It’s been twenty years since this Holy Land Co-ordination group made its first visit to the region at the invitation of the Holy See, with the aim of supporting the Holy Land’s local Christian communities as they experience the political and socio-economic realities of living in Israel and Palestine.
During their stay, the bishops will be based in Ramallah with an overnight visit to Gaza.
The group will also celebrate Sunday Mass on 12 January with the small Christian community in Gaza.
The pastoral focus this year is on Christians in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah, bearing in mind that at Christmas, Gazan Christians were prevented from visiting Bethlehem or families and relatives in the West Bank.
By going to Gaza the bishops want to remind the Christian community there, that they are not forgotten.
As part of the itinerary the Co-ordination group will also meet with young people in both Jerusalem and Ramallah to listen to their hopes and experiences as they grow up in this divided society.
There will also be a meeting with Archbishop Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator to the Latin Patriarchate, and Nuncio Archbishop Girelli to discuss the current situation.
The programme will also include visits to East Jerusalem and the Comboni sisters in Bethany, as well as the school and parish in Ramallah.
This year’s Holy Land Co-ordination group visit will conclude on January 16th.