Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Sunday, February 7, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Novena of Grace 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
7/29/2014 8:56:00 AM
For some Mideast Catholics, church is anchor of hope amid violence
Cathoilc News Service photo
Palestinian Catholics celebrate Christmas Mass in St. Catherine Church in Bethlehem, West Bank, Dec. 25, 2013.
Cathoilc News Service photo
Palestinian Catholics celebrate Christmas Mass in St. Catherine Church in Bethlehem, West Bank, Dec. 25, 2013.
Catholic News Service


BETHLEHEM, West Bank — As the death toll in Gaza surpasses 1,000, violent demonstrations in the West Bank leave dead and wounded, and an entire Christian community is exiled from the Iraqi city of Mosul by  Islamic extremists, Christians in the Holy Land find themselves facing harsh realities.

For some Catholics, the church and its tenets serve as an anchor of hope.

At the Church of St. Catherine, adjacent to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, parishioners spoke of the struggle July 27. That day, parishes throughout the West Bank celebrated special Masses for Gaza, Iraq and Syria.

"Christ tells us not to use violence. We try to raise our children to love each other. Sometimes you lose your mind and feel like you don't know what to do, but we pray with our sons at home, and we come to church every Sunday to keep in touch with God. It is a safe haven. Violence is not our way," said Bethlehem resident Jamila Basha, 44, as she arrived at St. Catherine's with her husband and two sons, ages 9 and 12.

"As Catholics, sitting here in church really comforts us. We are living Jesus on the cross, we are sharing in the pain of Jesus, this is the blood of Jesus," said her husband, Walid Basha, 47. "If I look at Israel, and at what is happening in Iraq and look at Hamas at the same time (I worry), that maybe if they could, they would do the same thing here (as the extremists in Iraq). Both of them (Israel and Hamas) are killing, both of them are violent. The hand of God is up above but Satan is doing his work down below."

The couple said that at home they talk to their sons about the nonviolent teachings of Christianity, keep TV news viewing to a minimum and spend time going on hikes and walks with them to keep them occupied.

"I always tell my boys that a God who asks his followers to fight is a weak God. Our God is strong enough to fight himself," said Walid Basha.

Samia Shahin, a mother of three grown children, noted that she has lived all her life in Bethlehem. She has lived through all the different moments of violence, she said, and she believes these moments are a symbol also of Jesus's own suffering for people.

"It is not just in the Holy Land but in the whole world, you have to feel Jesus inside you, peace has to live inside you, not just with a cross on a building or around your neck," she said. "You have to believe it, live it and be a mirror for him so whoever deals with you knows you have Jesus inside.

"Each day I stand is a gift from God and I have to face it and live it, knowing at the same time there are people we are suffering more than me," she added.

To teach her children how to live in the face of violence, Shahin says she must mirror her Christian faith.

"If they see how you are living, even without words, you are like a mirror for them. They see that in our religion we put our faith in Jesus, in peace," she said.

In the West Bank village of Jifna, Father Firas Aridah of St. Joseph Catholic Church said he tries to show his young parishioners during summer camp that prayer and moments of silence while lighting memorial candles can also be a form of protest to the situation, bringing them spiritual strength without resorting to violence.

"In the Holy Land, as the mother church, we have to pray and hold the cross with joy, even in moments of death and destruction," he said. "If I bring more violence that does not mean I can win. No one will win. Violence begets violence."

He said he counsels his parishioners to act as a bridge, to love their neighbors even as they love God, even in periods of difficulty.

"If you do not love your neighbor, you do not love God," he said. The love and hope of Christianity must be kept in their hearts, he tells them, encouraging them to "act" but not "react."

He said none of the Catholic youth from Jifna was involved in the rioting in nearby West Bank city of Ramallah, which left eight dead in late July.

"They don't have to throw stones," he said of Palestinians in the West Bank. "There is destruction in Gaza; I don't want anybody to be killed here. (Israeli) soldiers have families, too. We don't have to fan the flames (of violence)."

Nagi Sleiby, 25, of Bethlehem, said it has not always been easy for him to maintain his faith surrounded by the violence in the Middle East. He said his questions through prayer were answered by Jesus. He said he realized he must be thankful for what he has and help people in Gaza through nonviolent ways, such as prayer and donations. He also said he finds peace in prayer.

Both Israel and Hamas are fighting for peace through violence, and neither is perfect, he said. Having had the opportunity to meet with Israelis who also want peace has renewed and strengthened his faith, he said, and he feels that peace is possible despite the violence.





Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search











Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved