March 26, 2011.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri has called for a worldwide collection in order to preserve some of the Catholic institutions that have a presence in the Holy Land. The collection is scheduled to end on Good Friday. He is responsible for overseeing the Eastern Catholic Churches. In his letter, he denounces the “instability or absence of peace” that has led to an exodus of Christians from the region.
Card. Leonardo Sandri
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches “For us the act of participating in this collection is a concrete gesture of support that surpasses many words because this speaks so much more in terms of help, it's to be closer and more aware of the situations we are experiencing at the moment. This is what you have to do to help the land of Jesus.”
By publishing the letter, he hopes to call attention to the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and inspire people to offer their support.
The collection would go towards protecting some key places in the Holy Land that are mentioned throughout the Bible. The sanctuary of St. John the Baptist, St. Catherine's Parish Church in Bethlehem, and the St. Saviour Monastery in Jerusalem. Card. Leonardo Sandri
Prefect, Congregation for the Oriental Churches “This is not just to make a contribution, that hopefully everyone can give, but to live in our hearts always anchored to the land of Jesus.”
Cardinal Sandri also plans to give aid to the local communities by providing scholarships to youth, developing schools and family housing projects. This would give a life line to many Christians in Nazareth, Cana, Jericho, and throughout the area.
The cardinal says “the Collection is inherent in the cause of peace,” and something that he hopes will help the Melkite, Maronite, Syrian, Armenian and Chaldean Churches that make up the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.