“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Award recipients

Each year, at the time of the International Conference, HCEF grants awards to people and institutions who have accomplished excellent work in support of the Christians of the Holy Land. The 2009Awardees are:

Living Stones Solidarity Award:

This annual award was established to honor an institution that has made a sustained and extraordinary effort to love, support, and stand in solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land. These institutions, through their acts of love and action, have demonstrated their determination to preserve the Living Stones in the land of Christianity’s birth.




Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – accepted by

  • His Eminence John Cardinal Foley, Grand Master

Cardinal John P. Foley born in 1935 in Darby, PA, began his academic career at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia where he received a B.A. summa cum laude in history in 1957. Next he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, Philadelphia, where he earned a B.A. in philosophy in 1958. Following ordination on May 19, 1962, by Archbishop (later Cardinal) John J. Krol of Philadelphia, he was assigned to pastoral work and to the assistant editorship of The Catholic Standard and Times in 1963. While doing graduate work at the Angelicum in Rome he covered the second and third sessions of the Second Vatican Council as a correspondent for the paper. He received a licentiate in philosophy (1964) and a doctorate cum laude (1965) from the Angelicum. In 1966, he received an M.S. magna cum laude in Journalism from Columbia University, New York.

In 1966, he was appointed assistant pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, Philadelphia’s center-city parish. He taught at the Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia. In 1967, he was named professor of philosophy at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and again assumed the assistant editorship of The Catholic Standard and Times becoming its editor in 1970 until 1984. From 1966-1974, he was co-producer and co-host of radio and television productions including the Philadelphia Catholic Hour on WFIL and the TV series “The Making of a Priest” for the Group W Television Network.

In 1976, Pope Paul VI named him an honorary prelate with the title of Monsignor. On April 9, 1984, Pope John II named him President of the Pontifical Commission (now Pontifical Council) for Social Communications at the Vatican. On May 8, 1984 he was ordained an Archbishop by Cardinal Krol. From 1984-1989, he assumed the presidency of the administrative council of the Vatican Television Center. He served on the Pontifical Commission for Latin America 1984-1989 and the Pontifical Council for Culture. In 2008 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

On June 27, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Foley Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. On November 24, 2007, the Holy Father elevated him to the College of Cardinals, with the rank of Cardinal Deacon becoming the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a position he continues to hold today.

In addition to those noted above, Cardinal Foley served on numerous boards and commissions including the 41st International Eucharistic Congress (1976), the National Conference of Christians and Jews (1968-1983), the Catholic Press Association of the U.S. and Canada (1981-1984). He was news secretary for the National Conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops (USCCB) 1969-1984. He was vice chairman of the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission (1979-1984). He served as English-language press liaison for the visit of Pope John II to Ireland and the U.S. in 1979 and for the International Synod of Bishops in Rome in 1980.

Cardinal Foley has received numerous awards, including the Francis de Sales Award of the Catholic Press Association (1984), the Journalism Alumni Award of Columbia University, New York (1985), the Sourin Award of the Catholic Philopatrian Literary Institute of Philadelphia (1990), the President’s Medal of Holy Family College, Philadelphia (1996), the Barry Award of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia (1997), and the Shield of Loyola Award of St. Joseph’s University (1997).

He holds honorary degrees from St. Joseph’s University (1985), the Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (1990), Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. (1996), Assumption College, Worcester, MA. (1997), Regis University, Denver, CO (1998), John Cabot University, Rome (1998) and the University of Portland (2007).

He is Knight Commander with Grand Cross, Order of the Northern Star, Kingdom of Sweden (1991); Knight Commander with Grand Cross, Order of Holy Sepulchre (1991); Commander with Grand Cross in the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins of the Republic of Chile (1996); Commander with Gran Cross in the Order of Libertador General San Martin of the Republic of Argentina (2003); and Chaplain with Grand Cross, Sovereign Military Order of Malta.


Path of Peace Award:

The Path of Peace Award has been established to honor an individual who, throughout his life, has vigorously championed the cause of Peace in the Middle East, and through tireless personal efforts, has promoted the peaceful reconciliation between Arabs and Israelis, and amongst Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Holy Land.



  • Archbishop Pietro Sambi Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

Titular Archbishop of Belcastro, Apostolic Nuncio to the United StatesArchbishop Pietro Sambi was born on 27 June 1938 in Sogliano al Rubicone, Forlí, Italy. He was incardinated in the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro and ordained priest on 14 March 1964. He has a Doctorate in Sacred Theology and in Canon Law.
He started his service in the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See as Attaché on 1 April 1969 in Cameroon.
He was transferred to the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem on 19 July 1971, and subsequently to the Apostolic Nunciature in Cuba on 30 December 1974, in Algeria on 16 June 1978, in Nicaragua on 1 September 1979, in Belgium on 27 April 1981, and then in India on 14 May 1984 with the rank of Counselor.
He was made Titular Archbishop of Belcastro and ordained on 9 November 1985 in the Cathedral of Rimini (Italy).
He was nominated: Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Burundi on 10 October 1985; Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Indonesia on 28 November 1991: Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Cyprus, and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine on 6 June 1998. Apostolic Nuncio in the United States of America and Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States on 17 December 2005.
He speaks Italian, English, French and Spanish.

Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation Award:

This annual award is given to an individual who has dedicated his or her life to preserving the presence of Christians in the Holy Land. The award recipients have demonstrated courage, determination and action to advance the cause of justice, sustenance, and spiritual support for those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and live in the land where He was born, taught and rose again from the dead.




  • Dr. Samir Abu-Ghazaleh, KC*HS, HCEF Advisory Board

Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh was born in Haifa, Palestine. He attended high school in Amman, Jordan. He earned his medical degree from Ain Sham University Medical School in Cairo, Egypt. He completed his residency and graduate work in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Dakota Affiliated Hospitals and fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh is a member of many professional medical organizations and has published eleven articles in medical journals. He was appointed by President Clinton to the National Cancer Advisory Board 2000-2006. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the Arab American Institute. He is a member of the Board of the University of Bethlehem Foundation. Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh donates his time as a speaker for many medical and charitable organizations. He is a Knight of Malta. He is also a Knight Commander with a Star of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. As a Counselor, he is Vice President of the Peace and Justice Committee, and recipient of the Silver Palm of Jerusalem.

HCEF President’s Award:

This award is given annually to honor individuals/volunteers that have demonstrated their solidarity with the Christians of the Holy Land through acts of love and support on their behalf.




  • Mary E. Beahn, LHS

Mary E. Beahn has been a dedicated volunteer for HCEF for many years. She became interested in helping HCEF after visiting the Holy Land in the mid-1990’s and observing the conditions there. With the support of her pastor, Mary created the Holy Land Outreach Committee in her parish, The Shrine of St. Jude, in Rockville, MD. This Committee has been instrumental in educating the parish about the needs and conditions of the Holy Land Christians. As a result of her leadership, members of the parish now sponsor many children through the Child Sponsorship Program and St. Jude’s has established a sister parish relationship with our Lady Queen of Peace parish in Bir Zeit. Each year Mary organizes sales of Holy Land crafts and a special Holy Land Day weekend when a guest homilist speaks at the Masses and HCEF programs are explained to parishioners. For the past several years Mary has organized the HCEF Awards Banquet and oversees the Conference registration. She devotes many hours of volunteer work at HCEF offices in Bethesda.


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2016-10-24T07:27:12+00:00 April 22nd, 2009|Categories: Award Banquet|