Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to the Holy Land to see the ancient and sacred sites so important to our shared Christian heritage. While on this journey, few are granted the opportunity to witness the daily realities and conditions of the local Christian communities and ordinary people living in the land.
Most tours only briefly and superficially touch upon the locally-based Christian organizations or the realities of Palestinian society – partly out of a lack of contacts and of time to research how to get in touch with the relevant organizations.
Coordinating Catholic Aid Organizations (CCAO) members cover a considerable share of the social services and welfare work in the country. As such, these organizations are better positioned to report the realities ‘on-the-ground’ and the daily life of the people. In almost every field, in almost every region in Palestine, Catholic institutions are a strong support base for local communities and are ready to share their experiences with interested visitors.
Therefore, this Image Brochure is to introduce the CCAO member organizations that are willing to meet groups and interested visitors. The goal is to provide group organizers and individuals worldwide with resources and contacts in order to experience more fully the visit to Palestine, as well as to strengthen the CCAO network.
The Image Brochure will serve as a small but comprehensive guide for individuals and groups wishing to organize a trip to the Holy Land, that pilgrims and raising of awareness are connected through the CCAO network and its members.
The Coordinating Catholic Aid Organizations (CCAO) was established in accordance with the Pastoral Plan of the Diocesan Synod of the Catholic Churches in the Holy Land in 2000. Section 15 of the Pastoral Plan under the heading “The Presence of our Churches in the World of Human Suffering,” provides for the “creation of a higher council of institutions working in the area of human suffering for coordination and collaboration.”
In compliance with the Pastoral Plan decision number 6, it was determined by the Catholic Aid organizations to establish the “Coordinating Catholic Aid Organizations in the Holy Land” (CCAO) and to be associated with the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL).