Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

A Christmas clothing drive in Washington helps babies in Bethlehem

WASHINGTON—December, when all eyes are on the baby Jesus, the Holy Land Family Hospital of Bethlehem wants others to think about modern-day babies in the city in the West Bank where the Gospel says Christ was born.

That’s where many babies are born to struggling families, increasingly in a tense environment similar to the one the Holy Family faced upon their newborn’s birth.

Last year, to make life just a little easier for babies and their families, Michele Burke Bowe, of the hospital’s Washington-based foundation, began gathering onesies, the tiny one-piece suits many newborns wear, to give to Bethlehem’s newest residents.

“It’s a wonderful gesture of solidarity. Most of the families are poor and many come from desert communities where there is no heat, running water or electricity. It’s a kind gesture to give a mother a gift on the occasion of the birth of a child, just like the Three Kings,” she said in an Dec. 6 email interview with Catholic News Service. “While cash donations are what is really needed, some people prefer to give a gift.”

The foundation says the hospital, operated by the Order of Malta, helps deliver about 70 percent of Bethlehem’s babies. In the Washington area, the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land collects the onesies in boxes on its grounds but people also can mail them. Bowe packs them in suitcases and takes them to Bethlehem when she travels to the Holy Land several times a year.

The foundation says it tries to provide a state-of-the-art maternity and neonatal hospital to serve many of the Holy Land’s families facing hardships. By the end of 2017, the hospital says it projects it will have delivered 4,000 of the area’s babies.

Though the clothing is collected at Christmas-time, families in the Holy Land need help year-round and anyone wanting to donate new clothing or send a financial donation can do so at: Holy Family Hospital Foundation, 2000 P St. NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC, 20036.

By Rhina Guidos / Catholic News Service

CNS photo/courtesy HFH Foundation: A woman holds a newborn dressed in a onesie at the Holy Land Family Hospital of Bethlehem Nov. 15. Last year Michele Burke Bowe, of the hospital’s Washington-based foundation, began gathering onesies, the tiny one-piece suits many newborns wear, to give to Bethlehem’s newest residents.





  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Oct 13 Diocesan Evangelization Conference
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Oct 278:00 am Day of Continuing Education for Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Nov 1 Black Catholic History Month
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Nov 1010:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 1210:00 am Junta Diocesana
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate