Good Friday collection for holy places falls short

Good Friday Collection

The Good Friday collection for the holy places is taken up in every Catholic parish in New Zealand.

Catholics in New Zealand have given more than $840,000 to the upkeep of sacred sites in the Holy Land over the past six years, but contributions to the annual collection are falling.

In 2012 the collection raised $222,500 but last year the amount fell to $122,500, says the Commissary of the Holy Land for New Zealand, Father Anthony Malone, OFM.

The practice originated in 1887 when Pope Leo XIII directed that a Good Friday collection be taken up in every parish church throughout the world for the support of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

The Franciscans have been entrusted with the maintenance of sacred sites in the Holy Land since 1217.

In 1995 the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference asked that the money raised in the Good Friday collection in this country be allocated to specific projects.

When Father Malone attended a meeting of Holy Land commissaries from English-speaking countries that year he asked that a specific shrine and a particular charitable work be earmarked to receive future funds from the New Zealand Good Friday collection.

The shrine chosen was the Wedding Church at Cana in Galilee, which commemorates Jesus’ first public miracle — the changing of water into wine at a wedding feast.

Have a look at what Cana looks like today

The charitable work chosen was the provision of 20 university scholarships each year for Palestinian students from impoverished families.

This is in line with the Franciscan Custody’s practice of using the Good Friday collection to help local Christians — described as the “living stones” of the Holy Land — to remain in the land where Jesus walked.


Supplied. Pat McCarthy


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News category: New Zealand.

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