United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



‘Gaza hospital will continue to be a beacon of hope’ – Archbishop of Jerusalem

Service marks successful appeal for Al Ahli Arab Hospital.
‘Gaza hospital will continue to be a beacon of hope’ – Archbishop of Jerusalem - Service marks successful appeal for Al Ahli Arab Hospital.
The archbishops and clergy of the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and the Palestinian Ambassador in St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street.

Al Ahli Arab Hospital will continue to be a beacon of light in Gaza no matter what happens, the Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Most Revd Hosam Naoum, said last week. The Archbishop was speaking at a service in St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, to honour Dublin and Glendalough’s Shine a Light for the Diocese of Jerusalem appeal. In thanking the people of the dioceses and the wider community throughout Ireland for their generosity, he said that the people of the Diocese of Jerusalem have felt the love and light of Christ shine for them as the “whole body of Christ” has prayed for them since the outbreak of the current war in October 2023.

The service on Monday May 27 commended the work of the Shine a Light appeal which has raised €216,000 so far for the ministry of the Diocese of Jerusalem which covers Palestine (including Gaza), Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. The particular focus of the appeal has been the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City which is run by the Diocese of Jerusalem.

Taking place on the eve of Ireland’s formal recognition of the State of Palestine, the service was attended by the Palestinian Ambassador, Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid, who is from Gaza and whose children were born in Al Ahli Hospital. Archbishop Naoum was in attendance with a number of his clergy from the Diocese of Jerusalem who were in Dublin for a joint retreat with clergy of these dioceses.

The service was led by the Vicar, Canon Paul Arbuthnot, and opened with a lament ‘Cumha na Marbh (Lament for the Lost) written and performed on the pipes by Professor Ciaran MacMurchaidh, Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge at Dublin City University.

In his address, Archbishop Naoum said that the ravages of war since October, but also well before that, had been difficult for the people of the Diocese of Jerusalem. At their Synod, which took place earlier in May, they reflected as a church community what it meant to live in a place with such challenges and hardships. “We came up with two words: resilience and presence… When the 7th of October happened we have lamented since that time that so many lives have been lost. We continue to lament but we will not be stuck with lamentation. We will continue to pray for hope and resilience for our people because we are people of hope,” he stated.

The Archbishop said that Al Ahli Hospital had served the people of Gaza for over 140 years. At the start of this war they worried about what would happen with the hospital. “But we trusted that God would provide, we trusted that whatever we do in God’s name, that beacon of light would continue to shine no matter what happens. People ask what will happen if the hospital is destroyed and I tell them it doesn’t matter for us because that hospital and that ministry is an ethos. It is a belief. We will open another hospital and we will build another place because we believe in what we do. That is why we opened a clinic in Rafah,” he explained.

Archbishop Naoum said that one of the many communities to stand with the Diocese of Jerusalem was Dublin and Glendalough. “We give thanks to God and give thanks to this gracious and loving diocese that has been a light in the path of darkness that we are experiencing right now. That light dispels the darkness of evil and continues to be a strength. We are tenacious because of you, because you stand with us. We will continue to spread that love in the spirit of reconciliation and peace in a land that really thirsts for these concepts and values,” he said.

You can watch Archbishop Naoum’s address here:

Speaking at the beginning of the service, Archbishop Michael Jackson said the people of Dublin and Glendalough were delighted to welcome Archbishop Naoum and his clergy and was honoured that the Ambassador was present. He said that when the diocese embarked on the “odyssey  of support” they had been inspired by the work of Al Ahli Arab Hospital.

The Archbishop said that the target of a quarter of a million euro may have seemed ambitious but it has almost been reached. He thanked the people of the dioceses, the people of Dublin and the people of Ireland and beyond for their generosity.

“We were always clear that this would not simply and solely be about money but we hoped money we hoped that money would be of assistance as, at some point, a movement is made towards reconstruction in the region. This is a story of people raising money in their eighties sitting at home and their friends coming to support them. It’s a story of children in school religiously bringing €1 coins throughout the season of Lent. It’s the story of people living in residential homes who decided that they were going to make a contribution because their humanity resonated with yours. And it’s the story of somebody in a village who was not going to lie down but managed to pull together individuals and businesses who would support this cause. Parishes, organisations, individuals have dug deep again and again into their pocket as we try to close the gap between lament and belonging,” he stated.

You can read more about the Shine a Light appeal here.


Archbishop Michael Jackson with Professor Ciaran MacMurchaidh who wrote and played the lament at the beginning of the service.
Archbishop Michael Jackson with Professor Ciaran MacMurchaidh who wrote and played the lament at the beginning of the service.

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