News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool


Christmas cards to the Holy Land


By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker


For the last 10 years we have been sending Christmas cards from our diocese to Catholic parishes in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which is the name of the Catholic organisation that looks after parishes in Israel/Palestine, Jordan and Cyprus.


This year we are encouraging cards to the most marginalised people, those in the West Bank and Gaza – the Occupied Territories. If you are only going to send cards to one parish, I recommend that you choose Holy Family in Gaza.  Last month, their parish priest, Fr Mario da Silva IVE, sent an email thanking me for a Christmas card he had just received that had been posted the previous December from somewhere in our diocese.  


He said: ‘Thank you for your concern about the situation here. Believe me, it is a really difficult situation. About the Christmas card I must to confess to you that it is a personal joy for me and for my parish to receive every year your cards. It is a joy to know that many people are concerned about our situation. So I advise, if it is possible, to continue to send these cards.’


Postal deliveries to the Occupied Territories are, at best, haphazard and we recommend posting to the Patriarch’s office rather than directly to the parishes. If the cards are put into parcels, this is not very expensive.


Cards should be addressed to your chosen church/churches and then sent as a package to the Latin Patriarchate’s office from where they will be delivered to the parishes. For each of the last eight years, the thousands of cards sent using this method have reached the parishes in Palestine. If cards for Gaza arrive in Jerusalem by early December, the Patriarch himself will take them to Gaza.


Do not post a card directly to a parish but send it to:

Mr Sami El-Yousef

Chief Executive,

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem,

Jaffa Gate – Old City, P.O.B. 14152

9114101 Jerusalem


The J&P office would be delighted to send you the full list of parishes and schools in Israel/Palestine and parishes in Jordan, though those on the J&P mailing list will have already received this information. The list is also accessible from the front page of the diocesan website (see ‘Christmas cards to the Holy Land appeal’).


Do not forget to include your contact details on the cards, and for parishes wishing to act together, I would suggest the following course of action:

•  Explain the system to your parishioners

•  Distribute names of parishes

•  Collect cards and sort into churches

•  Write a note to each church for the parish priest to read out to his congregation. This will help them to understand where the cards have come from and why they have been sent.

•  Post all the cards together to the Latin Patriarchate’s office in Jerusalem.

Justice & Peace

Thank you for your concern

Steve Atherton 7612