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EOHSJ Holy Land Commission visits Patriarchate projects

EOHSJ Holy Land Commission visits Patriarchate projects

IMG_03481-300x225HOLY LAND – The Holy Land Commission of the Grand Magisterium of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher visited the projects of the Latin Patriarchate on November 5-12 2013.  The members came to assess the progress of the ongoing projects and to discuss potential projects for 2014., The delegation was composed of Dr. Christa von Siemens, President of the Commission to the Holy Land, and Professor Thomas McKiernan. The absence of the late Dr. Michael Whelan who died last summer was greatly felt.  The delegation was accompanied in their visits by Fr. Humam Khzouz, General Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The EOHSJ Commission of the Holy Land regularly visits Palestine, Israel and Jordan to determine the progress and further needs of projects proposed by the Latin Patriarchate.  Once studied, detailed records are presented to the Grand Magisterium, which after analysis, takes the decision to support a particular project according to the priority of the Patriarchate.  Accurate reporting is undertaken, as Fr. Humam Khzouz oversees the development and progress of the projects.  Twice a year, members of the Commission of the Grand Magisterium visit the projects funded by the EOHSJ to see the progress of projects until completion.

Also joining the delegation during the visits were Habib Sleibi and Adib Ibrahim both engineers and Fr. Bashir Bader, Assistant Administrator for projects in Jordan.

Ongoing and proposed projects

This seven-day visit allowed for the inspection of the 2013 projects, and to study and plan projects for 2014.  The Commission was able to account for the improvement  or completion of the Birzeit kindergarten.  This  was also the occasion for the blessing in the presence of Fr. Fayzal Hijazeen, Director of the Patriarchate schools in Israel and Palestine.  The following 2013 projects were also visited in:  Naur (two convents, one for the priest, and for the sisters), Amman ( Our Lady of Peace Center), Fuheis (Rectory), Wahadneh (New Rectory) and Ajloun (restoration of the parish church).

For the coming year, new projects will include:  Jenin Church, Parish Hall and Rectory;  Weibdeh convent for the Sisters); Wassieh-Smakieh renovation of rectory, school and parish hall); Rabbah chapel renovation, Madaba parish multipurpose room;  Mafraq school expansion;  Irbid rectory renovation;  Zarka renovation of parish offices and large living room;  and Ashrafieh- Amman renovation of a school section.

Work is also planned in Jerusalem, which includes the renovation of the Ecclesiastical courts and the Vicariate in Nazareth.  More than a dozen sites were visited in a few days, which are parts of the image of a living Church of the Holy Land through the continued support of the Grand Magisterium.

Christophe Lafontaine