Good Friday Appeal
Some years ago I visited the Holy Land as a sole pilgrim. I booked into a safe hotel near the old city
walls because the signs of violence were everywhere. In a sense it was a perfect environment because
Jesus came to bring peace to a violent world, and he became a victim of that world. When I asked a taxi
to take me to Bethlehem (6 miles away) he deliberately dropped me off in a security zone where
I was ordered at gunpoint to move to the proper entrance. That was ‘normality’ in Jerusalem.
In this complex dispute Christians, who are in the minority, seek to find safety in other lands. The
wonderful legacy of the Holy Land which is all our responsibility is being cared for by fewer and fewer
domiciled Christians who do not have the resources to maintain the status quo.
There will be a collection on Good Friday to support the maintenance of the Holy Places and the resident
communities there. Pope Francis is asking you to respond as generously as you can. Having the
experience as a lone pilgrim I can fully endorse this appeal.
Fr Frank Ryan OMI