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Day of Fasting & Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation in the Holy Land

October 17, 2023

Dear St. Ambrose Academy community,

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we stand in solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land. Pierbattista Cardinal Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land on Tuesday, October 17.

See Please spread the word and participate as you are able “to deliver to God the Father our thirst for peace, justice, and reconciliation,” in the words of Cardinal Pizzaballa.

On a more private note: you’ve probably seen in the news that the Holy Father is in touch with Father Gabriel Romanelli, the pastor of Holy Family Church, the only Catholic parish in Gaza.

Several St. Ambrose Academy community members belong to the international papal Order that supports the charitable works of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and we support this parish in Gaza directly. I will paste in some photos below from Holy Family School’s recent summer camp, sent to us by our contact with the school, Jeff Abood. We are told that Father Romanelli is currently in Bethlehem and is unable to get to Gaza, but we heard through Abeer Hanna, the LPJ Holy Family school administrator, that Father Romanelli’s assistant Father Yousef, who is in Gaza, contacted him yesterday with the following message:

“There are 15 families now living in the convent. He told us that most of the family’s homes were destroyed while they were in the convent. The situation in the convent is difficult as they are now suffering from lack of food, water, petrol for the generator as the electricity is cut off. We pray and hope the war ends soon. Thank you for your sympathy and love.” – Father Yousef, Holy Family Church, as relayed by Abeer Hanna, LPJ school administrator who oversees Holy Family school

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

Your sister in Christ,

Joan Carey, Executive Director, St. Ambrose Academy



“Since he is not the God of disorder but of peace” (1 Cor. 14,33)

Dear brothers and sisters,

May the Lord indeed give us His peace!

The pain and dismay at what is happening is great. Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of a political and military crisis. We have suddenly been catapulted into a sea of unprecedented violence. The hatred, which we have unfortunately already been experiencing for too long, will increase even more, and the ensuing spiral of violence will create more destruction. Everything seems to speak of death.

Yet, in this time of sorrow and dismay, we do not want to remain helpless. We cannot let death and its sting (1 Cor 15:55) be the only word we hear.

That is why we feel the need to pray, to turn our hearts to God the Father. Only in this way we can draw the strength and serenity needed to endure these hard times, by turning to Him, in prayer and intercession, to implore and cry out to God amidst this anguish.

On behalf of all the Ordinaries of the Holy Land, I invite all parishes and religious communities to a day of fasting and prayer for peace and reconciliation.

We ask that on Tuesday, October 17, everyone hold a day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer. Let us organize prayer times with Eucharistic adoration and with the recitation of the Rosary to Our Blessed Virgin Mary. Although most probably in many parts of our diocese’s circumstances will not permit large gatherings, it is possible to organize simple and sober common moments of prayer in parishes, religious communities, and families.

This is the way we all come together despite everything, and unite collectively in prayer, to deliver to God the Father our thirst for peace, justice, and reconciliation.

With sincere prayers for all,

+Pierbattista Card. Pizzaballa

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

President of the ACOHL


October 17, 2023
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