Two parishes in Milford, Ohio and several parishes in Cincinnati, Ohio sent a group of 32 pilgrims to the Holy Land on July 6th.

News Release

July 8, 2005

Ohio Pilgrims Embark on Holy Land Pilgrimage and Fact-Finding Mission

Two parishes in Milford, Ohio and several parishes in Cincinnati, Ohio sent a group of 32 pilgrims to the Holy Land on July 6th.   These pilgrims, led by HCEF president Sir Rateb Rabie, and accompanied by their spiritual leader Fr. Rob Waller, the Pastor of St. Andrew Catholic Church of Milford, Ohio, will embark on a unique pilgrimage and fact-finding mission in the Holy Land.  This pilgrimage and fact-finding mission is one more brick- building activity of this parish in support of the Holy Land Christians, and in the continuum of  building solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Christ–the Living Stones of the Holy Land.

For the last 4 years, the Catholic churches in Cincinnati and Milford have accomplished much in easing the suffering of the Palestinian Christians.  They have formed the Holy Land Outreach Committee in their church and have pledged to support and have taken leadership of HCEF’s Holy Land Christian Support network (HCSN) in the greater Cincinnati Area. Because of their efforts,  HCEF has already sponsored over 230 students in their area and sold over $30,000 of  olivewood crafts.   They also initiated the Children’s Peace Project, which has brought two groups of students and their teachers  to the US, and they partnered with the Latin (Catholic) Church in Beit Jala.   They also sponsored many other activities that supported the Christians in the Holy Land.

This pilgrimage will be distinguishable from most U.S.-based pilgrimages to the Holy Land, as the pilgrimage will include Christian sites in the West Bank that many tourist agencies curtail, and the pilgrims will spend time with the local Christian community–an increasingly at-risk population in the Holy Land. 

The pilgrims will enter the “Gate to the Holy Land” in Amman, Jordan, where they will visit our Lord’s Baptismal Site and Mount Nebo.  Both are impressive sites and places as fundamental to the Christian faith as the Nativity or the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem. The pilgrims will then visit the places of Jesus’ ministry, including Galilee, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. In Jifna and Taybeh, Christian villages on the outskirts of Ramallah, the pilgrims will share meals with local Christians and visit the Christian schools supported by their parishes through HCEF’s Child Sponsorship Program (for more information visit

Their act of love confirms that the good Christians of the USA, when they find out the truth, will do whatever it takes to support the oppressed and  bring peace. They also will let the “Forgotten Faithful”  of the Holy Land know they are not Forgotten anymore. 

*The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization 501 (c) 3, committed to improving the lives of Christians in the Holy Land through building bonds of solidarity with between Christians in the United States and Christians in the Holy Land. We have two goals: inform Americans about the Christians in the Holy Land and provide humanitarian assistance for the needy in the land where Jesus Christ was born, preached, died and rose again.  HCEF, 6935 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 214, Bethesda, MD 20815 (301)951-9400, Toll Free (866) 871-4233 (HCEF),  Email: