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Good Friday collection supports church in the Holy Land


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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As Catholics commemorate Jesus' passion on Good Friday, the Vatican is asking them to support the church in the Holy Land with their prayers, financial contributions and possibly by making a pilgrimage.

The global Holy Land Collection is taken up in most dioceses around the world on Good Friday, which is April 14 this year.

The sites of Jesus' birth and of his death and resurrection have been undergoing restoration work and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land announced in late March that the Vatican had pledged a further $1 million for the second phases of projects at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

The first phase of the work in Jerusalem, which repaired damage and reinforced the Edicule of the Tomb, believed to be where Jesus was laid to rest after his crucifixion, was to be inaugurated March 22 during an ecumenical prayer service.

The hoped-for second phase of the project would seek to resolve problems due to moisture under the floor around the Edicule. Work cannot begin, however, until details of the project are agreed upon by the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox communities that share responsibility for the church.

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