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With the Families of the Holy Land
The Foundation “International Family Centre in Nazareth” in the Holy Land, in preparation for the Visit of Pope Francis

The Vatican Foundation that is overseeing the construction of a “House of the Pope”, in Nazareth, for families from all over the world—in cooperation with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Pontifical Council for the Family—has promoted a series of meetings devoted to families in view of Pope Francis’ Pastoral Visit scheduled for the end of May.
The Vatican Foundation, presided by Salvatore Martinez, and entrusted to the ecclesial movement Renewal in the Holy Spirit, has worked to initiate a program of preparatory activities necessary for raising awareness and for the spiritual and pastoral capacitation of families in the Holy Land, who will be not only the first addressees but especially responsible protagonists of the International Centre as it continues towards its completion.
Since Tuesday, February 18th, the President of the Foundation and a delegation of the same Foundation are in Palestine (Bethlehem), Israel (Nazareth) and Jordan (Amman) to animate some of evangelization meetings and formation open to all families or reserved couples who are already involved in activities of pastoral animation.
Together with the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, the speakers will H.E. Msgr. William Hanna Shomali, Vicar General and Patriarchal of Palestine; H.E. Msgr. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel; and H.E. Msgr. Elias Maroun Laham, Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan and delegate for the pastoral care of the family in the Holy Land.
Salvatore Martinez said: “The news of Holy Father Francis’ Pastoral Visit to the Holy Land, in the footsteps of the Trip made fifty years ago by the Servant of God Paul VI, has raised great expectations not only among Catholics, but also in ecumenical and inter-religious circles. Pope Francis’ pressing invitation to dialogue has not merely been welcomed but also encouraged. Families can act as important social stabilizers and be an efficient antidote to religious fundamentalism. The family is a subject that is close to the hearts of all three monotheist religions that are being challenged by modernity, and often find themselves unprepared on an educational level and when it comes to passing on the faith to the new generations. Therefore, the Vatican Foundation ‘International Family Centre in Nazareth,’ in coordination with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Pontifical Council for the Family, wants to be present and active in a twofold direction, providing both spiritual and material support to the families of the Holy Land and the east of the Mediterranean Basin, and encouraging a new protagonism.”

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