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