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Ash Wednesday service in GazaLatin Patriarchate

LifeFunder: Donate here to help Christians in the Holy Land

(LifeSiteNews) — The penitential season of Lent has taken on a new meaning for Christians in Gaza as they suffer amid the ravages of war. The majority of those taking shelter in the Holy Family Parish Compound — the refugees  number over 650 —  have had their homes destroyed. The supply of food and basic necessities is difficult, since roads to Gaza have been blockaded or destroyed, and direct aid to these Christians can now be delivered only  by helicopter. 

The community is also mourning the loss of two women in the compound who were killed in December by Israeli sniper fire.

Yet, the liturgical life of these Christians — many Catholic, joined by many Orthodox — presses on inexorably. As pictures shared with LifeSiteNews by the auxiliary bishop of Jerusalem, Mgr. William Shomali, show, they celebrated Ash Wednesday in Holy Family Catholic Church, in the compound where they are taking refuge.

READ: Catholic bishop in the Holy Land reveals the war’s devastating impact on Christians

Bishop Shomali recently explained the situation of the Christians in Gaza and made an appeal to anyone capable of providing financial assistance, stating, “We are simply overwhelmed, and the means available to us are being depleted quickly, and I appeal for help from our friends to alleviate the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Gaza.”

Help Christians in Gaza to survive ongoing war

Shomali shared with LifeSiteNews what the Christian community in Gaza will need beyond their most pressing needs for basic sustenance:

While we all know what we need to do when the hostilities end based on several previous war experiences, at the present time, it is impossible to quantify during a time of active war while the destruction and human loss is on the rise.

Below is a partial list of what the great post-war needs will be in broad terms:

  1. Psychosocial programs for the parish and the schools.
  2. Fixing damages that will arise in our immediate institutions:
    1. Zeitoun location: Church, parish facilities, school, Missionaries of Charity homes
    2. Remal – Holy Family School
    3. Al-Shate Refugee camp – Thomas Aquinas Center
  3. Fixing damages to homes of Christian families partially / severely destroyed
  4. Rental support for maybe 6 months to 1 year for families whose homes were completely destroyed.
  5. Cash support to families in desperate need to rebuild their lives.
  6. Food and hygiene packages to families.

Although our attention is focused on Gaza at the present time, part of our future intervention will have to take into consideration the grave needs developing on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem where the fragmentation of the West Bank and confining people to their immediate area of residence means that jobs in Israel are lost and, given the war conditions, all jobs in the tourism sector are lost.

Our immediate needs are to sustain those who are under our care during this active war and maintain their dignity. Given the gravity of the needs and after the blessing of His Beatitude Cardinal Pizzaballa, I appeal to you and through you to your generous donors to support us in this time of great need.

Any donation, regardless of its size will be most appreciated.

Any funds received will be fully utilized for the Gaza emergency and will be reported on with full transparency.

Many thanks in advance. You will be blessed abundantly for your generosity.


Monsignor William Hanna Shomali

Auxilary Bishop

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

LifeFunder: Donate here to help Christians in the Holy Land