Christmas Newsletter From Archbishop Elias Chacour 2013
It is indeed difficult to choose any title to express my admiration for your long-lasting fidelity and friendship to Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Galilee. With this message I want to wish you All, and every one among you, a very happy Christmas and a thoroughly joyful New Year. Allow me, for once during this year to assure you that what you have done through ASHRAY was far more, than a sign of solidarity, since it was indeed an act preserving life and allowing progress and development. We have gone through extremely complicated and cruel circumstances. Had we been left alone we might have given up on most, if not on everything. Your constant generosity sustained us and encouraged everyone at the school to persevere and continue telling the story, and of serving hundreds of young men and women and planting in their hearts the seed of hope, or rather awakening this hope despite the fact that many factors around us tried, and still try, their worse to kill hope in our youth.
Because of you and of your friendship and your generosity we continue with a unique power to believe that only unity within the respect of the present diversity could bring peace and justice to us all. Education is the best tool to achieve such a goal. We are sure that we shall overcome. Our vision will become a reality. Children, Jewish and Palestinians will start learning together one day in the near future.
For this coming Christmas we organize an inter-schools competition for children of our schools and it is broadcasted on the ‘Voice of Israel’ radio, every Wednesday afternoon. The final session will be on December 18th. This is the very first time that such extra-curriculum, activity has been organized. Maybe, the fact that the ‘Voice of Israel’ radio agreed to broadcast directly each session for one and a half hours, is in itself a sign of real hope for religious plurality inside the state of Israel. Very much has still to be done on many important fields and levels as this religious activity. We are on the spot to act and to witness for this great, vision/dream, of ours.
Soon we will be celebrating the birth of Christ: Christmas and the New Year. We will be praying for you and thanking God for putting you on our way toward the Kingdom of heaven. Thank you. Thanks, so very much for your friendship and for your prayers, which I cherish so dearly, but also thank God and thank you for your continued commitment and your generosity.
Abuna Elias Chacour
Archbishop of the Melkite Church in Galilee
“We do not talk about reconciliation, we do it.” Archbishop Elias Chacour
ASHRAY is supporting Archbishop Chacour in building schools in Galilee and by other means to educate children of all races and religions in reconciliation through respect for each other brought about by close relations in the classroom and playground, forming friendships and recognising the need to strive for a common, just future.
ASHRAY is registered as a charity with HMRC. Gift Aid is applicable to all qualifying donations.