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Pontiff’s phone call with Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Constant concern for Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza

09 February 2024

Pope Francis spoke on the phone with Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, thanking the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for the closeness he has shown to the people since the beginning of the war between Hamas and Israel. The Pope expressed his constant concern for the Holy Family Catholic parish in Gaza. He has been in contact with the parish priest, Fr Gabriel Romanelli, and the associate pastor, Fr Youssef Assad, almost daily to inquire about the situation. The Holy Family Parish, served by priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, is the only Catholic parish in the Gaza Strip. As is the case throughout Gaza, the parish faces a shortage of food, water and medicine, and a lack of heating in harsh winter temperatures. Nonetheless, the parish complex, which includes a school, has continued to shelter hundreds of people who have lost everything in the war. The Pope’s latest phone call to the Patriarch took place on Wednesday morning, 7 February, and focused mainly on the situation in the parish.