Land
In a move geared toward solving northern Israel's unemployment crisis, increasing tourism to the country, and solidifying relations with U.S. evangelical Christians, the Israeli government has offered land on the shore of the Sea of Galilee for development by Christian evangelicals. (IPS)

bullet 3.10.2005: Cultural understading
Israel's Italian community — both Jewish and gentile — turned out in force for the official opening at the Israel Museum of the "Rome to Jerusalem‘ exhibition of four illuminated Jewish masterpieces from the Vatican Library. (Jerusalem Post)

bullet 1.10.2005: Reconciliation between Catholics and Jews is a beacon for all faiths
Their lasting reconciliation would not only show that intractable problems are amenable to goodwill, but gives hope to all faiths that the worst of enemies can become the best of friends. (Timesonline)

bullet 1.10.2005: Christians Overlooked in Holy Land, Says Priest
Western governments are ignoring the plight of Christians amid an upsurge in violence and harassment in the Holy Land, says the director of the Pastoral Biblical Center in Jerusalem. (Zenit)

bullet 1.10.2005: Master’s Degree in International Co-operation and Development at Bethlehem University
The aim of the project, which has the support of a number of local partners and various UN agencies, is to provide a new opportunity for young people in this poverty stricken area as well as strengthen civil society and foster good government in public institutions. (Fides)

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Calendar 2005

A Year in the Life
of the Custody





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