Message of Solidarity to Christians of Holy Land

WASHINGTON, MAY 19, 2002 ( and women religious of the United States sent a message to all Christians living in the Holy Land, assuring them of their solidarity and prayers for peace.

The members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, representing nearly 100,000 vowed sisters, brothers, and priests in the United States, addressed their message to “Our Brothers and Sisters Gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost.”

“In Jerusalem, where Jesus gave the gift of the Spirit to the early Church, you call on the same Spirit to once again stir the hearts and minds of people who are separated by fear, distrust, and the inability to speak and hear one another with respect and understanding,” the message states.

“What is needed today is a new Pentecost. In the midst of fear and suffering, oppression and violence, new visions and new dreams are needed in order to bring a just and lasting peace to the people living in the region: Israelis and Palestinians; Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Prophetic words must be spoken to our leaders,” the religious said in their Pentecost message, quoting the prophet Joel.

“Now is the time for people of faith to speak to the world. In recent weeks we have seen that political and military actions alone will not bring about peace. Acts of violence breed more violence and create an atmosphere of fear and hatred,” the message adds.

“At this time we join you in grieving for the hundreds who have died, those who have been injured, those who have been displaced by the destruction of their homes. We call upon the leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian people to end the violence and to begin negotiations that will lead to a just and lasting peace,” the religious stress.

The U.S. religious pray that the Spirit who came “to the people on the first Pentecost will be poured out into all of our hearts and minds and the hearts and minds of all people who seek peace, justice, and dignity of each person called into being by the One God.”

These men and women religious not only promise prayer but also action. “We will continue to urge our government to support and take effective action in implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions that call for an immediate end to the violence, an end to the occupation, and a resumption of negotiations that will lead to an effective and just peace in the region.”

“We know that there will be no peace until both Israelis and Palestinians can live secure in their own homelands and we will urge our government to maintain that goal in U.S. policy,” the message continues.

“On this Pentecost we join you in praying for peace and offer our support to forge new paths to peace. May the Spirit that rushed upon the people of Jerusalem like a mighty wind once again rush upon us and fill us with new visions of peace that will take root in our hearts and flourish in our actions,” they concluded.

The membership of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men ( and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious ( has approximately 1,500 men and women religious leaders who are responsible for more than 700 Catholic institutes in the United States. Together, the conferences’ members represent more than 100,000 of the country’s Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious priests.