On Sunday, April 12, the Latin Church in Jordan celebrated Palm Sunday. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Bishop William Shomali at St. Mary of Nazareth Church in Sweifieh with the participation of a small number of priests and the absence of believers, in light of the precautionary measures designed to contain Corona pandemic.
In his homily, which was live-streamed, Bishop Shomali addressed worshipers highlighting the spiritual and human importance of Palm Sunday. He said: “In the past few days, we felt great kindness reflected in our country, Jordan. Within days, Jordanians donated millions of dinars to support the “Himmet Watan Fund” (a fund designed to support measures designed to stem the spread of COVID-19). Neighbors have demonstrated solidarity as well as families and citizens. Teachers have also made sacrifices to ensure the success of distance learning. Mothers also have made ineffable sacrifices at homes to relieve the suffering of their families.”
Bishop Shomali added: “Several people have made donations through charity organizations, including Caritas, to those in need in the cities and the countryside of Jordan. Furthermore, priests distributed aid parcels containing aid to the needy, not to mention the sacrifices made by doctors, nurses, Ministry of Health and media personnel, as well as security personnel. All doctor and nurse who died in the battlefield against the epidemic are martyrs of duty where they deserve reverence and respect. This virus will not disappear if countries and societies do not cooperate all the time.”
Later, prayers were said which included Jordan’s leadership and people.
In a press statement, Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader pointed out that this year’s celebrations have been uncharacteristic either at home or in the world at large. Yet, this situation did not prevent the Christians from undertaking all the necessary preparations marking religious rites in their homes, and lifting up prayers for the return of normalcy to the homeland and to the extended human family by the elimination of this pandemic.
He said: The situation does not call for sadness, but rather for pride, as a result of the measures taken by officials who have striven to create a reassuring atmosphere for all citizens and to share the homeland’s concerns with a hope that this melancholic situation would dissipate. Fr. Bader also expressed pride in the national measures taken by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, led by His Majesty King Abdullah II, the government, the army, and the security services personnel.