800 years ago, the Roman Catholic Church entrusted the guardianship of the Holy Land and other shrines of the Christian religion to the Order of St. Francis, creating what is now known as the Custody of the Holy Land.
Throughout the Holy Land
The Franciscan Monastery is home to Custody USA, whose purpose is to provide vital human and financial help to sustain the mission in the Holy Land. The Franciscan Friars’ work in the Holy Land is vital. As Pope Francis says, “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians.” We preserve the holy places and make it possible for Christians to remain in the land of Jesus.
This work has grown to include support of schools and missions in the Holy Land, as well as care for refugees and other needy people throughout the region. Conflict in the Middle East and the Jerusalem Barrier Wall has led to a declining Christian population in the region, making our work increasingly important. The ability of families in many of these regions to stay in their home countries is increasingly being threatened by the lack of employment and education opportunities. We help care for children, families, refugees and others in need throughout the region, and keep Christianity alive in the land made holy by the birth, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.