The Rt Revd Declan Lang, who leads the annual pilgrimage of Bishops from around the world to the Holy Land, has written to His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal to thank him for his many years of faithful ministry.
On the occasion of your 50th anniversary of Priestly Service, it is an opportunity to give thanks to God for your faithful and dedicated ministry to the people you have served for many years. We continue to pray that “God who has begun the good work in you will bring it to fulfilment.”
Your Jubilee also coincides with the completion of your ministry as Patriarch of the Diocese of Jerusalem. Your time as Patriarch has been a troubling time for the Middle East and especially for the small Christian community, but you have led our Mother Church, a Church of Calvary and a Church of the Resurrection with great care and love.
As members of the Holy Land Coordination, we have tried to support you in your ministry through our pastoral concern, our solidarity and our love. It has been a blessing for us to have the opportunity to walk with you, and with our brothers and sisters. Beyond all doubt, those whom we serve in our own dioceses have been graced, through what you have enabled us to share with them, to enter into ever deeper communion with the Joys and Hopes, the Struggles and Sorrows, of the Church of Jerusalem. We may be confident so much solidarity in prayerful concern will bear fruit through the mercy and fidelity of Our Lord, in an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
We give thanks for your faithful and valuable friendship and we pray that these ties of friendship will continue to knit us together as you begin a new phase in your life and ministry.
Be assured of our continued support and prayers as we join our voices to St. Paul who said: “glory be to Him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.”
Rt Rev Declan Lang
Leader of the Holy Land Coordination Group