UPDATE: Help Christians who escaped Gaza to continue studies

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UPDATE: Help Christians who escaped Gaza to continue studies

$28,972.00

79% funded

Campaign beneficiary:


Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem


Created By:

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Tim Jackson

LifeSiteNews

Category: Persecuted Christians

Start Date: January 30, 2024

UPDATE from the Latin Patriarchate:

Jerusalem-Rome-Cologne – May 16th, 2024.

On May 16th, 2024, His Beatitude, Pierbattista Cardinal Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem entered Gaza and reached the parish of the Holy Family for a pastoral visit.

Together with His Beatitude were His Excellency, Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, Grand Hospitaller of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fr. Gabriele Romanelli, parish priest of Gaza and a small delegation. They met the suffering population to encourage them and to deliver a message of hope, solidarity, and support. His Beatitude presided the mass in the parish church with the local community. During his stay, His Beatitude paid a courtesy visit to the St. Porphyrius Orthodox parish.

The visit is also the first stage of a joint humanitarian mission of the Latin Patriarchate and the Sovereign Order of Malta, in collaboration with Malteser International and other partners, aiming at the delivery of life-saving food and medical help to the population in Gaza.

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UPDATE (7th May 2024): Msgr Shomali sends LifeSiteNews a letter from one of the students who escaped Gaza:

Dear Tim,

Peace of Christ,

One of the students who escaped Gaza to follow up her studies in Jordan described her experience during her unsafe trip from the North of Gaza, where lives our Christian community, towards the South. She joined many students who are following their studies in Jordan.

Here is an extract from her letter:

Peace of Christ.

I am S.S. and am writing with a heavy burden on my heart.

First, I thank the Lord for accompanying me on my journey out of Gaza via the Corridor of Death (as the people of Gaza call this road), for it has witnessed many tragic deaths. In fact, the chances of survival for those who adventure on it are low.

It is true that I arrived safely to Jordan to finish my last year studies in pharmacy, but I left behind a piece of my heart, friends and family who are dear to me and whom I wish were safe.

During my stay in Gaza, we took refuge in the church where we thought we were safe until a rocket hit a building belonging to the church, killing twelve family members from my mother's side, including my three first cousins.

After I had settled in Amman and started to attend classes, another piece of news hit me like a blow to the head, knocking me over. It was the death of my cousin, 18 years old, who had died of sunstroke and dehydration during her escape through the Corridor of death. When her mother realized her daughter had died, she fell into a diabetic coma.

Unfortunately, we have been through a lot of troubles during these long months of war. Deep in my heart I pray and wish that the war will end up the soonest with a minimum of casualties and that I can be reunited with my family.
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UPDATE (18th April 2024): The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pizzaballa, has written a letter of thanks to donors:


Dear Mr. Jackson,

May the Lord give you peace!

I acknowledge receipt of two bank transfers of € 18,200 and € 415 (total of € 18,615) on behalf of the friends of LifeSiteNews for emergency aid to the needy in Gaza and the Holy Land. This donation will serve to provide food and medicine in this time of war. Thank you for this donation and for your solidarity with our Christian community.

We thank the Catholic Association in Ireland for allowing us to use their payment processing platform to receive the donations, pay the fees and then transfer the full amount to the Latin Patriarchate.

Please continue to pray for our small Christian community as they give unwavering witness to their faith and hope. With assurance of our prayers for you from Jerusalem.

Sincerely in Christ,

†Pierbattista Card. Pizzaballa

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

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Msgr. Shomali has also shared the following with LifeSiteNews:

I have some good news. Five Christian students, following their studies at our catholic university in Jordan were able to leave Gaza through Egypt and to fly to Amman. They will be followed by another student.

They arrived exhausted and penniless. They are happy for having left Gaza hell to a better place.

If they can receive some help, it would be great. I am looking to support particularly three among them. An amount of 15000 dollars will be enough for this spring semester and the fall semester.

The appeal can be for Gaza university students, who study abroad. Their families, who remain in Gaza in a dire situation, cannot help them.

For this reason, it is better to leave the page open.

The LifeFunder campaign will therefore remain open to support the Gazan students with any donations made after 18th April 2024. 

The headline of the campaign has changed accordingly (the original being 'Help Christians in Gaza to survive ongoing war'), and the fundraising goal has increased by $15,000.

Thank you for all your support. 

God bless,
Tim Jackson
LifeSiteNews
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UPDATE (15th February 2024):

Msgr. Shomali has sent us photos of some of the Christians in Gaza celebrating Ash Wednesday in the Holy Family parish where they are sheltering. 

Thank you for your continued support for them during the war.

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(30th January, 2024) - The following appeal has been issued by Monsignor William Shomali, auxilary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem (LPJ), to LifeSiteNews' Tim Jackson. 

The Catholic Association in Ireland has agreed to collect the funds for the LPJ and then forward it to their account, since it is not possible to wire directly to Gaza.


---- 
Dear Friends,

I am sure you are following the tragic news out of Gaza and the humanitarian catastrophe that is developing.

Around 650 members of the 1,000 strong Christian community have taken refuge at our Holy Family complex there which includes the Church, parish halls and facilities, three convents, a school, and the special needs homes run by the Missionaries of Charity sisters where 60 people who are immobile are in residence.

You may have read how their building was attacked late last year, making the job of caring for the disabled even more difficult.

Two Catholic women, a mother and daughter, were also murdered by Israeli snipers in a devastating weekend for Christians in Gaza.

The human stories are incredibly tragic, and I am truly shaken as I personally know many of them from my frequent visits and whom I visited in their homes, shared a meal with them, or simply listened to their challenges! Some are participants in the LPJ job creation program, while others are employees of some of our sister Catholic agencies working in Gaza.

As a result of this tragedy and given the reduced space available at the Greek Orthodox complex, many have relocated to our already filled to capacity complex. We had to locally appeal to our friends in Gaza to provide tents to be set up in the courtyard and playgrounds to accommodate their needs. We are simply overwhelmed, and the means available to us are being depleted quickly and I appeal for help from our friends to alleviate the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Gaza.

While we all know what we need to do when the hostilities end based on several previous war experiences, at the present time, it is impossible to quantify during a time of active war while the destruction and human loss is on the rise.

Below is a partial list of what the great post war needs will be in broad terms:

1. Psychosocial programs for the parish and the schools.

2. Fixing damages that will arise in our immediate institutions:

a. Zeitoun location: Church, parish facilities, school, Missionaries of Charity homes

b. Remal - Holy Family School

c. Al-Shate Refugee camp - Thomas Aquinas Center

3. Fixing damages to homes of Christian families partially / severely destroyed

4. Rental support for maybe 6 months to 1 year for families whose homes were

completely destroyed.

5. Cash support to families in desperate need to rebuild their lives.

6. Food and hygiene packages to families.

Although our attention is focused on Gaza at the present time, part of our future intervention will have to take into consideration the grave needs developing on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem where the fragmentation of the West Bank and confining people to their immediate area of residence means that jobs in Israel are lost and given the war conditions all jobs in the tourism sector are lost.

Our immediate needs are to sustain those who are under our care during this active war and maintain their dignity. Given the gravity of the needs and after the blessing of His Beatitude Cardinal Pizzaballa, I appeal to you and through you to your generous donors to support us in this time of great need.

Any donation, regardless of its size will be most appreciated.

Any funds received will be fully utilized for the Gaza emergency and will be reported on with full transparency.

Many thanks in advance. You will be blessed abundantly for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Monsignor William Hanna Shomali
Auxilary Bishop
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

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