This scene is one of many depicting the persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land (specifically dating to an attack in 2013 of an ancient chapel inside the Virgin Mary and St. Abraam Monastery that was looted and burned). And, this Good Friday, we ask you to be generous in donating to our collection in their name. Once a year the Universal Catholic community takes up a collection for the Holy Land. Rami M. Qumsieh, KHS, a concerned Catholic from Bethlehem, says this: “To a large extent, the Holy Land is an abstract idea for many; I assure you, our Christian Holy Land is very real. If you have never been, you must visit on a dedicated Catholic Pilgrimage (not a commercial tour). Your faith will come alive in ways you never expected. What makes up the identity of our Christian Holy Land is (1) the Catholic community who have been keeping the faith since the very first Eucharist, and (2) the Churches standing on all locations where Christ ministered here on Earth, literally. Your contribution to this collection is needed more than ever. What our Christian Holy Land is enduring especially in terms of political pressures is enormous. Did you know that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the location Jesus was buried and Resurrected) closed its’ doors for THREE days in protest of the treatment the Church is enduring, this past February 2018? The threat is real and the least we, as Catholics worldwide, can do is pray and alleviate the financial burden our Church in the Holy Land is enduring as a result of the limited resources in the region. Please give generously, we all need our Christian Holy Land. This collection represents the single largest source of operating income for the Franciscans who care for so many of our Holy Sites.”