On Sunday, 24 March 2024, Bethlehem University had the pleasure of virtually connecting with the Sacramento Council of the Northwestern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. This gathering followed their Palm Sunday celebrations and was a wonderful opportunity to express our gratitude and share updates.

The meeting was made possible by the kind invitation of H.E. Donald D. Harmata, KGCHS, Lieutenant of the Northwestern Lieutenancy, and the support of Grand Prior H.E. the Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento, and Sir David Abbott, KHS. Our long-time friend and supporter, H.E. Dame Mary O’Brien, DGCHS, also joined us from San Francisco.

We were honored to have two prominent Bethlehem University alumni participate, Alex Hadweh, who currently serves as General Director of the Saint Louis French Hospital in Jerusalem, and George Bael, the Coordinator of the Bethlehem Business Incubator at Bethlehem University.

Alex participated in the Sir John McGuckin Internship Program in 2014, serving at Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Greensburg, PA, whereas George participated in 2018, working at the Frese Ornamental Nursery in Quincy, IL.

Three current scholarship recipients who benefit from the EOHSJ-USA Northwestern Lieutenancy program also shared their experiences.

The discussion was moderated by Brother Jack Curran, Vice President for Advancement, with participation from Shahinda Nassar, Advancement Office Manager, Haneen Musleh, Alumni Relations Officer, and Amjaad Musleh, Guest Relations Officer. Amjaad also shared her experience as a 2014 Sir John McGuckin intern with Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey.

Our alumni reminisced about their participation in the Sir John McGuckin Internship Program, highlighting the valuable memories and professional development they gained. The scholarship recipients spoke openly about their lives as Christians in the Holy Land, the challenges they face, and their immense gratitude for the support they receive from the Knights and Dames of the Northwestern Lieutenancy.

Since the program’s inception in 2010, a total of 82 Bethlehem University alumni have benefited from the Sir John McGuckin Internship Program, thanks to the continued generosity of the Northwestern Lieutenancy.

The Sacramento Council members listened attentively to our updates and expressed their deep concern for the ongoing situation in the Holy Land. Our alumni emphasized the lasting impact of the internship program on their professional journeys, while the scholarship recipients expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the financial assistance that allows them to continue their education during this difficult time. The investment in their future gives them hope and strengthens their resolve to remain in the Holy Land.

This virtual gathering was a testament to the enduring partnership between Bethlehem University and the EOHSJ- USA Northwestern Lieutenancy. We are grateful for their extraordinary support.