Fr. Maciej Gierula, President of the Pro Spe Foundation, encourages financial support for the “Home of Peace” in Bethlehem. As he points out, the orphanage, run by the Elizabethan sisters, is an oasis of peace in this world region. Together with the sisters in Bethlehem, the foundation encourages people to join in fundraising to provide food and essential products at a tough time in the Middle East, torn by war.
“The children are there permanently; this Home functions like an orphanage; it is a sign of peace in this part of the world,” Father Gierula emphasizes. The symbol of the place is Sister Maria Rafala Wlodarczak, who died in 2019. On her initiative, the “Home of Peace” was established on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem on December 8, 1967. The sisters then built a second home in Bethlehem. They write: “Although the children differ in origin, nationality, language culture or religion in our Home, they learn that we can live together, in harmony, no matter how different we are. We want to bring them up in love for God and the other person. We want to show them a different world without violence and hatred, full of love, goodness, peace, and hope for a better future.” The Sisters’ achievements were noted by Pope Francis, and in 2017, he decorated Polish Sister M. Rafala Wlodarczak with the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” cross.
Currently, the orphanage in Bethlehem gives shelter to more than 40 children. Still, the reality of war has caused not only more children but also whole families to seek a roof over their heads there. Father Maciej Gierula stresses that the sisters know best how to distribute the funds from the collection. The Pro Spe Foundation works closely with them.