Oct. 18, 2023

Appealing for peace in the Holy Land, Pope Francis expressed concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, calling on all parties to lay down their weapons. The pope invited everyone to join in a day of prayer, fasting, and penance for peace. He encouraged people of different Christian denominations, other religions, and all those who advocate for peace to participate on Oct. 27 as they saw fit. (Read more from Vatican News)

U.S. Bishops’ Religious Liberty chairman speaks out against religious hatred (Nov. 1)

Public prayer in Parishes on Friday, Oct. 27

On Oct. 27, parishes across the diocese offered the opportunity for parishioners to gather to pray for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. The time of prayer included adoration, praying the rosary, Mass and confession. Please continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land and in all places in the world where unrest and violence are taking place.

Read the U.S. Bishops’ statement on continued violence in the Holy Land (Oct. 27)

Oct. 12, 2023

The Latin Catholic patriarch of Jerusalem has called for a day of prayer and fasting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land.

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa has urged Catholics to organize times of prayer with Eucharistic adoration and recitation of the rosary “to deliver to God the Father our thirst for peace, justice, and reconciliation.”

Read the full article from Catholic News Agency

Public Prayer in Parishes on Oct. 17

On Oct. 17, parishes across the diocese offered the opportunity for parishioners to gather to pray for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. The evening of prayer included adoration, praying the rosary, Mass and confession. Members of the diocesan staff along with Bishop Walkowiak gathered to pray the rosary together on this day as well.

Help Families impacted by violence in the Holy Land

Since early morning of October 7, hostilities in the Holy Land have been ongoing. Thousands have been killed and even more have been wounded. The United Nations has reported that over 330,000 Internally Displaced People are sheltering in 44 UN-run schools, public places and with family members. Catholic Relief Services and Caritas partners on the ground need immediate support to meet urgent humanitarian needs as the situation intensifies.

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Statement of U.S. Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Chairman Amidst Violence in the Holy Land:

October 8, 2023

WASHINGTON – In response to the continued tensions and violence that erupted into warfare between Gaza and Israel on October 7, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, calls for prayers for peace in the Holy Land:

“On October 7, the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, the world watched the operation launched from Gaza and the rapid call to arms from Israel that ensued. Almost 50 years to the day of the launch of the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, once again war is spilling out in the Holy Land. With it brings the mounting casualties and hostilities unfolding on all sides, and increased threats to the Status Quo of the Holy Places among Jews, Muslims, and Christians further dimming any hope for peace.
“The world is once again shocked and horrified by the outbreak of ferocious violence in the Holy Land. Reports have surfaced indicating large numbers of wounded and dead, including many civilians.

“I join with Pope Francis in his call for peace and his condemnation of this widespread outbreak of violence. As he stated in his Sunday audience, ‘May the attacks and weaponry cease. Please! And let it be understood that terrorism and war do not lead to any resolutions, but only to the death and suffering of so many innocent people.’

“May all who love the Holy Land seek to bring about among all the parties engaged in the fighting a cessation of violence, respect for civilian populations and the release of hostages.

“As we pray urgently for peace, we recall especially all the families and individuals suffering from these events. We call on the faithful, and all people of good will to not grow weary and to continue to pray for peace in the land Our Lord, the Prince of Peace, called home.”


Read the statement on the USCCB website.
Projects to strengthen the Church in the Holy Land (USCCB)

Additional news and updates:

Pope prays for peace in Israel and Palestine (Vatican News, Oct. 8)
Statement from the head of the Catholic Church in Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa (Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Oct. 7)

Previous statements from the U.S. Bishops regarding violence in the Holy Land:

USCCB renews prayers for Israel and Palestine amidst recent violence (May 2021)
Break the cycle of violence in the Holy Land (July 2006)