Posts made in March, 2020

HOLY LAND: Pastoral Guidelines for Holy Week following restrictions due to COVID-19

Posted on Mar 31, 2020

Livestreamed Triduum celebrations are certainly important and useful but can never replace the physical presence in the celebrations, which for us is constitutive. It is much more useful and fruitful for communities in pray in the family.

by Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin [Roman Catholic] Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and in the territories of our diocese has resulted in serious and drastic limitations in our ability to participate in divine worship. Pastoral activities and especially the celebration of the sacraments have been largely suspended for several weeks, including participation in the Eucharistic celebration. As we have already said several times, it is a novelty that we have never experienced before and has challenged us to find new ways and forms for our celebrations. Holy Week will begin in a few days. It is the heart of the liturgical year, and even on this occasion, our chances of celebration will be very limited.

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Israeli Communities Unite Over Virus Response — Except for One

Posted on Mar 31, 2020

Seventeen percent of Israelis doctors, a quarter of nurses and almost half of all pharmacists are Arabs. These men and women have been on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19 from the very start, witnesses to the epidemic.

Image: In Bnei Brak, the number of confirmed cases nearly doubled in the last three days, from 267 on Friday to 508 on Monday.

In Bnei Brak, the number of confirmed cases nearly doubled in the last three days, from 267 on Friday to 508 on Monday.Credit…Dan Balilty for The New York Times

by Zev Chafets*

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Day after day, Israel toughens its measures to fight coronavirus. The measures are an escalating version of the same quarantine message. In a televised message on Wednesday night, a frustrated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it in blunt terms. “You must stay at home. Stay at home — stay alive.”

The religious and ethnic communities of Israel, divided in so much, now find themselves on the same side against a common enemy. Not all communities, however, are equally ready to shoulder the burden of compliance.

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Not since the Black Plague have Jerusalem’s holy alleys fallen so still

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

Image: Adeeb Joudeh, standing in front of the now-locked Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City (Photo Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post)

Adeeb Joudeh, standing in front of the now-locked Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City (Photo Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post)

By Steve Hendrix, Jerusalem bureau chief, The Washington Post

March 27, 2020 at 1:58 p.m. PDT

JERUSALEM — Adeeb Joudeh, standing in front of the now-locked Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City, had a pretty specific answer when asked when the church last closed to the public like this:

“It was the year 1349, at the time of the Black Plague,” he said, holding the key that had shut things down a day earlier and back in the 14th century as well.

They measure time differently here in the oldest section of one of the world’s oldest cities, the ancient, dispute-riddled and spiritually dense center of three major religions. Yet it takes an eternity to recall the last time Christians, Jews and Muslims, each claiming various overlapping quarters of the Old City, were kept from their eternal rounds.

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Celebrations at the Holy Sepulchre

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

 

“Following the evolution of the situation in the Holy Land, we, the leaders of the three communities to whom Divine Providence has entrusted the grace and honour of making the praise of God resound in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre and of the Resurrection, wish to communicate that the celebrations of the three Greek-Orthodox, Latin and Armenian communities will continue regularly”.

The official note is signed by Brother Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land, His Beatitude Theophilus III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and His Excellency Nourhan Manugian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem.

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Still at the beginning of a long journey

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

Regarding the pandemic, Rima Tarazi writes from Palestine

Needless to say that our thoughts are with all during these very difficult times in the history of the human race. I hope you are doing well and coping with the challenges as best as you can.

Living in the comfort zone of a century soaring with scientific and technological achievements, never, in our wildest dreams, did we foresee that a minute invisible virus could shake the very roots of our existence and our grand schemes for a better world.

Well, here we are, now, as helpless as crawling infants trying to uncover the mysteries of their world.

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BREAKING: First cases of Coronavirus reported in Gaza

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

It’s difficult enough to be in the U.S. during the COVID-19 outbreak. And when I think about the conditions in Gaza, I’m absolutely terrified for the Palestinians trapped there.

As of today, Israeli officials have only allowed 200 testing kits into Gaza. [1]

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Br. Patton: “Now we need the pilgrimage of prayer”

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

March 18, 2020

“There’s a time for everything under the sky,” says the Qoelet. A few weeks ago we reported a large number of pilgrims present in the Holy Land: their growth was clearly visible in the streets and Shrines.

A few weeks later, the situation and the statistics are quite different due to the spread of the Coronavirus also in Israel and Palestine. A drastic drop, recorded by the Franciscan Pilgrims’ Office in Jerusalem: The Office has cancelled all the masses booked by groups of pilgrims in all the sanctuaries of the Holy Land from March 12. Thousands of celebrations were still held in January and February, and by March their number dropped to zero.

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The Catholic schools in Gaza and the English language

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

February 18, 2020

It is from a school path as “open” as possible that the very small Christian community in Gaza tries to start again. The Catholic Institutes – the one run by the Sisters of the Rosary, and the two of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem – welcome about 2100 students, from kindergarten to high school. With one paradox: about 90% of them are Muslim. There are only 176 Christian students.

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With all eyes on Covid-19, refugee suffering continues in Greece, Turkey and Syria

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

by Kevin Clarke, America’s chief correspondent and the author of Oscar Romero: Love Must Win Out (Liturgical Press), March 19, 2020

With most global media and political attention fixed on the coronavirus pandemic, other significant humanitarian challenges have fallen out of focus, no matter how grave. Among them is the ongoing refugee dilemma on the Aegean islands of Greece and at the borders of Turkey.

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Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib will not seek re-election in order to join the Jesuits

Posted on Mar 21, 2020

Born to Iranian immigrants in Maryland, he is the first and only Iranian-American to hold statewide elected office.

by Zac Davis, associate editor for digital strategy at America and a host of the podcast “Jesuitical.”

Cyrus Habib, the lieutenant governor of Washington, will not seek re-election and is entering the Society of Jesus this fall, the lieutenant governor and the Society of Jesus confirmed to America on March 19.

“I’ve felt a calling to dedicate my life in a more direct and personal way to serving the marginalized, empowering the vulnerable, healing those suffering from spiritual wounds, and accompanying those discerning their own futures,” Mr. Habib wrote in an essay published in America, explaining his announcement.

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