The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge has received letters of gratitude from the Vatican and the Commissariat of the Holy Land for Diocesan donations to both organizations. Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, thanked the Bishop and the Diocese of Raleigh for its contribution of $63,672 for support of the Holy See.
In his letter to Bishop Burbidge, Cardinal Bertone wrote, “The Holy Father is grateful for this donation and for the devoted sentiments that inspired it. I am pleased to assure you of the Holy Father’s prayers for you and for those entrusted to your pastoral care.” The Cardinal added, the Holy Father “cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.”
Fr. Jeremy Harrington, OFM, Commissary and Guardian of the Christian shrines in the Holy Land extended his gratitude for the contribution of $79,376.29 collected during this year’s Good Friday offering. In his letter to Bishop Burbidge and the faithful in the Diocese, Fr. Harrington noted how the Good Friday Collection of the Holy Land is used:
To maintain the shrines, Christian communities and places of prayer and to welcome pilgrims from around the world.
To run 14 schools open to all students regardless of religion or nationality. These schools build understanding and harmony between Christians and Muslims.
By offering scholarships to different universities in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Amman to help young Christians remain in the Holy Land.
To provide apartments for needy families rent free or proportionate to their income.
To staff 29 parishes in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Cypress and Rhodes.
“Without the generosity of American Catholics,” Fr. Harrington wrote, “these ministries would not be possible. Please thank your priests and people for their contributions to the 2011 Good Friday collection.”