One of the many activities that the Franciscan friars of the Custody of the Holy Land have tirelessly and persistently carried out during the course of their eight centuries there has been that of protecting and caring for the edifices that commemorate the places of Christian memory – sanctuaries and Churches – as well as the residences where Christian families live. Today, through the activities of its Technical Office, which coordinates construction, renovation and preservation activities, it is possible to keep alive the Christian presence in the Holy Land, and in particular in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
The Custody currently owns about 400 dwellings in the Old City of Jerusalem, which are rented for symbolic amounts to Christians, providing lodging for approximately 2,000 of the neediest among the faithful. The project that the Custody of the Holy Land intends to carry out this year provides for the renovation of approximately 40 dwellings.
Apart from improving the living conditions for those most in need, one of the objectives of the project is to train the personnel who carry out the construction and maintenance on these residences, so as to create new possibilities of employment for local youth while at the same time teaching them a trade.
For further information on the project “Jerusalem, Stones of memory”, please see the site www.jerusalem.stonesofmemory.org.