.- The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land has launched an initiative that allows people around the world to send their prayers to the Holy Land for their loved ones and at the same help maintain the presence of Christians in the Holy Land.
The project consists of a new Memorial Hall where the faithful can have their names and the names of loved ones engraved on a plaque that will be placed on the wall of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Thanks to an agreement with CNA, the commemorative plaques and the inscriptions in the Book of Remembrance can now be acquired with a credit or debit card via the internet through a secure server.
The press office of the Franciscans in the Holy Land has explained that despite the current economic difficulties, "This is a win-win agreement because at the same time that we are offering constant prayer for loved ones who are living or deceased, we are ensuring a Christian presence in the Holy Land, which is increasingly threatened by radicalism."
Thanks to the plaques at the Memorial Hall and the inscriptions in the Book of Remembrance, the Franciscans will be able to offer free elementary-level education for the children of Christian families that are suffering economic hardship. In addition, their School Grant Program will help Christian children to receive free education for four years. The program offers assistance to students who are more academically advanced to continue on with their studies.
The Foundation also helps adults and young Christians "in their search for employment in the Holy Land, both in the public and in the private sector. Most of our graduates from school now work in medicine, business, engineering, architecture and education."
The project will also enable the Franciscans to build affordable housing to prevent the exodus of Christians. "We have completed more than 300 units in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho and Nazareth. We also maintain hundreds of apartments in Old Jerusalem for our Christian families," the press office has indicated.
The Franciscans also operate the "Franciscan Center for the Family in Bethlehem," where counseling, food, clothing and marriage preparation are provided. They also maintain the "Franciscan Home for Youth," where Christian children aged 6-13 from dysfunctional families can find "a healthy psychological and spiritual atmosphere."
"The great majority of our young people attend our schools and reside at the House in Bethlehem. The House provides all the necessary personnel and it has social workers and a child psychologist. Each child has his or her own room and the meals are included. All the expenses are paid by the Franciscan Foundation."
To learn more about the "Memorial Hall" project that helps save the Christian presence in the Holy Land, visit: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/holyland/