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22 January 2013

Holy Land Coordination Delegation Visits Bethlehem University

On a wintery Wednesday, 9 January, Bethlehem University welcomed the first visitor group of the New Year to campus, a delegation of Bishops representing North America and Europe, known as the Holy Land Coordination. Every year, the delegation makes a special visit to the Holy Land, spending the week visiting Christians in and around Jerusalem. They get to see how the average parish works, and discuss challenges and signs of hope for the region.

Holy Land Coordination MassThis year, Bethlehem University was one of the main stations for the bishops in the Holy Land. They held morning prayer at celebrated Mass at the Chapel of the Divine Child, attended also by members of the Bethlehem University Executive Council, Brothers, Sisters, students, faculty, and staff.

The Bishops blessed the work of Bethlehem University for its commitment to providing quality education to Palestinian students, and for serving a unique role as the only Catholic University in Palestine, which has a majority (70 percent) of Muslim students.

Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, then welcomed the delegation from the Holy Land Coordination at Furno Hall in the Millennium Building. Brother Peter highlighted the importance of supporting Bethlehem University, which helps to provide quality education to its students in the Holy Land despite of the ongoing difficulties.

Holy Land Coordination with students"It is this experience that gives us the hope to persevere, to carry on, to move past the failures and the defeats," Brother Peter said.

Several Bethlehem University students from the Student Ambassador Program met with the Holy Land Coordination delegation and shared their experiences as Palestinians and students at Bethlehem University in the Holy Land.

The unemployment rate in Palestine – sometimes as high as 50 percent – is often a topic of conversation, and the students echoed their concerns about finding a job after graduation. Other students also talked about the difficulties they face in coming to school everyday, especially Jerusalem students, who have to pass through Israeli military checkpoints both in and out of Bethlehem, each day they have class.

Discussion with BU Students at the Furno Hall


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine