A letter sent from the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land in September to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., recognized the support of the Diocese of Trenton for the 2017 Pontifical Good Friday Collection. The Commissariat of the Holy Land received a check for $171,949.89 from the Diocese in August, reflecting the donations made by parishioners.
Franciscan Father Larry C. Dunham, commissariate of the Holy Land USA, and Franciscan Father John-Sebastian, secretariat and vice commissary, expressed appreciation on behalf of Holy Land Christians and pilgrims who benefit from the collection, which is held at the request of Pope Francis in parishes around the world. The letter states that the collection, “provides critical support for Christians in the Holy Land, including pastoral care, schools, housing, employment, refugee assistance and services for the vulnerable young and elderly. The funds also support the sacred shrines, visited by more than 1.5 million pilgrims annually and entrusted to the care of the Holy Land Franciscans for 800 years.”
Last year’s Pontifical Good Friday Collection supported 29 parishes, four homes for orphans and three academic institutions, helped keep schools open for more than 10,000 students, supported 120 men preparing to be priests or brothers, helped rehabilitate 80 homes, provided senior care facilities, and created 1,500 jobs in the Holy Land for Christians.