JERUSALEM – During the entire Christmas season, the social department of the Latin Patriarchate organized various activities for families in need all over the diocese.
All in all, 1,400 gifts and presents were given to children in Southern and Northern West Bank and in East Jerusalem. All the parishes in Southern and Northern West Bank organized Christmas parties for children as well, which included games and various activities. In East Jerusalem, since it was unfortunately impossible to organize such parties because of the pandemic of COVID-19 and the health restrictions, 24 families including 40 children were instead invited to come to the Latin Patriarchate to meet the Patriarch and receive their presents from him and Santa Claus (who was invited as well!) Other families went to Santa’s House, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, to get their Christmas gifts and take selfies with Santa. For those who were not able to come due to quarantine measures, presents were distributed in St Vincent.
Overall, about 300 gifts were distributed all over Jerusalem, 80 of which by the Catholic Scouts, under the supervision of Fr. Amjad Sabbara and Mrs. Bianca Tourjman. The Scouts also organized Christmas activities such as Christmas carols, painting and storytelling workshops, etc. The social department of the Latin Patriarchate also ordered 50 Christmas kits from Mrs. Bianca Tourjman, which included ornaments, Christmas worksheets, Christmas medals and chocolates. These kits were given to 50 children.
In cooperation with St Vincent de Paul and local families, the Latin Patriarchate was also able to help many needy families from East Jerusalem and Bethlehem by buying clothes for their children.