The Arab village of Maker, in Israel, numbers a thousand Christians, mainly Greek Catholics.
On the occasion of the two ROACO meetings in Rome – the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches – the Grand Magisterium of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre pledged to support various projects, especially in favour of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, a Church of Byzantine rite united to Rome since the 18th century.
■ MAKER is an Arab village located in the north of Israel. The parish hall of the church of Saint Anthony will be renovated to house local religious events. It is about sustaining the life of a Christian community made up of a thousand people, mostly Greek-Catholics, but also Maronites.
Total: 64,000 euros
■ IQRIT is a village in Galilee that suffered greatly in 1948, when the Israeli army drove its inhabitants to Rameh. In 1951, the Supreme Court allowed the inhabitants of Iqrit to return to the village but, when they arrived, they found the houses destroyed. The parish church of Saint Mary, however, remained intact and today serves for weddings, baptisms and funerals for a population attached to the village but scattered throughout Israel between Rameh and Haifa. The enlargement of the church – thanks to a loggia of 35 meters – will allow all the participants to take part in religious events.
Total: 15,500 euros
■ MAGHAR is an Arab city in the north of Israel. The local Greek-Melkite community has 5,000 people living among 12,000 Druze and 4,000 Muslims. The parish hall – dating back to the 90s – needs an audio system, in order to promote the conviviality of meetings organized on a regular basis.
Total: 19,000 euros
■ SAKHNIN, another Arab city in the north of Israel, with an essentially Muslim population of almost 30,000 people. The Melkite faithful – about a thousand – gather in the parish church of Saint Joseph. The old pews must be renewed.
Total: 19,000 euros
■ RAMALLAH – 15 km north of Jerusalem – it is the current administrative capital of the State of Palestine. The Greek-Catholic school Our Lady of the Annunciation welcomes about 500 students, almost half of whom are Christians. A kindergarten school will be built for around sixty young children, to help working mothers.
Total: 92,000 euros
■ The Focolare Movement is very active in serving the Church in the Holy Land, the Middle East and North Africa. Its members offer a testimony of evangelical life, characterized by a spirit of openness and dialogue. Having come from Europe and Latin America, nine local representatives of this movement – in Egypt, Jordan and Israel – need to proficiently learn the Arabic language.
Total: 12,700 euros
■ A summer missionary camp – organized by the Maronite diocese of BAALBEK – for fifteen days helped to restore a little hope to some isolated and disabled people, thanks to visits and liturgical celebrations. The mission – animated by about fifty young people, accompanied by priests and religious – involved about 1500 people from seven parishes.
Total: 12,000 euros.