US Catholic bishops make Holy Land pilgrimage to ‘pray for peace’

A group of 18 US Catholic Bishops from have begun a pilgrimage to visit the places where Jesus lived his earthly life with the specific intention to pray for peace in the Holy Land.

“Our pilgrimage could not fall at a more critical time. The fighting between Israel and Hamas, the latest in too many cycles of violence, has seriously undermined hopes for peace in the Holy Land. Today more than ever we need to pray,” said the bishop of Des Moines, Bishop Richard E. Pates, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace and promoter of the initiative.

The 18 Bishops making the pilgrimage will visit Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem. The seven-day stay in the Holy Land will include a meeting with the Catholic parish priest of Gaza, Fr. Jorge Hernandez, a member of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, received last month in audience by Pope Francis on August 29 in Rome.