Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem was the recipient of funds selected by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, when he was given the Path to Peace Award by the Path to Peace Foundation at a glittering gala in Manhattan on Tuesday, November 16th. The Path to Peace Foundation supports the operations of the Holy See Mission to the United Nations. Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See Mission to the UN and President of the Path to Peace Foundation, presented the award, which had been postponed from May 2020, the 75th anniversary of the UN, to His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres.
In Archbishop Caccia’s eloquent remarks, he said that the award was bestowed on Guterres not just in recognition for the UN’s work in peacekeeping and peacemaking, but also for his personal contributions to these ideals and for his work as UN High Commissioner for Refugees during what was the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Secretary-General Guterres spoke inspirationally in his acceptance speech, quoting the Gospels and Papal Encyclicals. Archbishop Caccia’s final words were that in lieu of the monetary award that usually accompanies this honor, the funds would be given to two charities personally nominated by the Secretary-General: Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem “and there are many supporters of the foundation at this Gala tonight” and the Daughters of Charity Nutrition Center in Cite Soleil, Haiti. He also encouraged the audience to “magnify these gifts”.
It was a wonderful surprise to Ellen Shafer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, to hear this request for funds from Archbishop Caccia. It is extra gratifying to be reaffirmed that the Order of Malta’s premier hospital for mothers and babies in the West Bank of Palestine has an international reputation and is held in such high esteem.
The hospital reopened its doors as a maternity hospital in the mid ‘90s; it is a shared work of the three US Associations of the Order of Malta and a primary global work of the worldwide Order. For more information and to order Christmas cards, visit our website: birthplaceofhope.org.