Twice a year organizations concerned with the support of Eastern rite Churches meet in Rome under the auspices of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. Cardinal D. Simon Lourdusamy) is prefect of the Congregation. Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine contribute to this humanitarian and pastoral support.
In June the Holy Father expressed his gratitude to all those providing assistance. He entrusted the work to the Virgin Mary, who is an important part of both the Orthodox and Catholic traditions; she offers to all of us her protection along the path of history, sharing the lot of all of us. Besides, it is Mary who calls us to unity and guides us towards freedom of spirit.
The pope also expressed his anxiety and concern about peace and justice in the Holy Land and in Lebanon, See to it that the Land of Jesus and the regions which form the center of salvation history always occupy a central place in your charitable work, so that from there the hope of a civilization of love may radiate.
Cardinal Lourdusamy described the church-run school system in Lebanon as mortally threatened by the general crisis. Funds front the Lebanese government are no longer available for social services due to the current paralyzed state. This year alone $5 million is needed to cover the school systems deficit.