In January, the new members of the Grand Magisterium’s Holy Land Commission took office. Scottish professor Bartholomew McGettrick replaced the American Thomas McKiernan at the head of this Commission, also constituted by the Lieutenant emeritus for Germany, Detlef Brümmer and Cynthia Monahan, belonging to the northeastern US Lieutenancy, of which Cardinal Sean O ‘Malley is Grand Prior.
We wish to thank Thomas McKiernan, on behalf of the Grand Magisterium, for the leadership work carried out with competence and passion, as well as for his role as consultant in the new team.
Recently, in March, the Commission went to the Holy Land to follow the ongoing programs and meet the leaders of the Latin Patriarchate, as well as the representatives of pastoral, scholastic and health life. On the website of the Patriarchate, Rula Shomali informs that – welcomed by Mr. Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate – the members firstly visited the Latin Patriarchate, met with representatives from the Project Development, Financial, and Technical teams along with the catechism office before they left to inspect the on-going and finished projects that the Order funded.
During their meeting at the Patriarchate, they discussed the proposed projects for the coming years, which will focus on youth, scouts, pastoral work, educational projects, humanitarian and infrastructure needs.
Moreover, the HLC visited Jaffa of Nazareth and visited St. Rachel Center in Jerusalem before visiting four families receiving support from the Order. After a short stop at St. Louis Hospital, they had an audience with Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa.
The Commission had quality time with students at Bethlehem University, the Latin Patriarchal Seminary in Beit Jala, and the youth in Beit Sahour. They visited the Home of the Elderly in Ramallah and met with Fr. Iyad Twal, Director of the Latin Patriarchate Schools in Palestine and Israel and other school directors. They ended their visit celebrating the Sunday Mass with parishioners in Our Lady of Fatima parish in Beit Sahour. Finally, the Commission was received by the Apostolic Nuncio, Msgr. Leopoldo Girelli.