Jordan : Lottery benefits Our Lady of Mount home in Anjara

AMMAN – On Tuesday, June 20, Our Lady of the Visitation parish organized the grand raffle draw for the benefit of Our Lady of the Mount home.

In front of the Church of Our Lady of Peace Center, the faithful from various towns specially came that evening to attend the big draw for Our Lady of the Mount. Fadhi who is originally from Madaba sold 500 tickets to family and friends and carefully checked all the numbers drawn. Four young people were in charge of rotating the large spinning wheel where the tickets of the lucky winners were drawn from under the watchful eye of four observers.  The lucky winner of the grand prize, a 2017 Toyota Corolla, was Fozy Samarneh.

At the initiative of Father Hugo and the parishioners, this lottery, which raised 40,000 JD, will help Our Lady of Mount home. In this region marked by poverty, children with disability are welcomed at Our Lady of the Mount home to a family setting, supervised by the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and other volunteers. This is a project being carried out by the Latin Patriarchate in collaboration with other associations, and will also rely on the help of new benefactors for its completion.

Claire Guigou

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Caritas Jordan, French Embassy sign agreement in support of Iraqi refugees

French Ambassador in Jordan David Bertolotti and representative of Caritas Jordan for Iraqi Refugees Wael Suleiman signed an agreement, on Tuesday, June 13, valid for one year with an amount of 250,000 euros. The agreement is designed to support the training and vocational integration programme of Iraqi refugees, most of whom fled Iraq in 2014 and are currently living in Madaba and Karak.

The signing ceremony, which took place at the residence of the French ambassador, was attended by acting nuncio of the Holy See in Amman Monsignor Roberto Cona, Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan Fr. Rif’at Bader, parish priest of the Karak Roman Catholic Church Fr. Boulos Baqa’in, and a number of Caritas Jordan senior officials.

The French Ambassador referred to the final recommendations of the joint Jordanian-French conference which was held in Paris on September 8, 2015, on the victims of religious and ethnic violence in the Middle East, where the participants expressed their readiness to work for the protection of the diverse cultural, religious and heritage which is invaluable for the region and the entire humanity. He stressed that France “remains committed to respecting the freedom of opinion and belief, including religious freedom as well as religious diversity in the Middle East, and it will continue to do so.”

This Caritas project falls within this framework as it is financed by a French Foreign Ministry fund which was launched at the Paris Conference and is designed to support the victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East. A follow-up conference was held in Madrid on May 24, 2017 to underline the international community’s support for cultural diversity in the Middle East. The fund is intended to enable all peoples of the region to live in their countries safely and enjoy full citizenship.

For his part, Caritas Jordan Director Wael Suleiman expressed his appreciation for the French support which reflects the distinguished relations between Jordan and the two friendly peoples. He stressed its importance bettering the life of Iraqis and the local communities in Karak and Madaba. He noted that a school will be established in Karak this year designed to teach handicrafts to Iraqi refugees and members of the local community.

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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



A social-cultural center for young people in Taybeh

TAYBEH – To meet the need for supervised and animated activities for young people and children of the village, a social center will open shortly in the parish of Taybeh.

At the initiative of Father Johnny Abu Khalil, Latin priest of this town, a social center for young people aged 8 to 25 will soon open. In the months that followed his arrival in this last entirely Christian town in Palestine, Father Johnny discovered that there were very few activities available to the youth after school. They spend their time on the streets, smoking and drinking in cars until late at night. The study carried out jointly by the parish priest and the Latin Patriarchate showed that this lack of social and entertainment centers encourage this situation. It should also be noted that the youth face obvious economic problems in Palestine: few employment opportunities, confinement in the territory with very limited financial resources.

So, this Center aims to recreate social links among young people and to give hope for the future. New facilities will be made available in the buildings: a recreation room, a library, a parish garden and a coffee shop. A team will welcome the youth and provide daily activities in the center. Young people can invest their time and offer their services with remuneration, in operating the coffee shop which will be open to everyone. Families will also be welcome in the Center to enjoy the garden in a friendly and healthy atmosphere, a way to ease tensions and promote peace, conducive to the professional integration of the young people.

This project is linked to the Latin Patriarchate and its Project Development Office is seeking financial support for the completion of the new Center where young people can grow and develop in a serene setting. Families can as well experience some inner peace in this place of encounter

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.