The Holy Land Commission of the Grand Magisterium of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem (EOHSJ) made a significant visit to Bethlehem University on Tuesday, 12 March 2024.

Brother Hernán Santos, Vice Chancellor, and members of the Executive Council extended a warm welcome to the Head of the Commission, Professor Bartholomew McGettrick OBE, KGCHS, accompanied by distinguished members including His Excellency Sir Michael Byrne, Lieutenant of EOHSJ – England and Wales, Sami El-Yousef, Chief Executive Officer of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Sir Tim Milner, KCHS and Dame Donna Milner, DCHS, from the EOHSJ – USA Northern Lieutenancy.

Brother Hernán stressed the importance of nurturing the longstanding relationship between Bethlehem University and the Holy Land Commission to better serve the Palestinian community. He emphasized the university’s role as a platform to authentically portray Palestine to the world.

Professor McGettrick congratulated Brother Hernán on assuming his new position as Vice Chancellor and shared insights into the Commission’s ongoing work. He emphasized the critical need for sustained collaboration between the two institutions in the realm of higher education.

During the visit, El-Yousef highlighted the urgency of finding practical solutions to address the growing migration challenges in the Gaza Strip amidst current circumstances.

Mr. Moussa Rabadi, Director of the Institute for Community Engagement & Partnership (ICP), presented an in-depth overview of the AFAQ project, conducted in partnership with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, highlighting ongoing initiatives aimed at community development.

Additionally, the delegation engaged in discussions with the General Director of the Latin Patriarchate Schools in Palestine, Fr. Dr. Yacoub Rafidi, and the directors of the Latin Patriarchate Schools in the Bethlehem Governorate. The focus was on exploring avenues for academic collaboration between these schools and Bethlehem University. Brother Hernán, Dr. Iman Saca, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Brother Alejandro Cerna, Dean of the Faculty of Education, were also present during the meeting.