We are pleased to welcome representatives from the Shepherd’s Field Olivewood Handcrafts who will have items for sale next weekend, November 10 & 11, after all weekend Masses at St. Mary’s.
As a tradition, many of the Catholic families in the Holy Land work in small workshops to produce religious articles from olive wood. These articles represent the Christian art of the Holy Land.
In the past, they would sell their artwork to pilgrims who visit the Holy Land. However, they are facing enormous economic hardship as very few tourists are visiting the Holy Land now due to security issues. Many of the Catholic families have emigrated and left the Holy Land. The percentage of Christians in the Holy Land has dropped from 20% to less than 2%. Therefore, if this hardship continues as it is now, we believe that in a few years, there will be no Catholics in Bethlehem or Jerusalem. The struggle to preserve the Catholic identity in the birthplace of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is a serious concern for Catholics around the world.
Sales will be used to help and support the Catholics in the Holy Land and to encourage them not to emigrate to other countries.
May God be with you and may God richly bless his people now and forever. Amen.