On Friday, March 16th, 2023, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, participated in a conference organized by the Dar Al-Majus Community House in Bethlehem, entitled "Philanthropy and Charity: Who Do We Meet When We Serve?" His talk took the form of a dialogue with Helen Sima'an, of the Arab Women's Union.
This conference is part of a series of conferences organized by Pro Terra Sancta Bethlehem. It aims to create a space for those working in social and educational fields, to hear from people who have committed their lives to serving others in humanitarian fields, such as religious and academic institutes or schools. This initiative provides an opportunity for dialogue and growth for those who work in fields focused on service to others.
During the meeting, His Beatitude shared his experience in serving the Church with the attendees, who included school presidents, members of charitable institutions and youth groups. "By serving others, you give witness to God's love and your faith. By listening to others and their needs, you are doing the work of Christ," said Mgr Pizzaballa during the address, stressing the importance of maintaining the identity and mission of institutes in their charitable work.
Vincenzo Bellomo, head of the Pro Terra Sancta Association in Bethlehem, also shared his reflections on philanthropy and charity: "Deciding for Christ necessarily leads to betting on man, to loving him unconditionally, because the criterion and measure of such love are those of Christ himself: 'Love one another as I have loved you' (Jn 13:34). Mere philanthropy does not necessarily lead to an encounter with Christ, but its absence will undoubtedly keep us away from him. The thousands of missionaries who have brought faith in Christ to the world through their lives over the centuries bear witness to this.”
Jawdat Michael and Miral Atik