On December 1, 2023, the first Sunday of Advent, the city of Chicago in the USA celebrated the launch of the Arab Catholic community under the name of “Our Lady of the Holy Land”, during a Mass presided over by Fr. Wissam Mansour, the Arab Chaplaincy in Chicago, at Our Lady of the Ridge Catholic Church. Among the assembly were Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, several priests and the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulcher, as well as the Arab Christian families.
In his speech, Fr. Mansour expressed his great pleasure to be a part of this important day and stressed the importance of the responsibility entrusted to him, to serve the Arab Catholic community in Chicago. He thanked all who supported and put efforts to bring this about, highlighting the importance of celebrating our Catholic faith, and culture.
Not to mention the other Arab-speaking communities in the USA, whom the Latin Patriarchate cares for, which are: located in San Jose/California, and its Chaplain Fr. Samer Sawalha; in New York, and its Chaplain Fr. Fares Hater; in Southern California, its Chaplain Fr. Ala’a Alamat, and finally in San Francisco, administrated by Fr. Richard Van de Water.
The archbishop of Chicago congratulated the community and assured them of his full support and willingness to collaborate in the future. He also expressed his great sorrow for what is currently taking place in the Holy Land and called for a necessary end to violence and immediate collaboration toward peace to preserve the Holy Land as the Land of peace, unity, and love.