The annual Holy Land Coordination began on Saturday 14 January, when Bishops from 11 countries gather in Jordan to meet with the Christian community.
There are more than 200,000 Christians in Jordan. Its Catholic parishes, schools and social projects form an important part of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
As well as visiting parishioners and young people throughout Jordan, the Bishops will be meeting Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria who have sought sanctuary in the country over recent years. These communities are assisted by the local Church and the Bishops will be returning to some of the projects they have previously visited, to reaffirm the support of the Universal Church.
The Bishops will also be meeting with diplomats and parliamentarians to discuss wider developments across the Holy Land. Jordan plays an important role including hosting more than two million Palestinian refugees and tending holy sites in Jerusalem. The local Catholic Bishops have recently called for efforts to address the increasing violence and political instability in the region, a message that was underscored by Pope Francis in his speech to the diplomatic corps this week.
As always, pilgrimage is a central aspect of the Holy Land Coordination. During their programme, the Bishops will be celebrating Mass at the site of the Baptism of the Lord and exploring how pilgrimages from their own countries can best continue to support the local Christian communities.
On Thursday night Bishop Nicholas Hudson, Chair of the Holy Land Coordination, concelebrated the ordination of two new priests, in Amman’s Church of the Good Shepherd, alongside Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Rt Rev Nicolo Anselmi
Bishop of Rimini, Italy
Rt Rev Udo Bentz
Auxiliary Bishop of Mainz, Germany
Rt Rev Peter Burcher
Bishop Emeritus of Reykjavik, Iceland
Rt Rev Christopher Chessun
Anglican Bishop of Southwark, Church of England
Rt Rev William Crean
Bishop of Cloyne, Ireland
Rt Rev Michel Dubost
Bishop Emeritus of Evry-Corbeil-Essonnes, France
Rt Rev Martin Hayes
Bishop of Kilmore, Ireland
Rt Rev Nicholas Hudson
Chair of the HLC
Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, England & Wales
Rt Rev David Malloy
Bishop of Rockford, United States of America
Most Rev William Nolan
Archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland
Rt Rev Paul Terrio
Bishop Emeritus of St Paul, Alberta, Canada
Most Rev Joan Enric Vives Sicilia
Bishop of Urgell, Spain
Most Rev Cyril Vasil
Bishop of Kosice, Slovakia
This year’s Holy Land Coordination runs from 14 – 19 January 2023.
Since 1998, the Bishops’ Conference’s Department for International Affairs has organised the annual meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land.
The Holy Land Co-ordination focuses on the three ‘P’s: Prayer, Pilgrimage and Persuasion. Prayer is the framework of the annual meeting, with daily celebration of the Eucharist, often in different rites. Pilgrimage to the local Catholic communities is always a key part of the visit. The ‘Persuasion’ component usually occurs when the delegates return to their home countries and share their views with parliamentarians, diplomats and the media on a wide range of issues affecting the lives of Christians in the Holy Land.