Parishes in the LA Archdiocese are being asked to hold an emergency second collection to help Christians in the Holy Land affected by the ongoing war in Gaza.

“In solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters, Archbishop [José H.] Gomez has asked all parishes to consider conducting a nonmandatory special collection during the weekends of March 2-3 and March 9-10, 2024,” read a Feb. 20 message to parishes and archdiocesan staff from Father Jim Anguiano, the archdiocese’s vicar general and moderator of the Curia, and Msgr. Terrance L. Fleming, executive director of the archdiocese’s Mission Office.

Funds collected from parish Masses on both weekends will go to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), a papal aid foundation that supports humanitarian and pastoral campaigns in the Middle East and surrounding regions including Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. 

The funds raised by CNEWA and similar ongoing campaigns overseen by the pope, like The Pontifical Mission Societies, will benefit Christians in Gaza, the West Bank and other parts of the Holy Land where the war between Israel and Hamas has had a devastating effect on the local economy. 

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, prefect of Vatican Dicastery for the Service of Charity, is pictured Dec. 23, 2023, in Jerusalem with a Christian family who gets support from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. (OSV News/courtesy Dicastery for the Service of Charity)

The collection was authorized after the Archdiocese received a letter from CNEWA president Msgr. Peter I. Vaccari in New York requesting support for its humanitarian efforts in Gaza, where CNEWA has staff working.

For Christians in the Holy Land, the local economy is largely driven by pilgrim visits to holy sites in places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Galilee. Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the tourism industry in the region has largely come to a standstill. 

The Feb. 20 letter to the archdiocese also noted that the emergency collection is different from the annual “Holy Land Collection” held at parishes every Good Friday (March 29 this year). 

For more information about CNEWA, visit

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that funds from the Archdiocesan collection would be distributed by The Pontifical Mission Societies. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles will be working with CNEWA for the distribution of the collection.  

Online donations for the collection can be made by visiting, selecting “Society of Propagation of the Faith” and specifying “Emergency Relief for the Holy Land” in the special instructions box. All checks should be made payable to The Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Memo: Emergency Relief for the Holy Land, #200475. Donations may be mailed to Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 3424 Wilshire Blvd. — 3rd Floor, Los Angeles CA 90010.