Special Event announcement!
The Orlando Region of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land is proud to announce their 2016 Regional Gala. It will be held at the Westin Lake Mary, Orlando North, on Saturday, September 10th, 2016. For more information about attending, supporting, or volunteering for this event, please take a moment to contact Faith Libbe, the regional representative.
Orlando, Florida, is an area of great interest to the Franciscan Foundation. Many of the wonderful people of this region have worked tirelessly for the Christians in the Holy Land, and have held several very successful events to raise funds for the cause. Pictured to the left are some of the leading members of the Orlando area.
“WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO DO, ESPECIALLY WHERE THERE IS LESS HOPE, IS TO GIVE HOPE, WHERE THERE IS LESS POSSIBILITY, IS TO GIVE OPPORTUNITIES, AND WHERE THERE IS SOMETIMES LESS FAITH, IS TO GIVE FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD.”
–Fr. Marwan Di’des, ofm, Director of the Terra Santa Schools
History of the Region
The Orlando Region has been active since 2004, and has held many events, dinners, and other gatherings to raise funds and awareness for the Christians in the Holy Land. They have also been active since 2008 in organizing pilgrimages to the Holy Land to create an awareness of the plight of the Christians there. Contact the Regional Representative for more information on upcoming pilgrimages.
Bethlehem Christmas Program
Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ some 2000 years ago is now a “walled” city, a virtual prison. Yet, the light of Christ will not be extinguished. People of good will are reaching out in this time of need and so His light continues to burn brightly!
The Bethlehem Christmas program, which became a reality several years ago, has been supported by many of the Catholic faithful and is headed up by Mrs. Faith Libbe, Regional Representative for FFHL. Mrs. Libbe and her committee strive to raise funds in their Region for this wonderful event, an event which brings joy to so many children whose lives have been devoid of happiness due to difficult economic woes. “To be able to give a gift that brings joy into a little child’s life at Christmas time and to see the smiles on their precious faces, makes all the effort involved in raising these funds a true labor of love,” says Faith.
“If you could see the smile on the faces of these children as they received their presents, you would well up with joy for them, it’s such a small gesture but an important one to the children of Bethlehem,” added Sr. Maria Grech, Director of the Franciscan Family Center in Bethlehem.
Fr. Marwan, Principal of the Terra Sancta School in Bethlehem, is very appreciative of the support from U.S. Christians towards this Christmas program. “Giving gifts at Christmas is a joyful encounter but the gift of seeing the beaming eyes of these little marginalized children as they open their presents,” says Fr. Marwan, “is truly a gift from God.”
As you sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” this Christmas season, please consider sharing the love and joy of Christmas by participating in the “Bethlehem Christmas Program.”
SUPPORT THE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
Regional Core Committee
Rev. Mark Wajda, Chaplain
Eileen McClelland, OFS