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Franciscan Friary
St. Francis Str. 1
Jerusalem



The Custody
is present in:
Israel / Palestine
Jordan
Syria
Lebanon
Egypt
Cyprus
Greece

Buenos Aires
Milan
Naples
Palermo
Rome
Madrid
Washington

and
Commissariates
in various
countries
all around
the world


Terra Sancta Schools
- Schools of the poor and the needy -
A SERVICE OF THE CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND

by Fr. Halim Nujaim ofm

In accordance with the spirituality of St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan Order and the Custody of the Holy Land, the Terra Sancta schools cannot simply become public institutions of learning but should stress the importance of the whole person i.e. both spiritually and intellectually. None of our schools were ever intended to be schools for the privileged and wealthy. On the contrary, and for many centuries these schools were established to assist the poor providing them with their necessary needs such as books, stationery, and free meals.


school

One of Terra Sancta Schools - Acre

Even today our schools are still supported by the Franciscans with the exception of those schools which are financed, either partially or totally, by the local governments. If we exclude the depreciation of buildings and the school furniture as well as the living expenses of the Friars and Sisters who run these schools, the Custody's annual deficit for example in its five schools in the Palestinian territories is about $1,500,000.00. This figure does not include school expansions programs, or repairs and renovations that are carried out annually in almost every school at the expense of the Custody. This deficit in the school budget is due to the fact that in many of our schools the tuition fees are symbolic and only cover a small part of the necessary school expenses.

Hence the aim of the Custody in building, establishing and running the schools is not simply material but rather educational and spiritual. We are here for to support the apostolic work of the Church by helping Christians to settle on this land and to remain here


smiling faces

Young smiling faces at one of Terra Sancta Schools

This is not much different from the evangelical spirit where it is said that the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister ( Mark 10:45 ). This is the reason why the Franciscan Order exists i.e. to serve all human beings in love and fidelity. The Franciscan Order, through its schools, provides services to all peoples and nations without discrimination for the sake of public good. We realize that our mission is not an easy one and that there will be many problems facing us. However, with God's help, we hope to overcome those problems. It was Christ who asked us to be open to all and to serve all. We ask him to bless our work, our personnel, our teachers, our students, and our schools so as to continue to carry out their comprehensive educational mission to help man achieve his personal dignity. We are all created in the image of God and we are all sons and daughters of Christ, the first Teacher.


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Created / Updated Friday, 15 April, 2005 at 7:10:12 am by J. Abela, E.Alliata, E.Bermejo, Marina Mordin
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