Emergency housing for Christian families in the Old City of Jerusalem

Giacomo Pizzi17 January 2012

For a number of years the Custody of the Holy Land, with the support of ATS pro Terra Sancta and countless donors large and small, has pursued the objective of maintaining alive the Christian presence in the Holy City. The project “Jerusalem, Stones of Memory” was designed to improve the housing conditions of disadvantaged families in Jerusalem, renovating their homes where required and at the same time creating employment opportunities for the local population.

The importance of dealing with the housing problem from the point of view of enrooting the Christian community in the Holy Land emerged clearly in the words of Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, in an interview accorded to Radio Vatican on the occasion of the Holy Land Coordination Meeting. Referring to the Latin Patriarch’s commitment to the theme of housing for Christian families, Patriarch Fouad stated that:

“Among all the things we need, housing and accommodation projects are the most urgent but also the most expensive. A family, by itself, will never have the possibility to have a house, and I am launching a new appeal to those who are able to help. We cannot place this responsibility on a single person, a church, a diocese … But if each diocese can commit to giving an apartment to a Christian family, this will make things much easier and will certainly give a large number of young Christian families the possibility to remain and avoid the temptation to emigrate. What is needed is a clear sensitivity, a sense of responsibility, a sense of communion between us and you, and we will be very grateful.” [Radio Vatican]