- Jul 10, 2020
Two Franciscan friars were sentenced to five years of probation Friday, May 4, 2018, in Altoona, Pa., after pleading no contest to endangering the welfare of children over their supervision of another friar who killed himself while under investigation for molesting more than 100 children.
The Holy Land Family Hospital of Bethlehem, operated by the Order of Malta, helps deliver about 70 percent of Bethlehem’s babies.
Pope Francis said on Thursday to always be humble when serving others, especially the least of these, remembering how much you yourself have received that you did not deserve.
Franciscan Father Francesco Patton, custos of the Holy Land says he sees unity and harmony among Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land. While some would prefer to reduce the role of religion in the region, “the meeting of the three Abrahamic communities” is essential. “You can’t solve the problem excluding religion. You can solve it only by including religion.”
As the Franciscans celebrate the 800th anniversary of their presence in the Holy Land, the sacred role the 300 friars from 34 countries continue to play is a blessing. The Church of the Visitation is one of 29 shrines in the care of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. On a busy day, the church receives up to 20 pilgrimage groups. The friars have begun to work on the garden to make it more inviting for pilgrims and visitors, so they will stay for a bit longer than the average half-hour visit and contemplate the miracle of the place.
Now that the diocesan phase of the sainthood cause of Father Paul Wattson is closed and all the documentation has been shipped off to Rome, the ball’s in the court of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Born in 1863, Wattson was a convert from Episcopalianism and went on to be an ecumenical pioneer, helping develop the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.