Jordan: Parishioners raise funds for restoration of Our Lady of Grace Church in Fuheis

FUHEIS – Last May, parishioners of Our Lady of Grace in Fuheis inaugurated their newly refurbished Church after two weeks of renovation work. The necessary funds for this project were entirely collected by the parishioners

On this morning of June, Father Imad Alamat is pleased  to show us around the recently renovated church. Part of the roof, the insulation, light and water systems were repaired and the painting were redone. To complete this project, the parishioners raised 35,000 euros. “It was a parish project close to our heart and we wanted to do this together,” explains Father Alamat.

The city of Fuheis has two Latin churches and two Patriarchate schools.  It is known for its almost entirely Christian population. Out of 10,000 inhabitants, 95% are Christians (Latin and Orthodox).  These Christians originally came from the neighboring village of Salt, and settled in Fuheis in the 19th century.  The first church, completed in 1906, is today transformed into a parish hall, a testimony  to its historical roots.

Every year, the vitality of the city and the Church certainly attracts new families. Taking advantage of this development, Father Alamat, the Sisters and the faithful developed a rich pastoral program. Among the many ongoing initiatives is the two-year “volunteer” training program launched by the parish for young people to raise awareness of the service of the Church in all its forms. A long-term training that is very successful.


Claire Guigou

St. Paul Parish in Jubeiha will soon have a church!

AMMAN – In the north of Amman, the parish of St. Paul in Jubeiha is about to inaugurate the first part of its new Church under construction. It is a great joy for the parishioners, after 35 years of waiting. The Grand Magisterium of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher and the German Lieutenancy will support this ambitious project.

“Thirty years ago, there were only trees”

Just north of Amman, on the outskirts of the city, is a large building that houses the school and the parish of St. Paul in Jubeiha. This neighborhood of the Jordanian capital is slowly expanding to the countryside. . Father Tarek, the parish priest, explains: “Thirty years ago, there were only trees. Then Father Labib arrived and began to pray, initially in various houses and then in this building built in 1991 “. Little by little, the Christian community of Saint Paul in Jubeiha settled.

In 1993, Father Labib completed the work of a mixed school; an institution which today welcomes 700 students, both Christians and Muslims. In the same building, on the second floor, Mass was celebrated and the number of people attending increased.  “Many families in the surrounding villages moved to Jubeiha, a somewhat less populated area. While there were 1,200 families five years ago, there are now 1,500, or nearly 7,500 faithful. The density of the parish is also explained by its diversity: Orthodox, Latin and Syriac attend the same Mass on Sunday.

A church to welcome this large community

Over time, the second floor of the existing building was getting small for the growing population. In 2013, with the help of a local benefactor, the parishioners embarked on this project to build a new church across from the existing building. Unfortunately, the work stopped in September 2014 for lack of funds.

“There was no progress for two years.  During this time, we continued to regularly celebrate Masses in the unfinished Church. We prayed so much for the work to resume, “explains Father Tarek. In the spring of 2016, the faithful organized everything to celebrate Easter in the structure under construction; a landmark event for the entire community, which was not without risks, the bad weather has not spared the site.”

In order to  put an end to this temporary situation, Fr. Tarek and other  parishioners were mobilized to raise the funds.  A campaign which made it possible to raise nearly 220 000 JDs, a sum enough to initiate the resumption of works but not to complete them.  In order to finish this ambitious project, new funds are necessary.  On Thursday  27 April Dr. Brümmer and Cornelia Kimberger, respectively Lieutenant and Head of the Holy Land Commission  of the German Lieutenancy of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre came on a visit, a preliminary step to contribute their help and support.

To end this temporary situation, Father Tarek and all the parishioners campaigned to raise funds and raised nearly 220,000 JD, an amount sufficient for the resumption of work but not enough to complete this ambitious project, new funds are needed. Also, on Thursday, April 27, Dr Brümmer, lieutenant of the German Lieutenancy of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher and Cornelia Kimberger, president of the Holy Land Commission of the German Lieutenancy visited the site and offered support.

Inauguration of the ground floor planned for this summer

Thanks to the funds raised by the parishioners, construction work resumed in October 2015. “We are so happy. “says Father Tarek. “We have waited 35 years for a Church… “In front of the existing building, construction is in full swing and the concrete mixer is operating at full speed. The Church building will have two which will include a huge parish hall on the ground floor and a spacious Church on the first floor. Father Tarek, is confident, and would like to inaugurate the lower floor this summer.  To achieve this, the Latin Patriarchate projects office is seeking sufficient funds to complete the first floor and procure the liturgical materials



Additional floor for Naour school to open soon

NAOUR – In July, Naour’s school will inaugurate its second floor, to accommodate two new classes for the next school year that starts in September, with the support of the Grand Magisterium of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

The school of Naour, established in 1954 by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, will inaugurate a new floor in July 2017, which for the coming school year will open two additional classes, the “ninth” and the “tenth “grades (15-year-olds and 16-year-olds). At present, the school has eight classrooms, a room for religious instruction (Christian and Muslim) and a room equipped with computers, a laboratory and a modest library. The construction work began on March 27 and is progressing well while the entire school has been looking forward with great anticipation for more than ten years, to the opening of two new classes that will welcome new students.

The Naour school now has 224 students from 6 to 15 years old, fourteen teachers, both Christian and Muslim. The second floor will also consist of three classrooms, a teachers’ room, a toilet, a physics and science laboratory and a much more equipped library.

The purpose of this project is to meet the growing demand from families. This Christian school operated by the Patriarchate is very popular: it welcomes children regardless of religion or social class and ensures a quality education without requiring high tuition fees. In Naour, which has a population of 50,000 people traditionally living in agriculture and commerce and with a high unemployment rate, the school expansion project is of great importance to families.

The school will soon hire new teachers in order to continue to provide quality education to the growing number of young people and to prepare them for their future education in college and university.

Not far from the school in another building is a kindergarten and the Parish Church of the Sacred Heart, with Father Rifat Bader as parish priest. Since 2015, the Church also has a sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, the first in Jordan, which is the site of numerous and frequent pilgrimages.


Soon a new playground for the children of Aboud!

May 5

ABOUD – On Tuesday,  May 2, 2017, the Pontifical Mission of Jerusalem granted funds to the Latin Patriarchate to launch the renovation of the kindergarten of the parish of Aboud.  An area has been designated for a new playground for the children in a more friendly and secure environment.

The Latin parish of Aboud has a kindergarten that does not have adequate standards of safety and cleanliness. This playground is important for families and especially children, where they can spend an enjoyable time together.  Work on the site will include some demolition and restructuring, with painting of walls and fence, installation of rubber padding under the games area, artificial grass, plastering, concrete protection and maintenance of some existing game equipment, electrical and mechanical work and adding new playing areas for slides, swings, benches tables, etc.

Thanks to the funds granted by the Pontifical Mission, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at the signing of the contract with Father Iyad Twal, Director of Schools in Palestine, and the efforts of the Latin Patriarchate project office.  The new playground will offer children a place to play and have fun, thus contributing to  their physical and mental well-being.