The Order stands alongside the Eastern Churches

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Roaco The Melkite Greek-Catholic parish of Saint Philip the Apostle, in Tur’an, a few kilometres north of Nazareth in Israel, benefits from the Order’s support through ROACO, a solidarity organisation coordinated by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Rome

There are many groups in the Holy Land that are in need of support and that continue to give life to the local Church, which is part of the richness and diversity of the communities present in the land of Revelation. This is why, in addition to the monthly contributions and projects that the Order of the Holy Sepulchre supports through the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Knights and Dames also undertake, through the Grand Magisterium, to contribute to the implementation of certain initiatives indicated by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches within the framework of ROACO, Group of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches, to which the Order belongs.

In 2021, six projects were approved at a total cost of nearly € 500,000. During the first half of the year, the aid focused on three projects comprising the construction of an additional floor at the “House of the Lady” pastoral centre in Nazareth, the completion of the work on the multipurpose hall at the parish of Saint Philippe the Apostle in Tur’an, two installations at the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church in Israel, and the renovation of the guardhouse of the Benedictine monastery of Our Lady of Calvary in Jerusalem.

In the second half of the year, there were two other projects at the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church: the renovation of the perimeter wall of the parking lot of Saint-Joseph high school in Nazareth and the completion of the top floor of the primary school of Shefa Amr, also in Israel. These two schools each have more than 600 students. In Nazareth, the collapse of part of the structure posed serious security problems and this project will ensure that students and teachers are kept safe.

In Shefa Amr, an Arab town in Israel about 20 km from Haifa, inhabited by Muslims, Christians and Druze, there are two Catholic schools, one primary and one secondary. The Order is contributing to the plastering work on the top floor of the primary school and, thanks to local costsharing, the premises will have new classrooms, science and computer suites, a chapel and a room for social and religious activities.

The final project with ROACO in 2021 came under the continuity of a project previously financed by the Order at the Maronite convent of Saint Charbel in Bethlehem. The convent has two buildings, one of which was largely destroyed by fire in 2015. Previously in 2018, the Order contributed to the reconstruction of the ground floor. This year, the funded project is making possible the restoration of the basement structure and its transformation into a kitchen for the monastery and visitors.


(March 2022)