Holy Land Festival

Saturday, July 16, 2016
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Free Parking & Admission


The Third Annual Holy Land Festival, sponsored by the Holy Land Committee of the Archdiocese of Washington, will be held at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land on Saturday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Below is “The Festival at a Glance” which tells only part of the story of this day. In addition to the four programs in the air-conditioned conference room at the Monastery, there are a number of other activities scheduled throughout the day including Arabic calligraphy, tours of the church, catacombs and gardens, olive-wood carving and performances by the Kufiyah Dabke Troupe. You can even learn how to make hummus and authentic kabobs at home.

A number of vendors and exhibitors offer products, information and opportunities to get involved, including: the Bethlehem University Foundation, the Franciscan Monastery Gift Shop and Garden Guild, Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation, the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, Samira Hussein’s embroidery by Palestinian refugee women, the Sisters of Our Lord and Our Lady of Matara, and the WRMEA book store.


What festival would be complete without food? Enjoy offerings from the Jerusalem Restaurant and Rose City Petra Middle Eastern Food as well as the Ramos Brothers snow cones and water from St. Anthony’s School. Plan to take some food home with you!


And, at the end of the day, gather with us in the church for the anticipated Sunday Mass celebrated by auxiliary bishop of Washington and a member of the Board of Directors of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, will preside and preach; the choir from St. Joseph’s Church, Largo, Md., will lead the singing.

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Schedule of Events

10 a.m. Opening of Festival
Church and Catacombs Tour
Monastery Gardens Tour

11 a.m. Church and Catacombs Tour
Monastery Gardens Tour

11:45 a.m. Kufiyah Dabke Troupe
Noon Panel: “Testimonies of Palestinian Christians: Live
from Bethlehem.”
Church and Catacombs Tour
Monastery Gardens Tour

12:45 p.m. Kufiyah Dabke Troupe

1 p.m. Panel: “Every People Under Heaven: The Many Voices
of Medieval Jerusalem from 1000-1400.”
Church and Catacombs Tour
Monastery Gardens Tour

1:45 p.m. Kufiyah Dabke Troupe

2 p.m. Presentation: “Modern Day Saints of Palestine: Women
of Bethlehem.”
Church and Catacombs Tour
Monastery Gardens Tour

3 p.m. Presentation: “Holy Land Principles”
Church and Catacombs Tour
Monastery Gardens Tour

4 p.m. Monastery Gardens Tour

5 p.m. Mass


NOTE: All presentations are 50 minutes in duration and will be held in the air-conditioned conference room. The views and opinions expressed by individual participants are those of the individuals and should not be construed as necessarily representing the views of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Archdiocese of Washington Holy Land Committee or other organizations participating as sponsors of the Holy Land Festival.



Kufiyah Dabke Troupe: Dabke is an Arab folk line dance common in the Levant region usually performed at weddings and other celebrations. The Kufiyah Dabke Troupe, named by its child members to honor the Kufiyah, the symbol of Palestinian identity and heritage, aims to raise awareness about Arab culture and Palestinian heritage. Kufiyah Dabke Troupe is the first and only children’s Dabke group in Maryland and metro DC region. It was founded in February 2016 as part of the Kalimah Arabic Programs’ efforts to introduce the Arabic language and culture to elementary school students through after school programs in Rockville and Germantown, Md. The group is run by volunteer mothers of Dabke kids, all of whom are MCPS students.

Testimonies of Palestinian Christians: Live from Bethlehem: Father Michael McDonagh, International Advisor to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, moderates a live discussion.

Every People Under Heaven: The Many Voices of Medieval Jerusalem from 1000-1400: Jerusalem was home to more cultures, faiths, and languages than ever before. Dr. Barbara Boehm and Dr. Melanie Holcomb, co-curators of the international exhibition Jerusalem, 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven, opening this fall at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, will discuss how myriad religious traditions – sometimes competitively and other times complementarily – contributed to the artistic and spiritual richness of the medieval city

Modern Day Saints of Palestine: Women of Bethlehem: How the culture and environment of Royal David’s City of Bethlehem have given rise to modern day saints including the recently canonized Maryam Bouardi.

Holy Land Principles: Father Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and Holy Land Principles Inc., will give a powerpoint presentation on the Holy Land Principles – a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Israel/Palestine. The Holy Land Principles are based on the very effective Mac Bride Principles for Northern Ireland – and very aptly so, since it was England that partitioned both Palestine (Balfour Declaration, 1917) and Ireland (Government of Ireland Act, 1920). Until Father McManus launched the Holy Land Principles in 2013, the 545 American companies in Palestine/Israel had, extraordinarily, never been challenged on their fair employment.

If you cannot attend the event, you can view it via live stream!

If you need more information, call 202-526-6800 or 301-853-5340.

Franciscan Monastery
1400 Quincy St. NE
Washington, DC 20017
*In case of inclement weather, the festival will be held in St. Francis Hall.

Co-sponsored by the Franciscan Monastery and the Archdiocese of Washington Holy Land Committee.