This Mother’s Day, the staff of Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem, the beneficiary of our Collaborative’s Advent Gift collection last December, asks for your prayers for peace and strength. Many thanks to Fr. Jim and to our parishioners for your generosity during that collection, which raised over $29,000 – representing much-needed funds and the 3rd largest second-collection in the U.S. for Holy Family Hospital last year.

During this time of ongoing war, expectant mothers of Bethlehem trek along goat paths, around roadblocks, or through one of the many hundreds of new checkpoints to seek haven and care in Holy Family Hospital. They know they will not be turned away, for its staff accepts patients without regard to creed, financial need, or wartime conditions. 

Since Advent, anxiety and hunger among Bethlehem’s expectant mothers have continued to skyrocket, jeopardizing their and their children’s health. The ongoing absence of pilgrims and tourists has meant soaring unemployment, poverty, and lack of food. Anxiety over family insecurity has been exacerbated by increased roadblocks during the day, challenges or preclusion of nighttime travel, and thundering of military might in distant skies.

Medical personnel have resumed venturing out, at great personal risk, to refugee encampments, desert communities, and remote villages surrounding Bethlehem via the Hospital’s one state-of-the-art mobile clinic van. Demand exceeds supply for their pre- and post-natal care, and so the staff is now making trips out to these isolated communities on a daily basis. Staff have also recently begun also providing screenings, treatment and surgeries to women beyond childbearing years, a much-neglected demographic within and well beyond Bethlehem.

For these reasons, the Holy Family Hospital community asks for your prayers for peace and strength this Mother’s Day. Saint Mary Teresa Bejaxhiu of Calcutta pointed out, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” In the shadows of war in the Holy Land, the Hospital’s staff courageously live out virtues we associate with motherhood, from unconditional love, trust, and sacrifice to continuity, peace, and hope. They demonstrate each day the promise of peace that interfaith harmony and recognition of mutual belonging can bring. 

Praying for Peace this Mother’s Day – A Message from Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem