Bishops from around the world taking part in this year’s Holy Land Co-ordination today celebrated Mass at the Carmelite Convent in Bethlehem.
The Carmel was founded by Mariam Baouardy – Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified. Sister Mariam, a Palestinian Discalced Carmelite nun of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, will soon be declared a saint. Last month, December 2014, Pope Francis issued a decree recognising the miracles needed for her canonisation.
The Most Rev Patrick Kelly, Archbishop Emeritus of Liverpool, gave the introduction and homily.
You can read Archbishop Kelly’s homily and the poem he refers to, The Shroud by George Every by using the links below or to the right of this article.
Since 1998, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has organised the annual meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land and at the invitation of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land. It’s often more simply called the Holy Land Co-ordination.
Mandated by the Holy See, the Holy Land Co-ordination meets every January in the Holy Land, focusing on prayer, pilgrimage and persuasion with the aim of acting in solidarity with the Christian community there and sharing in the pastoral life of the local Church as it experiences intense political and social-economic pressure.