After extensive discussions with Fr. Pizzaballa, Chairman of FFHL, together with the Franciscan Family Center (FFC) and Fr. Amjad Sabbara, the pastor of St. Catherine’s Parish next to the Church of the Nativity, FFHL has decided to formally step in and to fully back and fund a ‘Franciscan Boys Home’ in Bethlehem.
The initial cost of $150,000 for restoration and reconstruction work was finished in the fall of 2007. The building is owned by the Sisters of the Franciscan Missionary of Mary who have offered to make the space available for these young boys. Under the present structure we will be able to house some 25 boys, but with the intention of building on to the present structure for future needs.
These children attend the local Terra Santa School during the week and come back to their ‘second home’ after classes which is only a five minute walk from the school. On the weekends, they return home to visit their families - returning to our facility on Sunday evening. During the week they live in a healthy environment where they live, eat, study, play and pray together.FFHL has hired a full time staff which includes a cook, several teachers, a child psychologist, a social worker, a housekeeper, a club supervisor, as well as maintenance and security personnel. We have both a Franciscan priest and a Franciscan nun as Directors of the Boys Home which officially opened in September 2007.
“This is a dream come true! So many children, continue to suffer as they live out their lives within a dysfunctional family. Many thanks must be given to all those Catholic and Christian laymen and clergy from the U.S. who continually support the humanitarian works of the Custody’s foundation by their prayers and donations.”
Sister Marie Grech, FMM, Executive Director of the “Franciscan Family Center”
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