The Pontifical Mission for Palestine, a Papal agency for Middle East relief and development, celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. This Holy See agency was founded in 1949 as a “temporary” solution to help Palestinian refugees until their situation could be resolved. The anniversary celebration was held last month in the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center.
Archbishop Antonio Franco, apostolic nuncio to Israel, presided over a Mass for the occasion, which was concelebrated by Archbishop Elias Chacour of Akka, Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, auxiliary of Jerusalem, Monsignor William Shomali, chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and other priests.
At the reception following Mass, the newly appointed regional director of the mission, Sami El-Yousef, spoke about the four-fold focus of the agency: humanitarian assistance, pastoral support, interfaith communication and public awareness.
He presented a new logo for the organization that aims to emphasize the partnership between the Holy See and the Palestinian people in building their society.
In present day, the mission also serves the people of Israel, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.