Continued generosity needed for Holy Land

  • June 5, 2008

{mosimage}TORONTO - Cardinal John Foley, grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, has urged a group of North American members of one of the Catholic Church’s oldest chivalric orders to be generous in their help to the inhabitants of the Holy Land.

Foley spoke to several dozen members at a reception June 1 that crowned a weekend of activities related to the annual meeting of the North American lieutenants of the equestrian order held in Toronto May 30-June 1.

Foley reminded the group that their contributions are important sustenance for Catholic institutions in Israel and the areas under the Palestinian Authorities. Their financial donations are key to supporting Catholic schools, seminaries, community centres, health-care facilities and the University of Bethlehem which serve both Christians and non-Christians, he said.

Some 32 people attended the annual meeting. This included the lieutenants, their wives, Governor General Pier Luigi Parola, who administers the order’s office in Rome, and the cardinal.

Clare Beingessner, lieutenant of the Toronto lieutenancy, reported that the meeting was held to review the organization and finances and activities of each lieutenancy, hear reports on the order’s initiatives in the Holy Land, report on new programs and consider fund-raising programs.

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem traces its roots to the first Crusade in the Holy Land in the 11th century. Its members had responsibility for guarding the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Over the centuries it has transformed from being a military order to now being an organization of men and women who assist the church’s activities in the Holy Land. The order also fosters the practice of Christian life and devotion to the Catholic Church among its members.

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