This Holy Week, our hearts continue to be shattered and our voices cry out for the people of the Holy Land. The wanton destruction of so many innocent lives since Oct. 7, 2023 amplifies the pain of Good Friday.  

Provincial Minister Br. Lawrence Hayes, OFM, has joined more than 140 global Christian leaders in a call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and to halt the sale of weapons to Israel.  Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), the organizer of the letter, forwarded it to President Biden stating, “we implore you to have the moral courage to end U.S. complicity in the ongoing violence and, instead, do everything possible to prevent the potential genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.” The deaths since Oct. 7 of thousands of Israeli citizens and more than 32,000 Palestinians – with Gaza on the verge of mass starvation – cannot continue if there is any hope of peace for the region. 

The Franciscans have a special connection to the Holy Land as guardians of many of its holy sites and, more importantly, as ministers to the Palestinians who live there. The importance of this connection is marked by the entire Church with Good Friday collections going to the Custody of the Holy Land and its educational and social programs for the people it serves.  

What can you do? 

Pray — please include a plea for a durable cease-fire and the sending of life-saving assistance to Gaza in your Holy Week and Easter prayers of the faithful. 

Speak out — write your Members of Congress to implore their action. Franciscan Action Network has a form available for your use on its website.

Share this message with all you know to spread the word.